Western New York’s Largest Supplier of Reclaimed & Surplus Building Material

A Community of Doers, Part I – Are you a bicycle entrepreneur?

So, a month or two ago, we posted about our vision for an artisan center on the East Side of Buffalo.  Well we’re excited that our vision is beginning to take shape…we have lots of ideas and lots of hopes for our humble little warehouse located at 298 Northampton Street. Over the next few weeks, we’re gonna share with you some ideas we’ve had about “dream tenants” . . . entrepreneurs, artists, artisans . . . who provide a service to the community and/or are interested in a community art space.  The focus is really on creating and doing. So … Read more

People ask us . . . Why Do You Do What You Do?

From our About page: Question: People ask us . . . Why Do You Do What You Do? (WDYDWYD?) Answer 1: Jobs! We’re committed to creating local and green jobs for the Buffalo community. More importantly, we feel these jobs should leverage the waste in our society to create opportunity. We’re interested in a critical analysis of our economy to identify wasteful business practices that damage our communities and our environment, and opportunities that exist for new ventures. We’re determined to find solutions and to implement alternatives that put people to work. Answer 2: Innovation! As we look at the … Read more

Urban Café Style Gardening

Coffee Beans BagsWith more than 17,000 vacant properties in the City of Buffalo, one would hope we could transform a larger percentage of those lots into productive space, even if only for a few growing seasons. Other cities, like Detroit, are figuring out ways to turn formerly residential land into small farms or large gardens that grow food for their soup kitchens, congregations or the needy.  The problem is that dirt you put a house on isn’t the same kind of dirt you grow tomatoes in.

What are some solutions? Most urban gardeners don’t have the patience to remediate soil over several years, so we either have to dig out the dirt and replace it with truckloads of soil OR truck in lots of soil to fill raised beds.  Another way is to make your own dirt.

I’m trying a combination of strategies with The Garden of Stewardship over on East Eagle. The garden is on the property of Sheehan Health Network.  It was a big fenced-in grassy area. We cannot dig into the ground because it’s a very thin layer of dirt covering an awful lot of clay.  The grass/weeds are using what little dirt there is.  So, I decided to smother the grass and build our soil on top of it.  I am calling the strategy, the Urban Café Gardening Method to acknowledge the fact that all the materials we’ll use are found readily in cities–cities with coffee drinkers anyway!  Here’s how you can replicate it in your space.

Read moreUrban Café Style Gardening

taking the first step…

When we started ReUse, our initial momentum was fueled by the combination of belief that a better way existed, unyielding determination despite the many obstacles, and passion for the health of our environment and our community.  This is what got me out of bed every morning and kept me up late into the evening. The belief, determination, and passion fueled my fire of action for almost four years.  When I was terminated from ReUse, the fire was completely extinguished, dramatically and without warning.  Even more devastating was the loss of my team, my collaborators, my partners.  I still experience a … Read more