East Coventry Township, PA – From the front, the white house at 253 Harley Road looks like any other home in the neighborhood. A short walk back reveals that appearances can be deceiving. For behind this particular house, there’s a chicken coop, greenhouses and a small farm where sustainable, organic growing is taking place.
Jubilee Hill Farm was started about three years ago by owners David and Wendy Ryle. The married couple grows produce on 1.5 acres of a 10-acre property left to Wendy by her grandparents. She said they plant food for humans but they want the land to also be a safe space for other living creatures.
“The idea was that this would be a wildlife refuge and it still is…it’s not a battle of the wildlife, it’s just sort of living in harmony with them,” she said.
Sustainability practices are those that keep in mind that the future survival of humans and other organisms are dependent on preserving the natural environment, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency .
Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Food stamp distribution in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area exploded by 75 percent between 2007 and 2012.
The number of households receiving federal assistance under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program ballooned to 35,256 in 2012 from 20,195 in 2007, Census Bureau data reveal.
SNAP stamp benefits in 2012 went to 14 percent of the residences in Lackawanna County, 17 percent in Luzerne County and 20 percent in Wyoming County. More than 90,300 people in the metro area participate in the food-stamp program, according to federal data cited by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s office.
“Those numbers are staggering,” said Teri Ooms, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, a regional research and analysis organization. “This is the eroding of the middle class.”
The brown marmorated stink bug is expected to cause, well, a stink this year when large numbers of them begin nibbling on crops and infiltrating homes.
Entomologists are predicting an onslaught of the invasive species based on the amount of overwintering bugs counted in the autumn.
“Most entomologists indicated that the population of brown marmorated stink bugs that were seeking shelter in the fall of 2012 was significantly higher than the population seeking shelter in 2011,” said Tom Ford, a commercial horticulture educator from the Penn State Extension office in Cambria County. “As a rule, unless you have some significant event that impacts the over-wintering adults you should have a very robust number of mature brown marmorated stink bugs that will be laying eggs this spring and summer.”
The insects are emerging from their winter hiding places, and if you’ve spotted one recently, chances are it was on its way to find a mate.