Wishes...Shared & Squared

This year, instead of feeling guilty for cards mailed late, we decided to feel GREAT about hopes, dreams, and all things worth building.

We send you and yours wishes for a happy, healthy, hope-filled New Year.

And we encourage you to share your wishes, here and via Wishing Wall online, where HOPE can be sent up into cyberspace and rain down on the crowd (as confetti) gathered in Times Square.

On second thought, would that mean PAPER wasted?

More likely, just ink....

To ring in 2008, the organizers would have dropped the ball with same cofetti weight anyway. Now, your hopes can be written out, sent up, perhaps carried home in a pocket and/or shared with the world.

The "message in the bottle" is RENEWABLE....

Thinkable is Doable.

And YOU can be the proof!

The Renewables: Thinkable is Doable


We live in interesting times. Amidst all-too-present proof of global warming, environmental degredation, energy insecurity and unstable food policies, awareness is rising. Momentum is building. Important changes are taking place. Take, for example, University of Maryland's Leaf House (shown above) from last month's Solar Decathlon and the burgeoning best-of-local movement that is connecting people with the land and farmers with consumers like never before.

In coming weeks, The Renewables: Thinkable is Doable will launch its Renewable Challenge so as to EDUCATE about issues, CREATE solutions, and CELEBRATE results.

In realms of renewable energy, agriculture and life, who did great things...and how? From Gregor Mendel (made peas), Mahatma Ghandi (waged peace), Helen Keller (saw possibilities) to Thomas Edison, Rudolph Diesel, Henry Ford, Marie Curie, Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Steven Jobs, Al Gore, Bette Midler and more...

How did they make their ideals real? How can you? And what kinds of rewards can be reaped for people and the planet by doing so -- from the power of being the change you want the world to see to...well all sorts of things!

Stay tuned! The Renewables: Thinkable is Doable is DUE SOON.

Brown...The New Green?!

FINALLY, the seaons are changing. It's Fall. BROWN is the new GREEN !!!

Celebrating Home Grown!


Farm Aid has come to New York City! And there are many ways to join the festivities and to support local food, family farming clean-burning biodiesel and renewable everything in the process.

On Saturday, September 8, Farm Aid's Home Grown Festival will kick off at Union Square Greenmarket at 7:30 a.m., when the "Upstate - Downstate Food and Farm Caravan" -- loaded with fresh food and produce gathered during its week-long tour of of New York State -- arrives at farmer's market for to show off NY's Pride and fill up with more food from local farms.

Union Square Greenmarket will be at the height of its growing season -- made even more delicious and celebratory through cooking demonstrations and contests, the presence of local food and farming groups,
hands-on activities and live music.

I'll be there all day -- visiting old friends, meeting new ones, brainstorming the revival of FarmHands-CityHands and the launch of The Renewables, and hoping you'll e-mail me (wendy@biodieselbabes.com) so we can seek each other out in the square and share a long glass of something good.

Then, the Food and Farm Caravan makes its way to Randalls Island, where, On Sunday, September 9, 22-year-old Farm Aid Concert comes to New York for the first time, and for the first time at a major concert event, aims to serve 100 percent local, organic, humanely-raised and family-farmed food.

There are still tickets for noon - midnight concert, whose lineup includes Farm Aid founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellancamp and Dave Matthews and many more.

There's also a noon - 5 p.m. Home Grown Festival abounding with family farmers, great food, hands-on activities and more. I'll be brewing biodiesel with friends from Windfall Farms and Neely Green Solutions, listening to some of my favorite music, feasting...and very much hoping to see you there.

Giving Green Light....

How GREEN can it get? Happily, VERY!

Designers Amelia Anon of Alt Technica and Natlie Jeremijenko of XDesign took the spirit of Haute Green to heart and earned our personal best-of-show with their Green Light -- a solar-powered light source, terrarium and air-filter all in one.

We're thanking their sense of style and responsibility for a concept this layered, healthy, bright and fun.

B100: Biodiesel All the Way!

Hooray to Windfall Farms and Neely Green Solutions for bringing biodiesel full circle...and for inviting us to be part of the process!

In October 2006, longtime friends Morse Pitts of Windfall Farms and engineer Tom Herbert of Neely Green began brewing biodiesel on a FuelMeister II in Morse's Montgomery, NY barn. The operation started fairly full circle to begin with: Morse grows an array of greens that are in great demand at New York City Greenmarkets and restaurants. Each week, on his way home from Union Squre Greenmarket, Morse picks up used cooking oil from the restaurants he delivers greens to. Back on the farm, Tom and Darren Hinman brew clean-burning biodiesel that fuels farm trucks and tractors and Tom's Jetta and that heats a family home. By March, Windfall greenhouses were also being heated by biodiesel. In May, the bus shown here, fueled by home-brewed B100, was added to the fleet, and has since been used to ferry goods to market and the makings of biodiesel from it.

Hopefully YOU'll get on the bus, one way or another! Windfall sells at Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. Morse often finishes his market days by delivering greens to, meeting friends at and picking up oil from Heartland Brewery, just across the street...giving truth to the forthcoming bumpersticker, "Our Fuel Comes from the Heartland." Up on the farm, Darren and Tom undertake the transesterification process that transforms cooking oil from Heartland, Chow Bar, City Bakery and other restaurants into clean-burning biodiesel. While byproducts from the process are used to fertillize the fields, biodiesel made from it is used to heat the greenhouses that grow the greens that feed the fans that...can also come upcounty to help make it happen! Check out Neely Green Solutions for upcoming biodiesel workshops, and befriend Windfall Farms to learn more about the farm tours, best-of-local feasts and seasonal celebrations that often follow.

Count me in! And Happy B*Day, Morse!

Introducing...Biodiesel Babes!

Biodiesel Babes was born the first time I brewed my own, in Oct. ’06, under the tutelage of Tom Herbert, up at Morse Pitts’ Windfall Farms.

Suddenly, this sometimes city girl who had moved to New York “so no one would ask her to cook or drive again” felt the drive again:

I wanted to drive tractors, trailers, trucks, a Jetta of my own, the renewable energies evolution and revolution, and more.

I scented home-brewed biodiesel with essences of lilac and sage; burned it in lamps, lanterns and a Hannukah menorah; studied the science, economics, political and environmental implications and more. I delved into education and practiced conservation.

And by the time a brief stint with Biodiesel America and their Fields of Fuel feature doc took me to the National Biodiesel Conference, I was on top of the subject...and very much in love with it.

For proof, please stay tuned!

And please, if you have renewable energy hopes, dreams, stories, solutions...bring them here.

Biodiesel Babe is open!

Warmly and looking forward,
Wendy Dubit and the Biodiesel Babes

Return to Roots...


I invite you to join me at a delicious and propitious time and place:

Over the next few months, I hope to be “buying the farm!”

I mean that in only the best senses of the words – "buying the farm" as an investment in, showcase for and shared experience of all things renewable...energy, agriculture, work, life and play.

It feels like a long-awaited homecoming and a well-timed springing forth.

Twenty one years ago, I founded FarmHands-CityHands to link farm and city for the social, cultural, environmental and economic enrichment of both. Through it, tens of thousands of New Yorkers visited area farms to get their hands dirty and their minds clean; to learn first-hand what does and doesn’t grow on trees.

Our tag line was “New York: Love it and Leave It.”

FarmHands-CityHands was about building bridges between producer and consumer – enriching and cross-stitching rural and urban people and fabrics and proving that, in truth, we feed each other.

For many country-hungry city dwellers, FarmHands was a dream come true.

For me, it was the fruition of a dream I’d been living for a long time.

When I was five, my family moved to a Maryland subdivision that could easily be considered “cookie-cutter.” But not for us: Our street backed onto a farm that had once encompassed much of the county, but that year-by-year was carved away to make way for more homes. I went down to the farm whenever possible – always eager to learn more and help out. By the time I was twelve, the farm gave me a shack that served as a clubhouse. Some days, friends prevailed, and we went to the strip mall at the other end of our street. More often, we were on the farm, playing and working at what we would later become – journalists, entrepreneurs, farmhands.

It was a thread that I would hold to tight and work with always.

At college, I found myself writing about energy and agriculture and delving into Cajun culture – trawling the bayou, frying up every kind of creature, baking biscuits with the best of them.

In France, a series of hands-on food and farming articles found me fishing for eel, force-feeding geese, making Camembert and Calvados and fostering new forms of agri-tourism.

Fast forward a few career incarnations in food, wine, farming, media and technology. Add an increased urgency for conservation, preservation and education. Bring it all together, and we have....

The Renewable Ranch – a paragon of renewable energy, agriculture and lifestyle and a "green" resort where folks from all walks of life can brew biodiesel, grow food, tend vines, make wine, herd sheep, eat well, see stars, sleep sound...and so much more.

Like Spring, The Renewable Ranch could be coming sooner or later! And it begs your involvement. So please stay tuned!

Warmly and looking forward,
Wendy Dubit, Vergant