Celebrating the Journey from Seed to Compost in West Philadelphia

Saturday, September 17, 2011

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Christman, University City District, [email protected] or 215-243-0555

University City District’s August 12 ‘Sustainable Saturdays’ festivities to feature workshops on worm composting, growing mushrooms, homebrewing, building seed bombs and more. September 17 Sustainable Saturday: Preserving the Harvest announced

University City District (UCD), the neighborhood improvement and economic development organization, continues its successful “Sustainable Saturdays: The West Philadelphia Local Food Series”. From country farms to the urban kitchen, Sustainable Saturdays is UCD’s celebration of sustainable eating and living that will take you from seed to plate to compost. On Saturday, August 20, UCD celebrates the journey from seed to compost with the following special events:

Composting Workshop

9am at Woodlands Community Garden

4000 Woodlands Avenue (in the Woodlands Cemetery)

Composting is the process of converting organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps into a rich organic material that plants love. At this workshop, an expert from Penn State Cooperative Extension will teach you how to reduce the amount of material that you send to the landfill, while creating compost for your garden in just a few months. 25 free composting bins wil be raffled off to participants.


Make Your Own Worm Composting Bin Workshop

10:30am at USciences’ Rosenberger Hall

43rd Street between Regent Square and Woodland Avenue

This is a hands-on class designed to get you down and dirty in the world of worm composting. Learn about compost worms, keeping a worm composting bin, and using worm castings (aka worm poop) in your garden. By the end of this class you will have built your own worm composting bin and be ready to use it in your home. Worms will be available at the event for $20/lb. When registering, please indicate if you plan to take a worm bin home and purchase worms. RSVP today at http://wormcompostingbin.eventbrite.com 



Growing Mushrooms

Noon at USciences’ Rosenberger Hall  

43rd Street between Regent Square and Woodland Avenue

Learn about low tech do-it-yourself methods of growing edible mushrooms which are particularly well suited for tight urban spaces. Each participant will learn the basics of choosing and sourcing appropriate mushroom “spawn” and growing medium, known as “substrate” (including used coffee grounds, cardboard and other easily sourced materials), methods of inoculating substrate, initiating “fruiting” of mushrooms, and how to take care of indoor or outdoor “mycogardens”. Additionally, each participant will make (& take) an oyster mushroom growing “block” (a small bag of oyster mushroom inoculated straw) so they can enjoy their own delicious mushrooms at home! RSVP today at http://growingmushrooms.eventbrite.com 


Homebrewing 101 + Mead and Soda Fermentation Workshop

2pm at USciences’ Rosenberger Hall  

43rd Street between Regent Square and Woodland Avenue

Learn all aspects of making your own beer, mead (a fermented honey drink), and fermented soda from start to finish with instructor George Hummel, owner of Homesweet Homebrew in Center City. Learn about brewing, kegging, bottling, ingredients and equipment.


How to Build a Seed Bomb

3:30pm at USP Lower Mill Creek Garden  

43rd Street between Chester Avenue and Regent Square

Bomb’s Away! Be prepared to get your hands dirty in this DIY Seed Bomb Workshop, presented by the staff of Bartram’s Garden. Made of clay, compost, and seeds, these pocket-sized concoctions can bring vegetative life to vacant lots and otherwise blank urban spaces. You’ll also learn more about the common weeds in our midst, and Bartram’s Gardeners will be on hand to answer your burning plant-related questions and dish out gardening advice.

10am-2pm | Clark Park Farmers’ Market

The Clark Park Farmers’ Market, open every Saturday all year long from 10am-2pm, will have its usual dazzling array of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh bread and baked goods and local, nutritious food.  Expect to see some cameo appearances from special vendors that day to make your trip to the farmers’ market a delicious stop on your Sustainable Saturday tour. 

Visit the UCD office at 3940 Chestnut Street to experience the one and only Seed Bomb Machine in Philadelphia! Made from a mixture of clay, compost, and seeds, "seedbombs" are becoming an increasingly popular means combating the many forgotten grey spaces we encounter everyday-from sidewalk cracks to vacant lots and parking medians. Using just the loose coins in your pocket, you can make a small but meaningful contribution to the beautification of your city.