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April 18, 2014
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Green Living

I love farmers’ markets. Not a farmer myself, I nevertheless belong to an organization of farmers who practice sustainable agriculture. I support the blossoming food movement to Buy Fresh Buy Local and the local economies movement to shop locally because I believe that our global economic model is unsustainable based as it is on the unsustainable use of fossil fuel energy. I shop at farmers’ markets because they are a source of real food, which is pretty much the only food I want to eat anymore. For me, real food, grown locally is a starting point for sustainable living.

Everything is illuminated; Watts up with light bulbs?

Sustainable light bulbs bring up a lot of questions: which one to use, how sustainable are they, and what will the cost savings be? It could leave your head spinning, but worry no more. The River Reporter is here to shed some light on the world of light bulbs. The two types of sustainable light bulbs are LEDs and CFLs. Below, we break down the benefits of making the switch from incandescent bulbs (the “normal” type of bulb we all grew up with) to one of these two options.

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes)  Read more

The homestead flock

Like any new parents, we wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. Standing in the post office, the incessant, frantic peeping coming from the box, which seemed way too small to contain 50 baby chicks, suggested that our free-wheeling, home-after-dusk days were over. Like many beginning “neo-homesteaders” these days, we began our foray into livestock husbandry with that seemingly fool-proof barnyard staple—Gallus gallus domesticus—the chicken.  Read more

How to kill weeds without herbicides

At this point in the growing season just about everyone who grows a garden or tends a flower bed has a common nemesis: the common garden weed. Of course, this common weed is not just one measly pest. Instead, it is a compilation of many different plants that all want the same thing: to invade our space. There is dandelion, sow thistle, carpet weed and crabgrass to name a few of the more intrusive varieties. While we all wish that our gardens were tame and beautiful from all angles, we must realize that this is the way it works. Growing a garden means you will be growing weeds as well.  Read more

Sustainability house

Rebekah Creshkoff dreamed of a straw-bale house. A dedicated birder, she had spent her adult life in New York City riding her bike to work every day across Central Park. There, a downy woodpecker had gotten to know her well enough to eat out of her hand.

In 2010, she and her husband Lenny Friedland rented a house for the summer in Narrowsburg. They liked it so much, the next year they found themselves dreaming about building a home. Another rental on River Road in Callicoon turned those dreams into plans.  Read more

The ‘tiny house movement’ 101

The Tiny House Movement, sometimes called the Small House Movement, started out as much a social movement as an architectural one, and now it’s gaining even more attention for its low-cost housing options during tough economic times.

Do the math. You can buy a ready-made tiny house—I found estimates online ranging from $40,000 to $60,000—or you can purchase plans on the Internet to build your very own tiny house, usually for under $25,000. If you can forage building materials, you could do it for even less.  Read more

Living the simple life; A house built for one

An interview with “J” by ISABEL BRAVERMAN

“Imagine no possessions; I wonder if you can”

A house that is 10 by 12 feet sits on a piece of land near the Delaware River. Could you do it? Could you live in such a tiny house? That is what J is doing, living in a small dwelling that she renovated and moved on to her land. With the house she moved all her belongings, and soon realized that in order to live in a tiny house you have to downsize.  Read more

Nothing Here is Made in China

One day not long ago, I wandered into a cute little gift shop in Hawley, PA full of one-of-a-kind artworks. Each piece here has been created by a local artist or artisan. The shop, named The Art Market, located in the Silk Mill, 8 Silk Mill Drive in Hawley, is run by the Wayne County Arts Alliance (WCAA) as a place for the organization’s members to show and sell their works. While you’d expect to find paintings and sculpture here (and you will), the shop also is full of hand-crafted holiday gifts in a wide range of prices.  Read more

Valley Brook Inn & Cottages

“I love meeting people,” says Donna Bracci, owner and proprietor of the
Valley Brook Inn & Cottages (201 Kingston Ave., Rte. 209, Wurtsboro, NY, 845/888-0330, www.thevalleybrookinn.com). She’s in the right business.  Read more