Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sprouting with Sustainable Monroeville!

Hi South Siders and beyond! I've often spoken about Sustainable Monroeville as the back story of Schwartz Living Market, a project of 1317 East Carson Street. Well, as I was putting together this blog post for Sustainable Monroeville this morning, I did not realize until I had pushed the PUBLISH button that I was on the 1317 East Carson Street blog. The universe is speaking, I suppose. So you are all invited to our free demonstration by my amazing husband, Stan Beck, grandson of Morris and Helan Schwartz, the founders of Schwartz Sanitary Market in the early part of this century. Stan grew up in the food business and he is a wonderful teacher! Hey take advantage of this FREE offer, because soon enough we will be offering amazing educational events at the Market, but there will be a fee!

Learn about indoor sprouting and growing techniques from Stan Beck who has his very own indoor sprout farm for himself, family and friends! Join us on Monday evening, March 4, 2013, at 7:00 PM in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. Stan will be demonstrating how to sprout wheat, pea and sunflower seeds and how to grow them too. He'll talk about what is involved in  the middle of winter and all year round. We'll sample some wheat grass juice and the Hippocrates Health Institute recipe green juice made of cucumbers, celery, pea sprouts and sunflower sprouts and have some sprouts to eat too! A discussion of our local and national food system will follow. Join Us! Elisa Beck :)

Our dog Mango in front of our mini-indoor sprout farm in our home. You can see the wheat grass near Mango's left ear, pea shoots on the top right shelf and sunflowers sprouting at the top of Mango's head!

Janet McKee, producer of the newly released documentary Bethany's Story about the power of food to heal at the Q&A at the February meeting of Sustainable Monroeville.

Close to thirty people joined us for the screening of Bethany's Story!

Angella and Don Jackson at the raw pot luck dinner prior to the movie screening of Bethany's Story at last month's meeting!

Mmmm, raw foods and raw foodies are fun! Wonderfully delicious and healthful mostly raw vegan food. We must admit the vegan, cooked cup cakes were on the next table and they went fast!

All meetings of Sustainable Monroeville are free and open to the public. Join us and bring a few friends!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Schwartz Living Market, 1317 East Carson Street, Jason Wirick and Phipps newly opened Center for Sustainable Landscapes!

For setting up shop opportunities at 1317 East Carson Street the home of Schwartz Living Market, An Urban Oasis for Healthful Living, more information about engaging in our process and getting involved in the Grand Opening, contact us at! Elisa Beck :)

How exciting that Schwartz Living Market and the project at 1317 East Carson Street is one of the only Living Building Challenge projects of an existing historic structure registered in the world! For the first part of the renovation process in Schwartz Living Market, we are going for petal recognition. The Living Building Challenge. What is it? Go to for some details.

How is petal recognition distinguished from the whole challenge, and why are we telling you what we know about it? Well, because we know you can do this too, where ever you live, work and play. We know if you are reading this blog that you can be the one to engage yourself and possibly your community in the process! Let the games begin! And it sure is a game and a GIANT challenge!

 How do we create a building that is as beautiful as a flower and functions as efficiently as a flower? And what about adding in the Beauty and Equity petals? And what about the Materials petal? What do you mean that many materials in our industries are toxic and we are not allowed to bring them into our building?  On the front page of today's paper, that's Monday, February 11, 2013, is this :

Richard Piacentini, Executive Director of Phipps Conservatory smiling widely while listening to Dennis Maloskey, CEO of ReVest Sustainable House at the ribbon cutting at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) in May, 2012. As of today, the CSL is open to the public! Congratulations Phipps Conservatory! You are our heroes!!

Education is key: Sign above from Phipps Conservatory. Zero Net energy. How will we achieve that at 1317 East Carson Street? You can help us figure out the answer to that question along with Brad Hochberg, the energy guy on our team, and the rest of our team! Would you like to join us? Contact us at to share your ideas!

The Arts: Integrating the Arts, Creativity and Beauty is part of our plan. Creating a safe haven for youth without drugs or alcohol smack in the middle of South Side's 100 bars and restaurants. Yes, we consider ourselves brave!

Education: South Side's Phillips Elementary School children learning about freight elevators and how Schwartz Market on the South Side was the warehouse for five Schwartz Markets in the early part of the 1900's! 

We will be demonstrating how to cultivate raw living sprouted foods and more!

I was a graduate of the first Permaculture Design class offered in the city of Pittsburgh by Phipps Conservatory. And so was Jason Wirick. Jason who has visited our site and given us advice on our project is one of the people involved in the development of the Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes. Richard Piacentini, the Executive Director of Phipps, has generously offered his time to come to talk with about 20 of us at 1317 East Carson Street and Schwartz Living Market to go over the joys, and trials and tribulations of the Living Building Challenge.

We are continuing to plug away at the process as we develop Schwartz Living Market, An Urban Oasis for Healthful Living, and the overall design at 1317 East Carson Street. We are now partnering with a non-profit 501C3 to further our amazing process!

Please feel free to contact us at with any inquiries and let us know how you'd like to be part of the development of our Living Building! Join Schwartz Living Market and the Living Building Challenge Collaborative-Pittsburgh on Facebook! Journey with us! Elisa Beck :) Living Building Challenge Ambassador; Founder, Sustainable Monroeville

Darrell Frey's book,  Bioshelter Market Garden A Permaculture Farm, and teacher of the Permaculture Design Certificate class at Phipps Conservatory is our Contractor and one of the Permaculture Designers for our project at 1317 East Carson Street! The photo above shows multiple copies of his book displayed alongside the artwork of William Taylor, a very special young man. For copies of William's art work, or Darrell's book, contact us at

Stay tuned for the announcement of our grand opening sometime in 2013!