Re:Create CT, the first holistic and green living event in Hartford’s Elizabeth Park, made an impact. Continue reading 'Holistic, Green Living Event Proves Popular'»
Travel lanes were recently reduced in the area of Flatbush Avenue to accommodate CTfastrak construction. Now motorists will be re-routed through a shopping plaza parking lot for approximately one week. The detour is set to start on April 8, 2013 at 5 a.m. Beginning on April 4, 2013, the traffic pattern within Charter Oak Marketplace will change to allow detours.
The hand-wringing over access to fresh food in Hartford need not be. Besides the year-round farmers’ market on Broad Street, there are daily farmers’ markets running for about half the year in various neighborhoods. Another way to secure fresh, healthy food is to become a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share-holder.
CSA has existed in the United States for a few decades now and presents a way for farmers to be paid upfront, allowing them to spend more of their time growing food and less of it worrying about marketing.
It’s not without risk. If crops fail or are stolen, share-holders will not receive refunds, though farmers have ways to alleviate the loss, sometimes by extending the growing season.
Consumers experience advantages like being able to actually speak with the person who grew the food. In an age when labels do not tell the whole story — organic in what way? — there is value in being able to ask direct questions about the growing practices.
Pre-paying for an entire season’s produce — and in some cases, other goods — means walking away with edibles that a person might not have known existed, like kohlrabi and tatsoi. This opens the door for children, especially, to develop a taste for foods that are more sophisticated than what’s on kiddie menus. Being able to walk around the farm teaches about agriculture in a way that can not be taught in school.
Paying a large sum upfront may seem prohibitive, particularly for those in lower income brackets. The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association even says that “CSA is not about cheap food,” adding that “cheap food” is “usually neither nourishing nor grown with care of the environment in mind.” The organization says, “CSA is about each of us being responsible.”
But how does one be responsible when her pantry is more ramen than caviar? Continue reading 'Hungry? It’s CSA Time'»
Who pays for the Black Friday steals?
Nearly every major retailer opens its doors before dawn on the day after Thanksgiving. Last year, a Connecticut Kohl’s employee said he had to cut short his time with family on Thanksgiving so that he could nap in order to take on a a Black Friday shift which actually required he arrive late on Thursday. This year, Walmart employees are being told to come in on Thanksgiving, as stores are slated to open on Thursday at 8pm.
With this dismal economy, workers know that they are more disposable than ever. Not showing up for a shift can mean job loss; as one Walmart employee in central Connecticut explained, had she called out during a snow storm when the governor had warned motorists to stay off the roads, she would have been fired.
To protest the practice of what the Corporate Action Network is calling retaliation against workers “for speaking out for good jobs with decent pay, regular hours, affordable healthcare and respect,” there are strikes and demonstrations planned at Walmart stores nationwide, with many occurring on November 23, 2012.
Here in Hartford, there are plans for a solidarity demonstration at the Walmart on Flatbush Avenue. Festive caroling and leafleting is scheduled to begin around 11 a.m. at the front of the store. The public has been invited to join in. Continue reading 'Solidarity Action at Hartford’s Walmart on Black Friday'»
With its open house this weekend, the Hartford Bicycle Studio has taken a step closer to being a bike shop. Continue reading 'Hartford Bicycle Studio Getting into Gear'»
By now, it should be obvious: supporting big box stores and national chains does not benefit our local economy. Besides pushing out the smaller stores, it leads to homogenization. Think about what makes special the places we enjoy vacationing: unique shops, landscapes, and cultural experiences. Think about the vast difference in service between the majors where employees are underpaid, mistreated, and told they have to work during major weather events, versus the service at smaller shops where owners at least attempt to pay above minimum wage and understand workers to be fellow humans. Coincidence? Please.
Shopping locally, especially in Hartford, is sometimes viewed as inconvenient, yet how convenient is sitting in the gridlock around malls and then circling the lot seeking a parking space? Is being pushed by harried, cranky shoppers convenience? What’s to be done? Vote for change by determining where you will spend your money.
An experience is more memorable than an object. It requires no storage and no wrapping paper.
These basically break down into memberships and tickets, but can include class registration too.
The Kitchen at Billings Forge offers low commitment classes for those who can only peel themselves away for a few hours. Learn about pickling, canning, or baking pies.
What to get a gardener who has everything except a pot to plant in? Community garden spaces are cheap — around $25 per season. For those who are not satisfied by windowsill herb gardens, this is money well-spent. As a bonus, some of these gardens actually have potluck events and attempt to foster community. Folks who don’t garden might not see the value of securing space when the ground is frozen, but this is a great time to get this type of gift– when you can dream, plan ahead, and start looking through seed catalogs. Continue reading 'Local Holiday Shopping Guide 2012'»
On Friday and Saturday the Knox Parks Foundation will be holding its annual plant sale at 75 Laurel Street.
They say they will have plants for “shade gardens, sun gardens, butterfly gardens, vegetable gardens, succulent gardens, decorative grasses, and more.” The sale runs from 9-6 on Friday, May 18, and from 8-2 on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Continue reading 'Knox Plant Sale'»