Friday, April 16, 2010

Fenway Garden Society spring meeting & down:2:earth Boston!

Last Saturday was the Fenway Garden Society spring meeting. In March I received a short letter in the SASE i sent them with my initial application. A few short weeks later an email arrived stating I should attend the spring meeting. I showed up and met dozens of gardeners and board members. At this point in time I am on the waiting list for a new plot. I spoke with the VP of Parks and he said I am right near the cutoff point of whether I will receive a plot or not. **fingers are crossed that I do get a plot**

Sunday the girlfriend and I attended down:2:earth - Boston's sustainable living expo.
A bit about D2E from their website:
"At D2E, we are seeking companies that are sincerely striving to make a difference—not those that just claim to be so they can cash in on another kind of green, if you catch our drift.

So who makes the cut?
Sure, we love to support small businesses founded with sustainability as one of their core missions. But we also love to support large businesses that are making huge strides to improve how they do business (and not hold their past against them). Bottom line: If they’re in it for the right reasons, we want them in our show.

Here are some of the factors we consider:
  • Impact: Does their product or service reduce a consumer's environmental impact?
  • Location: Do they have a local presence or Web-based business to decrease travel emissions and support the local economy?
  • Company vs. Product: Is sustainability part of their DNA, or do they just have a "green" line?
  • Materials: Is their product made of materials that are recycled, biodegradable, organic, renewable, healthy and safe?
  • Certifications: Are they certified by trusted organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council, Energy Star, or Transfair USA?
  • Employees: Are workers part of a coop? Do proceeds go back to small producers? Is the product made in the USA?
  • Fair Trade: Do they care about the countries and workers that help them in their business?
  • Design and Innovation: Is the product or service innovative and helping us move forward?
  • Community: Do they contribute to their local communities?"
D2E was absolutely awesome! I will most certainly be in attendance next year. I was able to meet and talk to representatives from dozens of sustainable and natural companies. As I am more into the food/beverage side of things that is what I was looking for, and I was not disappointed!
The wonderful supplies of my twice-monthly organic produce delivery Boston Organics were there. The lady and I thanked them for their fantastic work and great customer service.
We left with a load of great recipes and full bellies from the Cabot Creamery Cooperative. The folks at Clif Bar where they were sampling their new Clif C bars which are double layer fruit & nut snack bars. I find the normal Clif Bar's to be too heavy and filling for me, but the Clif C bars were more of a snack then a meal-in-a-bar. Coffee was extremely well represented with Dean's Beans, Equal Exchange, and Mocha Joe's Coffee Roasters were all on site offering samples and friendly conversation. The folks at Mocha Joe's were the friendliest and offered the most spirited discussion about coffee and where their beans come from. When my girlfriend informed them the sample coffee they had was too acidic for her particular tastes they were kind enough to give her multiple samples of coffee beans which would have a lower acidity, so my compliments to them for going the extra mile and really backing their product.
Organic Valley and Stoneyfield Farm were there together showing off their various milk, drinkable yogurt, yogurt, and greek yogurt products. On the sweeter side Taza Chocolate and Glee Gum satisfied the cravings for something sweet.

Getting away from the edibles for a moment there were some great non-food companies and organizations there. Alteris Renewables the northeast's largest solar and wind power installers were on hand discussing their work in commercial and residential settings. Their goal is to create renewable energy systems instead of focusing on one specific green technology. They currently offer solar electricity and hot water for businesses, schools and homes as well as wind energy systems for businesses and schools. Their goal is to work with a client to develop affordable energy systems that fit their site and budgetary limits. They are certainly worth looking into if you are interested in green energy and live in the northeastern United States.

For the home gardeners The Great American Rain Barrel Company was on hand showing off their recycled rain barrels modeled after those seen in english gardens. As water resources diminish aesthetically pleasing & sturdy barrels that save money and recycle water will certainly be a great addition to anyones garden.

By the time the lady and I had strolled the 75+ booths we had 8 canvas shopping totes, 2 of which were full of samples of food, home cleaning products and literature. I learned about many newer sustainable companies in the area and was able to compliment the makers of some of my favorite products! Below are a few photos of the piles of swag we ended up with (lots of literature, stickers, seeds, food, some home cleaning products and even 2 bars of Goat's Milk Soap)

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