Architect-turned-farmer Mary Ostafi's dream of Growing Food Where People Live is bearing fruit - and chard, eggplant, tomatos and flowers - atop a storage-unit building in downtown St. Louis.
Mary's leadership has also harvested major $$ support, from crowd-funds to a Metropolitan Sewer District Project Clear grant. With veg in the "ground" and a biz-plan in hand, this city's first rooftop farm is growing connections between loft-living eaters, social service job programs, water conservation needs, and much more.
Food Roof features include raised beds, aeroponics, a drainage board that can contain 17,000 gallons of rainwater (which won't run off to overload storm sewers), bee hives and a Milkweeds for Monarchs pollinator garden. Living lunch from a flat-roof ecosystem!
This week's Earthworms podcast is a taste of what's evolving as the Urban Harvest Food Roof Farm - featured this week in the New York Times!
Music: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 - J.S. Bach (he liked turnips)
Peter Raven is St. Louis' own Hero of the Planet. Since 1990 he's been a Senior Science Advisor to the Pontifical Academy of Science, most recently one of the minds behind the letter from Pope Francis, released on June 18, framing climate change as a moral issue for all people of this Earth.
Dr. Raven, who is President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, talks with Earthworms host Jean Ponzi about the papal message, about this moment for humankind, and about the potential each one of us has to make the changes needed to heal and protect the Earth.
Read the climate change encyclical, Laudato Si' - and be assured that our individual efforts do matter in a world where "climate is a common good" and ". . . .nothing is indifferent to us."
Thanks to Earthworms engineer, Andy Coco.
Music: Artifact by Kevin MacLeod
This summer watch the streets of St. Louis for a unique rolling service: a grocery store in a Metro bus. Earthworms guest Jeremy Goss and his partners Colin Dowling and Tej Azad are medical students and an MBA about to launch some serious business.
The St. Louis Metro Market will address food access issues rooted in poverty and racial discrimination. It will run as a business, generating revenue through at-cost sales in low-income neighborhoods and market-rate sales on corporate campuses. Produce supplied by community gardens and sustainable farms will help nourish our Local Food sector, as the bus delivers healthy food to folks in need. Plus cooking demos - and SAMPLES! - will encourage customers to prepare healthy meals.
This inspiring conversation blooms with "good and great" responses to needs of people, the planet - and the process of making a decent living.
Follow Jeremy and the Metro bus grocery on Twitter @STLMetroMarket
For 6 years (this month) an (amazing!) group of ordinary people have worked to keep a coal ash landfill out of the floodway of the Missouri River. Not saying "no landfill" or "close the coal plant." The Labadie Environmental Organization, LEO, marshals the resources of scientific, medical, legal and engineering experts who pitch in alongside farmers, parents, business owners - hundreds of engaged FOLKS - in efforts to get coal ash disposal sensibly and safely sited. Struggle? Yes. Crucial? LEO members and supporters believe so, and they are WORKING on this issue.
Guests: Petra Haynes and Patricia Schuba - LEO core organizers
Music: R. Roger Pryor - traditional instrumental performed 1997 at The Focal Point
Your engagement is welcome, needed and will be rewarding. Time-sensitive responses include June 11, 2015 Franklin County (MO) Commission testimony date and submission of email testimony. See LEO on Facebook for details.
Missouri's largest private landowner, Leo Drey grew a mighty forest of conservation impacts, cumulatively and literally, over his 98 years (1917 - 2015).
In this first edition of Earthworms' new podcast era, Jean Ponzi welcomes historians and fellow enviro-champions to honor a beloved colleague, leader and friend. Guests are:
Learn more about the life and work of Leo Drey - and explore conservation opportunities YOU can enjoy and support - from the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.