Thursday, April 21, 2011

Encore: Gardens Under Glass and its Re-Source Center: Much More Than Growing Local Foods!

Gardens Under Glass is an urban agriculture/local foods growing project in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, in what was a former high end retail shopping complex. The complex actually resembles a giant greenhouse, so the new theme is a perfect fit and fine example of adaptive re-use of a building that had been economically type-cast by its peers. Growing food inside the building is achieved by aquaponics and hydroponics. These growing systems do not use soil, but instead utilize organically nourished water from added nutrients, or straight from fish waste in accompanying aquarium systems. Conventional methods in soil are also practiced.

The grand vision, beyond local food, hopes for it to become a regional center for independent green businesses and innovation, where such entities can combine forces and increase their competitive edge in what has vastly become a highly franchised market economy in the US. Local and independent merchants who are already promoting sustainable philosophies, green products and/or technologies, have the opportunity to be positioned along one indoor street under one roof!

Such, in turn, helps to promote a daring ideal of a more economically self sustaining city--by setting an example of how a community need not always solely depend on mega corporate investment, upon which to be the center of an economy. An added bonus in promoting smaller enterprise can sustain economic stability through economic diversity.

The Gardens Under Glass Re-source and Education Center opened its doors in September 2010. It is best described as a place offering products and ideas which promote sustainable lifestyles and healthier local economies through adjusting our buying habits and learning through workshops. Some greener examples set by the complex itself, are incorporating more recycling and waste reduction within the facility, more efficient use of existing energy supply, use of food grown on site by cafes inside the complex, rainwater retention, litter prevention, promoting less energy dependent landscaping, and composting of yard and produce waste!

Workshops are open to the public and local schools--and may focus on cooking with seasonal and local produce, healing through herbs and diet, growing food at home utilizing hydroponics and aquaponics, or even a presentation about local river and stream habitats, their importance in our lives...and their conservation through more thoughtful agriculture. One of the best true examples of promoting refuse, reduce, re-use, and recycling the center can offer is in the design of the room itself. It is a place that was created with over 95% recycled materials found on site and/or donations!

The Re-source center also promotes focus on three components of the biosphere: Air, land, and water--and promotes products and/or ideas that when implemented by the consumer, can result in the cleaner of those three life supporting components. The patron gains an enlightened knowledge of how his/her purchases can either have a heavier or much lesser impact on the environment--and a more positive one on our local economy.


Many examples set at Gardens Under Glass can be a blue print for how cities across the country can gain a new vision of what can create a successful and stable economy when multiplied and put into practice. The project is ultimately a catalyst in creating community connections, walkable neighborhoods, local foods, products and business--AND self sustaining neighborhoods. It can demonstrate that their is an economy and jobs to be created in a healthier environment in contrast to an often prevailing archaic mentality that offers the choice of “us, OR the environment”


Please visit: http://www.gardensunderglass.net

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Wrong Right--12 ingredients to creating a divided and numbed down nation!

They certainly are not your Grandfather's Republican party! They're so far off the deep end...so far right they're WRONG in an extremely ugly way! A little tongue-in-cheek humor helps lighten the mood through the madness. I hope their "followers" or sheep, someday stop drinking that Jim Jones cool aid!

I have listed below, what in recent years, I have observed to be the typical right extreme formula for dividing the nation, hiding truth, and creating an ever growing dumb and numb populace:
(Disclaimer: By "right extreme", I mean the wack jobs like Sarah Palin who have hijacked the Republican party and operate in its name like abortion clinic bombers pose as "Christians!"...throw in Newt too...who maybe should stick to something which can be far more respectful and patriotic in life like posing as an aging Bob's Big Boy in an Americana Icon Museum...instead of supporting policies that lead to obliterating all life on the planet!)

I find it to be the best definition of immoral unethical, and downright deceptive there ever was. Oh, and I am sure I left out an important ingredient or two to create the recipe for the most gullible and numbed down populace on the planet---And, I am sure many of you can come up with many more ingredients so please share.... but the following are just some that come off the top of the mind....


1. First and foremost, convince yourself that world history begins with YOU...9-11 and within the confines of America!

2. Be more interested in "BEING right", than actually doing what is right and make sure you reserve time for worship---each day of the week for the Gods of Truth: O'Riley, Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, and Hannity!


3. Buy all the media sources and then get the flock to believe that there is a "liberal media bias."

4. Get rural and religious America on your side by striking the same rhetorical chords over and over again that appeal to their heartland rooted spirituality by telling them how much you love baseball, the NRA, hotdogs, apple pie, family values, Chevrolet, the Bible, and the flag...tell them you will solve their problems, BUT NEVER tell them at WHAT cost, because they might just figure out that your political and economic policies actually do NOTHING for the better moral and economic interests of heartland America!


5. Get the masses addicted to fast food, the boob tube and sports as all that is meaningful in their lives.

6. Yell louder than the other guy and keep repeating lies until people start believing them, including yourself!


7. Alter the facts to fit dogmatic opinions, rather than alter the opinions to fit the facts...and included in this rule is to also deny any accusation no matter how guilty as hell you may be...and then convince people that George Bush had a justified reason to throw their Mother into a pot of boiling water, so the numbed down masses can go on supporting such a person.

8. Have no regard for the environment upon which we and the economy depends---because when it is gone, no one will know the difference, OR... why our very bodies, minds and spirits depended upon it anyway, right? We'll simply make a drug for treating all the woeful as a result and make even more money!


9. When asked direct questions and you cannot answer them, stray the conversation off topic until you can blame "Those evil Liberals"...OR, if you live in Cleveland, make sure you blame Dennis Kucinich for all the reasons life in America has gone wrong, and even for your ED problem! (Disclaimer: Be sure to forget about the fact that America and the liberation from the British Empire was in no way a "conservative" movement!).

10. If rule number 9 fails, resort again, to going off topic...and divisive name calling, labeling, or catch phrases approved by Rush himself, such as "Those evil Liberals are a cancer to America!"


I guess you can throw "TREE HUGGERS" in the mix too, because you will need to understand how much a healthy clean environment will pose a threat to us all.. (Shhhhh...don't tell anyone that "ALL" means our socially unaccountable mega-corporate polluters!)

11. "Starve the Social Beast" (Disclaimer: But be totally oblivious to the fact that when you do such, you will very likely often breed the need for that same beast you say you hate in the first place!)

12. If none of the above works, simply holler...Heee Hawwww.. This is Amerrrrica...if you don't like it.. LEAVE"... as the ideology and wisdom of "love it or CHANGE it" is not an option.


Yep, all the above and more is what we get when we become so duped into thinking the mega multi-national corporate figures like Monsanto, McDonald's, Wal-Mart, or Donald Trump is our benefactor... and that we cannot possibly live without them, OR any other way, for that matter. The resulting recipe is a time when when what is probably more truth and reality has been twisted to sound more like the B.S. ...while which is likely more the B.S. is spun around to sound more like the truth!

Well, as Edward would say, Good Night and Good Luck!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Green When Green Wasn't Cool?

It is rare I share forwarded emails, but the one I am about to post, whom I do not know authored, struck many moral chords deep within, in that for so long, I have thought each and every line!

In a time when "going green" has become a household catch slogan---and unfortunately, a bandwagon PR and marketing tool for big companies to utilize in the hope of polishing their questionable images---the true concept and mission of lightening our footprints on the fragile biosphere by living a life where less can be discovered to be more---has been lost.

Let's take a look back in time to discover that while certain threats to the world's environments certainly existed, others, that we have recently introduced, did not! Just think if we could implement more of the ways of the old lady referenced below.



In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic
bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to her and explained, We didn't have the green thing back in my day.

That's right, they didn't have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store.

The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and
refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator
in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and
didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two
blocks.

But she's right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the babies diapers because they didn't have the
throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
machine burning up 220 volts wind and solar power really did dry the
clothes.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house not a TV in every
room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a
screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded
up newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut
the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power.

They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup
or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.

They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school
or rode the school bus, instead of turning their mom's into a 24-hour taxi service.

They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of
sockets to power a dozen appliances.

And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But that old lady is right. They didn't have the green thing back in her day.