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Remember: Environmental Consciousness - Little Peace Farm

Monday, April 5, 2010

Environmental Consciousness - Little Peace Farm

What bothers me lately, is the idea of balance.

That balance is scientifically described as a “steady-state” where the output of a given system is equal to its input.  Nearly any organism or inorganic creation that has an intake and a waste product needs to remain in the “steady-state”, or equilibrium, in order to remain sustainable.

Sustainable has become one of the flash words of the recent “Green” movement and has in turn lost the most significant part of its meaning.  That meaning, is, that to be sustainable, a species must not exceed its carrying capacity within a system.  Carrying capacity being the population size limits that allow a system to never “run out” of natural resources.

These concepts are the fundamental precepts of Environmental Science and are the true ideal goals of any Environmental Movement.  When looking at the creek banks in the Lehigh Parkway, it becomes apparent that the “steady state” of that system is out of whack.  Erosion of the banks, loss of biomass, increase in sedimentation, warming water temperatures, etc, are all examples of processes that are rampantly worsening outside of the “steady state”. 

The Parkway is a genuine microcosm of the attitude of our entire country.  We create more waste than any other species in the history of the planet on a daily basis.  Our waste, in some cases, is permanent and in all cases, devastating. There are islands of plastic in our oceans.  Small fish eat bits of that plastic and are in turn eaten by larger fish and so forth until ultimately, we are eating it.  Scientists are finding plastic inside the bodies of humans that have eaten fish from areas near the plastic continents.

The food we eat at chain restaurants, fast food joints, and big box supermarkets is produced in an unsustainable way.  I could go on for pages about the documented Environmental disaster that is factory farming and the modern food industry but I will instead encourage you to watch the trailer I have embedded below.  If you have Netflix, the film is available to watch instantly.  If not it will air on PBS on April 21st. This is a must see film.


The point of this post is to show that the connectivity observed in nature that preserves the “steady-state” is sadly contradicted by the unsustainable and polluting manner in which the human species currently lives. Everything you do, everything you use, directly affects the Environment around you.  The soap you wash yourself with, the chemicals you spray to clean the counters, the gas you use to power your automobile, the steroid injected-hormone laden meat and vegetables you eat –All of it – returns to the Environment and in turn, comes back as genetic defects, cancers, increased parasitism, and a whole host of other completely avoidable, humanly created problems.  

That said, I encourage you to check out Little Peace Farms. Here is a link to their website.

The farm is offering CSA’s for 2010 and there are spots still open for the CSA that will be run through the Plaza Growers Market in Allentown this spring and summer.  For those that don’t know, like the Emmaus and Easton farmer’s markets, The Plaza Growers Market is a weekly occurrence on Hamilton Street in downtown Allentown during the warm months.  The Market spotlights local, sustainably grown food and drink. 

Be part of the solution, not the waste.  Check out Little Peace Farm, The Plaza Growers Market and Food Inc.  

Also, for great ideas on how to cook the wonderful produce offered by places like Little Peace Farm check out

Save the Kales              and
Capri-Not Like The Pants

Those ladies know their stuff.

11 Comments:

Blogger jaime said...

I have also been wanting to write something about "green wording" and misconceptions of what words mean. I appreciate your definition of sustainability because it's similiar to the one I follow, but coming from a different perspective. Really great.

Thank you so much for mentioning "Food Inc", and especially for the blog mention.

If you haven't seen "The 11th Hour", I'd be glad to let you borrow it or to watch it together. It's heartbreaking but ends hopeful.

April 5, 2010 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Katie Bee said...

I am going to be getting a CSA share from Little Peace Farm this summer. With all the craziness in our house (brother going to college, sister getting married and moving to Boston, parents' big trip to Ireland) I've taken on all the dinner prep. My family's going to eat healthy for at least one meal a day, whether they like it or not.

April 5, 2010 at 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Capri said...

Thanks for the link andrew. Your comments about what is green remind me of a conversation I had this weekend with my friend Dan (an architect) about the current Green Architecture show at the Art Museum. I was really bothered by one piece in the show, which is that they featured local developer Brian Baker's home as a "green" home. And while his home does feature lots of neat technologies and recycled materials, its also 5500 square feet for a single family home. I feel pretty strongly that part of being "green" or "sustainable" is to not be wasteful. A 5500 square foot single family house is wasteful by nature. For some reason that's really bothering me lately.

April 5, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A 5500 square foot single family home is wasteful by nature."

Capri,

So, I take it you are in favor of regulating how big a person's house can be?

KARL MARX

April 5, 2010 at 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How big is the house of Global Warming hero, Al Gore?

I bet it is more than 5500 feet...

KARL MARX

April 5, 2010 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Anon or Karl Marx or whatever,

Nowhere did Capri state she wished to regulate the size of homes. Al Gore is not my hero nor is he he the scientific voice (or otherwise) of a the responsible movement to facilitate a sustainable way of life for modern human beings.

Please stop trolling.

Your comments add nothing to an intelligent discourse.

April 5, 2010 at 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Capri said...

Karl Marx (aka Rolf O.) I'm not in favor of regulating the size of people's homes - I don't think that they should be held up as an example of "green" architecture though. And that would go for Al Gore's home, as well. (Which, for the record, also serves as his main office/headquarters as well as a home).

April 5, 2010 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger jaime said...

This is definitely a topic where I believe in the "do what you can" philosophy. If someone is going to live in a huge home, I suppose it's better (in my opinion) that they use green options when available.

However, there is so much to be said for small homes. A well-designed 1,200 square foot home could be a more efficient use of space than something five times as large. Design isn't just about aesthetics, it's about function.

I absolutely love well-designed small homes. Moving into my 600 square foot condo has been an invaluable lesson in making the most of the space you have. If I continue with my design degree, I'd like to focus on small housing. Great topic,

April 5, 2010 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Capri said...

yeah, I mean, I'm not criticizing this guy for making his 5500 square foot house more sustainable, I'm just saying.... I think the museum's judgment in including it in their show is questionable.

I love small houses so much. I'm minorly obsessed with weehouses which start at 400 square feet! My 2 br in Brooklyn was 475 square feet, and honestly it didn't feel that terrible. Now that I'm back in the woods I think our place is about 1000 square feet and its pretty perfect, I can't imagine going much larger.

April 5, 2010 at 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who have an unquenchable interest in "connectivity", check out Hua-yen Buddhism. Francis Cook wrote a good book on it, and Garma CC Chang was another writer on the subject. At the time I was interested in Hua-yen, these were the only two books I found. There are probably more now, but I can recommend these. If these two books fascinate... and if you have a certain sensibility, you can try the Avatamsaka sutra.

Frank

April 5, 2010 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Katie Bee said...

I firmy believe that the greenest structure is one that's already built. Offsetting the carbon emissions of producing a new home is a massive task, and it can really be just as easy (well, not) to retrofit an older home. One in the city can not only place less impact on the environment during its refurbishment, it can mold your life to a more conscious path. Who cares if your house is green if you have to drive everywhere? Who cares what car you drive if it's constructed with coal-fired steel or rainforest-tapped rubber?

If Marx is anywhere in this discussion, he's the one telling us to look at where our stuff comes from - it's called historical materialism and please, someone (coughtrollcough), turn an educated eye to his and Engels' texts (not JUST the communist manifesto, mmkay?)

Every time you build a new home, plow a new field, divert a stream, etc, you are destroying a very delicate ecosystem upon which you ultimately depend.

Jaime, No Impact Man is also really really really good -and appreciatively uplifting. All this talk is so often gloom-and-doom (and that's the truth of it, really) but No Impact Man is a nice little spot of sunshine.

April 5, 2010 at 11:20 PM  

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