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to wards a

Sustainable Philadelphia

fa l l h a rv e s t

Local beers reviewed,

apples from a family orchard,

pumpkin recipes and more!

o c t o be r 2009 / is s u e 8 m


fred lewis leads fellow Philly seniors in keeping our city’s tap safe


The region’s Top Green Building Showroom and the Masters of Salvage Construction are shacking up in Northern Liberties Philadelphia to provide you with a One-Stop Shop for Green Building. { It is a very good day }

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October 3rd

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Change, Great and Small M y dad made a robot costume for me when I was in first grade. I waited until the last minute to make my choice known, leaving him precious little time to convert found paper rolls, cardboard boxes and tinfoil into a robot. Despite my dad’s industriousness, the costume had some engineering flaws. My mom recalls seeing me lagging behind in the school parade. As my classmates marched down the street, I was trying to hold my costume together and walk with knees trapped in unbending tubes. Some might wonder how costume-making (p. 15) fits into the world of sustainability and the pages of Grid. After all, how significant would the net impact be even if everyone in Philadelphia made their own Halloween costumes?  In a recent issue of the New Yorker, the highly respected environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert dismisses No Impact Man (p. 28)—the Manhattanite who, with his family, spent a year trying to eliminate his carbon footprint—as a gimmick. Real change would be better achieved, she concludes, if he used a little carbon for a train ride to Albany, where the New York state government makes decisions. I can’t argue with her central themes. Bloggers like No Impact Man are clearly self-promoters, creating artificial challenges and documenting them in the hopes of finding some fame, and maybe a book deal. And without good public policy, our individual efforts will not amount to enough.   However, these “stunt” books question our assumptions about everyday life, and display how resourceful and self-reliant people can be when they start asking root-level questions. Doesn’t it stand to reason that when people consider their actions on a daily basis,

they become more aware of what society does on a larger scale? Are personal epiphanies and public policy mutually exclusive? If mindfulness devolves into self-satisfied navelgazing, then they might be. But when Ray Anderson (p. 8), the CEO of Interface Inc., had his own epiphany, he took sustainability to a much larger, industrial scale. Is it not possible that individual epiphanies are precisely what lead to a change in business and government?  After his yearlong experiment ended, No Impact Man offered this advice to people who were wondering what to do to make a difference: join an environmental group. That sounds like good advice, especially when you see the joy (and sense of purpose) on the face of everyone affiliated with the Senior Environmental Corps (p. 18), or the determination in the eyes of the people at (p. 9). Because, just maybe, it’s the enlightened individual who seeks others in a community that ultimately makes change possible.


Alex Mulcahy 215.625.9850 ext. 102 director of marketing

Stephanie Singer 215.625.9850 ext. 107 art director

Jamie Leary distribution

Claire Connelly 215.625.9850 ext. 114 copy editors

Andrew Bonazelli, Patty Moran production artist

Lucas Hardison intern

Grace Antonini customer service

Mark Evans 215.625.9850 ext. 105 Alex J. Mulcahy Publisher


Shaun Bailey Bernard Brown Will Dean Tara Mataraza Desmond Natalie Hope McDonald Jonathan McGoran Don Russell Emily Schu photographers

Lucas Hardison Jessica Kourkounis Jon Pushnik illustrators

Brad Haubrich Jacob Lambert Melissa McFeeters Eric Sailer published by

Red Flag Media 1032 Arch Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.625.9850 g r i d p h i l ly . c o m

Printed in the usa on Leipa’s 43.9 lb Ultra Mag gloss paper. It’s 100% recycled, 80% from post-consumer waste. c o ver ph o t o by jo n p ushni k

oct ob e r 20 0 9

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Transform the sun into Smart Solar energy. Take advantage of Pennsylvania's New Solar Rebate program! When the new rebates are combined with the recently expanded federal tax credits, and other financing that Eos can arrange for you, solar now costs less than conventional power. Now you can reduce your carbon footprint and save money. No money down arrangements available. Let Eos show you how Smart Solar can be. 215.431.0565 •

BarberGale designing sustainable brands. We are a brand communications firm designing sustainable brands that resonate with authenticity, and are fueled with integrity. These brands can become bonfires1, attracting the relationships and customers they seek, and creating advocates who tell their stories for them. We help businesses produce sustainable returns that come from a genuine focus on seeking social, environmental, and economic prosperity.

1. bonfire brand, coined by John Olson – OLSON & Company


g r i d p h i l ly. c o m

october 2009


Drink in the Season Local brews just in time for the fall by don russell


or more than a century, the prototypical autumn beer has been Oktoberfestbier, the amber, slightly sweet lager brewed in the spirit of the world’s biggest festival, Munich’s Oktoberfest. The style, also called Märzen (German for March) because it was originally brewed in that month and aged until the fall, seems an appropriate transition from the the light, effervescent brews of the summer to those dark and hearty warmer brews of the wintertime. Even its color is reminiscent of the changing leaves. But suddenly, this perfectly suitable autumn beer has found itself facing down a seasonal challenge from—of all things— the lowly pumpkin. Check out the aisles of your favorite beer distributor, and you’ll think you’re wandering through Linus’ famous pumpkin patch. The Great Pumpkin lives! A smooth, full-bodied lager or a spice-cabinet ale—the choice is yours. Mix and match them with this six-pack of locally-brewed fall beers. Don Russell writes the Joe Sixpack column at the Daily News and shares more beer info at









design and more

| Milton, DE | Every year on the first weekend after Halloween, the maniacs in Delaware gather for the World Championship Punkin Chunkin, an offbeat pumpkin-tossing contest in which homemade catapults and trebuchets fling gourds more than 4,000 feet through the air. Call it inventive recycling. Here’s Dogfish’s offbeat tribute to the contest: an ale made with pumpkin meat, organic sugar and freshly crushed cinnamon and allspice from Frontier Co-op.

Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale

Flying Fish OktoberFish | Cherry Hill, NJ | This is a stealth Oktoberfest. Though it mirrors the qualities of a classic, bottom-fermenting Bavarian lager, it’s actually brewed with top-fermenting Düsseldorf Alt yeast. The result is very clean, lightly sweet malt flavor that finishes with the tart, refreshing snap of an ale. Pair it with bratwurst.

| Royersford, PA | Beer fans know Sly Fox best for its classic spring beer festival, which features a raucous goat race and hearty bock beer at its Phoenixville brewpub. In the fall, Sly Fox is a bit more subtle, quietly releasing this classic amber lager in large, 22-ounce bottles. Made with classic German Vienna malt for full-bodied depth, it’s particularly smooth, and pairs well with smoked meats.

Sly Fox Oktoberfest

| Adamstown, PA | When Stoudt’s opened in the mid-’80s, local beer enthusiasts raved about this “new,” almost revolutionary beer being brewed out in the farmland of Lancaster County. Copper-colored with a subtle sweetness, it was unlike anything else you’d ever tasted. Twenty years later, it turns out Oktoberfest wasn’t “new”—it’s traditional, in the best Bavarian sense of the word.

Stoudt’s Oktoberfest

| Easton, PA | With the move toward “imperial” or “double” beer styles (Imperial pale ale, Imperial pilsner, etc.), it was inevitable that somebody would brew an imperial pumpkin. It only makes sense that it would come from Weyerbacher, with a well-deserved rep for “big” beers. This one is a bear, with a big bite of cinnamon and nutmeg, not to mention a solid kick—8 percent—of alcohol.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Yards Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce Ale | Philadelphia | Forget Festbier, pass on pumpkin—if you really want to go the non-traditional path this fall, try this completely different spruce-flavored ale. Yes, spruce—as in Christmas trees. Before hops, it was one of the many botanicals that was used to bitter or spice beer. This one’s a tribute to a recipe found in the papers of Ben Franklin and originally brewed in honor of his 300th birthday. oct ob e r 20 0 9

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/ news & events

Milk & Honey Opening

The Price is Right Urban Eco Electric energizes the Philadelphia solar market with free installation and affordable leasing options


any homeowners want solar energy, but far too few can afford the upfront costs. How can this be overcome? One solution is leasing. The most prominent example of a successful leasing company is California-based SolarCity, which was partially funded by Elon Musk, PayPal founder and CEO of Tesla Motors. Philadelphia now has its own solar leasing contender: Urban Eco Electric. “Solar for the longest time has been a boutique thing for people that really are in love and can afford it,” says co-founder Christopher Johnston. “Now the economics have changed such that it’s a good deal financially.” The big selling point is that Urban Eco Electric installs solar panels free of charge. They further offer homeowners a 50 percent savings off of their current bill for the first two years of a 20-year agreement. For the remaining 18 years, rates would be frozen at current electricity rates, which could prove quite significant when rate caps are removed at the end of 2010 and prices are expected to spike. Johnston, a former derivatives trader, is very bullish about the Philly market. “In Philadelphia, we have gas heating and gas cooking, so our electricity usage is less and our air conditioning demands are less. We’re using less and with our shared walls in our rowhomes, we’re aiming to replace a person’s complete usage.” → Urban Eco Electric


g r i d p h i l ly. c o m

october 2009

Mayor Nutter showed his support for local, healthy food by visiting the opening of West Philly’s Milk & Honey. The new market, which will have prepared foods, fresh produce and baked goods, will be sourcing from Lancaster Farm Fresh and directly from local farms. “We hope that Milk and Honey will contribute to making West Philly a self contained neighborhood,” says Annie Baum-Stein, who has started the food market with her husband Mauro Daigle, who rehabbed the building. Baum-Stein’s interest in sustainable food is longstanding. She’s had a food column for the Riverside News, and her mother started the Baum Forum, a New York nonprofit focused on food and agricultural issues. → Milk & Honey, Open seven days a week, 4435 Baltimore Ave.,

Local Hospitals Take Part in Balanced Menu Challenge Thomas Jefferson and Cooper University Hospitals recently joined an initiative to make their food services more healthy and sustainable. As proposed by Health Care Without Harm and supported locally by the Women’s Health & Environmental Network, they will be serving 20 percent less meat and more vegetables to their patients, staff and visitors as a step towards preventive care. → and

Greenable Joins Up With Greensaw Old City’s Greenable Green Building Supply & Design has joined forces with architectural salvage building firm Greensaw. Their new and improved location in Northern Liberties opens on October 3. The new Greenable/Greensaw union will offer on-site parking, expanded inventory, cleaning and homecare product filling stations, new showrooms and more. → Greenable, Reopening Oct. 3, Open Tuesday – Sunday, 820 N. 4th St.,,

Delaware Valley Green Building Council 2009 BuildGreen Conference The largest of its kind, the DVGBC 2009 BuildGreen Conference is a regional gathering of professionals and universities to network and connect on sustainability, green building and economic development. In addition to providing an opportunity for businesses, investors and university researchers to link together in the uncovering green marketplace, this conference will also offer educational sessions and introductions to emerging materials and technologies. Awards for 2009 DVGBC Leadership will be presented by Katherine Gajewski, our city’s Director of Sustainability. → BuildGreen Conference, Oct. 14 & 15, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., $50-295, Sheraton Hotel, 17th and Race Sts.,

International Youth Dialogue for Nuclear Disarmament At the University of the Arts, Philadelphia’s youth will get a chance to converse internationally on the issue of nuclear disarmament. Using live video, this conference will link venues across the globe (including Santa Barbara, Mexico City and Moscow). This year’s dialogue will host Dr. Hans Blix, President of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, as a keynote speaker. → International Youth Dialogue for Nuclear Disarmament, Oct. 26, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Oct. 27, 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., $20-70, University of the Arts, 320 South Broad St.,

Temple University’s Campus Sustainability Day Visit Temple’s Bell Tower on October 21 for a festival focused on celebrating and furthering the sustainability efforts made by the University’s student organizations and the greater community of Philadelphia. → Campus Sustainability Day, Oct. 21, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Bell Tower, Temple Main Campus,

Fair Trade Month The Independents Coffee Cooperative has organized a film series, coffee cuppings, a traveling art exhibit and more to commemorate Fair Trade month during October. Fair Trade is a marketdriven approach to development—ensuring producers in communities worldwide are attributed fair wages and basic human rights. → Fair Trade Month, Oct.,

Primex Fall Green Festival Primex Fall Green Festival welcomes families for music, face and pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, food from Café Estelle and more. There will also be tables with information from local businesses and organizations. → Primex Fall Green Festival Oct. 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., free, 435 W. Glenside Ave.,




















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Spore Meetup: Thought for Food

Manayunk Homegrown Fall Festival

Come join an active discussion and hear dispatches from the front lines of the Philly local food movement. Chat with restaurateurs, farmers and entrepreneurs.

This month’s Second Saturday event in Manayunk will celebrate the local. Hosted by the Manayunk Development Corporation and Sustainable Manayunk, the Homegrown Fall Festival will feature locally-produced items, organic foods, prepared dishes (featuring locally-grown ingredients) and environment-friendly “green” and recycled products. Oh, and Philadelphia’s own Bacon Brothers, Michael and Kevin.

→ Spore Meetup, Oct. 20, 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., free, Studio 34 Yoga, 4522 Baltimore Ave.,

Urban Sustainability Forum: “Green Infrastructure Financing” From riverfront greenway plans to watershed management plans and the recently released Greenworks Philadelphia, various agencies and organizations have proposed new greenways and parks, stormwater management facilities and green energy programs. Project advocates, however, have been unable to identify workable and reliable methods for funding this green infrastructure. Philadelphia requires a new approach in order to manage– and ultimately reverse–the effects of its declining infrastructure. → Urban Sustainability Forum Oct. 22, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Academy of Natural Sciences,

→ Manayunk Homegrown Fall Festival, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (rain or shine), downtown Manayunk,

Idle Free Philly Philadelphia does not meet federal air quality standards, in large part due to emissions generated from motor vehicles, especially trucks. When cars and trucks leave their engines running, they are not only wasting fuel, but releasing harmful particles and greenhouse gases into the air. If you’ve noticed cars, trucks or buses regularly idling around the city or in your neighborhood, now you can report it. Go to, and the Clean Air Council and Air Management Services will be notified. →

East Coast Greenway & Schuylkill River Trail Bicycle & Boat Fundraising Tour This Halloween, don’t miss the opportunity to support the construction of the East Coast Greenway through Philadelphia while touring the tidal Schuylkill River by bike and boat. Winding through Bartram’s Garden and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, this roundtrip guided tour will end at Fort Mifflin in Southwest Philadelphia for a catered box luncheon. Reserve your place soon, as the size of the tour is limited. → East Coast Greenway and Schuylkill River Trail Bicycle & Boat Fundraising Tour, Sat., Oct. 31, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., $100, disembark from Schuylkill Banks Walnut St. dock,

oct ob e r 20 0 9

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/ activism

The Industrial Revolution, Take 2 A maverick CEO makes the case for sustainability


by alex mulcahy

n 1994, Ray Anderson, the CEO of an industrial carpet manufacturing company, faced a task he dreaded: delivering a speech to his workers about his company’s environmental policy. The problem was that his company, Interface Inc., didn’t have an environmental policy. They weren’t breaking any laws; wasn’t that enough? A friend recommended reading a book called The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken to help him prepare. Reading it, Anderson said, was like a spear through his chest. He realized that, as the founder and CEO of a billion-dollar company, he had the respect of his peers, but future generations might think of him differently. They might view him as a plunderer. This epiphany not only changed his life, it revolutionized his approach to business. He set a lofty goal: Interface would aspire to Mission Zero, the company initiative to do business without using any oil or creating any waste, by the year 2020. Once his workers accepted the challenge to “climb Mount Sustainability,” an unimagined creativity was tapped.

Though, by Anderson’s own measure, Interface still has a long way to go, the steps it’s made are astounding. Since 1994, Interface has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 72 percent. (Keep in mind that the “business-killing” Kyoto Protocol—which not a single senator voted in favor of—asked for a mere 7 percent reduction.) Interface has also reduced pollution, increased its

use of renewable energy and introduced a firstof-its-kind carpet recycling program. The results have been impressive, perhaps even surprising to some. As waste and pollution went down, profitability—and market share— went up. That’s the message he wants to bring to every business: his company is proof that you can do well by doing good. Anderson has now written his second book, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, which chronicles his journey so far, and will be the keynote speaker at the Climate Awareness Rally on October 24 at 1 p.m. on the Mall of the Constitution Center. Grid called the radical industrialist to ask a few questions. What is your affiliation with I know Bill McKibben [the founder of]. We’re sort of kindred spirits. I happen to agree with his premise—as do some other people who are far more important than I am. And then there’s the event coming up there in Philadelphia, and my Interface people who are there overseeing it have become rather deeply involved in putting together the program, and managed to get me invited. What kind of advice would you give to a business that is on the verge of beginning a sustainability initiative? They’re hedging, maybe they should, maybe they shouldn’t… Then they definitely should not. They better know it’s the thing to do before they undertake to do it, because it changes everything in your world. So, if you’re not ready for a drastic change in your world, just stick with the status quo. When you wise up, and are ready to make the commitment, then come on in—the water’s great. But the sustainability commitment is a commitment of a lifetime. You do about 150 speaking engagements a year. What kind of crowds do you generally speak to? It’s all over the map. From the environmental community, the converted, the choir, to… the top management of an industrial company. To me, the bigger the business audience, the better, because that’s where the leverage is.


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Are your fellow industrialists receptive to your message? Yeah, they’re listening with great interest. It’s like it’s one mind at a time, one company at a time. It’s like pulling hens’ teeth. I haven’t found a way to do it faster. But every now and then, there’s a very important company that does it, like Walmart. And Walmart got on this course and told 60,000 suppliers that this is where they are going. That’s a lot of heads. Do you think that a company like Walmart can be considered sustainable if they are obviously relying so much on imported goods, and customers driving to their stores, among many other transgressions? Well, you know, we all begin where we are. We don’t have the choice of beginning somewhere else. We begin where we are, and we go from here. I think Walmart’s intentions are the very best they can be, and they will evolve to realize those intentions. They can’t just jump into it— you jump into it whole hog and you’ll go broke. That’s not sustainable. And by the way, there aren’t any sustainable companies yet. Probably not any sustainable products either. They may be a little bit less unsustainable day by day, moving in that direction.

It takes a lot of courage to change the course you are on. Twice in my life I’ve seen an idea so big that I could not deny it. The first time is when I saw carpet tiles. That is so right, so smart, I thought. It took me five years to actually do it. We created Interface to make carpet tiles. And then when I realized what sustainability really meant, it was very much the same feeling. That it is so right, so smart, and we’re going to do this. End of discussion. And then the discussion begins. What? How do you do that? You could retire. Do you have any plans to step down in the near future? I plan to stay around to climb Mount Sustainability. Eleven years from now is the target date.


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Great green products for a great green city!

Let’s just say 30 or 40 years from now, when you’ve climbed Mount Sustainability and want to spend a little more time in your vacation house… In my dreams, I have 30 or 40 years! I really do love what I do. I think that’s what the people of Interface feel, too—that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. We all have this higher purpose, and that feels good. ■

+’s International Day of Climate Action: October 24 Free delivery to Philly beginning this Fall.

Ray Anderson will be in Philadelphia this month as the keynote speaker for’s International Day of Climate Action. What is It’s an international campaign founded by American environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben, which focuses on reversing the disastrous path of our earth’s climate through a worldwide Day of Climate Action. Climate scientists and experts have established 350 as the maximum number of parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric carbon dioxide that is considered safe for living beings. The earth has already surpassed this safety level with an alarming 390 ppm. On October 24 at 1 p.m., government leaders and the public will unite to demonstrate against the escalating global climate crisis. Iconic sites throughout the globe, including Independence Mall in Philadelphia, will serve as locations for anyone who wants to participate in this grassroots campaign. In addition to Ray Anderson, Katherine Gajewski, Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability, will also be speaking. Following the event, which will include the making of a “human graphic” of the numerals 3-5-0, Joseph Fox Book Shop will present a book signing with Ray Anderson at the Grand Court at the Bourse. Philadelphia has its own vibrant chapter. Email Andrew Lavine,, or sign up to volunteer at Students in Middlebury, VT form a human graphic

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• Green office supplies • Compostable restaurant supplies • Recycled content tissue & towel • Natural cleaning products • Fair trade and organic foods 1-800-641-1117

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/ inspiration

Plant Therapy

The Horticultural Center at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital eases pain with plants by emily schu


ix stories above 16th and race, an elevator opens to a secluded street complete with a parked car, cobblestone sidewalks, a telephone booth, raised garden beds and potted peppers, tomatoes and pumpkins. At its peak, the rooftop is blooming with life, far from the echoes of car horns and SEPTA bus screeches below. A nurse rolls a patient garden-side and they examine the fruits of this season’s harvest, picking a sample of thyme to smell before heading indoors. Tucked away in the rooftop’s corner, a lush greenhouse stands full of current and future patient projects—tables of budding herbs, orchids and succulents. This is the Horticultural Therapy Center at the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. In the mid-’70s, the program was initiated by Linda Ciccantelli, Magee’s first director of horticulture therapy, as a small project in the hospital basement. The plants were first contained in a single light cart—a tall plant stand with shelving units and fluorescent bulbs for growth. Today the program has blossomed into the only horticultural thera-

py program in Center City with a rooftop greenhouse. Magee treats patients with a variety of severe conditions—spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, strokes. Many people are bedridden and paralyzed. And it’s the job of the hospital’s horticultural therapist, Jeannette Glennon-Morrissey, to determine which gardening activities and nature crafts are suitable for each patient based on therapeutic and rehabilitative goals. “With brain injuries and strokes, you’re trying to work on attention and recall of steps, so I might do plant propagation,” says Glennon-Morrissey. “Other activities might be geared towards increasing strength and range of motion.” Without a doubt, there’s an activity for everyone. “I’ve done everything from flower arranging [and] plant propagation to making garden stones,” she adds. But the list continues. Up in the sixth floor greenhouse, bottles of herbal vinegar line the table. Under a light tray, individual containers of herbal seedlings begin to sprout. Along the side, Glennon-Morrissey reveals her bin for worm composting and a net for soon-toarrive monarch caterpillars. Today’s activity is plant propagation. Glennon-Morrissey takes out all the usual supplies for gardening—trowels, pruners, a cart of potting soil and pots of mint creeper, coleus and citronella—with one unusual addition. A tray of handcuffs is placed in the mix, used to support patients as they hold pruners and shovels to build back their upper arm strength. A group of wheelchair-bound patients gather around cloth-covered tables in the hospital’s gymnasium. “A lot of times when people are busy doing gardening, they forget all about the pain,” left The one nurse says to an older woman, who just rooftop barely opens her eyes in response. greenhouse And yet, an hour later, dirt covers the cloth at Magee top Inside liners, patients are busy planting their second the greenor third plant, and the same woman can’t dehouse, the cide between the green or blue stones to use lush flora thrive to embellish her mint creeper. ■



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october 2009

phot os by l uca s h ardi s o n



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Core Business

Beechwood Orchard brings fresh fruit to Philly’s farmers’ markets by will dean


fifth-generation family operation, Beechwood Orchards in Biglerville, PA specializes in heirloom and unusual varieties of fruits—particularly apples—and sells them at many farmers’ markets in the city and beyond. At their stand, you can get esoteric apples—like Baldwin, September Wonder Fuji, Wolf River and Zestar—as well as more traditional ones, like Red Delicious and Granny Smith. There are so many varieties that it can be hard to know what you want, but you might be surrounded by experts. “If there’s another customer around and someone asks about the Honey Crisps or something, I don’t need to open my mouth,” says David Garretson, who runs the orchard with his wife Tammy and their children and grandchildren. “My customers will tell them all about it.” According to Garretson, Honey Crisps, known for their two-tone (red and gold) colors and mixture of sweet and tart, have been the most popular apple this season; but he has other favorites. “I like them, but there’s a lot of other good types, like Macoun, that I like a lot, too.” Customers might feel more at home with Beechwood because the orchard, which is over 100 years old, is based around family. Garretson’s father rode a tractor until he was 86. When his son and daughter came back to work at the orchard—Shawn returned in 2005 and Melissa in 2008—they decided to expand their business into more markets and diversify what they grew. Beechwood has always grown all kinds of tree fruits—including 20 varieties of plums—but Melissa expanded their offerings into heirloom pho to by st ep h a n ie singer

tomatoes and unusual strains of garlic, onions and asparagus. Melissa’s young daughters Isabelle and Cammy also help out, especially with eating the fresh fruit. The push to diversify their offerings was part of a successful plan to sell more at farmers’ markets. Beechwood has been at Philly farmers’ markets for four years, and they’ve become well-known for their delectable fruit. Beechwood uses integrated pest management instead of pesticides, relying on attracting an array of pest-eating insects and animals to keep their plants healthy and chemical-free. That commitment to sustainability and family has borne exceptional fruit and, Garretson hopes, relationships, too. “I think something of my customers,” he says, “and I hope they think something of me.” ■


Sundays at Headhouse Square, Tuesdays at Passyunk, Wednesday at UPenn and Tuesdays & Saturdays at Rittenhouse Square. oct ob e r 20 0 9

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Fair Food Approved

Catering! pendent,













THE GREEN ON GREENE BUILDING announces its new anchor tenant: The region’s first store to sell and service electric bicycles exclusively

mUgShOTS mUgShOTS CoffeeHouse & Café

Come celebrate the opening on Thursday October15, from 2–7 pm in Mt. Airy Mugshots offers coffee to go, breakfast trays, and party platters, great for meetings, events, and parties! Delivery available. Biodegradable plates and cutlery included.


Wed–Sun. 1– 7 pm

Get 10% off orders $100 or more. Place your order online or call: 21st & Fairmount 267.514.7145 110 Cotton Street in Manayunk 215.482.3964,

The Green on Greene Building: A modest showcase of green services, systems & synergy at the corner of Greene St. & 550 Carpenter Lane, two blocks west of Lincoln Drive. Across from Weavers Way Co-op. CONTACT


visit fied B a rt i Ce

ry • ke

• G r ee n

for menu and order deadlines

Chestnut Hill hours MON-FRI 7 am–6 pm sat 8 am–6 pm | sun 8 am–2 pm 7725 Germantown Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19118 | 215 248.9235


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october 2009

bring home the tofu on a trophy bike PHILADELPHIA’S COMMUTER BIKE SPECIALISTS best selection of bags, trailers, baskets, cargo bikes and more OPEN 10-6, SEVEN DAYS 3131 Walnut Street

/ how-to

Primex Garden Center

How to Make a Classic

Robot Costume Supplies ❑❑ Large box: should be large enough to fit your body. Our box measured 12” x 21” x 15” ❑❑ Medium box: should be large enough to fit your head. Our box measured 15” x 15” x 15”. (As an alternative to wearing a box on your head, you might prefer painting your face, or wearing a mask, hat or helmet. If painting your face, you could use white, grey or silver cosmetic makeup or face paint.) ❑❑ Optional Embellishments: bottle caps, jar lids, packaging, foil, corks, thread spools, wrapping paper, cans, wire, cassette tapes, circuit boards, buttons, stamps, stickers, CDs and records. ❑❑ Pair of gloves or mittens ❑❑ Paint and brushes ❑❑ Glue ❑❑ Scissors, utility or X-acto knife ❑❑ Pencil

Your Sustainable Garden Resource


f you’ve never made a halloween costume before, don’t feel intimidated. This project can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Before beginning, you’ll need to gather supplies, but luckily, this costume can be made almost exclusively using household items.

Since 1943 Over 250 organic & eco-friendly products Conveniently located near the Glenside train station


Knowledgeable Staff

Using the pencil, mark the large box, drawing a circle for each of your arms. The top of the holes should be about 2 inches from the top of the box. The size of the holes depends on the size of your arms, approximately 6 inches in diameter. We recommend using a utility knife or X-acto knife, but scissors will work. Follow the same steps for the neck hole and cut a key hole shape, starting at the back edge to make the costume easier to put on. The hole needs to be a little wider than your neck, approximately 6 x 11 inches. Then, cut the entire bottom of the box. Mark and then cut a 4-inch diameter hole to look through the medium box or, if you prefer your entire face uncovered, cut out a square. Paint the boxes gray or whatever color you prefer, or skip the paint entirely. We recommend using a 3-inch wide brush. Once the paint is dry, it’s time to embellish. Glue on the thread spools and caps to look like knobs and dials. For heavier items, poke a small hole in the cardboard and insert the item. Be creative. Use vintage holiday light bulbs, 7-inch records, foil for antennae and cardboard tubes for arms. Put on your costume and gloves. Rock out! ■


ruth schanbacher, anna cherniahivsky and jon vitale are members of Handmade Philly and Horsey: a noise + art project

435 West Glenside Avenue Glenside, PA 19038

(215) 887-7500

oct ob e r 20 0 9

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high water

Dare to keep drugs out of your drinking water

by shaun bailey

t’s an otherwise slow shift at the hospital when, just after 2 p.m., patient John Doe is wheeled into the emergency department. After taking the man’s vital signs, residents determine he has suffered a “myocardial infarction”; what doctors call a heart attack. With no time to spare, they order intravenous nitroglycerine for improved blood pressure, norepinephrine for shock and heavy, repeated doses of morphine for pain. Across town at the wastewater treatment plant, sewage streams in from the hospital’s 600 or so patients and staff. The typical treatment plant is well equipped to clean tens, if not hundreds of millions of gallons of wastewater per day, removing grease, grit, organic material, scum, solids, trash and, well, use your imagination. However, it isn’t designed to remove pharmaceuticals like those given to John Doe. To be fair, hospitals aren’t entirely to blame. The truth is, anyone who takes prescription or over-the-counter medication sends trace amounts of these substances into their wastewater, which, in our region, is returned to the Delaware River and Bay after a thorough cleaning by wastewater treatment plants. And it’s not just sick people. Healthy people send pharmaceuticals into the water supply as well. Only a small portion of medication is absorbed by the human body. The rest passes through, gets flushed and is sent via sewers to treatment plants. And unused pharmaceuticals disposed of by flushing share the same fate.


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At the Southeast Water Treatment Plant in Philadelphia, scientists are using sophisticated methods to monitor levels of pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, psychiatric medicine, veterinary drugs and pain relievers. Currently they are screening for 70 drugs. Last year, a test yielded a total of 17 different pharmaceuticals and byproducts in the local drinking water (The number was initially reported as 56 due to a transcription error, according to the Philadelphia Water Department.) Notably, Philadelphia is one of the few places in the country where officials are even looking for these compounds, which are only detectable due to relatively new technology. “We tested for every compound for which a test was available. The amounts of chemicals that we found are extremely small,” says Kelly Anderson, an environmental scientist at the Philadelphia Water Department. “Imagine drinking eight glasses of water a day for over 40,200 years. That’s how much water you would have to drink to take in the amount of acetaminophen in a single dose.” The trouble is, overall prescription-drug use is increasing in the United States. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of prescriptions purchased in the United States increased from 2.2 billion to 3.8 billion between 1997 and 2007. That’s an increase of 72 percent during a time span when the U.S. population only grew by 11 percent. It is unknown precisely how many of these medications go unused, but earth911. com puts the number at somewhere between 20 percent and 60 percent. Humans are not the only ones who could be

october 2009

affected when medications make their way into waterways. Fish, frogs and other aquatic species may be especially vulnerable due to their constant exposure to water. Patient John Doe would have to eat hundreds of thousands of fish dinners to get the same dose of medicine he received at the hospital, but researchers have found that even extremely diluted pharmaceuticals can harm wildlife throughout the food chain, down to the smallest life forms. “Our research in New York streams and rivers shows a strong relationship between high levels of caffeine, which is a proxy for other pharmaceuticals, and low abundance and diversity of the aquatic insect community,” says Dr. Anthony Aufdenkampe, a scientist at the Stroud Water Research Center. “However,” Aufdenkampe adds, “the insect community might be responding to other co-related factors, such as contaminants associated with poor land use, sewage, etc. Research is currently lacking regarding the viability of aquatic species over multiple life cycles due to conditions which are now typical in our streams, where organisms are simultaneously exposed to dozens of pharmaceuticals and other compounds.”

Reduce Your Unused Medication Pollution Fortunately, there is something citizens can do to prevent increasing levels of pharmaceuticals from entering their water supply. You may even practice such a routine right now when you dispose of household hazardous materials, such as used motor oil, gasoline and paint thinner. Similar to these pollutants, pharmaceuticals should never be flushed down the drain. Instead you are advised to remove any labels to protect your privacy before returning them to your pharmacist, if permitted. It’s also a good idea to request partial prescriptions in the first place. That way you are less likely to have leftover doses. If your pharmacy does not accept unused

SC Grid_45x475.pdf 9/19/2009 6:38:17 PM

pharmaceuticals, the best solution is to store them in a cool, dry and secure place far from the reach of children until you can drop them off at a neighborhood collection event. However, not all hazardous waste programs accept prescription medications. If yours does not, experts suggest that you: → → crush pills and add water → → put flour in liquids → → combine medication with an undesirable C substance, such as coffee grounds, kitty litter or sawdust M → → seal in a nontransparent container Y and put in the garbage Pharmaceutical collection events are few and CM far between, but awareness has spurred the MY creation of scattered pilot programs. One successful model is Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out CY Day, which is organized by Nurses Healing Our CMY Planet, an ad-hoc committee formed by the Delaware Nurses Association. This group has held a K total of five collection events since 2008, and it now plans to host future events twice per year in partnership with local law enforcement and Christiana Care Health System of Newark, DE. At these collection events, “controlled” or addictive substances collected by volunteers must be immediately turned over to police officers. Each event has yielded gallons of these drugs, with a street value well over $1 million. The Philadelphia Water Department recently wrapped up a pilot take-back program involving two long-term care facilities and one senior center. In the future, its staff hopes to expand upon this research. The concept of recycling medication is still in its infancy, but there are a few places that periodically accept expired and unused pharmaceuticals and personal care products (restrictions apply). These trailblazers include: → → Delaware Nurses Association → → Berks Co. Solid Waste Authority → → Burlington Co. Hazardous Waste Facility → → “Clearly the issue of pharmaceuticals in our waterways is not something we are going to solve overnight,” says Jennifer Adkins, executive director of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, a nonprofit seeking to bring people together to solve water quality issues in the Delaware River and Bay. “The first step to addressing this problem is to simply limit the waste in our own medicine cabinets.”

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Denise Lehmann I 215.260.8414 Alex Plessett, RE/MAX Services I 610.256.1296



shaun bailey is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.

Support your local brewery |

ill ustr at io n by brad haubri ch

oct ob e r 20 0 9

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Senior Project


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october 2009

A group of retirees in Germantown take water safety into their own hands by natalie hope mcdonald

he group of senior citizens dipping test tubes into the Wissahickon Creek has their work cut out for them. As members of the Senior Environment Corps (SEC), a volunteer organization housed at Center in the Park—an active adult community on Germantown Avenue—these volunteer men and women are environmental watchdogs. You’re as likely to see them running a battery of tests from the banks of local rivers, creeks and streams on the hottest days of summer as you are during winter’s deep freeze. Theirs is a year-round job. No one gets paid. Just about everyone’s old enough to collect Social Security. And ever since the group partnered with the Philadelphia Water Department to keep an eye on local waterways throughout the region, their impact on our ecosystem is undeniable. Five miles from the senior center in Northwest Philly, where the group regularly convenes for meetings and socials, is Fairmount’s historic RittenhouseTown, one area where SEC patrols for pollution and other environmental hazards that plague the urban ecosystem. For more than 200 years, working mills—including one of the first-ever paper factories in the U.S.—dumped wastewater upstream into the Wissahickon. Many decades later, this still creates ecological concerns. But thanks in part to SEC’s work, vital waterways like this one have been put under a microscope—literally. For 12 years now, these energetic seniors have conducted monthly water testing, habitat assessments, tree plantings, watershed tours and educational outreach at schools and within the community, all with the goal of calling attention to Philly’s natural resources. For most of these folks, going green is hardly a new concept. They’ve been chronicling the impact of environmental initiatives long before green even became a household word. Led by Fred Lewis, a charismatic 81-year-old, the volunteers average in age from 55 to 85 and come from all walks of life. There’s a former bus driver, social worker, amateur paleontologist, Harvard-trained chemist and several retired grade school teachers, computer geeks and homemakers in the group. Lewis himself is no stranger to environmental concerns, having spent a lifetime rethinking better water treatment practices as a management consultant in the laundry industry. He’s come to anticipate all the usual environmental afflictions over the years, and has found new ways to surmount pho to by JESSIC A KOURKOUNIS

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the seemingly impossible: by calling attention to these ecological issues to anyone who will listen. “This is an urban area,” admits Lewis, who’s been working with the group since 1997 as volunteer coordinator. “There’s a certain amount of pollution you’d expect to find in urban streams because of runoff.” He’s seen everything from dead fish and chemical leaks to old tires and discarded refrigerators floating through Philly’s waterways. A few years ago, SEC discovered untreated wastewater in Monoshone Creek after noticing an unusually large number of dead animals and dwindling plant life. Their quest to bring this serious environmental breach to the attention of the Philadelphia Water Department was eventually chronicled in a documentary, Knee Deep, directed by Ann Tegnell and Sharon Mullally. “That resulted in getting the community involved and the water department involved,” says Lewis. It eventually cost the city at least a million dollars to reline the sewer, which, he says, has improved the situation significantly. But it hasn’t corrected it entirely. He and other volunteers still regularly test the waters for wastewater leaks that could impact drinking water, fishing and swimming. The group’s dedication to the environment is obvious to anyone who spends any time with the members. They are eager to give back to their community, a city where many have raised children and grandchildren, and worked lifetimes in public service and the private sector. “It gives the volunteers a chance to feel they are doing something that is helpful to the community,” says Lewis. “Generally,

when people retire, they look for things that will satisfy their interests. But with water monitoring, you get the chance to also do something for the community. It keeps you mentally and physically involved.” Despite arthritis and two knee replacements, Lewis is more involved than ever with environmental causes. When the octogenarian’s not out in the field climbing up and down rocky river banks and trudging through rain and snow with his test tubes and pH strips, he’s active in almost a dozen other organizations and boards of directors, including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Wissahickon Watershed, Water Department Advisory Council, Retired Seniors Volunteer Program and the Delaware Estuary, to name just a few. His energy is contagious. “We are always encouraging people to come join us,” he says. “The only real requirement is that they be over 55. We’ll teach them everything they need to know. All they have to do is care about the environment.” For those seniors who may be limited by physical ailments, SEC has opportunities to work in the lab and the office, answering phones, mailing letters and supporting the needs of the program. Lewis says there’s a job for just about anyone, whether you enjoy visiting local parks and rivers or prefer being indoors in the office and at schools. Lynn Fields Harris, executive director of Center in the Park, credits Lewis for keeping the SEC alive even when it lost state funding more than a decade ago. “They’ve had some difficult times,” she admits. “But this group is such a vital importance to the center and the community.” Harris says the center’s daily attendance averages upwards of

T e s t i n g t h e Wat e r s

Get realtime river results online

Want more information about the Schuylkill River? Visit, a website that reports on water quality from Fairmount to Flat Rock Dam. Using three unique designations (green, yellow and red to chart

whether the water is suitable for recreation on a real-time map), users can find out when it’s safe to dive, fish or swim, and when to avoid direct contact after rainstorms and other potential contaminations.

“The water’s in great shape,” says Office of Watersheds director Howard Neukrug. “Although we certainly have our own set of issues, we hope that we’ll get more and more swimming days in as time goes by.”

When people retire, they look for things that will satisfy their interests. But with water monitoring, you get the chance to also do something for the community. It keeps you mentally and physically involved. — f r e d l e w i s

220 members a day among seniors who visit to volunteer, take classes, share lunch, socialize and exercise. “We’re continuing to see a steady growth in our membership,” she says, with an average of 30 to 40 new seniors signing up each month thanks to community outreach among groups like SEC. “They are active, vibrant and committed to the work they’re doing,” says Harris. “SEC brings a great deal of positive attention to the center through the work they do in the community.”

Keeping Score In its quest to heal Philly’s local ecosystem (or at the very least, police it), SEC covers a lot of terrain. “We monitor one end of the city to the other,” says Lewis. “We go as far north as Chestnut Hill College and as far south as John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.” The seniors also monitor the Darby and Cobbs Creeks and Saylor Grove, as well as the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers and other smaller streams and tributaries throughout the park system. Over the years, they’ve uncovered chemical leaks, dead fish and an abundance of worms, something Lewis says points to both water and land pollution. “Worms can tolerate polluted water,” he explains. “We always hope to find a lot of other specimens instead.” One of the key goals for both SEC and the Office of Watersheds, a decade-old division of the Philadelphia Water Department, is to preserve clean drinking water. “We are responsible for the drinking water supply in the city,” says Howard Neukrug, Office of Watersheds director. “Our focus is recognizing the best thing we can do to keep storm water and rain water from our sewer inlet.” Neukrug, who’s known Fred Lewis for years in the water world, is in the process of rolling out a new green program for Philadelphia that will essentially analyze every square foot of the city, with the goal of capturing the first inch of storm water via rain barrels, vegetative roofs and other eco-friendly technology. The water will eventually be repurposed, preventing it from running into local waterways along with the pollution it picks up, like oil from vehicles and other chemical residue found on city streets and riverbanks. The department is also experimenting with curb bump-outs and irrigation tactics that would prevent runoff into rivers that supply pho to by JESSIC A KOURKOUNIS

drinking water. According to Neukrug, the city of Philadelphia consumes an average of 200 million gallons of water each day, half of which is harvested from the Delaware River, the other half comes from the Schuylkill River. “Understanding the value of the land upstream from us is important,” he says. “We’ve done a lot of analysis of the most critical areas of our watershed.” The SEC is instrumental in following up with water monitoring results each month. They essentially report to the water department in cases where changes occur in addition to the regular testing being done by water department employees. “One of the biggest issues is wet weather,” says Neukrug. “When we started this organization, we met with folks at the Tinicum Wildlife Refuge. We were concerned about Cobbs Creek since it empties into the refuge.” He says there have been issues with bacteria and heavy metals in these waterways, as well as some surprising discoveries from decades past that can kill animal and native plant life. “We have 100-plus years of urbanism,” he says. Most of the items being discovered in the water today were buried at one time in landfills or discarded along the banks of the rivers and creeks before anyone knew better. “It begins with large objects like cars, carts, tires, refrigerators,” he explains. “And it goes to smaller objects: plastic bottles and newspapers that flow into the creeks and rivers.” When the seniors at SEC test these same waters, they may end up finding high levels of bacteria and contamination as the result of common household pollutants. The good news, according to Neukrug, is that the watershed, water department and organizations like SEC have made noticeable progress. “Our rivers and streams are cleaner than they’ve been in 200 years,” he insists, pointing to the Fairmount fish ladder, an artificial underwater barrier that encourages natural migration, as proof. Not only is the fish ladder attracting more fish, but also a wider variety of species, including American shad. “We’ve been seeing an increasing number of fish from the Delaware Estuary,” he says. The fish are healthy and reproducing—so much so that the Watershed recently assigned an intern to the tedious job of counting fish using a camera installed to study the ladder near the Fairmount Waterworks. “A lot of the improvements have come from increased treatment of sewage,” says Jason Cruz, aquatic biologist with the Office of Watersheds. “Back in the mid-to-late-’60s, the area around Philly didn’t have much sewage treatment going on. There was a dead zone.” He also says fish docks were overexploited, declining the number of migratory fish in local rivers. “The removal of key dams has been important,” says Cruz, because now fish raised in hatcheries are released and swim upstream where they spawn naturally. oct ob e r 20 0 9

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Those Who Can After studying many of these ecological improvements and hiccups over the years, the group has begun drafting educational programs for local schools that combine textbook learning with outdoor explorations. Johnnie Henderson, SEC’s educational coordinator, has been using her experience as a retired schoolteacher to create more hands-on programs that can be used to teach about science and ecology. Henderson herself has always been interested in science and nature. And like most volunteers, she was looking for something constructive to do after retiring from teaching. “I retired to something from something,” says Henderson, who now helps to create lesson plans with principals and teachers who are interested in adding ecology to the curriculum. “We visit the schools and take the children on trips,” she says. Past field trips have been to the Waterworks, Chestnut Hill College and Fairmount Park, where students learn about the local ecosystem and the impact of pollution on water, animals, plants and each other. “We sometimes visit the schools and help create native habitats,” Henderson adds. SEC works with the administration and students to plant trees and other foliage so that students can learn about the advantages of native species, as well as do hands-on lessons in real nature labs. The Ivy Leaf School on East Washington Lane received one of SEC’s nature labs recently. Henderson says not long after

the foliage was planted, children start seeing butterflies and birds in the schoolyard—all of which they studied in their science classes. “A lot of parents also become interested,” says Henderson, especially when the students learn about recycling and the impact of pollution on local waterways. SEC works with schoolchildren to not only test water, but also label sewer outlets, which lets their own families and neighbors know that the sewer is connected to Philly’s drinking water. “A lot of people aren’t aware of that,” notes Henderson. “They begin to understand you can’t throw things down the sewer because it’s connected to our water system.” Lewis says this learning process is a two-way street for the students and seniors alike. And the common denominator is the environment, and a need for both young and old to take active roles in the community. “You have a tendency in some cases when you retire to get a little sedentary,” he says. “But this is something that challenges you both physically and mentally. We have folks from all different backgrounds who don’t necessarily have any special training. Some people think retirement means giving up all kinds of involvement in the community. It doesn’t mean that. You can still be a part of the community.” Lewis says young people are particularly inspired when they see seniors taking an active interest in the world around them. “We can be mentors to the younger folks,” he says. “It gives them something to consider when they see people of our age doing something to help the environment.” ■


wat e r w o r l d

Could Philly become the new Portland?




Pier 11 Penn’s Landing I - 95


Manage traffic and parking in the central Delaware area.

Girard Avenue Interchange Stormwater Park

Festival Pier/ Incinerator Site

Penn Treaty Park (existing)

7 4 Pier 70 Wetland


Create new parks and improve two existing parks.

Build a continuous, sevenmile trail along the central Delaware riverfront.

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october 2009

I - 95

Ore Pier

Public Marina

Pier 53 South


Extend transit to the river. Y AVE



Wood St. Steps & West Shipyard






Adopt clear zoning, a detailed master plan and a coordinated regulatory policy.

Guarantee public access to the riverfront and make it easier for residents to walk and bike to the river.

“We worked closely with the Water Department,” he says, on ways to integrate green space that would add value to rainwater management, like building parks that double as recreation spaces and can also be used for storm water capture. “It’s like going back to the future,” he says, by extending streets in an area dominated by cars and strip malls to make room for public transportation, pedestrians and cyclists.








Appoint an open, accountable, effective waterfront manager.



neighborhoods and a green infrastructure that would protect storm drainage. “We’re trying to determine how we can strike a balance between eco-restoration and economic development,” says Steinberg. Cities like Portland, OR, with vibrant and environmentally sound riverfronts, were studied to learn more about how Philadelphia may better balance work, recreation and water quality.

velopment,” says Harris Steinberg, Penn-Praxis executive director. He says that adding eco-friendly features to the riverfront, like grass and nature trails, would help make the space more environmentally sound and recreational for local residents. Steinberg would also like to see a network of parks connecting a new trail system with the riverfront, as well as a robust public transportation, better walkability from nearby

Since the summer of 2006, PennPraxis, a project of University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Design, has been working with the William Penn Foundation and the mayor’s office to develop seven miles along the Delaware riverfront from Allegheny to Oregon Avenues. “Over the past 30 to 40 years, while there’s been some development, there’s been no comprehensive plans guiding long-term de-

Extend key streets to the river.


Lehigh Viaduct Park


Create a natural river’s edge and restore habitat.

Pulaski Park (existing)

Create a 100-foot greenway along the river’s edge.

More information can be found online at Map courtesy of PennPraxis/WRT.

/ in season



umpkins are fixtures in the decorative backdrop of the fall season, but their culinary purpose far exceeds their ornamental role. They share a branch of the gourd family tree with their winter squash cousins and can be used in recipes exactly as squash are. ¶ When sweetened with molasses or brown sugar, and spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove, pumpkins’ natural sugars and moisture are put to good use in favorites like pies, cakes and breads. In the absence of those expected, albeit wonderful associated spice combinations and sweeteners, pumpkin does a bang up job of proving its worth in savory dishes, too. Earthy, sometimes nutty and subtly sweet, pumpkin textures can vary from assertively meaty to smooth and thick. Pumpkin is a natural partner for root vegetables and winter greens and complements flavors from cuisines with roots far from our American Thanksgiving table. Try pumpkin with Lemongrass and coconut for Asianinspired dishes → → Garlic, oregano, Parmigiano-Reggiano and bread crumbs for tastes fit for an Italian meal → → Cumin, coriander and chiles for traditional Mexican flavors → → Garam masala, lamb and potatoes for a braised stew with an Indian twist

‘s 12 Green Days of Christmas On the first green day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a plantable Christmas tree...


There are countless varieties of pumpkins, including treasured heirlooms, but the most widely available are Jack O’Lantern (the big ones prized for Halloween carving) and Sugar Pies (the cute little tabletop ones). For cooking, choose the smaller sizes, 2 to 5 pounds each. Their skin is thinner and easier to remove and the flesh is sweeter, more tender and less stringy. Pumpkin seeds are as useful and delicious as the flesh. Toasted and salted, they’re great for snacking (with hot cider!) or sprinkled on top of soups or salads. In Mexican cuisine, where they are called pepitas the seeds are pulverized and used to thicken sauces like moles. With enough space and plenty of sunshine, pumpkins will grow in a home garden. They should be planted in late spring and harvested in early autumn. Pumpkins will not tolerate the frost. If you didn’t grow your own, buy them up at farmers’ markets and grocery stores, or pick your own. Local farms and orchards are open to the public for pumpkin picking where you

can walk amidst the patches of sprawling vines from which they grow. Plus there are usually cider donuts and hayrides. Check out these in the Philadelphia area: →→ →→ →→ →→ →→ →→ →→

Linvilla Orchards [Media, PA] Snipes Farm [Morrisville, PA] Shady Brook Farm [Morrisville, PA] Active Acres Farm [Newtown, PA] Winding Brook Farm [Warrington, PA] None Such Farm [Buckingham, PA] Springdale Farms [Cherry Hill, NJ]

2 firestarters 3 banks of tin 4 Wrap-N Matts 5 Klean Kanteens 6 cases of paper 7 magazine purses 8 detergent refills 9 hand sanitizers 10 iPod speakers 11 solar chargers 12 green gift baskets all these and more Eco-friendly gifts available at the Big Green Earth Store

Or go to to search for other area farms. —tara mataraza desmond oct ob e r 20 0 9

g r i d p h i l ly. c o m


/ local flavor

Treat Yourself

Think bigger than Jack O’Lanterns and create these delicious pumpkin recipes 1 2 4

Pumpkin Barley Risotto with Porcini and Pecans

1 ½ ½ 2 ½

by tara mataraza desmond 1 2 ½ 1 ¼ 1 ½ 2 ½ 4 1 1


small pumpkin (such as Sugar Pie variety), about three pounds tbsp. extra virgin olive oil tsp. cumin tsp. coarse salt tsp. freshly ground black pepper garlic clove, smashed tsp. sugar cups hot water cup (about .3 ounce), dried porcini mushrooms cups chicken stock (use vegetable or mushroom broth for vegetarian version) tbsp. butter tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

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small onion, diced small (about one cup) large garlic cloves, minced sprigs of thyme, leaves pulled, plus extra for garnish cup pearled barley cup dry white wine cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra, shaved for garnish tbsp. crème fraîche cup chopped toasted pecans

˜˜Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half widthwise, along its equator. Scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp. Cut the skin from the pumpkin and then cube the fruit into one-inch pieces. Toss the cubes with two tablespoons of olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper, smashed garlic and sugar. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, or in a baking dish. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until tender and just starting to brown. ˜˜While the pumpkin roasts, start the risotto. Put the hot water in a small bowl and add the

october 2009

dried mushrooms to it. Let them soak for 10 minutes. Put the chicken stock in a medium saucepot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. ˜˜Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large Dutch oven, pot or high-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and let it sweat for about five minutes. ˜˜Strain the re-hydrated mushrooms from the water, adding the water to the simmering chicken stock, and slice the mushrooms thin. Stir the mushrooms, minced garlic, thyme and barley into the onions and cook for two to three minutes. Pour in the wine and let it simmer and reduce until nearly dry, about five minutes. ˜˜Remove the pumpkin from the oven if it is ready. Start adding the warm stock to the barley in half-cup increments. Let the liquid reduce by more than half before adding more. Add the roasted pumpkin to the barley, stirring to combine with all of the ingredients. Continue adding the liquid, stirring often (not constantly) until all of it has been incorporated and the barley is tender and creamy, about 45 minutes. ˜˜Stir in the crème fraîche and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowls and sprinkle with the pecans, shaved cheese and extra thyme. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Baby Bundts

½ ¼ ¼ ½

tsp. nutmeg tsp. baking soda tsp. salt cup chopped nuts (toasting them beforehand really coaxes out the flavor) cup raisins

by dynise balcavage,


Living in the city means you often have to share. You share seats in the subway, for example, and drivers share the road with bikers. You share public places. And many cities even have environmentally-friendly carshares and bikeshares. It’s nice to know, though, that when you make these single-serving mini-cakes, you’ll never have to share. This pumpkin spice cake is moist and surprisingly light. The espresso powder adds a masculine shot of gravitas.

for the Glaze

for the Cake

¾ ½ 5 1 Drop 1 ¼ 1½ 2 1 1 2 ¾

cup brown sugar, packed cup applesauce tbsp. canola oil tsp. vanilla or two of orange oil can unsweetened pumpkin puree (15 oz.) cup maple syrup cups flour (half spelt, half whole wheat pastry flour) heaping tbsp. soy flour tbsp. espresso powder (optional, but excellent) tbsp. baking powder tsp. cinnamon tsp. ground ginger

1 1 1

cup powdered sugar tsp. vanilla tbsp. plus 1 tsp. soy or rice milk

Make cake

˜˜Grease a baby bundt pan. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla, orange oil, pumpkin and maple syrup until smooth and well-blended. Using low speed, mix in flours, about half a cup at a time, and then add espresso powder, baking powder, soda, spices and salt. Fold in nuts and raisins and pour into the pan, filling each cavity threequarters full. ˜˜Bake for 40-45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (If bundts start to brown too quickly, cover with foil.) Allow to cool completely before glazing. ˜˜ Make glaze

˜˜Using a fork, whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

a casual, affordable, neighborhood belgian brasserie

(Makes six baby bundts.)

Full menu available ‘til 1 AM nightly 200+ world-class bottled beers No Crap On Tap! 100% WInd Powered for all of our electrical needs “The Soul of Belgium in the Heart of Philadelphia”® Tom Peters and Fergus Carey, proprietors serving fine Belgian ales since 1985

pho to by v ic ki h o dge

oct ob e r 20 0 9

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/ tempeh

Tempeh Tantrum The other non-meat takes center stage


by bernard brown

e all know tofu, whether as a food or a punchline, but what about tempeh? Just like tofu, tempeh is a sustainable alternative to animal products. Both are made from soybeans, which are probably the most resource-efficient way to convert sunlight, air and soil into protein, so picking tempeh over animal products saves water, land, greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution. The beans, however, go through a very different process to become tempeh—they’re essentially fermented by a fungal culture. I know, the idea of eating something after it’s been worked over by mold isn’t too appetizing, but trust me—or rather, trust millions of Indonesians who’ve been eating it as a staple protein source for centuries.

I’m a huge fan of the softer fresh tempeh, which you can purchase in South Philly corner markets near Hardena (see below), but opinions vary. As my friend Lillian puts it, “I like my tofu soft and my tempeh hard.” Either works great, be it cubed in a stew, chopped or ground up as a hearty base to a sauce, marinated and fried to munch on with ketchup, or stacked in a sandwich such as the classic tempeh Reuben (with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on rye).

The tempeh club from South Philly’s Royal Tavern


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phot os by l uca s h ardi s o n

Philly knows Tempeh I ventured into our city in search of tempeh. Here’s what I found. Royal Tavern, 937 E. Passyunk Ave. I had trouble fitting the Royal Tavern’s tempeh club into my mouth. The South Philly bar’s double-decker sandwich was packed with lettuce, tomato— marinated in soy sauce—and grilled tempeh (layer one), plus smoky veggie bacon (layer two), which itself is made from thinly-sliced tempeh, all on toasted multi-grain bread. Sometimes tempeh can be a little starchy to feature in a sandwich, but here the lettuce and tomato balanced it well. With fries, a pickle and a beer, it was a great low-on-the-food-chain take on a lunch standard. Hardena, 1754 S. Hicks St. Tempeh is pretty much just tempeh at Hardena, a hole-in-the-wall Indonesian restaurant at Hicks and Moore. You get a plate of rice and pick what goes over it from the array of dishes behind the counter. I got the steamed vegetables, the collard greens, a large vegetable fritter and a heap of the tempeh, simply fried with thick, sweet soy sauce. The Belgian Café, 2047 Green St. Tempeh provides the body for vegetarian dishes at Belgian Café, a Fairmont gastropub. The thick slice of vegan meatloaf was rich with shitake and crimini mushrooms and walnut, crispy on the outside

and the inside. In contrast to the earthy meatloaf, the vegan spring rolls were dominated by the carrot and onion inside; the marinated, ground tempeh gave them a hearty base that vegan dishes too often lack. Neither dish screamed tempeh, but they demonstrate how it can work as a sturdier foundation than its squishier cousin, tofu.

My Turn Then, I opened my refrigerator to develop a “what’s left in the fridge?” recipe featuring… you guessed it… tempeh. 1 1 ¼ 3

brick of tempeh tomato cup tahini tbsp. olive oil garlic chili sauce to taste parsley for garnish

˜˜Cut the tempeh into half-inch cubes. Heat oil in a wok or skillet over high heat and fry the tempeh until it’s golden brown and crispy on the outside (about 7 minutes). Dice tomatoes and add to the cooked tempeh, then turn off the heat. Spoon in tahini and as much chili sauce as you can stand, mix so everything is coated and sprinkle the parsley on top to garnish. ■


Vegan meatloaf from the Belgian Café left Bernard’s ad hoc tempeh hash above

oct ob e r 20 0 9

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Almost Meatless

Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet by Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond Ten Speed Press, $22.50

No Impact Man

The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process


by Colin Beavan, Farrar, Straus and Giroux; $25

ver the past decade, several eco-superheroes have emerged: Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, and Michael Pollan, among others. In late 2006, Colin Beavan took it to a new level; instead of explaining again our environmental crises, he created a persona known as No Impact Man who would strive for a simplicity few people (in the U.S., anyway) imagine. Instead of buying Energy Star appliances or using CFL light bulbs, his family (his wife, Michelle, and their 1½-year-old daughter Isabella) would, eventually, forego electricity entirely. This idea quickly evolved into a movement—first documented in blog form, then book and documentary, and has spawned a nonprofit. The hypothesis of the experiment was that, while living a no-net environmental impact lifestyle for a year in their Greenwich Village apartment, they would increase their quality of life. Beavan thoughtfully developed stages to mark his family’s progression—trash, food and consumption reduction. Change for anyone can seem overwhelming, but through No Impact Man (and family) we witness how it can lead to exhilarating moments of self-discovery. One such moment is Beavan’s effort to replace Michelle’s multiple-cup-a-day coffee habit with homegrown and brewed mint tea. By publicizing his efforts (and with a little help from a New York Times feature), he became the focus of a lot of attention. “But as I go from quietly figuring out how to live an ecological life to being caught up in a small media whirlwind, here’s what keeps me sane: making my own bread.” Throughout the book, Beavan reaches out to resources in the community for guidance and couples his ideas on personal reductionism with bigger picture statistics that will turn you into a believer. No Impact Man ultimately isn’t about deprivation, rather, it shows us the direct link between consuming less and finding happiness. 28

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Traditionally, there has been a great divide between diehard vegetarians and meat eaters, and it is apparent in most modern-day cookbooks. But in Almost Meatless, Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond have started to bridge that gap. The somewhat unlikely pair of food writers (Manning grew up vegetarian, Desmond was more of a meat and potatoes kind of girl) noticed a growing awareness of the benefits of decreasing meat intake without eliminating it completely. Meat, they argue, doesn’t have to be the centerpiece of a meal, and they show us in this useful guide how it can be used as a sustainable enhancement to exciting new versions of classic culinary staples. Almost Meatless is broken down into chapters highlighting some of the more common meats like chicken, beef and pork, but also explores recipes using turkey, lamb and even eggs, which are usually less prominent in cookbooks. The authors introduce each chapter with an explanation of the health and taste benefits of choosing the sustainably-raised version of each protein, and where to obtain them. As Thanksgiving approaches, perhaps you will consider Turkey and Pinto Bean Corn Bread Pie, a delicious new way to prepare the bird without the traditional stuffing that uses just eight ounces of meat. The Barley Pilaf Stuffed Squash only calls for four ounces of Italian sausage. Almost Meatless presents a unique, healthier and more cost-effective approach to cooking, and is a great starting point for anyone looking to find the right meat-to-veggie ratio in the kitchen.

The Urban Vegan

250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes From Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine by Dynise Balcavage Three Forks/ Globe Pequot Press, $16.95

What does an urban vegan eat? Food adventurist and urban ethnic food-loving vegan Dynise Balcavage wrote The Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes From Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine as a response to this particular question that she was continuously asked. But you don’t have to convert to veganism to appreciate Balcavage’s healthy, easy-to-make recipes. Over 250 recipes are organized by themes, including café culture, breakfast at the diner, lunch cart, urban garden, haute cuisine, just desserts and happy hour. Each recipe is thoughtfully marked with icons for further description— low-fat, fast, omnivore-friendly, frugal and kid-friendly. Balcavage tops her recipes with how-tos, tips and commentary. From traditional guacamole to deconstructed monkey bread, you’ll learn how you can veganize any meal.

Integrative Aromatherapist Supporting Community and Organizational Wellness

Tracie Nichols

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It‘s harvest season!

oct ob e r 20 0 9

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Tricky Treats

A legion of Mr. Hydes await their holiday


by jonathan mcgoran

fter all the stories of apples with razorblades and drug-laced cookies he’d heard growing up, Greg was surprised the notion of trick-or-treating had survived for his son Duncan to partake in. For a while, it seemed like over-chaperoned parties were the future of Halloween, but maybe bobbing for apples turned the tide; submerging your face in a bucket your friends had been drooling into for the previous 20 minutes was surely worse than anything you’d encounter on the street. Duncan was covered in the usual: duct-tape and cardboard. Greg couldn’t remember what it was supposed to look like, but it was looking less like it by the minute. They had joined forces like they did every year with Barry and his son Chris, from next door. Chris was dressed as “Dr.-Jekyll-and-Mr.-Hyde-wearing-astore-bought-Batman-costume.” Each year, he was “Jekyll-and-Hyde-in-a-storebought-something.” It was always very convincing—at least the Jekyll and Hyde part. He was a nice kid until he took his potion—high-fructose corn syrup and a little artificial coloring. Then he became a monster. Barry looked nervous, like he knew the change was coming. Greg felt for him. They tried to keep it healthy, but on Halloween it was hopeless. By the time they reached the last house on their route, Duncan’s costume was rapidly shedding parts, and candy-lust had given way to whining about the weight of his bag. Chris’s bag didn’t seem quite so heavy. He’d been emptying it out as quickly as he was filling it. Now, he was in full Mr. Hyde mode, running across lawns and cackling, his cape in tatters. His Batman mask was stuck in a hedge somewhere. But when Duncan rang the bell, Chris appeared out of the bushes in time to yell, “Trick or treat!” Mrs. Scofield admired what was left of their costumes and gave them their choice of local apples or homemade date-nut bars. “Okay,” she said with an indulgent smile, totally misinterpreting the look they both gave her. “You can have both.” The boys’ arms drooped a little lower as the apples fell heavily into the trick or treat bags. As they headed towards home, Chris fished the date-nut bar out of his bag and looked at it, confused. “Those look healthy and delicious,” Greg said brightly. Barry shook his head as they stopped between their houses. “If it’s not wrapped, it’s not safe.” Chris had already dumped the date bar and was sucking down a fluorescent blue gummy worm. Greg laughed before 30

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he could stop himself. “So, you’re worried about Mrs. Scofield’s cookies, even though everything else in that bag says right on the label there’s stuff in it that can kill you?” “Part of the charm of Halloween,” Barry said, looking at him like he was nuts. Duncan was giving him the same look. Chris was throwing rocks at a stop sign. “Yeah, I guess it is,” Greg replied, steering Duncan inside. “Well, Happy Halloween.” As they entered the house, Duncan looked up at him and held up a blue gummy worm. “Dad, can I have one more piece of candy?” Greg sighed. “Yeah, go ahead, Mr. Hyde.” ■


illus t r at ion by e ri c s ai ler


Saturday, October 10



n w ro g ! e c i m us o H M

MAIN STREET 11am Event Kickoff 12-2 pm The Bacon Brothers Meet & greet at Main Street Music

12 pm Mummers 2 pm Pawnshop Roses 3 pm Ben Arnold Go to for performance updates

Homegrown Expo!

PLUS: Live Musical Performances throughout the street!

COTTON STREET Local and recycled arts & crafts Green and sustainable businesses and organizations Kids’ Activities Farmers Market

Featured Manayunk Restaurants and Shops will Share Their Green Side! oct ob e r 20 0 9

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october 2009

Grid Magazine October 2009  

Towards A Sustainable Philadelphia

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