On Earth Day 1970, a group of Princeton environmental activists began dreaming up a plan to create a natural foods store in town. Their goal was to give area residents a place to act on environmentally friendly ideas such as buying unprocessed foods with little or no packaging and to create a place where environmental activists could meet to discuss projects and concerns. The store, which opened in October 1970, was structured so that the profits are used to fund environmental projects.
Fast forward 42 years, on Saturday, April 21, the Whole Earth Center will host a party to celebrate the anniversary of its founding and to help kick off Sustainable Princeton’s new organic lawn care project.
The theme of this year’s Earth Day-Birthday celebration is organic lawn care, with a touch of nostalgia. Whole Earth Center is revisiting their 1993 community-wide campaign that encouraged Princeton residents to stop using pesticides on their lawns. That was one successful campaign that resulted in Princeton Borough, Township, and Regional Schools adopting a resolution to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in public schools, parks, and buildings.
Sustainable Princeton will have a table at the Earth Day-Birthday party from 11AM to 2PM to launch By the Yard, their new campaign to encourage organic lawn care in Princeton. Brian Ruddy and Estuardo Ramirez, co-owners of Verdant Organic Lawns and Landscaping, will be at their table from 11AM to 1PM to answer questions about organic lawn care. Sustainable Princeton will also have a display of their new Green Map project.
Additional Earth Day-Birthday activities include free garden crafts for kids, a garden plant sale by Mike Brown of Pitspone Farm, a raffle of gift baskets, free tastings of Cherry Grove Farm cheeses and Bent Spoon Ice Cream, and a sale on the 5 bulk items that made up almost the entire inventory on the day the Whole Earth first opened. Linda Geren of High View Farm in North Hanover, NJ, will be selling pulled pork sandwiches and roasted lamb sandwiches made with pasture raised-meat from her farm. There will be live music throughout the day from Mountain View String Band, Glenn Swann, and Anita and the Barncats.
Earth Day-Birthday festivities run from 11AM to 4PM. Check the events calendar on the Whole Earth Web site (wholeearthcenter.com) for the day’s schedule. Whole Earth is located at 360 Nassau Street, just past the corner with Harrison.