July 2009


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A chorus of G-men took center stage when Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S) took its NEO “Start Up Showcase” to the Akron Business Accelerator. Rapid-fire five-minute elevator speeches including how many dollars were required to fund their ventures went head-to-head for whose sustainable products and services were best in creating new markets, building new industries and growing a sustainable regional economy.

Women and minorities were absent from the line-up (what’s up with that?) and easily half the green-E’s in my mind couldn’t spit out properly what amazing things they were really up to! My best bets lie with these Great Eight. Pick your favorites.

 Here we go with the line-up (in random order):  

  • Ed Shank/Lance Schmidt, F.G. Ayers is introducing the Passive House from Deutschland with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%. Retrofits for Akron? No dumpsters necessary when these guys rehab a house.   
  • Jim Galvin, Legacy Polymers LLC  is your one-stop shop for companies’ plastic recycling that can even start generating new revenue streams.  
  • Jeff Guritza, REDUSA Enterprises hauls anything that’s consumer debris… from appliances to yard waste.
  • Joe Hensel/Jay Schabel, Polyflow are true social media guys. They twitter. They You tube. They Facebook. They’re taking plastic and rubber waste and converting it to solvents and gasoline blendstock.
  • Tony Lammers, Mars Systems LLC is the faster, cheaper and greener solution for the removal of heavy metal contaminants from water through its Sorbster™ media.
  • Timothy Madden, BioDynamicz LLC is a “bricks ‘n clicks” Cuyahoga Falls retail storefront and online e-commerce supplier of indoor organic produce gardening equipment and supplies renewable energy of organic produce; manufacture of greenhouses and hydroponics.
  • Dana Myers, Myers Motors is America’s only highway speed EV under $30K.  The goal is to get it under $20K and add a seat.  
  • Steven Spoonamore, Absorbent Materials Company LLC pumps those ABS by using reactive glass and sands for site-cleanups of toxic spills.  

 

Myers Motors rig was on display at E4S entrepreneurial showcase in Akron

Myers Motors drives away with one of the best pitches of the evening.

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Monday, June 29

Gardeners gather 'round master gardener Nancy Clem (far right) for helpful advice.

Gardeners gather 'round master gardener Nancy Clem (foreground group right) for helpful advice.

Our assigned night to get green tips from the Ohio State University Master Gardeners (OSUMG).  It was a great excuse to gather the gardeners together.  At my Charles & Turner site, the gardeners came out in droves (a couple dozen) together with the surrounding neighborhood folks. 

Larry Parker, Akron Coop and manager of the Akron Community Garden project, was flipping over the turnout and community interaction. “This is as good as it gets!,” he said. “It’s exactly what community gardening is all about–bringing the community together.”

The Charles & Turner site is taking on a life of its own!  A couple of gardeners worked together to place spigots in selective locations around the garden plots.  This replaced the hassle of dragging around a single hose from one location where the hydrant stands.  The Youngs, whose home sits on the west end of the garden, placed a series of chairs and endtables on the sidewalk for all the weary gardeners to sit, relax and enjoy their gardens between workouts. 

P1010040Akron’s newest immigrant community, the Karens, are active participants at the Charles & Turner site. Master farmers from their homeland of Myanmar (Burma), they are the gardeners to watch. Oscar Baaye, a Karen leader who recently relocated to Akron from Seattle, serves as the official interpreter for the group. Wearing his native garb, he is an upbeat, delightful guy who is working hard to uplift his people settling in Akron.  His involvement with the plight of his Karen people, living most of their lives in refuge camps, victims of the cruel ongoing extremely violent civil strife, has enough compelling content for an epic Hollywood edu-tainment flick.   

Nancy Clem,  a volunteer with OSUMG Summit County, gave me the news I expected about my garden: “Gotta get the weeds out!”  So, between great conversation, I got my hoe in hand and started hacking.  Then Nancy told me how to lay down nothing but newspapers on the soil between plants acting as one of the best weed inhibitors. 

Oscar Baaye (left) relaxes on the sidewalk chairs with the Young family

Oscar Baaye (left) relaxes on the sidewalk chairs with the Young family

I am now finding myself heading over to the community garden as many evenings as possible, not just to tend my garden, but to meet up and chat the night away on the Young’s sidewalk chairs with my newfound friends–gardeners and neighbors alike–on these balmy Akron summer nights until the fireflies start flittin’ about.