Monday, October 24, 2011

Recapping: Purl and Plant

Well, the DCGG's first-ever Purl and Plant wasn't a whopping success - only three people participated - but it was a success nonetheless! For we learned and accomplished several things.

The first thing we learned is that Qualia Coffee is a popular place, yo. We were hard-pressed to find a spot to park our three butts. For this reason I was slightly relieved that we had only three people to seat.

The second thing we learned is that both I and HWINSSL - who will forevermore be called Guerilla #3 for sanity's sake, but just keep in mind that no matter what he's called, that I still not-so-secretly love him - are total klutzes. We both knocked the wee table and spilled our coffee on multiple occasions. You'll see several coffee-stained napkins in the picture above. You'll also see my strange white eyelashes, the source of all my evil power and adorableness.

The third thing we learned is that we are crocheting PRODIGIES! In the space of two hours, Guerilla #3 completed a pocket (shown front and center in the photo), Guerilla #2 made insane headway on a second pocket despite his previous lack of crocheting experience (note his amazing yarn-y concentration), and I busted out of a good chunk of something that is entirely too large to be categorized as a pocket at all. Maybe more like a dog blanket. Or a kitty scarf. Regardless, we crocheted and things were made.

We will continue to hold Purl and Plants throughout the season, so don't worry if you couldn't make this first one. There will be another in November! And then December! And then FOREVER AND EVER, FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. Bwahahaha! *<--that's my evil villainous crocheting laugh, brought to you by my strange white eyelashes*

Friday, October 21, 2011

Announcing: Removing Toxic Coal Tar

Hidey-ho, guerillas!

Today I'm passing along this super interesting press release from D.C.'s Department of the Environment. Read! Rejoice at the removal of toxic coal tar! Enjoy saying "toxic coal tar" for the rest of the day!


District-Banned Product a Major Source of Pollutant

WASHINGTON, DC -- The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) announced today that a 23,000 square-foot privately-owned parking lot in Northeast DC, contaminated with toxic coal tar pavement, was successfully remediated on Sunday, October 16, 2011.

Remediation of the lot, which drains into the Anacostia River, started on October 11, 2011 after a DDOE inspector issued a Notice of Violation to the property owner and contractor. The remediation process took 2.5 days, but was halted due to rain. The coal tar pavement product was removed with a shot blast machine, which uses steel beebees, or "shot," to pulverize the sealant layer on the lot. The machine was equipped with a HEPA filter and vacuum to eliminate ambient dust release.

"I’m excited to see the swift and successful remediation of this site," said DDOE Director Christophe A. G. Tulou. "Keeping highly toxic chemicals away from our local waterways help to ensure the health of our aquatic life as well as the public. That is our #1 priority." Director Tulou added that private property owners should always inquire about the products being used on their properties and not to permit contractors to use coal tar pavement products.

Coal tar pavement products are commonly used to seal parking lots and driveways and contain high levels of toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). According to the Comprehensive Stormwater Management Enhancement Amendment Act of 2008, it is illegal to use, permit the use of, sell, or distribute coal tar pavement products in the District of Columbia as of July 1, 2009.

"This is a huge step towards reducing PAH levels in District waterways," said Councilmember Mary Cheh who sponsored the coal tar limitations section of the statute. "Eliminating coal tar pavement products is low-hanging fruit in reducing this major source of pollutant. I hope that other jurisdictions see the environmental benefits and follow suit." The District is the only municipality in the Chesapeake Watershed to ban coal-tar-based sealants.

A 2010 study showed that dust from coal-tar-sealed parking lots contained 530 times more PAHs than dust from parking lots with other surface types. This dust from coal-tar sealed parking lots contained about 7 times more PAHs than undiluted used motor oil, which has been recognized as having one of the highest PAH concentrations of all urban PAH sources. Rainwater washes these toxic PAH-containing sealant particles and dust down storm drains and into our local streams and rivers, threatening aquatic life in the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

For more information on the coal tar ban, visit or call the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Doing: Screening "A Community of Gardeners"

Attention guerillas! Mark your calendars for the free screening of a new documentary called A Community of Gardeners.

"An outdoor classroom, an oasis of peace in an inner-city neighborhood, a link to an immigrant's homeland: the roles of seven Washington, D.C. community gardens are as varied as the gardeners themselves. Meet them and visit their plots in a new documentary, A Community of Gardeners."

The screening will be held in celebration of Food Day, a national day created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest to promote healthy eating, access to fresh food, and sustainable food production.

A Community of Gardeners focuses on the people who grow fruits, vegetables and flowers at seven community gardens in Washington, D.C. and shows how these green spaces are changing their lives, their communities and their environment. You can see the trailer and learn more about the film at

The screening at Busboys & Poets will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Marsha Weiner of Food Muse Media with filmmaker Cintia Cabib, five D.C. community gardeners, and Alice Kamps, the curator of the National Archives exhibit, "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?"

What: Screening of A Community of Gardeners
When:Monday, October 24th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where:Busboys & Poets - 2021 14th Street NW, Washington D.C.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Reminding: Purl and Plant

Just a friendly reminder that the D.C. Guerilla Gardeners will be getting creative this Sunday!

Join us at our first-ever Purl and Plant, a knit-tastic event dreamed up by He-Who-I-Not-So-Secretly-Love (HWINSSL). HWINSSL is not only a knitter, but also a Master Gardener, a fugitive from the law, AND a cheesemaker. I know! A bundle of talent that boy is! So get your butts to Purl and Plant so that you can meet this cheese-making gardener fugitive.

Also you'll get to meet me, and I'm sort of lovable, too. Ask Guerilla #2! He thinks I'm awesome. So does Great Britain, but now I'm just bragging.

What: Purl and Plant
When: Sunday, October 16th at 2:00pm
Where: Qualia Coffee at 3917 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington DC
Bring: Knitting or crochet needles, yarn, etc.

See you there!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Doing: Purl and Plant

Avast, me hearties, yo ho!*

*Tis' Friday, the joy of which warrants some pirate-speak. Arr!

Have you recently looked at your calendar and noticed a large gaping hole on October 16th? Has that gaping hole made you question your appeal as a social being? Do you need some plans to remind you that you are indeed lovable and that people want to be around you? Well, then do I have an idea for you!

Join your fellow miscreant lubbers (Pirate-to-English translation: land lovers) at Qualia Coffee as we knit plant pockets!**

**Knitting know-how not necessary. You can crochet. Or sew. Or sit there and drink coffee and tell us dirty limericks. Whatevs.

"What's a 'plant pocket'?" you ask. "What if I don't know any dirty limericks?" you wonder.

To answer your first question: A plant pocket is a square of yarn closed on three ends, creating a pocket. It has a handle-y like attachment thing, too. Into the pocket we will put dirt and plants. The handle-y attachment thing will be handle-y attached to things. Come Spring 2012, the pockets will be hung in ugly areas all around the District. Woot!

To address your concern about not knowing any dirty limericks, I'll share one with you:

"There once was a girl named Theresa,
Who every man wanted a piece'a.
But she wasn't for sale to some lusty ol' male.
You can't buy her, but money will lease'er!"

There, don't you feel better? Now you know at least one dirty limerick. Go forth and share the limericky love, peeps. And make plans to join us at Purl and Plant. Savvy?

What:Purl and Plant
Where: Qualia Coffee at 3917 Georgia Avenue NW
When: Sunday, October 16th at 2:00pm
What else? You don't need to know how to knit or crochet, we can help you! Nor do you need to like gardening. If you're a knitter who wants to knit but doesn't want to plant, that's okay! All are welcome.
What to bring: If you have them, bring some yarn, your knitting or crochet needles, and whatever limericks you know. Also some doubloons so you can get yourself some grog. If you don't have supplies, we'll have extras to share.

Be there, you watery bilge rats!***

***Said in love. Said. In. Love.