Farmageddon 2013: Grow lights galore!


I started a new hobby in 2011, the year after we moved into our home in Oak Park: vegetable gardening. I grew zero vegetables before that year. My parents weren’t into vegetable gardening. Before moving to Oak Park, I lived in a condo or apartments or dorms in the urban landscape of Chicago, with little, if any, access to soil.

But in Oak Park, I had back yard large enough for raised beds, with plenty of room for our dog and future kids to run around the play too. And thus, I began my “farm,” as I affectionately refer to it.

Unlike most folks who experiment with a handful of vegetables their first time through (let’s plant a tomato, a cucumber, and pepper seedling to start off!), I tried my hand at over two dozen different vegetables, most of them from seed. Starting with grow lights which my husband bought for me the Christmas before the 2011 growing season, and armed with books instructing me on backyard homesteading, I was energized and ready to go!
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Zinc! The Trials and Tribulations of Raising a Vegan Family


Was I causing a zinc deficiency? It’s amazing what worries goes through your head when the decisions you make affect someone so close to and dependent on you. The worries only escalate for me when raising my daughter with a non-mainstream diet.
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The Story of Marriage Equality: Two Generations in the Making


The headlines have been amazing these past few weeks. Support for marriage equality reached nearly 60% and more than 80% amongst Americans under 30 (1). More than half of the U.S. Senate now supports marriage equality (2). The American Academy of Pediatrics joined the American Academy of Family Physicians and other major medical organizations in recognizing marriage equality as a public health issue (3). Conservatives commentators from Bill O’Reilly to Rush Limbaugh acknowledged that those supporting marriage equality have won the fight (4).

The chart at the top says it all. There has been a sea change amongst Americans in favor of marriage equality. Some (including our Vice President and former Senator Rick Santorum) cite media, especially Will & Grace and Glee, as the reason (5). While this is definitely part of the equation, it tells an incomplete story.

The true story took two generations. One generation fought for 30 years after the gay rights movement found its voice at Stonewall, a fight, without which, Will & Grace would not have even been possible. The next generation, my generation, of gay and lesbian Americans built upon the work done for decades before we came of age. We came out of the closet in droves; we changed the language; we refused to be marginalized.
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