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FarmerJawn is breaking new ground with dirt, grit and optimism

For Christa Barfield, the entrance into agriculture was prompted by her exit from another industry. Before the success of FarmerJawn—Barfield’s ambitious and sprawling enterprise that includes farming at the historic Elkins Estate, running a CSA, being part of a development project in East Kensington, opening a garden shop in Germantown, selling herbal-infused teas and providing

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24 mins read
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An advocacy group, citing economic and environmental reasons, pushes for investment in geothermal heating and cooling

It’s been just over six years since Bartram’s Garden made the switch to geothermal heating and cooling, using ground source heat pumps (or GSHP) to heat the public garden’s 18th century buildings. By drilling deep into the ground, geothermal systems tap into heat that is stored in the earth. It greatly reduces the need for

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18 mins read
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Editor’s Notes: Against The Grain

“Why should anyone consider farming as a livelihood these days?” Brennan Washington, the owner of Phoenix Gardens in Lawrenceville, Georgia, paused at the question, posed by Hannah Smith-Brubaker, the executive director of PASA, at the 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Lancaster in February. Then he laughed a little, and the audience, largely composed of farmers,

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4 mins read
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Antique lover-turned-jeweler reworks old treasures with an eye for today

Feast jewelry’s Adrienne Manno doesn’t upcycle because it’s trendy or because she’s on some sustainability soapbox. Manno describes the reclaim-and-repurpose aspect of her jewelry making as an organic outgrowth of incorrigible collecting. On her once-frequent travels, Manno would spot and acquire a piece here, an element there, a 1980s faux horn belt at a London

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4 mins read
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Budget cuts have shuttered school libraries for decades. A young English teacher has built one from scratch

“The only thing you absolutely have to know,” as Albert Einstein once said, “is the location of the library.” When it comes to Philadelphia’s public schools, Einstein’s dictum leaves most students hamstrung, as the district’s number of librarians has declined sharply in recent decades. “In 1991, the School District of Philadelphia had 176 paid librarians,”

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8 mins read