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Features (Green Living)

If you’ve ever wanted your own fresh eggs, Michele Allman can help you decide if keeping hens is for you

I am not alone in imagining chickens in my back yard. Backyard flocks are on the upswing in suburban and urban America, Chesapeake Country included. Why, the state’s capital allows city-dwellers to raise them.
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Unity Gardens wants to help green your community

From Glen Burnie to Severn Heights to Presidents Hill to Shady Side to Fairhaven, Anne Arundel gardeners seeking to green their communities turn for funding to Unity Gardens (www.unitygardens.org), which twice a year awards grants up to $1,000 to local groups creating neighborhood green spaces.
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Who today knows what an undisturbed forest looks like? How many of us get to breathe the healing air in such places?

England has Stonehenge. France has cave paintings. We have national parks.    
    The parks were a cutting-edge idea when they were born in 1872, with the founding of Yellowstone. With some 2.7 million visitors a year, our 59 national parks are still a big deal.
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Hard Bargain Farm going light years ahead of just green

A living building sounds like something out of a futuristic, sci-fi movie, but it’s closer than you think — 2015 to be exact. The Alice Ferguson Foundation just broke ground for a living building at Hard Bargain Farm in Accokeek.
    The Foundation is the first in the region to build a living building and will be fourth in the world to earn the title.
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Dear EarthTalk: I’m getting my roof redone and have heard about solar shingles. Are they available — and are they practical for the Northeast?
    –John Denson, Glastonbury, CT

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In vernal pools, renewal is under way

This time of year, marbled salamander tadpoles are already swimming through the shallow waters of vernal pools. Vernal pools are temporary wetland habitats in our forests. They hold water long enough during spring to attract special animals that you aren’t likely to see anywhere else. Then the pools dry up, so fish and other large predators can’t live there.
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By the glass, water’s cheap. Not so when you have to drill 260 feet for it

Water is pretty cheap in the United States: 61 cents a day supplies each of us with our daily ration of 123 gallons of water. Cheap enough that we take it for granted, until the well runs dry. That’s the day dreaded by every well owner, and there are lots of us.
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Composting is fermenting innovation. Here are some of the new thinkers leading the way.

Honey’s Harvest Market & Deli, Rose Haven
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Composting is only one way creative people are avoiding waste. From art to ecology, the alternatives are as wide as your imgination.

Rethink Recycling Sculpture
    High-schoolers were up to the challenge of Maryland Department for the Environment’s 11th annual Rethink Recycling sculpture contest. Students in 22 high schools from across Maryland imagined new uses for everyday waste, from rusted machines to aluminum foil to water bottles.
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With trial and error, we’ve found what trees thrive — and which die — in Chesapeake Country’s dense soil

My husband and I have planted more than our share of trees in the soil of Chesapeake Country. We are not arborists by any means, but we have always wanted to plant trees. A cottage in Shady Side gave us opportunity, inspiration and a flat former cornfield, altitude eight feet, just a few hundred feet from the West River.
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