Green reads for green beans

We picked the first green beans from our garden last night and enjoyed them raw on a salad. Yippee! If you’ve never tended your own beans, know this: They’re extremely easy and gratifying to grow, and they really improve the soil.

On that note, greenies (or is that beanies?), here’s your latest round of reading suggestions:

Southern Living finds local food in Charlottesville, with delicious (and nicely photographed) results. All your favorite local farmers are here. And many of them are also here, at the new Local Food Hub!

A pretty technical but not incomprehensible account of possible changes regarding regulation of the many toxic chemicals that are probably in your house. Bottom line: If you’re doing any sort of construction at home, research the materials like your health depends on it.

Similarly disturbing: this Organic Consumers Association story on the distressing fuzziness of the “certified organic” label. How long do you think it’ll be before another, more stringent moniker comes along—"certified godly"?

Meanwhile, rebates for energy-efficient appliances are in the works in Virginia, so try to keep that old stove or fridge going a few more months. Another piece of government action we like: The state is trying to make it harder for new buildings to pollute the water. The comment period is now for these stormwater regulations, so make yourselves heard!

Finally, a nod to the resurgence of Palin on the national stage. Read her much-talked-about Washington Post op-ed about energy policy, if you haven’t already. (Note this most telling sentence: “We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil.”) And get some reactions and further links on Grist. More noteworthy than Palin’s predictable stance is the fact that she even gets a platform (a non-newspaper reader penning an op-ed in a major daily?), and that so many people will pay attention to what she says. It indicates how weirdly skewed and polarized the entire topic of energy has become.

As always, friends, post more links!

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