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Let’s Not Forget About Global Warming

November 7, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

 

Naomi Bloc

 

 

 

 

 

November 7, 2012

Potomac, Md

By: Naomi Bloch

After a bit of a gap in my posts, this one was going to be about the recent conference my husband and I attended up in Boston, October 24 – 25.  The name of the conference was: “Transportation Weight Loss Diet Conference 2012”.  www.transportationWeightLossDiet.com

My husband gave a talk about reducing the weight in automobiles without compromising safety, or even size.  A large portion of the conference dealt with modern trains and other modes of public transportation, which was of particular interest to me because of my concerns for the future. … Continue Reading

Clean Energy Victory Bonds – Everything Old is New Again!

October 23, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

Naomi Bloch

 

 

 

 

 

October 23, 2012

Potomac, Md

Naomi Bloch

I recently attended a meeting at the Green America offices, in downtown Washington D.C., to learn about the The Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2012.

Green America (Formerly Co-Op America) is working on a campaign to create these U.S. Treasury Bonds to “encourage and reward citizen investment in the clean energy industry.” … Continue Reading

Teacher Awards and Student Scholarships Available

October 15, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

 

2012 winners, Erol Miller- Teacher of the Year, Robert Gallagher- Ellen Fraites Wagner Award, Solon Snider- Student of the Year Scholarship, Natalie Oliver- Arthur Dorman Scholarship, C.A.R.E Community Association- Melanie Teems Award

 

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Annapolis, Md

Kristin Foringer

Chesapeake Bay Trust 

Ms. Foringer will be posting on GreenGaithersburg.com to update readers about the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s grant award winners and grant opportunities. 

The leaves are beginning to change and school is back in session, which means it is time for the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s annual awards program! The Trust’s Student of the Year Scholarship, Honorable Arthur Dorman Scholarship and Teacher of the Year award, celebrate Maryland students and teachers who have shown a strong commitment to their local environment and the Chesapeake Bay. The students are honored with a $5,000 college scholarship and the winning teacher will be given a $2,500 grant award through the Trust.

Applicants can be self-nominated or nominated by individuals who are not family members. The deadline to apply is December 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm. … Continue Reading

There is a New Local Market in Town

October 11, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

 

Naomi Bloch

 

 

 

 

 

October 11, 2012

Potomac, Md

By: Naomi Bloch

     

My husband Byron and I were in Rockville Town Square, eating a late breakfast at First Watch, on Gibbs Street, in Rockville and decided afterwards to go see what the new market in Rockville was all about.

Well, we were absolutely thrilled to discover Dawson’s Market!  Turns out, Dawson’s opened just two weeks ago, on September 29th. … Continue Reading

Izaak Walton League Wins Grant For Conservation Landscaping Projects

October 8, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

 

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Annapolis, Md

By: Kristin Foringer

Chesapeake Bay Trust

Ms. Foringer will be posting on GreenGaithersburg.com to update readers about the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s grant award winners and grant opportunities. 

Most residents of the City of Gaithersburg are unaware that between Muddy Branch Avenue and Great Seneca Highway, tucked back in a forested area along the Muddy Branch, is the national headquarters of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA). If you are unfamiliar with this group, they are a nationwide conservation organization, founded by anglers who wanted to protect the environment they so thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks to a recent grant, conservation practices will now be coming to the Gaithersburg community. … Continue Reading

Some Musings..

September 19, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

 

Naomi Bloch

 

 

 

 

 

September 18, 2012

Potomac, Md

By: Naomi Bloch

 

Some Musings…

This is a different sort of post for me as it will be a little bit of this and that.

First of all, I wanted to let you know that I will be flying out to California later this week and returning on September 20th.  So, there may be a longer pause in my postings than I would prefer.

My mother does not have a computer, or WiFi, or any of the technological conveniences that many of us are accustomed to these days.  Fact is we are becoming almost helpless whenever we find ourselves in a location or situation where we are not able to be connected 24/7.  I could get off on that topic… but will save it for another day. … Continue Reading

My Reading List for a Better Future

August 28, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

 

Naomi Bloch

 

 

 

 

 

August 28, 2012

Potomac, Md

By: Naomi Bloch

If you are anything like me, reading or listening to the mainstream media can really be a downer.

It can actually be pretty paralazying, especially in a presidential election year.

Yes, our country has “issues”… who and what doesn’t?  I have found though, that all this focus on problems and negativity is not very helpful at all when it comes to actually solving issues.  Not surprising really.  How can people move toward solutions when they are depressed and feeling so hopeless for the future?

When I decided to intentionally focus my mind on the positive solutions instead of just “the problems” it not only made me hopeful for the future, it actually caused me to fall in love again with my fellow human beings.

We humans, when we feel empowered, can do some pretty amazing things.  In fact, it is this spirit of creative problem solving that has been the human race’s most glorious trait.  So, let’s stop all the worrying and whining and start looking at what’s going right and add our own mental force for the good to the challenges we all face.

I really believe that whatever we focus our time and attention on is what we make stronger.  Once I reminded myself of my own lifelong philosophy, I decided to consciously turn off all the mainstream doom and gloom and choose instead to seek out stories about people who have simply decided to get going on creating that better tomorrow themselves… in whatever way they can.

The well-known Gandhi saying: “Be The Change You Wish To See In The World” has always been a guiding light in my life.  I have been so pleased to be reminded that this wisdom is being practiced by so many other people, right here and right now.  Examples of this are all around us, if we will just look at our day-to-day lives through a more positive and hopeful lens.

So, here is a list of just a few of the most wonderful magazines and books I am reading and have read that are energizing me and giving me genuine hope and enthusiasm for the future.

 Reclaiming Out Food by Tanya Denckla Cobb

This book will give you a very good appreciation for how much is actually going on all across this county, at the community level toward building a locally-based, organic and sustainable food system. I cannot recommend this book enough if you want to learn about all the changes that are happening for a better, healthier tomorrow all across the nation and just how easy it is to join this movement and help make it grow right here in our own communities.

Currently I am reading very intriguing book called:  The Vertical Farm – Feeding the World in the 21st Century written by Dr. Dickson Despommier.  I had the personal pleasure of hearing Dr. Despommier speak at a recent program about urban farming hosted at Brookside Gardens.  Dr. Despommier spent 38 years as a professor of microbiology and public health in environmental health sciences at Columbia University.  He has addressed audiences at leading universities, including Harvard and MIT, and has also been invited to speak at The United Nations.  In addition, he has been asked by the governments of China, India, and Korea to work on their environmental problems.   I feel quite privileged to have heard Dr. Despommier speak and to have had him sign his book to me.  I believe that this book will be of keen interest to anyone with a more fact-based scientific view of the world, or any young high school or college student thinking about possible courses related to sustainability ways to solve our many environmental, food and water issues for the future.

On the periodical front, two magazines in particular have been thrilling to read because they deal exclusively with the people, products and services going on right here in the DC region when it comes to local and sustainable food.

Flavor Magazine – Cultivating The Capital Foodshed

And the second one is a brand new arrival:  (Inaugural issue!) edibleDC – eat, drink, read, think

I hope that you will check out all of these suggestions and that they will inspire you and your family and friends as much as they have inspired me and mine.  When we focus our attention on all the wonderful things that are already happening to make that “Better Tomorrow”, I hope that it inspires us all to add our own talents energies to this growing movement.

Then, before we know it, we will be living in that more hopeful and sustainable tomorrow.

Happy Reading!

Brickyard Educational Farm Teaches Organic Farming to Youngsters

August 14, 2012 Green Blog 1 Comment

Gaithersburg, Md

August 13, 2012

By: Jennifer Quinn

Have you ever tasted yellow grape tomatoes?  When was the last time you wandered rows of vegetables where you could have your pick of red and yellow grape tomatoes or green striped tomatoes?  Do you know the sensation of biting into a warm tomato?  The liberating feeling of eating from the vine with no worries of washing off pesticides?  How about a garden taste test of basil – lemon basil, cinnamon basil and Genovese basil?

Did you know chickens love to eat bugs?  Have you ground soy bean in a century-old feed grind and fed chickens from your hand?  Have you ever collected eggs from a chicken coop?

Have you seen three sisters farming?  It’s the method of farming native Americans used when they planted corn with beans and squash.  The beans climb up the tall corn stalks and the broad leaves of the squash plants keep the moisture from evaporating from the soil underneath.  All three vegetables thrive in this permaculture.

My sons and I experienced all this and more during our two hour visit to Brickyard Educational Farm (also known as Nick’s Organic Farm) this weekend.  As we were preparing a bed for planting by pulling old kale plants and discovered a hoard of Harlequin Beatles, one of my boys asked “why don’t we bring the chickens over since they love bugs?”  Guess what we did next?  When we left Brickyard, the five chickens and one rooster were happily scratching and pecking the former kale bed in a newly placed pen under a shady canopy.  We weren’t the only ones on a lucky field trip!

I knew my boys and I would enjoy a Saturday afternoon Brickyard family tour and work day, but I was surprised by how much we learned and experienced in such a short time.  Brickyard Educational Farm is a rare treasure.  Not only does Brickyard welcome visits for education and enjoyment, but it harvests all of its organic corn and soybean (save a bit of feed for its small family of chickens) to sell as organic seed  stock which it sells to farms around the country.  Brickyard Educational Farm in Potomac, Md, is isolated from other farms and potential cross-pollination with genetically modified corn.

You may have heard there is a legal battle over the fate of Brickyard Farm.  The county-owned lease is up in a matter of days; and MSI Soccer is counting them because they intend to build the county’s 502nd and 503rd soccer fields there.

I hope we get to visit Brickyard Farm again.  Our family already talks about pesticides and organic food, but now my sons are inspired.  On our ride home, my oldest son, a middle school student, was talking with me about genetically modified corn and asking about relevant college programs.  My younger son, a fourth-grader, asked why everyone just doesn’t have a farm and grow their own food.  It’s a lot of hard work running a farm, I explained.  My oldest son replied “Maybe there wouldn’t be so many fat people.”  Hmmm.  Food for thought!  I then launched into a conversation about the simultaneous rise of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and the popularity of processed food!

Pretty impressive produce from one afternoon of physical activity and whole foods at Brickyard Organic Educational Farm.  If you are interested in learning more about Brickyard Educational Farm and supporting the effort to save 32 years of organic soil in Montgomery County, visit these links:

http://www.savenicksorganicfarm.org/

http://www.brickyardeducationalfarm.org/

 

Free Trees Available to Protect the Muddy Branch Stream

August 11, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

Farmer John Ledgard talking with Muddy Branch Alliance’s Nicole Condon about how to transplant trees. Darnestown, Md

Gaithersburg, Md

August 11, 2012

By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin

A Montgomery County farmer, a local watershed group, and a local environmental activist are joining forces and starting a free tree planting program so as to reduce water runoff into the Muddy Branch stream in Gaithersburg, Md.

Muddy Branch Alliance’s summer interns Nicole Condon and Cally Deppen, along with Muddy Branch Alliance founder, Paul Hlavinka, created this project as a way to  better protect the waterways water quality by reducing the amount of water that runs off people’s lawns and private property. The year old non-profit organization Muddy Branch is in Gaithersburg, Md.  Its mission is to make people aware of the local waterways and helps organize events to get people actively engaged in improving the water quality of the Muddy Branch stream.

“ We want to have native trees planted near the watershed because it holds the soil and acts as buffer vegetation between homes and developed areas.  The less sediment and runoff  also helps storm water management.  Trees also provide more shade, cool the water,and provide good natural habitats,“ said Condon, one of two Muddy Branch interns who have organized the project. Condon has worked at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  after she finished her Masters in Environmental Science at American University in D.C.

The idea of planting trees is also part of a bigger project in Montgomery County. According to Muddy Branch co-founder Paul Hlavinka, Montgomery County reached out to Muddy Branch Alliance to help reforest areas as part of a state mandate for a storm water permit.  According to Hlavinka, the county will reforest county lands but needs support in reaching out to citizens to plant trees on private property.

25 native trees including black cherries, red buds, tulip poplars, Easter redlands, and sweet gums are being donated for the free tree planting project by local Potomac environmental activist Rosina Perthel.   Perthel has grown these seedlings at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Potomac, Md.  Perthel developed a “no mow zone area” so as to create long grass habitat for songbirds to lay their eggs.  In the process, the surrounding trees dropped their seeds and lots of seedlings started to pop up. “ This is the cheapest way to get trees. Find a seedling, transplant it into an area where it can have room to grow” said Perthel.

The seedlings will be brought to  Good Life Farm in Darnestown, Md.  Owner and farmer John Ledgard has donated space on his land for the young seedlings to rest until they find a home.  Ledgard donated space for this project because he knows the importance of trees as a way to keep soil in its place.  Ledgard is a member of the newly formed  Montgomery County Food Council, a group of private and public entities  organized by Montgomery County whose aim is to “ promote a local sustainable food system.”

Muddy Branch Alliance members will promote the free tree planting project at the  upcoming Montgomery County Fair in Gaithersburg, Md, August 16th and 17th at a Muddy Branch booth.   According to Condon, the objective is to have 10 trees planted this fall.  People can sign up  for a a free tree and  for a free tree. The Muddy Branch Alliance will help plant the tree and provide information as to how to take care of the tree once planted.

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Meatless Monday Recipes

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Parmesan Croutons

19 Nov 2013

A good friend, Denise Clark, sent in this vegetarian seasonal recipe.   1 3 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes (5-6 cups) 2 tablespoons of olive oil 2 teaspoons of  kosher salt Pinch of freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon butter 1 large onion, diced 1 tablespoon …

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Meatless Monday Butternut Squash Ravioli

4 Nov 2013

From Chef John at allrecipes.com Ingredients  Original recipe makes 6 servings 1 cup mashed, cooked butternut squash 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 1 egg yolk 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 (16 ounce) package round wonton wrappers 2 …

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Meatless Monday Proclaimed by Montgomery County Council

22 Jul 2013

July 22, 2013 Gaithersburg, Md By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin I was so pleased to find out that Montgomery County Council has officially endorsed Meatless Mondays, a nationwide effort to choose more plant-based foods. For more information about this news read Compassion Over Killing’s website.  Also, Naomi Bloch sent in a Meatless …

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Meatless Monday Recipe- Roasted Cauliflower

17 Jun 2013

  This recipe sounds delicious and I am going to try it tonight because I have a cauliflower sitting in my fridge and I need to cook it! Will let you know what it tastes like!- Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin Recipe is from BonApetit Ingredients Roasted Cauliflower 2 1/2 cups dry white …

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Meatless Mondays-Caramelized Onion Tart

20 May 2013

Here is a vegetarian recipe for an Onion tart. I just read up and now understand that a tart is made in ribbed dish, the bottom part of the pan can come out, and the tart can be all sorts of shapes vs. a quiche is in round pie dish… …

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