Category Archives: Eco Friendly Living

Three Part Harmony Farm Brings Eco-Friendly Farming To The Neighborhood

Three Part Harmony Farm Logo
Logo courtesy of Three Part Harmony Farm

We were excited to learn about nearby Three Part Harmony Farm,  which began in 2011, and hopes to become the first commercial farm in DC since 1939. The farm was established by Gail Taylor, who is dedicated to producing locally grown food without synthetic chemicals or genetically modified seeds. Check out this great write up on their blog that goes into detail about how Ms. Taylor got started and how she stays inspired.

There are several ways to get involved and support the farm, from purchasing  their chemical free seedlings, volunteering,  donating , or signing up for their 2015 CSA. (Community Supported Agriculture, which is a partnership between the farm and customers who pay ahead of time for an entire season’s worth of farm goods.) The two acre farm is located on the property of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, near 4th and Michigan Ave, NE. Very cool!

Sign Up Now For Noyes Park Garden Plots

Kids enjoying Noyes Park
Kids enjoying Noyes Park

Interested in meeting neighbors and growing your own garden? Consider signing up for one of the plots at Noyes Park. From their website:

The Noyes Park Community Garden Group seeks residents to register for garden plots in Noyes Park for the 2015 growing season. The Noyes Community Garden has fifteen 8’x 4′ plots. Thirteen of these plots are available for individuals or groups within the community to use, and two of these plots will be reserved for public use and planted in conjunction with local youth and school children.

 All DC residents who are not already tending a garden plot in a DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) garden are eligible to sign up for a garden plot. There is a $30 yearly fee to use the plots in Noyes Park.

 Registration for the garden plots is open between January 1, 2015 and March 1, 2015, and plots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for a plot, fill out the online registration form here, or leave/send your name, street address, phone number and email address to the Friends of Noyes Park (2718 10th Street NE, Washington, DC 20018). Registrants assigned a plot for the 2015 growing season will be notified and provided additional instructions on how to complete the registration process. Any interested gardeners that are not assigned a plot for the 2015 growing season will be added to a waiting list for the 2016 season and given an opportunity to tend to a plot should one become available during the 2015 season.

Fill out the garden plot registration form here.

Community Forklift Offers A Family Friendly Alternative On Black Friday

community forklift your thrift store for home improvement
Photo courtesy of Community Forklift

One of our favorite home improvement destinations is Community Forklift, located near Hyattsville MD. Community Forklift is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to reduce landfill waste by salvaging building materials. While it is not in Brookland, let alone DC, we thought their Black Friday and Small Business Saturday events would be of interest to readers since it’s not too far and sounds like a lot of fun! Anyone working to maintain the original character of their home or simply fond of antique and re-purposed items would enjoy a visit.

From 10am -6pm on Nov. 28 & 29, stop by the reuse center to check out upcycled gifts from local artists, and help decorate a community tree. There will free craft workshops for all ages, music from DJ One Heart and pictures with Santa Claus (see the full schedule below). The warehouse is a bit chilly, so make sure to bundle up – but there will be free hot cider and cookies to keep you warm! Check out the info below from Ruthie from Community Forklift:

LOCAL ARTISTS OPEN STUDIO AND SALES
Many crafters and artists come to the Forklift to find inspiration and supplies. Throughout Green Friday and Small Business Saturday, a variety of local artists will be here to offer their wares, and show you how they create their amazing pieces!

DIY CRAFT AREA FOR ALL AGES (12pm – 4pm Fri. & Sat.)
We’ll have a free craft area open for children and adults on 12pm – 4pm on Friday and Saturday so that you can make tree ornaments or tile coasters. They make great stocking stuffers! On Friday from 12pm – 4pm, bring the whole family to make image transfer t-shirts with ‘Arts on a Roll’, an arts initiative through the Prince George’s County Parks and Planning Department ($5 per t-shirt).

5th ANNUAL MISTLETOE MARKET (10am – 6pm Fri. & Sat.)
Find great gifts for friends and family, made by local artists! All gifts are made with reclaimed, upcycled, or other eco-friendly materials. Gifts for sale include jewelry, textiles and clothing, beauty care, mosaics, stationary, wall art, candles, toys, housewares and more.

MEET SANTA (12pm – 2pm Fri.)
Santa Claus often stops by Community Forklift to shop. “I can find vintage wood-carving tools at the Forklift, and they’re a lot sturdier than modern hand tools” reports Mr. Claus. “So when the staff asked if I could stop by their party, I was happy to help.” Santa will be at the warehouse from 12-2pm on Friday, and photos will be available afterwards on the Forklift’s Facebook page.

Community Forklift is about a 15 minute drive to 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston MD 20781.

Casey Trees Webinar To Answer Live Questions About Burying Power Lines

Casey Trees
Casey Trees

In early August we wrote about a project to bury a portion of the above ground power line system in DC (see this Washington Post article). Brookland residents will be affected as we are slated to be one of the first areas to be undergrounded. Unfortunately the city and Pepco only plan on burying selected power lines, so the poles and other lines will remain. If you want to weigh in on this plan, there is still time to submit written comments to the DC Public Service Commission until September 15 2014. Brookland based Casey Trees will be hosting an informative  webinar on the topic this Wednesday September 3rd at noon. Here are the details from their website:

As part of a $1 billion proposal called DC PLUG, the District and Pepco want to bury the worst-performing power lines in the city.

 Find out what this means for the trees in your neighborhood during our live webinar: DC PLUG: Burying Lines, Raising Questions

 This 30 minute webinar will provide you with the latest information and tools to speak out at the last public hearing on D.C.’s undergrounding project.

 We’ll go over:

  • Why the city doesn’t want to bury all of the overhead wires
  • Which lines will be buried and which will remain above ground
  • The benefits for and risks to trees if power lines are buried
  • Find out what impact this may have on your neighborhood’s street trees

Bring your questions and we will answer them live during the webinar!

Speakers:

Maisie Hughes, Director of Planning + Design
Emily Oaksford, Planning Associate
Suraj K. Sazawal, Advocacy Associate

For more details and to register for the webinar – click here.

Go Solar At The Brookland/Ward 5 Solar Coop Info Meeting!

Solar Energy Brookland NE Washington DC
Solar Panels on a Brookland home on Jackson St NE.

Are you interested in solar power for your home? Check out the upcoming Brookland/Ward 5 Solar Coop Info Meeting! There is also  a lot of information at the DC Sun website about group solar bulk purchases, which could save you 20-30% off going it alone.

Here are the meeting details:
Monday June 16th, 7pm
Brooks Mansion, Brooks Room
901 Newton Street, NE Washington DC 20017
RSVP and find out more at the event’s Facebook page.  

How About Recycling A Recycling Bin?

Yesterday DC Department of Public Works started a project called  “Supercan, Trash Can, Recycling Can Removal Blitz”. Although the city already collected about 60,000 of the old super and recycling cans, there are still many out there that have to be picked up. So according to the information on the DPW website, the blitz collection will take place from May 10-17. Any old can that is sitting in public space, either in the alley way or in the front of your house, will be collected.

You can keep the old cans, but you need to keep them on you property, and you can use them for any purpose you like as described in the frequently asked questions page of DPW:

12. Can I keep and repurpose my old Supercan and recycling can?

Yes.  However, please move the repurposed can(s) on to your property so that they do not excessively clutter alleys and streets.  Otherwise, you may receive a sanitation citation for having your can(s) on public space outside of your scheduled collections.

To give you a last minute idea of what to do with you old cans, here a quick description of my latest project:

Since our back yard is almost completely finished with concrete, I am doing a lot of planter gardening. So I thought to myself: “How about taking advantage of this abundance of available old cans, and turn them into amazing planters on wheels?” I collected 6 recycling bins from friends and neighbors and started the transition.

Cutting off the top of the bin was easy with the jig saw, and there is no limit to your creativity decorating it with paint. I used spray paint and different shaped leaves to create my design. I also drilled a few small holes for drainage.

Here are a few pictures of the transition of an ordinary trash bin to a beautiful and not to forget easily movable planter:

 

Monroe Street Market Farmer’s Market Starts Up This Saturday!

TomatoIn March we broke the news  that the “Historic Brookland Farmer’s Market” will be launching at the Monroe Street Market development May 10th. The operator of the market will be Lydia’s Fields Farm,  who will bring a minimum of 10-20 regional farmers and food producers to our door step!

Please look out for detailed information about the original Brookland Farmers Market, which will kick off it’s 2014 season on Tuesday June 3, here on our blog soon. I guess we can consider ourselves very lucky, because we are going to have 2 farmers markets per week in our neighborhood.

For the first time on Saturday the nutrition-focused market will set up shop along the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market every Saturday from May 10, 2014-November 22, 2014, from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.  Here are some more details from their Facebook page:

• Saturdays (rain or shine)
• May 10 – November 22
• 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• Plaza and Arts Walk of the Brookland Works development
716 Monroe Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017

This producer-only farmers market provides a weekly opportunity for residents of the Brookland community and the Washington, DC area to buy fresh and healthful local food.

Confirmed farmers and food producers as of March 31, 2014 include:

• Bonaparte Breads (Savage, MD) bakes mouth-watering pastries.
• Chesley Farms (Smithsburg, MD) grows vegetables, small fruit and tree fruit.
• Delish Jams & Jellies (Bowie, MD) uses locally grown fruit to make tasty preserves.
• Groff’s Content Farm (Rocky Ridge, MD) raises beef, lamb, pork, goat, eggs, broiler chickens, turkeys, and duck.
• Lady Epicure Gourmet Treats (Washington, DC) produces specialty popsicles.
• Pleitez Produce (Montross, VA) grows a wide variety of vegetables and small fruit.
• Simple Pleasures Ice Café (Bowie, MD) produces ice cream, Italian Ice , sherbet, sorbet, and other frozen treats with milk and other ingredients from local farms.
• Sweet Teensy produces perhaps the best cupcakes (gluten or gluten-free) and other treats this side of the Mississippi River.
• Upper Crust Artisanal Bakery (Silver Spring, MD) bakes delicious bread in the European tradition.
• Zeke’s Coffee (Washington, DC) roasts and brews a great cup of java.
• At least five (5) additional vendors to be named soon.

The HBFM will be developed and managed by Lydia’s Fields, a Virginia farm and market management company, under license from Bozzuto, developer of Brookland Works.

Community Forklift Annual Garden Party And Spring Sale Coming Saturday

Community Forklift Spring PartyOne of my favorite home improvement destinations is Community Forklift, located near Hyattsville MD. Community Forklift is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to reduce landfill waste by salvaging building materials. While it is not in Brookland, let alone DC, we thought their Annual Garden Party and Spring Sale would be of interest to readers since its not too far and sounds like a lot of fun! Anyone working to maintain the original character of their home or simply fond of antique and re-purposed items would enjoy a visit. Community Forklift is about a 15 minute drive to 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston MD 20781. See the flyer above for more details.

The Tree Advocacy Program At Casey Trees – Learn How To Fight For Trees!

For those of you who have been following the blog, you know that we have been passionately supporting Casey Trees, the Brookland based organization whoes mission is to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital.

photo courtesy of caseytrees.org
photo courtesy of caseytrees.org

Recently we shared with you volunteer opportunities near our neighborhood. You may want to see if there are still spots left available for these plantings in Edgewood, Langdon Park or Michigan Park.

Today I would like to introduce you to the Advocacy Program at Casey Trees. The program is based on the following idea:

Courtesy of Casey Trees website
Courtesy of Casey Trees website
  • Everyone benefits from a healthy tree canopy.
  • Find people in your community and start a conversation about the value of D.C.’s tree canopy and the need to protect it.
  • Take one of our Action Alerts or attend an event and make your voice heard.

This program offers you the opportunity to meet fellow tree lovers, advocates and activists. You can share experiences and ideas, and most importantly you are introduced to information, legislation, and strategies that will help you in your efforts to protect trees.

The next Advocates Meeting is scheduled for March 20, this time with a special presentation:

This month’s Tree Advocates Meeting will include an hour-long public speaking training, “Speak Like A Pro”.  This training will discuss the essentials of competence and character when giving a presentation, providing public testimony, or speaking with a key decision-maker.  The instructor*, a professionally-trained, public speaking coach, will identify the six key steps of an effective presentation and discuss three principles of influence.

Of course this is just part of the agenda. Read more details on the registration page. The Casey Trees Advocacy Team can also share their efforts to support the fight to preserve the Brookland Green. They are 100% behind the neighborhoods effort to save the “Green” including the Brookland Bridge petition which has been presented to WMATA and the city council members.

The very sad incident in Bloomingdale just a few days ago, where about 100 trees were purposefully damaged, underlines the need for all of us to be vigilant, to not only look after the trees in our yard, but also the trees in public spaces. Maybe most importantly though we need to create awareness among our neighbors and friends about how important trees are for our daily lives and well being.  All this is easier as a group, with a support structure and guidance. Take advantage of the great Advocacy program at Casey Trees, join the group of wonderful people and make a difference.

Brookland Area Volunteer Events With Casey Trees!

Casey Trees
Casey Trees

Brookland based Casey Trees is not only a great neighbor, they do a lot every day to restore DC’s tree canopy. If you haven’t volunteered with them in the past, now is a great time to check out some of their events. There is something for people of all abilities and knowledge levels to contribute, you meet great people, get free lunch and improve our city! While they have quite a few ways to get involved, here are some upcoming volunteer opportunities right in our backyard. Check out their Event Calender for more info and sign up soon, events fill up quickly.

  • April 5th – St. Joseph’s Seminary:  Join Casey Trees and the Michigan Park Citizens Association as we add 40 trees to the grounds of the beautiful St. Joseph’s Seminary in Ward 5. 1200 Varnum St NE
  • April 12th – Edgewood: In this season’s third Sustainable DC Initiative planting, Casey Trees will be adding trees to this small triangle park in the Edgewood neighborhood in Northeast. 2651 6th St NE
  • April 26th – Langdon Park: Help Casey Trees add 77 to this Ward 5 park in the largest planting of the season. This is the fifth planting in the Sustainable DC Initiative. 2901 20th St NE