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[1THING] Blog: Archive for June, 2017

[ Guardian Life Insurance Supports Local Farmers! ]

Guardian Life Supports Local Farmers


CSA veggies

As many of you heard at our Annual Meeting, we’re developing new ways to benefit your organization through our EarthShare at Work program! In Year 2 of our partnership with Guardian Life Insurance, we worked with their Pittsfield, MA Green Team to develop a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and connected them with American Farmland Trust to identify a local farm to support. Now the Guardian CSA program is up and running in Pittsfield from June through October, through Brattle Farms. Learn more in this interview with Brattle Farm owner Donna Chandler, by April Opatik of American Farmland Trust!

Donna Chandler is not your ordinary mother and grandmother— she is a full-time Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmer.

“I did not grow up as a farmer, but I grew up in a dense farming neighborhood. I enjoyed all the natural beauty on the land while growing up. As I grew older, my passion for farming became clearer as I noticed all the farms in my neighborhood disappearing,” Donna expressed.

About 15 years ago, Donna first got into aspects of farming by raising sheep on only a few acres of land for wool and her children’s 4-H projects. It started out with only two sheep, but as they started winning competitions their herd became over ten times the original size. 17 acres later, Donna decided to start selling her vegetables, meat, and other goods through her CSA: Brattle Farm.

“I wanted to see if I could get a steady cash flow before I went into CSA farming full-time. During that first year, I had 20 families signed up and it was very successful. Four years later, I now have 90 families! I am amazed that I could do this,” Donna stated.

It hasn’t been an easy road for her. One of the biggest challenges she had to overcome was educating others about what a CSA farm is. For 20-28 weeks, members pay a subscription cost to receive a portion of the farm’s produce—enjoying the flavors and challenges of seasonal eating. Joining a CSA is a powerful investment in your health, community, local economy—and even a possibility to explore new and exciting recipes. Donna is happy to note that Brattle Farm accepts SNAP. Some farms, like Donna’s, also allow members to pay for their share by committing to work a specified number of hours on the farm each week.

Donna’s CSA received around 20 new subscriptions through the Pittsfield Green Team, and Guardian employees learned more about American Farmland Trust’s work to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices, and keep farmers like Donna on the land. Guardian employees also plan to support AFT through volunteer projects to create recipe card packets and thank you notes for farmer’s market shoppers.

Help us incorporate your organization into our corporate partnerships! Please complete the Member Services Survey if you haven’t already.

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[ EarthShare Supports Local Farmers! ]

CSA veggies

As many of you heard at our Annual Meeting, we’re developing new ways to benefit your organization through our EarthShare at Work program! In Year 2 of our partnership with Guardian Life Insurance, we worked with their Pittsfield, MA Green Team to develop a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and connected them with American Farmland Trust to identify a local farm to support. Now the Guardian CSA program is up and running in Pittsfield from June through October, through Brattle Farms. Learn more in this interview with Brattle Farm owner Donna Chandler, by April Opatik of American Farmland Trust!

Donna Chandler is not your ordinary mother and grandmother— she is a full-time Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmer.

“I did not grow up as a farmer, but I grew up in a dense farming neighborhood. I enjoyed all the natural beauty on the land while growing up. As I grew older, my passion for farming became clearer as I noticed all the farms in my neighborhood disappearing,” Donna expressed.

About 15 years ago, Donna first got into aspects of farming by raising sheep on only a few acres of land for wool and her children’s 4-H projects. It started out with only two sheep, but as they started winning competitions their herd became over ten times the original size. 17 acres later, Donna decided to start selling her vegetables, meat, and other goods through her CSA: Brattle Farm.

“I wanted to see if I could get a steady cash flow before I went into CSA farming full-time. During that first year, I had 20 families signed up and it was very successful. Four years later, I now have 90 families! I am amazed that I could do this,” Donna stated.

It hasn’t been an easy road for her. One of the biggest challenges she had to overcome was educating others about what a CSA farm is. For 20-28 weeks, members pay a subscription cost to receive a portion of the farm’s produce—enjoying the flavors and challenges of seasonal eating. Joining a CSA is a powerful investment in your health, community, local economy—and even a possibility to explore new and exciting recipes. Donna is happy to note that Brattle Farm accepts SNAP. Some farms, like Donna’s, also allow members to pay for their share by committing to work a specified number of hours on the farm each week.

Donna’s CSA received around 20 new subscriptions through the Pittsfield Green Team, and Guardian employees learned more about American Farmland Trust’s work to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices, and keep farmers like Donna on the land. Guardian employees also plan to support AFT through volunteer projects to create recipe card packets and thank you notes for farmer’s market shoppers.

Help us incorporate your organization into our corporate partnerships! Please complete the Member Services Survey if you haven’t already.

Share

[ PA Streams at Risk If Clean Water Rule Repealed ]

The Trump administration has proposed repealing the Clean Water Rule, which protects the drinking water of one in three Americans.

Enacted in 2015, the rule clarifies protections for headwaters, rain-fed and seasonal streams, and protects wetlands that are essential fish and wildlife habitat. Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive of the National Wildlife Federation, said the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday began the process of rescinding those protections.

“The administration’s taking the formal step of undoing those rules and frankly, leaving the drinking water supply of more than 100 million Americans in limbo,” he said.

Critics of the rule have called it onerous and improperly expanded the EPA’s authority. However, But federation outreach consultant David Imgrund, a sportsman who lives in south-central Pennsylvania, said rescinding the rule would not only endanger the drinking water of 63 percent of the state’s population but could affect the state’s bottom line as well.

“$450 million was spent on fishing and recreating in Pennsylvania,” he said. “So, if the waters are not protected and things decline, it would have a huge economic impact.”

Nationally, in 2011, fishing alone generated $115 billion in economic activity and supported more than 800,000 jobs.

O’Mara said rescinding the rule is just the first step. The executive order signed by President Trump in March also directs the agencies to propose a replacement.

“The suggestion that they’ve made so far about how they would approach the rule has already been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,” he said. “So, we’re likely going to be in a phase of limbo for the next several years where waterways will not be protected.”

O’Mara said any revisions to the rule should be carried out through a process that is inclusive, transparent and based in science, not politics.

More information is online at nwf.org.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection

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[ Cities and states are declaring climate independence from Trump ]

State and local leaders understand that by investing in clean energy and cutting emissions, we're betting on the future. What could possibly be more American?

     
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[ Feds’ pursuit of Arctic offshore drilling a mistake, costly to taxpayers ]

Tim Woody

As part of President Trump’s goal of opening more of America’s offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today announced it will revise the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

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[ Apply Now For DCNR TreeVitalize Tree Planting Grants ]

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and TreePennsylvania Wednesday announced it is now accepting applications for TreeVitalize Tree Planting Grants.  The deadline for applications is August 15.

“Launched on Arbor Day 2004 in Philadelphia, TreeVitalize efforts already have planted more than 350,000 shade trees in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other cities and communities,” Dunn said. “With today’s announcement of grant opportunities, those benefits will be extended across the state and residents hopefully will enjoy them in every county.”

This year applications will be considered in three funding categories: tree planting, urban riparian buffers or community forestry management.

One applicant can seek grants in all three categories, however only one can be approved during each grant term.

Secretary Dunn noted a House Republican budget passed in April could have possible negative effects on future DCNR funding of TreeVitalize and other grant-based department programs.

TreePennsylvania, formerly Pennsylvania Urban & Community Forestry Council, administers the statewide TreeVitalize grant program. Funding is provided to communities to promote and develop sustainable urban forestry programs within Pennsylvania.

Read more from PA Environment Daily here.

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[ New report: False promises on coal hurt Americans ]

Sarah Graddy

TWS’ “False Promises” report highlights four case studies from Maryland, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin to examine the often hidden social and environmental costs of burnin

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[ Congress almost always votes with Trump as 2018 midterms loom. Bad idea, polls suggest. ]

Congressional voting patterns are remarkable considering that midterm elections are just a year away.

     
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[ Can You Unplug? ]

Can you get your child to “unplug” for 100 hours this summer? Can you unplug for that long? OARS, one of the largest rafting companies in the world, is asking you and your family to do just that with the #100HoursUnplugged Challenge. How to participate? Just leave your screen-based lives behind—no texts, television, Facebook, or Instagram—and spend time together outdoors for 100 hours. That can equal a long weekend camping trip, multiple summer hikes, or two hours having fun in your yard or neighborhood park every afternoon for seven weeks. The challenge is meant to be doable, and OARS intentionally launched the campaign during the summer when families often take their vacations.

Find out more about the challenge here.

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[ 40 Groups Urge Gov. Wolf, DEP To Deny Permits For Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline ]

A coalition of 40 community organizations, farms, environmental organizations, and local businesses representing over 436,727 members and constituencies Monday delivered a coalition letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection Secretary McDonnell urging the DEP to deny permit applications for the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project.

DEP is reviewing the application for this nearly 200-mile Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, which would transport natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to Maryland for export and to supply gas plants in North Carolina and Florida.

The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline must obtain Chapter 102 and 105 permits from the DEP for wetland and waterway crossings and earth disturbances.

If approved, the Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline would directly impact ten Pennsylvania counties and cross hundreds of wetlands and waterbodies — many of which are designated high quality or exceptional value.

Read the full story from PA Environment Daily here.

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