Steve Ritz and his students in the south Bronx grew more than 20,000 pounds of vegetables last year using state-of-the-art vertical gardening boxes and “green walls” as part of his Green Bronx Machine brainchild. In a city whose dearest commodities are land, soil and water, this remarkable feat is even more special, says Ritz, in that it also “grows citizens, graduates and an engaged, healthy community.” If you do nothing else today, take 14 minutes to watch his recent TEDx Manhattan speech about the program and its miraculous impact: It will inspire you incredibly. Follow Green Bronx Machine on Twitter—@greenBXmachine—and Like them on Facebook.

FAIR vodka claims two “firsts” with its new clear spirit: it is the first vodka distilled from quinoa, and it is also the first-ever vodka that uses 100% Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients. The quinoa is cultivated in Bolivia and then transported to Cognac, France, where it is crafted into the clear libation.