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Local food resources

The Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salons have continued each month.  The second Sustainability Salon (as well as the 14th15th, 26th27th, 38th39th, 51st, and 52nd) focused on food -- growing it, sourcing it locally, and eating more humanely.  Afterwards, Maren put together a list of many such local sources:  CSA farms, farmers' markets, grassfed and humanely raised meats and dairy, natural foods suppliers, bakeries, and advocacy organizations.  This list now resides on a growing Resources section of the Putting Down Roots Blogger site.

Apr 29: FutureFest

Want to see the future?   Come to FutureFest 2017, and get a glimpse of the world of tomorrow through art, demonstrations, performance, science, hands-on activities, and fun for all ages.  There’s a bright, sustainable future ahead to create and enjoy.

A large, free, public festival, FutureFest 2017 is the result of collaboration between several stakeholder organizations, led by Communitopia, working across different sectors - with the same goal of celebrating and promoting Pittsburgh’s vision of an achievable, sustainable future.

The event will be an immersive experience, full of performances, food, music, and activities.

10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on the front lawn of Phipps Conservatory.  Free & open to the public;  lots more information is on the event web site!

Apr 8: Sustainability Salon: Springtime Focus on Food

The 63rd Sustainability Salon will take place on April 8th, with our annual Focus on Food.  Local food, organic food, humane food, seasonal food, growing food, food issues, food education -- be here, and be sated!  Check back for updates on speakers as the date approaches!  (and an Eventbrite notice will circulate some days before the event, to facilitate RSVPs).  The next salon will very likely be on May 6th.
Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program not long after 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site -- but this time there is no program, so come hang out!.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!).  
July's salon with Bill Peduto
Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and these events have been so successful that we need to begin limiting attendance.  So RSVP early if you can, to ensure your participation!  The free virtual "tickets" on Eventbrite may run out (you don't need to print any tickets, by the way, just be on the list).  Also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em on Friday or Saturday.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!
Bring food and/or drink to share if you can (see below), along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events) for updates.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  
As always, I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before.  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient!  One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum, it's a mini-conference, it's a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues, it's a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included Shell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with films on Food SystemsClimate Adaptation and MitigationPlastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).
Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages:  wine, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever.  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homemade or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  We refill a bunch of growlers at East End and provide a big batch of mostly-homegrown pesto (cheesy and vegan), and other things as needed.  More details will come after you RSVP (hint, hint!). 

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place.  

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening, as well. 

Apr 7: House Concert with Mike Agranoff

Well, it's about time for another house concert!  And since we've all had enough of the news this season, Putting Down Roots is proud to present singer, storyteller, and multi-instrumentalist Mike Agranoff in a show designed to make you laugh, cry, and think -- all while having fun.  

Mike Agranoff is a one-of-a-kind folk musician who steadfastly defies categorization, and yet amasses stalwart fans from folk aficionados of all categories.  Equally at home in the contemporary and traditional camps, he is a fine musician and storyteller -- uproariously funny, contemplative, and powerfully emotional in the space of a few minutes.  

Mike draws his material from sources as diverse as traditional ballads and fiddle tunes, Tin Pan Alley, contemporaries in the Folk world, and his own witty pen.  He delivers it with a skilled hand on fingerstyle guitar, piano, and concertina, an almost telepathic transmittal of the essence of the song, and occasionally a sly twinkle in the eye in anticipation of some of the most horrible parodies ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting audience.  A signature feature of Mike’s performances is the inclusion of some heart-stopping spoken word pieces that rivet the listener to unforgettable stories.

7:30 (doors at 7) at our house in Squirrel Hill (directions and other info will come after you RSVP -- and please do RSVP even if you know your way!).  RSVP by email to maren dot cooke at gmail dot com with "concert" in the Subject line, with name(s) of attendees -- and/or via the Eventbrite notice that will appear closer to the date, if you're on the email list for Sustainability Salons.  Suggested donation is $15.

Apr 2: Confident City Cycling class

This special edition of Bike Pittsburgh's Confident City Cycling is intended for women and trans identified people who know how to ride a bike, and are looking for instruction on how to operate it safely on city streets.
Come learn more about crash avoidance, lane positioning, and bicycle maintenance!  Our Confident City Cycling class includes an on-bike skills session and a group road-ride.

This class will give you the confidence to commute to Downtown safely. 

During this class you will practice skills including: body bike separation, brake modulation, weight distribution, and quick hazard avoidance.  After the on-bike skills session the class will go on a group road-ride to practice strategies for crossing big intersections, riding on fast roads, reading traffic patterns, and road conditions.
1-4 p.m. at the Ace Hotel (120 S Whitfield St. 15206).  Cost:  $10-40 based on membership status.  Free Healthy Ride bike rentals are available for participants ages 16+ to use during class instruction.  If you’d like to use a Healthy Ride bike, you can request a rental on your class registration.  For more information and online registration here registration is required and closes 24 hours prior to the class time.

Apr 1: Women and Biking Forum

Join Bike Pittsburgh and women from throughout the region at the 4th Annual Women & Biking Forum presented by Dollar Bank.  Whether you are interested in learning the basics of bike mechanics and methods to access athletic bike events, talking about biking with friends or coworkers, getting around town comfortably and confidently, or becoming a stronger advocate for safe cycling, there will be a workshop for you!
In its fourth year, this forum will continue to inspire women on this transformative day. 

The day will end with an optional, low-key bike ride, further establishing the great community built during the forum.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ace Hotel (120 S Whitfield St., 15206).  Schedule, more info, and online registration are here.  Cost is $30-50 depending on membership;  scholarships and discount codes are available if the cost is prohibitive to you or if you are advertising to your group or club!  
Please contact for discounts. Apply here for a scholarship.
Open to those who identify as women or gender non-conforming.
Register today to participate in a great day of meeting other women and trans identified people who bike (or are bike-curious).