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garlic planting/sunchoke barbecue party

From: Jim M.
Sent on: Sunday, October 23, 2011 10:46 AM
Matt Peters and I thought to combine a sunchoke (aka Jerusalem artichoke)harvest celebration and barbecue with the planting of garlic at the new Johnston Avenue garden.    The barbecue could be at the Lytle garden, where most of the sunchokes and the barbecue pit are,...  Matt would like to buy about 8 bales of straw at about 5$ apiece for such said soiree...

With the shortage of volunteers, especially those knowing how to garden, to the extent we can all work together we can run all of the gardens better.  And of course y'all know I'm for liaisoning with farmer/gardeners all over the city to get a whole-city operation going - e.g. with plants started at Manchester Craftman's Guild's greenhouse this winter.   But we do have a smaller greenhouse in Hazelwood with the YMCA's and I hope to be a part of making that a productive operation and model for the community.

In some ways I'm heading more toward the food forest concept, which allows for the least amount of work since it heads toward a functioning ecosystem.   It does require expertise even to just harvest, as was increasingly brought home to me this year as I found myself mostly the only one who knew my way around "my" jungle on Lytle, as to even other volunteers it was more just a messy sea of green. Maybe we should have the Ladora garden run more as a food forest, with the strategy of rather than try to fence out the wildlife and civilize the wild kids directly, we strategize on what we can grow that will be resistant to e.g. kids pulling unripe veggies to have a "food fight". 

 Also brought home to me this season was the DISadvantages of a non straight line nontraditional garden, as once again the lack of the whole new slew of enthusiastic gardeners I naively expected, and my usual trait of trying to do too many things at the same time led to mostly just cherry tomatoes and many weeds in beds where I didn't want them (as contrasted to outside the beds where I DID want "weeds" - to nurture pollinators, biodiversity, soil production, and other ecosystem services). 

I suggested to Matt to try to schedule the planting/celebration/barbecue if we decide to have one so that there will be time to put it in the Homepage, but the deadline for November is past... Anyway, I want people to know that so far, as the sunchoke flowers are dying back and I am digging their spuds the crop seems to be a good one, so if you like sunchokes or would like to try them out they can be eaten raw, microwaved, baked, mashed like potatoes, in a soup or stir-fried,... Either give me a holler or dig them yourselves after a plant is starting to die back for the winter. 
Jim McCue
St. Jim the Composter
composter and biotech researcher
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: The Allegheny Front <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Friday, October 21,[masked]:55 PM
Subject: Keeping PA's Forests Sustainable; PA Alternative Energy Progress

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 The Allegheny Front is on Essential Public Radio 90.5 FM Saturdays at 7:30 am
  When in central Pennsylvania, catch us on WPSU, Sundays at 7:30 am, and in Erie on WQLN, the third Sunday of the month at 4 pm for an hour-long special.  We're also on other stations around the region.
In this week's Allegheny Front, we take a look at how the sustainable certification of Pennsylvania's state forests could be impacted by gas drilling. This Allegheny Front Rewind rolls back in time with a visit to the Allegheny National Forest where activists have battled the Forest Service.  StateImpact brings us an update on Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio.  This and more on this week's episode of the Allegheny Front.

Ben Gamble
Since 1999, Pennsylvania's two-million-acre forest system has been certified as sustainably managed. Some question whether the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources can maintain the forest certification as more and more land is cleared for gas production and transmission. The Allegheny Front's Ann Murray reports that the loss of certification would hurt the state's ecology and economy. 
The Allegheny National ForestThe Allegheny Front Rewind: Forest Activists
Pennsylvania's forests, rich with timber, oil and natural gas,
are at the heart of the state's economy. But they also tug at the heartstrings of many people who want to see them preserved. The Allegheny National Forest is no exception. It's been at the center of conflict over the years. On this week's Allegheny Front Rewind, our program's anniversary series, Kara Holsopple has more.
The High­land Wind Project

The bankruptcy of federally-backed California solar company Solyndra has soured many politicians on the idea of propping up the green energy sector with government support. But here in Pennsylvania, both Democrats and Republicans agree a plan to boost the commonwealth's alternative energy consumption is working well. StateImpact Pennsylvania's Scott Detrow has an update on the law, which took effect in 2007.
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