Signs of Sustainability

We have a long way to go, but we're making progress. Here are some signs that we are moving towards sustainability.

November 24, 2021

Youth Farm Project Pushes for Social Justice

Tompkins Weekly.    11-23-21

By Katie Church

At the Youth Farm Project (YFP), November is all about tucking the farm into bed for the season: pulling drip tape from the fields, taking down the deer fencing, planting cover crops and mulching.

This fall has been long and warm, if wet. In the bedtime analogy, we have “stayed up a little late” for one more bit of fun. With the first dusting of snow, our minds and bodies are ready for the internal season that is winter in a four-season climate: dreaming.

YFP is a farm-based social justice education organization. The work is with people and land, and that means things are always changing. The winter months allow us to look back over the year, to process what went well, what went amazingly and what fell short, and to listen for what is being asked.

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November 14, 2021

Protecting Our Natural Resources

Tompkins Weekly    11-10-21

By Becca Harber

Forests and our effects on them are woven throughout our lives, often without our knowledge. Learning how our choices affect forests and making different decisions can contribute to better health and continued existence of forests worldwide.

Cumulative effects of numerous people making different choices contribute to lessening climate catastrophe in the long run. Examples include no longer buying any rainforest woods products, redwood or many of the numerous food items containing palm oil or having big bonfires.

Regarding wood products from rainforests, “supposed sustainable production of tropical timber is a fabrication of the industry,” according to Rainforest Rescue (, a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving rainforests. Tropical timber is in many items, like terraces, garden furniture, window frames and toilet seats.

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October 28, 2021

Gratitude for Hunting and Gathering

Tompkins Weekly      10-27-21

By Zak Kozlowski

Have you gathered any wild foods this month?

This October is often my favorite time of year. Like many folks around Tompkins County, I enjoy gathering and hunting wild foods from the local landscape. September through mid-October is usually when I do most of my foraging, processing and storing of wild edible plants. It is also the time of year that marks the start of hunting season.

Since starting to learn about and use wild plants in 2009, I have spent more time noticing and working with certain plants than others. Maybe I get excited by certain species of plants more, or maybe they were the ones trying to get my attention. Either way, I’ve noticed that I get motivated to spend time collecting and working with some of the fruits and nuts during this time of year.

Many of the wild food plants that I enjoy, I’ve noticed, also choose to live and share space with the human environment and can be found in both the city and countryside. They seem to benefit from a close relationship with humans, needing disturbed ground, fences and maintained edge habitats. Sometimes the line between what is wild and what is landscaped appears blurry or nonexistent.

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