Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bicycles of the Barrens

What is a newbie cycling enthusiast to do when it is twenty degrees outside for weeks on end? This one resorts to riding on a trainer in the garage and spending a lot of time thinking about cycling issues and how to organize those who might be similarly interested in this issue. So, this post is designed to open the dialog and see just how far this social networking medium can go in pulling together a group of folks interested in improving the cycling environment in Glasgow.

I am such a newcomer to the sport that I am a bit sheepish about trying to rally the cyclists, but, well, here goes anyway. Our community has issues relative to cycling and the recognition of cycling as an alternate form of transport as well as an activity which can make great strides toward the improvement of our community’s health and happiness. We have virtually no cycling infrastructure here. There are no paths, no painted bicycle lanes, and no signs setting forth the rules of the road. There is no attempt to educate the general public about the rights of cyclists and the safest ways for vehicles and bicycles to share the road. When new roads and sidewalks are built, no one even suggests that they should include plans for bicycle use of the new facilities.

Perhaps the central reason we have all of these issues is that there is no organization of those interested in cycling and thus they have no voice to speak to local government about these issues. There is not even a local bicycle shop where cyclists can gravitate and convene to discuss these issues. So, Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. is offering to expand its reach into the cycling community and act as the umbrella organization to start pulling together the “Bicycles of the Barrens.”

Are you interested in cycling? Whether you are already a hard core, spandex wearing, leg shaving, 100 miles at a clip person with a $1500 road bike or if you just got a bicycle for Christmas that you are considering riding around your neighborhood, or somewhere in between, we all have something in common and reasons to come together. To get started, we need to know who you are and how we can stay in contact with you. Please use the reply and/or comment features of this site to let us know who you are so we can start planning some meetings. If Facebook works like it should, you will respond and your similarly interested friends will see that you have responded and they in turn will respond as well. When we have 15 to 20 folks, we will pull the trigger on setting up a meeting and get this thing rolling on two wheels!

Visit the BOTBFM website for more information.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wendell Berry Strikes Back

In case you missed it, today's Courier-Journal featured a wonderful response by Wendell Berry to statements by the presidents of four of Kentucky's premier universities. The article at this link is classic Wendell Berry, elegantly constructed, endlessly accurate, and embarrassing for those in his cross-hairs. I hope you take a minute to click on the link and enjoy it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

We Got Milk

Today's Glasgow Daily Times has a great article by Gina Kinslow about the plight of our local milk producers and the idea of creating a local fluid milk processing facility right here. This idea is a perfect example of just what Sustainable Glasgow stands for and promotes!

The situation with one of Barren County's biggest industries is grim. Barren County is the largest dairy producing county in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, yet all of that milk is leaving the county to be processed over one hundred miles away. Someone, be it the processor, the wholesaler, or the grocery store, is making plenty of money on this product of our neighbors here in the county, but it sure is not the producers that are making money right now.

The idea of creating such a processing facility here is very exciting and something we should all get behind. This would be a sustainable facility that would produce jobs that are not likely to leave. The dairy farms which encircle Glasgow are often run by dedicated farm families that have lived here for generations. These farms provide a living for those families and often additional jobs for others. They purchase supplies from local vendors to support their operations and they use local veterinarians to support the health of their herd. All of these local businesses would be enhanced by the creation of a local processing facility, largely controlled by the local community, that would create an outstanding product and assure that more of the money spent on milk is returned to the farm family that produced the raw product. Of course, the facility itself would employ local folks as well. This is the very definition of a sustainable industry and is precisely what Sustainable Glasgow was created to promote.

Now it is time for us all to get behind this concept. We need to dig for incentives for an existing local industry to expand into this operation, or help create the facility from scratch. We need to promote this with the same vigor that we would expend on other industries who show an interest in locating in our community. In fact, we should pursue this idea with even greater determination because the profits it may make would stay in our community.

Yes, we've got milk, and the rest of the region should get a chance to purchase it from our facility!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

BOTBM Winter Market December 12

Sustainable Glasgow will be hosting a one day only winter farmers' market on Saturday, December 12 from 10am-2pm behind BB&T on W. Main Street in Glasgow. There will be a variety of "winter" items available, including locally raised beef and pork, eggs, honey, homemade crafts, and more. This is a great opportunity to shop LOCALLY for the people on your holiday list while also supporting local farmers and craftspeople, and the community as a whole. We hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Thinking

With the coming of Thanksgiving, the biggest food related day of the year in our region, it seems appropriate to talk about Sustainable Glasgow and our mission to create a durable, sustainable farm and food economy for this place we call home. Due to divine intervention, or perhaps due to complete dumb luck, my family will be enjoying what we have come to know as a traditional Thanksgiving feast. We will eat too much and then spend the afternoon in satisfied slumber, generally oblivious to several truths that are easily unraveled by doing a bare minimum amount of research and thought.

There are far too many families in our community who have neither been adequately blessed with food on this one day, nor with opportunity on the rest of the days. We need to do more to change that and Sustainable Glasgow is trying. Far too much of the food that the lucky ones will enjoy on Thanksgiving is not real food, but rather an amalgamation of “food-like substances” and diesel fuel and petroleum based fertilizers and herbicides and pesticides and exotic pharmaceuticals. We need to do more to change that too. We have this crazy idea that both of these problems might be hit with the same rock.

Our Thanksgiving, thanks to this summer’s Bounty of the Barrens Market and the vendors who produced the food in cooperation with the sun and the miracles contained in our region’s soil, will include green beans and corn and sweet potatoes that we purchased and preserved by canning and freezing. I wish our feast also included a heritage turkey that was raised and harvested here. I wish we could have bread made from locally grown grains that were milled into flour by a locally owned and operated mill and then baked into perfection by a local person in his or her local bakery. I wonder if we couldn’t also have a local meat processing facility where animals lovingly raised by our local farmers could go straight to local butcher shops without spending time in the filth of a concentrated animal feed lot operation in Oklahoma, Texas, or Colorado. These wishes could come true now couldn’t they?

While we are wishing, wouldn’t it be great to start the Christmas shopping season off at local stores and shops built around our town center, where our homes are, instead of off in a distant big box store surrounded by a flotilla of cars and trucks bobbing upon a sea of blacktop? We dream of a Glasgow with jobs created by those businesses that we could easily support if we could only break free from our habits of shopping elsewhere. We see that bakery and coffee shop for weary shoppers to frequent after visiting the local art gallery, bicycle shop, bookstore, and toy store. We are crazy enough to envision the soon to be unemployed folks at Carhartt coming together to create their own local clothing manufacturing facility and we see local shops selling that clothing at local stores where local folks see the simple wisdom of purchasing goods made by their neighbors, even if they are not the cheapest thing available.

We have big dreams and maybe they are a bit crazy, but are they as crazy as thinking we could operate our own utilities, build our own cable system, operate our own hospital and medical community? Hardly. These are simple dreams compared to what we have already been able to accomplish here. Today we have two really big problems sitting right next to each other. Problem number one is the lack of a sustainble food supply. We are counting on distant factories and cheap diesel fuel for our daily bread. The second is that we are experiencing spiraling unemployment as distant boards of directors make decisions without regard for the damage being done to Glasgow’s economy. These two problems can be hit with the same stone. Come on along with Sustainable Glasgow as we take aim on these problems.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another World -- Delayed

It would be great if everyone would watch Now on PBS tonight. It is on KET1 at 8:30. The video above is nice, but it just has more punch when you actually watch the program on television...especially on EPB cable! (sorry about the shameless plug)

The program does a great job helping everyone see the sort of relationship between energy consumers and energy providers that we have been trying to bring about in Glasgow, both from the EPB's perspective and from Sustainable Glasgow's perspective. For those of you who might have read my recent series of articles entitled Another World - Parts 1 - 3, you got a good feel for how we have been planning the technology to change this relationship. We were counting heavily on being able to roll the technology out to the whole community over the next couple of years through the economic stimulus funds announced earlier this year and administered through the US Department of Energy (DOE). Unfortunately, just this week the winners of those grants were announced and Glasgow was not among the successful applicants.

In fact, of the $3.4 billion made available for "smart grid" projects, no cities in Kentucky were given a dime. Meanwhile, places like Chattanooga and Knoxville, and Memphis got hundreds of millions of dollars for projects. It sort of makes you wonder just what a city like Glasgow, who has moved the infotricity ball steadily down the field for twenty years, would have to do to be considered worthy of some modicum of support from our federal government. Weren't we supposed to be represented by an exceedingly connected and powerful Senator? Hmmm...

So, that means we are back to where we have always been, doing the hard work and science of understanding how to change the way people use electric power all by ourselves. That means that the new world we discussed over the last few weeks, and the one better represented in the video story about Denmark, is going to be a bit slower in coming and a lot more expensive for us to put in place, but we are not about to give up on the idea. Stay tuned for our continued work with Google and other technology partners to bring new technology to the people of Glasgow. We can probably move more quickly and learn more by continuing our guerrilla warfare methods than we could have done if we had gotten all of that money anyway (even though I certainly would have liked to have experienced what life would be like with someone giving us money).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sustainable Glasgow 101 @ MWW Library

Sustainable Glasgow will be hosting a "lunch and learn" event on Thursday, November 12 from 12-1pm at the new Mary Wood Weldon Library. Please join Dr. Bill Travis as he leads a discussion of sustainability issues and the goals of Sustainable Glasgow. If you have any ideas or suggestions for SG or questions/input about sustainability in general, this event is for you!

To RSVP to this event, please e-mail localfirst@glasgow-ky.com. You may bring your own lunch to the event or there will be boxed lunches available for purchase at the library. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cycling and Sustainability

Since the Sustainable Glasgow movement was born we have said that it is about much more than just eating locally, so now let’s start talking about something else, the infrastructure that makes us happy to live, work, and eat here. The Sustainable Glasgow movement has already taken on a massive task in trying to change the way our community thinks about food and the way the community shops for food. So, we know what it is like to try and turn a battleship which is sailing at full speed in the wrong direction. We must be crazy then to try the same thing again, but here we go.

Let’s talk a bit about streets, sidewalks, automobiles, and bicycles. We have a basic problem with respect to food; that problem is that we have no plan to assure a sustainable food economy even though we live in a highly productive agricultural region. Our basic problem relative to transportation infrastructure is similar in that we have no known plan for improving transportation convenience for walking, cycling, or any other mode of transport other than the automobile, though we have a beautiful and compact community which is ideal for alternate modes of transport. We spend virtually all of our locally available transportation dollars on building more roads and adding additional pavement to the ones we have. We spend our influence in Frankfort on the idea of building more roads and bypasses and outer loops that consume more productive land and encourage more suburban sprawl. More suburban sprawl encourages more development away from the city center, increases our costs for police and fire and ambulances and utilities, and contributes to the continued reliance on the automobile and foreign oil for every aspect of day to day life. This cycle of funding, construction, and consumption is becoming a perpetual motion/perpetual problem machine which is consuming our taxes, our land, and our resources, while outputting noise, pollution, and stress. It is time for us to start looking closely at this machine to see exactly why we are putting up with it.

As this is written, it is Fall Break week for the local schools. Local families who can get off work and who have the money to travel, have all headed off for vacations in communities that offer the kind of life they long for. Those communities have a few things in common: wide sidewalks which encourage pedestrian strolls, vibrant local restaurants with locally grown foods on their menus, and shops offering local goods that make long strolls rewarding, and bicycle paths and lanes which make cycling to those same destinations equally attractive. This relatively inexpensive infrastructure, and local lifestyle, thus functions to attract Glasgow people and Glasgow dollars away from Glasgow. So, if we are spending 100% of our resources on building roadway infrastructure that people are looking to escape from whenever they can, perhaps we need to rethink what we are doing. Sustainable Glasgow feels this is the case.

Long before I started cycling I was a devout dog walker along the sidewalks on South Green Street. Even though those sidewalks are too narrow, too close to the roadway, and way too constrained by utility poles, they are constantly used by a growing number of locals who walk and jog there for simple enjoyment, transportation, and for exercise. We need a master plan for identifying and upgrading the arterial sidewalks so that even more folks are encouraged to walk instead of drive. Long before I started cycling there were many avid cyclists in Glasgow who regularly don their spandex apparel and dutifully hit the streets where they take risks mixing it up with cars and trucks on their way to the many rewards of riding a bicycle. Those rewards are worth the risk, but those risks can be lowered and more folks can be encouraged to ride if we provide the right kind of environment which will include expanded sidewalks and marked cycling routes. I joined those local cyclists with my heavy, slow, commuter-style bicycle a few months ago and I simply love it. Most of all, it is fun, but it has also lead me to shed thirty pounds and it has helped me discover that, for most trips in downtown Glasgow, my bicycle gets me where I need to go faster than my car does. The group of people making this same discovery is growing in spite of the fact that there is no plan for bicycling infrastructure or investment in our community. Sustainable Glasgow feels that there should be a plan and a commitment to spending a portion of the money we are now spending on feeding the automobile’s needs to create more walking, jogging, and cycling infrastructure in Glasgow.

Creating a sustainable local economy is a complicated matter, but working on our local food economy was a great place to start. However, a durable local food economy is dependent upon several moving parts, not the least of which is the willingness of local residents to vote for the local food economy by purchasing food from local growers and from local restaurants whenever possible. A large part of encouraging local folks to frequent local vendors is to create the same attractive environment for living locally that so many from our community are seeking out by traveling this week. True, we cannot create a beach and an ocean here in Glasgow, but we can create walking/jogging/cycling paths along beautiful tree lined streets and along some of the babbling creeks which surround this place we call home. We can use those paths to create a better life for our residents. We can start assembling the building blocks of a durable food economy and better infrastructure toward our ultimate goals of a completely sustainable community. Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. has a vision for a community which offers these things to everyone. If this vision interests you, join us.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Real, Safe Food Comes From Local Farms

Even though the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market was not "officially" open yesterday, ten of our faithful vendors did show up to make local food and goods available to the people of Glasgow. Since the Sustainable Glasgow gang was not busy setting up and taking down the canopies and other equipment necessary to make the market work, I got a chance to purchase plenty of local food and we prepared that food last night. We had a salad made from Joe Trigg's lettuce and tomatoes (which traveled no more that four blocks since he grows these items right in the middle of Glasgow!). We had late season corn from another local vendor. We had ground beef from Dry Branch Farm (grass fed beef grown on their farm just over the county line in Monroe County and slaughtered in a local facility where the ground beef came from one cow and was never mixed with anything else...more on this later). For desert, we had a slice of a watermelon from Bobby Groce's farm. This meal proved that you we can provide food for ourselves -- real food that is safe to eat and tastes better than anything we might normally purchase at a big box retail store.

Reading the New York Times this morning underscored the value of that meal and our movement toward establishing a vibrant and durable local food supply. I urge you to click this link and read the frightening story about the simple hamburger that so many of us commonly purchase in a big box store and innocently assume we can throw it on the grill and enjoy. After reading this, I fully expect to see more of you at our farmers market and purchasing local, safe, real food from our local farms and vendors. Our lives literally depend upon it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vendors at BB&T this Saturday

While the Bounty of the Barrens Market held it's last official market day of the 2009 season last Saturday, some of your favorite vendors will still be setting up informally at the market site for the next few weeks. Sustainable Glasgow will still be sponsoring these folks in their effort to bring you the best local fall products, but there will not be any musical talent or a restaurant vendor this Saturday. We hope you will come by the lot and check out the great products that these vendors have for sale this Saturday.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rain Delay

Somehow we just knew that the rain would nail us on the last day! Our plan right now is to call a two hour rain delay and start the Bounty of the Barrens Market at 10 a.m. instead of the normal 8 a.m. See you then!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Last Day of BOTBM 2009

Well, this summer has flown by and the Bounty of the Barrens Market has been a great success, but this Saturday will be our last market day of the season. We want to make sure you are healthy enough to come back next year, so TJ Samson will be at the market tomorrow morning doing free health screenings. They will be doing blood sugar and cholesterol checks via finger stick as well as blood pressure checks. As always, there will be plenty of local, healthy food available as well as several local arts and crafts vendors. We would like to thank all of our supporters and customers who have made it down to the BOTBM and we hope you will make it a part of your regular Saturday morning routine next summer. Hope to see you at the market tomorrow morning as we close out the 2009 season.

Eating Local on Planet Green starting October 12

For those of you who have Glasgow EPB Digital cable, next month, the channel Planet Green (channel 103 on EPB system) is set to premiere the six-part series The 100 Mile Challenge, based on the 2006 bestselling book The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating.

The show is being billed as part reality series, part docu-soap, part social experiment. It follows the people of Mission, British Columbia, as they take on the challenge to eat food that was grown and produced within a 100 mile radius for 100 days. The book's authors, James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith, serve as guides to the experiment, providing behind-the-scenes access to the experiences of six families. Produced by Vancouver's Paperny Films, the show premieres on Planet Green on October 12.

This should be really good television!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Big Food vs. Big Insurance

No matter which side of the health care debate you presently find yourself believing in, we all want to be healthier, live longer, and have good health insurance to cover us in case we start to stray from those desired outcomes. Curiously, we all seem to be arguing about the interests of doctors, government, insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical companies, but missing the real center of the problems with health care in our country - our diet.

This article from Michael Pollan does a fantastic job of making that point.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Invasive Plant Awareness at BOTBM on Saturday

The Glasgow Garden Club, a Natural Resource Specialist from Mammoth Cave, and the Horticultural Class will be providing information and have samples of invasive plants and trees at the Bounty of the Barrens on Saturday, Sept 12th., from 8 - 11 am, to facilitate Kentucky's Invasive Plant Awareness Month. They will provide information on control / eradication and alternatives to invasive plants. Bring in your invasive plant for identification. There will be a "mystery" plant for everyone to try to identify. A $30 gift certificate from Lowe's will be given to the person whose name is drawn for correct identification.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

SG Meeting- Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sustainable Glasgow will be hosting a general membership meeting on Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 6pm at the office at 108 E. Public Square (beneath Alexander Law). We invite you all to join us to help direct this movement. Bring your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.... we want to hear from our members! We also encourage you to bring a friend who might be interested in joining Sustainable Glasgow. Sustainable Glasgow has seen great success with the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market and we want to continue with this momentum in new projects while also maintaining and improving the BOTBM for next year. The last official day of the 2009 market will be Saturday, September 26 so be sure to stock up on items to can for this winter.

If you are interested in SG but cannot attend the meeting on September 10, please send your ideas to localfirst@glasgow-ky.com. You can also join SG by clicking on the link on the left side of the blog page and mailing your application and membership fee to Sustainable Glasgow, Inc., PO Box 1654, Glasgow, KY 42142.

We look forward to seeing you all at the meeting!

Lauren Ray

What We Learned Over the Summer

As the opening season of Bounty of the Barrens Market winds down (we plan to fully operate the market through September), it is time for the members of Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. to review what we learned during our Saturday mornings spent at the market.

First of all, our belief that the region’s land, and our neighbors that farm the land, are capable of feeding us was confirmed. The forty-plus vendors that tended the soil and their booths at the market were perfect proof of that theory. Obviously we would need a lot more vendors, just like we would need a lot more local folks to become convinced of the value of eating locally and supporting the vendors who live here, to make it all work. But we clearly learned that having a sustainable food economy is possible.

Next, as mentioned above, we learned that it is going to be a lot more complicated than just establishing a place where vendors and consumers can meet for commerce on Saturday mornings to make real progress toward a sustainable food economy. We have to counteract decades of marketing by the big box retailers to awaken our neighbors to the dangers of over reliance on distant boards and stockholders for our daily bread. Way too many locals still think that their food comes from Wal Mart instead of from the miracles of soil and sun and the farm families that tend that soil under that sun. Education will take a very long time, but it is possible.

We also learned that most of the vendors that came to Bounty of the Barrens Market are eager to expand their operations and provide more local food, but they are stymied by the lack of available labor to support their expansion plans. This really came as a shock to all of us! When we are reading a steady stream of bad news about local employment during the week but then hearing local farmers lament the unavailability of labor to allow them to grow, well, we scratch our heads. There is a promise of expanded employment in this sustainability movement, but it is going to take a while to figure out how to get potential employees and motivated employers together. Still, we know it is possible to accomplish.

We learned a lesson about the abundant crop of local musical talent as well. For eighteen straight Saturday mornings, we were blessed with unbelievable local musicianship. These locals came for free. They brought their guitars and fiddles and banjos and keyboards. Many brought their own sound and amplification systems as well. Most of all they brought with them a love for their art and for their fellow man. They brought all of this along with a stunning portfolio of talent and passion. I was humbled each Saturday morning by their talent and love. We discovered that we can not only feed ourselves, we also possess the capacity to entertain ourselves! Why should we continue to leak our precious local treasure to neighboring communities for entertainment. We clearly have all the talent necessary for our needs right here at home. With the right cooperation and attention to detail, it is possible to continue this exhibition of local talent right through the Fall and Winter and trap tons of local entertainment dollars right here in our local economy.

Finally, we learned that our community is hungry for more “quality of life” improvements like Bounty of the Barrens Market. The team at Sustainable Glasgow has learned this lesson well. Locals want more opportunities like the market presented. They want to be able to commune with others in the neighborhood in the presence of local vendors and artists. They long for things like bicycle paths and lanes. They want more local businesses brimming with local products and local expertise. Our community spoke to us on Saturday mornings at the market, and we have planned a program of work for 2010 that will begin to address those wants and the other lessons mentioned above. Do you have other things you want from our community? Do you want to be a part of the solution and the provision of these wants? If so, join up with us at Sustainable Glasgow! We can use your help!

William J. Ray

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Bounty of Musical Talent in the Barrens

We all know about the musical talents and success of our own Sam Bush, Kentucky Headhunters, and Black Stone Cherry; but for each of these widely recognized talents there are dozens in our region who play music “for the love of the song” to quote Townes Van Zandt. Many of those have performed for us this summer at the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers’ Market to the great pleasure of market attendees.

We have seen great variety – from lone singers onstage with only their voice and their guitar (a brave and outstanding lot) to bluegrass musicians in pairs and up to six on a stage (a small, crowded stage, I might add), a local music teacher and aspiring songwriter accompanied by her voice and piano students, a talented instrumental duet of violin and flute, an aspiring young singer with dreams of the Grand Ole Opry, the cast of a local musical theater production and a local trio playing music with a “south of the border” flavor. All these musicians have donated their time and talents to entertain the market patrons and support the efforts of Sustainable Glasgow and the vendors of the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers’ Market.

I am reminded of a quote I heard from Kenny Weber, the recently deceased and much beloved local musician and owner of Backstage Music here in Glasgow. Kenny said, and I might be paraphrasing, that a successful musician is simply one who loves to play. By that measure, all the musicians who have played at the market are great successes. Their love of the music is readily apparent.

I have seen much live music in my life, and I can tell you that none of it has been any more enjoyable or satisfying than the performances offered up by our neighbors at the market. If you have missed it, you have missed a real treat and a real local “happening.” Don’t let another Saturday go by without venturing to West Main and Water Street for what is becoming a Glasgow Saturday morning tradition of food, folks, and music.

William Travis

Sustainable Glasgow

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good Time Charlies Rock BOTBM on August 15

One of the greatest things about coming out to Bounty of the Barrens Market on Saturday mornings is the great local music. These video give you a sample of just what you missed last Saturday if you were not there. Don't miss another one! Also, don't miss this blog

It tells about the musical experience from the musicians themselves!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market Celebrates Farmers Market Week

Now in our third successful month at the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market in Glasgow, we have a lot to celebrate. But, the past two Saturday’s have been extra special as the market vendors, patrons and volunteers celebrated National and Kentucky Farmers Market Week. To commemorate Farmers Market week, volunteers at the BOTBMarket handed out hundreds of free, re-usable shopping totes to early morning shoppers on what turned out to be a remarkable day for the BOTBMarket with nearly 900 customers that we were able to track.

This enormous success is great for Sustainable Glasgow, the founding organization of the market, and really tells us that people of the community like what they are getting from the market. Consequently, the community is now supporting over forty regular vendors at the market who provide everything from local, home grown fruits and vegetables to grass-fed beef and pork, cut flowers, great local arts and crafts, and even bison. There really is something for everyone.

Still, there is a lot of room for improving the lot of the vendors. Right now they are in the “fat” part of the growing season and there is more “bounty” than there are buyers. We need more folks to come out and thank these folks who are working hard under the sun, and rain, to feed us. In addition, we all need to be asking the owners of local restaurants for more local food items to be included on their menus. The local farmers seem to always run into problems selling to local restaurants because the local products are not as cheap as the products sold to restaurants from commercial food services. It is up to us, the restaurant customers, to make the source of the food we buy an issue with the restaurant owners. Local food IS 1500 miles fresher!

So, even as farmers market week passes us by, there are so many great reasons to come to the BOTBMarket this Saturday. As always, we’ll have live, local music and a great local restaurant serving up delicious prepared dishes. Sustainable Glasgow will be passing out recipes for new ways to prepare the healthy, seasonal produce available right there at the market from hard-working, local farmers.

We plan on having the market through October to continue to provide an outlet for Fall items like pumpkins and gourds, herbs, flowers, and seasonal produce but also a place to buy arts and crafts and to continue the fellowship that seems to have evolved between regular Saturday customers and vendors. We can only hope that the BOTBMarket will become a part of the fabric of life in Glasgow now and in the future.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ode to the Tomato

This article in today's Courier-Journal is reason enough for all to come out to Bounty of the Barrens Market this Saturday! There are abundant ripe juicy tomatoes there.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You Say You Want a Revolution?

We certainly cannot claim to have invented the Sustainability movement. In fact this idea is at least ten years old, probably older, and is in full swing in many other communities. But we are proud to bring the idea to our little corner of the world and to raise the awareness of the many issues which fall under the general sustainability umbrella.

If you think that Sustainable Glasgow, Inc., or the Sustainability movement is just about farmer’s markets, then we have done a poor job communicating our mission. Sustainabilty, as a movement, has many faces, but all of them relate to the creation of plans and infrastructure capable of helping us provide for our own essential needs. A sustainable economy would have a master plan and facilities for feeding ourselves, for providing our own energy needs, for providing our own entertainment and quality of life, for supporting and encouraging local artists and performers, and even for providing our own capital (the money necessary to finance all of the above).

Perhaps you have never seen yourself as part of a movement, but it is time to consider joining one. With respect to the idea of Sustainability, you truly are either part of the solution or a part of the problem. Continuing the habit of purchasing your family’s food at a supermarket means that you are not concerned that our present food economy is unsustainable. It continues our vulnerability to contaminated and unhealthy food from factories instead of from local farms. It continues our vulnerability to finding ourselves hungry due to the interruption of a regular supply of diesel fuel, electric power, or even a closure of one highway - Interstate 65!

Continuing to just pay your electric bill instead of asking where your electric power comes from and demanding that its production get cleaner and more sustainable, places you on the other side from those who would like to establish clean, local means of generating some of the power we use in Glasgow. Joining in with Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. and the Sustainability movement would add momentum to the idea of local energy production. Joining our movement would also enlarge the group that wants to provide a venue for local musicians and artists, which would enhance the possibility of making Glasgow more like the places we long to visit in resort communities afar. Sustainable Glasgow will be lobbying for more money spent on things like walking, running, jogging, and bicycling infrastructure and less on investments for foreign companies that take more from our community than they give. We will be working with local banks and businesspeople to establish methods for local investors to buy stock in local businesses and local folks who want to establish, or expand, a local business.

Are you totally satisfied with the way things are in Glasgow and the way you are living your life? If so, peace be with you – perhaps the Sustainability movement is not for you. If you yearn for change, for improvement in the way we provide for the essentials of life, Sustainable Glasgow needs you! If you want to learn more about these sustainable concepts, go to our outstanding local library and check out books like Deep Economy, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Slow Money, Blessed Unrest, and The Small Mart Revolution. And remember our mantra – Live Local!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wizard of Oz at the Market

Performing at the Market this Saturday will be cast members from the local stage production of the Wizard of Oz. They will feature some of the songs from this weekend's show at the Plaza Theater. They will also perform some favorite tunes from past local theater productions including Beauty and the Beast, Fiddler on the Roof, Children of Eden, and Cinderella. Those of you who have seen those shows know what a treat this will be.

Buckhead Cafe will be cooking and offering prepared foods at the market.

Our vendors are flush with local summer fruits and vegetables, meats, farm eggs, cheeses, baked goods and flowers. Fresh squeezed lemonade is a summer favorite available at one of the vendors' tents.

If you have never visited the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers' Market, this Saturday is a great time to give it a try. If you have visited the market, you know that this Saturday should not be missed.

Come visit with your friends, enjoy the entertainment, have a bite to eat, buy some fresh local goods from the vendors and share a great summer Saturday morning here in downtown Glasgow, Kentucky.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keith Vincent's New CD

I have had several people contact me about purchasing Keith Vincent's new CD "Long Dry Spell"....you can do so on his website at www.keithvincentms.com. Thanks again to Mr. V and all of his fans for coming out to the Bounty of the Barrens Market last Saturday!

Friday, July 24, 2009

July 25 Market Happenings

If you have not yet been to the Bounty of the Barrens Market, or if you are a regular customer, tomorrow's market is going to be a great one to attend. We have lots and lots of local produce in right now and have a special musical guest, Mr. Keith Vincent. Mr. Vincent was the band director at Glasgow High School during the nineties and continues his career in music today. Sorrento will be at the market preparing lots of yummy dishes for you to sample as well. See you all tomorrow from 8-12 behind BB&T in Glasgow!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

100 Mile Potluck this Saturday!

The Barren County Extension District Board, Barren County Extension Council will be hosting the area's first 100 Mile Potluck on Saturday, July 18, after the BOTBM from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Barren County Extension Office Auditorium at 1463 West Main Street in Glasgow.

Similar events are scheduled around the state as well discussed in this article from today's Courier Journal, but this is our local event and Sustainable Glasgow encourages everyone to put together a a potluck dish to feed 8-10 people, made with locally grown or produced foods from within one hundred miles of Glasgow. The easy way to do this will be to attend our Bounty of the Barrens Market on Saturday morning and find some excellent ingredients to turn into a dish by Saturday afternoon! We know you can do it!

For more information about this event, please contact the Barren County Extension Office at 270-651-3818.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Look Who Wants to be Local Now!

I just ran across this article by Stacy Mitchell, author of a really fantastic book, Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America's Independent Businesses . Not only is the book great, but this article is very timely as Sustainable Glasgow fights to identify true local businesses and direct more business their way. I hope you enjoy the article and that it helps you stay on the look out for real local businesses as opposed to those that just happen to have an outlet in the area.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lauren Talks SG and BOTBM on WBKO

In case you missed it, Lauren was recently on WBKO Midday Live to discuss Sustainable Glasgow and Bounty of the Barrens Market. Click on this link to see it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

WCLU Radio - A True LOCAL Radio Station

When I moved to Glasgow in 1991, I was a dedicated Public Radio listener. In moves from Nashville to Bowling Green to Lexington I developed a routine of listening to the local NPR station in the mornings and on commutes. My mother in law, Zara Alexander, told me early on that I simply must listen to WCLU Radio to know what is going on in and around Glasgow and Barren County. I resisted at first, considering myself a sophisticated listener and not yet fully engaged in the community. When I finally did succumb and tuned in to WCLU, I realized that she was right and my morning routine for the last 18 years has included Henry Royse and WCLU.

We sometimes get complacent and comfortable with our local assets and don't appreciate them until they are gone. A great local asset for Glasgow and Barren County is WCLU Radio. Henry Royse and his crew focus on local news and activities and help to create a real sense of COMMUNITY. If something is going on in "The Barrens" it will be reported on WCLU. Public Service Announcements, obituaries, local, county and state government news, school news and announcements,local features, and local history are all part of the fare along with some eclectic music choices. When you listen to WCLU, you get a sense of the place where you live and a connection to those who share that place.

In his seminal book "Deep Economy" Bill McKibben wrote a chapter about the benfits and charms of local radio versus canned radio produced distantly. Here in Glasgow, at WCLU, we are blessed to have just what McKibben was writing about - a local radio station that thrives on and with the community it serves. Local radio is a great example of successful local entrepreneurship.

WCLU has been a great supporter of the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers' Market. Every Friday just after 7:30AM they offer a spot for a live interview (simultaneously shown on EPB cable channel 6) with our musical performer(s) of the week. At the market we are presenting local/regional musicians a stage to demonstrate their talents and support our local farmers. Henry is offering them a platform to discuss their performance and how music fits into and impacts their lives. It is great local radio - be sure to tune in. Henry's interviews with our musicians are always fun and engaging.

I appreciate how WCLU local radio enhances the quality of my life as a citizen of Glasgow/Barren County. It is part of our "bounty" here in the Barrens, not to be taken for granted. Kudos to Henry Royse and his crew.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Join us at the market on July 4th!!

Just wanted to let you all know that the Bounty of the Barrens Market WILL be open this Saturday, July 4th! Summer is really getting into full swing now and that means more LOCAL PRODUCE at the market. As always, there will be a great selection of local meats as well- perfect for your 4th of July cookout! So, be sure to make a stop by the BOTBM Saturday morning and get all of the necessities for your local celebrations. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Small Market, Big Ideas

As we get ready for our fifth edition of Bounty of the Barrens Market, which promises to be the best yet as Jackson's Orchard arrives with fresh peaches and blueberries, perhaps it is time to reflect on what we have accomplished and what we still want to get done. Even though everyone with Sustainable Glasgow is thrilled with the overwhelming success of our first four weeks of Bounty of the Barrens Market, we still want to remind everyone that the market is only the beginning of our plan to make our community better. We want a resilient local economy that can withstand the economic storms in much the same way that our local infrastructure has been able to withstand the lightning and wind storms we experienced over the last couple of weeks. And we are not just going to wish for a sustainable local economy, we are going to design one and work as hard as we must to make that design a reality.

Just a few months ago we methodically designed the Bounty of the Barrens Market and that plan is now a reality. If you have not been to BB&T’s rear parking lot on a Saturday morning to experience the camaraderie, the colors and smells of fresh produce, the succulent cooked food offerings from George J’s, and the sweet sound of music performed by talented locals, then you have missed the new place where our community convenes. You really should not let another Saturday go by without coming to the market.

The market is a great start toward Sustainable Glasgow’s goal of creating a sustainable food economy. We want to encourage more locals who have access to our greatest local resource, fertile land, to use that land to produce food for local consumption. We want to reestablish our ability to feed ourselves as a way to reestablish Glasgow as self-sufficient community instead of just another colony, totally dependent upon the global distribution systems of big-box retail stores for our daily bread. The market is proving that such a sustainable food economy is possible, but we are very far from being able to declare victory on this front. Still, each dollar you spend at the market registers as a vote for the creation of a sustainable local food economy, and we still need more votes.

Another exciting step toward a sustainable local economy is also beginning to evolve at the market. Local folks with the yen to start their own business are beginning to use the market as a small business incubator, and we are completely thrilled with that. As you vote with your pocket book at the Bounty of the Barrens Market, you are electing local folks who may soon be opening a full time business on Main Street. Those businesses will hire staff and hire local plumbers and electricians who will purchase supplies from other local businesses who, in turn, will hire more local folks. This is the manifestation of the “dollar multiplier effect” that is the real reason why we all should purchase what we need locally.

Can all of this flow from a simple idea and a small Saturday morning market? We think so. Big is not the answer to everything. We tend to agree with Kentucky’s own Wendell Berry who said, “We need to confront honestly the issue of scale. Bigness has a charm and a drama that are seductive, especially to politicians and financiers; but bigness promotes greed, indifference, and damage, and often bigness is not necessary. You may need a large corporation to run an airline or to manufacture cars, but you don't need a large corporation to raise a chicken or a hog. You don't need a large corporation to process local food or local timber and market it locally.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More on Food, Inc. - the link

Sorry, the link didn't make it on the previous post.
Here it is:

and this link takes you to another NYT story about how the industrial food industry hooks us on tastes and textures we cannot easily resist.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Market Day 3 is Tomorrow - 17 Reasons to Participate

The third Bounty of the Barrens Market Day is at hand, and though I am a bit worried about the weather and how we will deal with our sound system and over twenty canopies if another one of these storms shows up, I know we will deal with it somehow.

Already the market is becoming THE place where our community comes together on Saturday mornings to see friends and convene our collective vision for how great our city can be. The scene at the market with local musicians performing and local producers selling their goods is simply magical, but, as we have said before, our goal is not simply to help the community stock its refrigerator. Rather, we want to help the community re-stock its soul.

We are driven by the wisdom of folks like Kentucky’s own Wendell Berry, who has been writing and speaking and cajoling us for decades to build sustainable communities. To be honest, we are all a bit ashamed that it has taken us so long to hear his voice of reason, but, we are tuned in now. I hope he will not mind my excerpting the following 17 Rules for a Sustainable Community from his book Another Turn of the Crank. While these principles have not been formally adopted by Sustainable Glasgow, Inc., they certainly represent everything we hope to accomplish with Bounty of the Barrens Market and the many other initiatives we hope to roll out in the future.

So, we hope to see you every Saturday at the Bounty of the Barrens Market, and when you come there, please remember these are the things you are helping to accomplish. Wendell Berry wrote that if the members of a local community want their community to cohere, to flourish, and to last, these are some things they would do . . . and we agree!

1. Always ask of any proposed change or innovation: What will this do to our community? How will this affect our common wealth?

2. Always include local nature – the land, the water, the air, the native creatures – within the membership of the community.

3. Always ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources, including the mutual help of neighbors.

4. Always supply local needs first. (And only then think of exporting their products, first to nearby cities, and then to others.)

5. Understand the unsoundness of the industrial doctrine of “labor saving” if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of pollution or contamination.

6. Develop properly scaled value-adding industries for local products to ensure that the community does not become merely a colony of the national or global economy.

7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support local farm and/or forest economy.

8. Strive to produce a much of the community’s own energy as possible.

9. Strive to increase earnings (in whatever form) within the community and decrease expenditures outside the community.

10. Make sure that money paid into the local economy circulates within the community for as long as possible before it is paid out.

11. Make the community able to invest in itself by maintaining its properties, keeping itself clean (without dirtying some other place), caring for its old people, teaching the children.

12. See that the old and the young take care of one another. The young must learn from the old, not necessarily and not always in school. There must be no institutionalized “child care” and “homes for the aged.” The community knows and remembers itself by the association of old and young.

13. Account for costs now conventionally hidden or “externalized.” Whenever possible, these costs must be debited against monetary income.

14. Look into the possible uses of local currency, community-funded loan programs, systems of barter, and the like.

15. Always be aware of the economic value of neighborly acts. In our time the costs of living are greatly increased by the loss of neighborhood, leaving people to face their calamities alone.

16. A rural community should always be acquainted with, and complexly connected with, community-minded people in nearby towns and cities.

17. A sustainable rural economy will be dependent on urban consumers loyal to local products. Therefore, we are talking about an economy that will always be more cooperative than competitive.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lambs to the Slaughter - The Atlantic (May 2009)

An interesting article in the Atlantic Monthly about the benefits of buying your meats from local/regional producers.

Lambs to the Slaughter - The Atlantic (May 2009)

Shared via AddThis

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ready for BOTBM Day 2?

We certainly hope so! The Bounty of the Barrens Market opens at 8:00 a.m. and runs until noon at the parking lot behind BB&T on West Main in Glasgow. It looks like the weather is going to cooperate again and we hope the community turns out again this week to enjoy it. This week the folks from George J's will be manning the cooking tent and fixing up some of their specialties for your enjoyment. Luke Vaught will be performing sweet acoustic music and 20+ vendors will be set up to furnish you with the products they have proudly grown and/or produced right here in the Barrens.

To get your market game face on and further understand why eating local is so important, check out this link and then make sure to watch the program NOW on PBS tonight. It is on Channel 11 at 8:30 tonight on EPB cable.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Market Opens THIS SATURDAY 8-12

The Bounty of the Barrens Market will open on Saturday, May 30 at 8am behind BB&T on W. Main Street in downtown Glasgow. Several local vendors will be there selling meat, produce, and crafts.  Eric Albany will be providing great live music and Wade England will be filming an episode of "Come on into My Kitchen" at the market.  So come on out and join your friends and neighbors for a morning of local products and talent at the 2009 Bounty of the Barrens Market (8am-12pm).  

Monday, May 11, 2009

We need volunteers to help at the BOTB Market

The opening day for the Bounty of the Barrens Market (May 30) is nearing. We are working diligently to get all the organizational tasks completed. The farmers are doing their best (despite our recent rain torrents) to get their crops moving forward.

We now need to ask for volunteers from the Sustainable Glasgow membership and the community at large to help us on market days.

We don't expect anyone to volunteer for every Saturday (although your offer would be accepted) but we would love to have you volunteer for at least a few Saturday mornings this summer. We most need help with setup and takedown of the market (canopies, tables, traffic cones, etc.) but help during the market hours will also be needed and welcomed. A market manager from Sustainable Glasgow will be directing volunteer activities. The market will open at 8:00 AM and close at noon. That will mean that we need to set up at around 7 AM (possibly a little earlier for some) and, of course, start taking down at noon. We will have live music and active cooking, so it will be a nice place to be if you stay through the market morning.

The creation and management of this market is a truly volunteer, community, grassroots effort. Our goal is to create a marketplace for our local and regional food producers, a place for our citizens to buy the freshest, healthiest and best local foods, and a place for us to connect and enhance our bonds of community and to have a little fun.

The greatest place for conversation, family and friends is at a dining table - and we want this to be a big community table.

If you are interested in being a volunteer, you have several ways to respond. You may contact us at 270-361-2888, at localfirst@glasgow-ky.com, or come to the site of the future market behind BB&T Bank on West Main Street at 1:00 PM on this Saturday, May 16 where we will be meeting for a market rehearsal.

I hope to see you at the market.

Vendor Meeting Saturday, May 16 @ 1pm

We will have another vendor meeting this Saturday, May 16 at 1pm at the market site (behind BB&T on W. Main St. in Glasgow) to discuss the specifics of the opening day of the market and answer any questions you have.  If you cannot attend this meeting, we will also be posting the information shared at the meeting on the blog.  E-mail localfirst@glasgow-ky.com with any questions.  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

UPDATE on Home Based Processing Certification

GOOD NEWS!  I just spoke with the KY Department for Public Health regarding the Home Based Processor certificate and they gave me these simple instructions:
If you are interested in selling baked goods or canned goods at the market, call the Department for Public Health at (502) 564-7181.  They will send you a packet in the mail to fill out and return and then they will, in turn, mail you a certificate for home processing.  NO CLASS REQUIRED.  If you are interested in sampling, please still attend the class on Tuesday, May 12 at the Ag Extension office.

I apologize for the confusion.  Again, call if you have any questions. 270.361.2888


If you are planning to attend the class on Tuesday, May 12 at the ag extension office I regret to inform you that this is NOT the Home-Based Processing workshop that I understood that it was.  It is actually a GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and Sampling Workshop.  This is still an important class as it will give you the opportunity to become certified to provide samples at the farmers' market but it will NOT give you the certification necessary to sell baked and canned goods at the market.  I understand that this workshop (the Home- Based Processing class) is only provided a few times every year and the only remaining workshop of 2009 is May 14th in Kenton County.  If you are still interested in attending this class to become certified to sell canned and baked goods at the 2009 BOTBMarket, click here for more information.  I apologize for this miscommunication.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 270.361.2888.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

St. Andrews Market Opens this Saturday, May 2

Please join us at St. Andrews Episcopal Church at 910 Columbia Ave. in Glasgow this Saturday, May 2 from 8am-12pm for the opening of the farmers’ market season. St. Andrews will host a farmers’ market on the church grounds each Saturday in May until the opening of the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 30 when the market will move to the BB&T parking lot on W. Main St in downtown Glasgow. St. Andrews will also be hosting a yard sale on May 2. Be sure to stop by and get your first local products of the 2009 season this Saturday!

Additionally, for those interested in canning and freezing products for sale at the market, there will be a certification class at the Agriculture Extension office (1463 W. Main St. in Glasgow) on Tuesday, May 5 from 6-8pm.

We would also like to thank David Downing and his company, Yellow Berri, for the fantastic new Sustainable Glasgow logo you see at the top of the blog page and the equally fantastic Bounty of the Barrens Market logo on the left side of the page. David has done an incredible job creating local graphics for us. If you would like some local graphics too, you can contact him at dero@yellowberri.com

See you all on Saturday!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sustainable Glasgow and BB&T – Glasgow Announce 2009 Location for Bounty of the Barrens Market

Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. announces that they have reached a final agreement with BB&T on a partnership which will bring The Bounty of the Barrens Market to the parking lot and green space behind the BB&T building on West Main Street in Glasgow. The “BOTB” farmers’ market concept has been one of the original goals of the members of Sustainable Glasgow since its inception in 2008. Though Sustainable Glasgow initially planned the BOTB market for the parking lot of the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center an accommodation there failed after extensive negotiations. Undaunted, the Sustainable Glasgow group found a willing partner in Debbie Livingston and the rest of her team at BB&T - Glasgow. Sustainable Glasgow’s President Dr. William Travis announced that the written agreement giving Bounty of the Barrens Market a home at BB&T was finalized this week.

The BOTB market is designed to carry on a grand tradition of a marketplace for local food and local products, produced by local people, which was initiated a few years ago by the community-minded folks at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. Travis stated,

"In today’s economic circumstances it is vitally important for us to utilize the talent of the people of the Barrens and the bounty of our land to build a secure and sustainable local economy. We can no longer afford to be vulnerable to decisions made in distant corporate boardrooms. Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. is determined to jump start this new way of thinking about our local economy by bringing food producers and food consumers together for commerce in a festive atmosphere. While engaged in these satisfying exchanges market patrons can enjoy the talents of local musicians, local chefs, and camaraderie with friends. The real benefactor of this market will be the residents of Glasgow and this region that we call ‘The Barrens’.”

Already more than twenty local farmers and other producers have applied for vendor space at the BOTB market and have added to the growing ranks of members of the Sustainable Glasgow organization. The market is scheduled to open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 30 and on each Saturday thereafter through early October. Local produce and other regionally produced goods will be available for purchase at the market. Area musicians will be on hand to entertain the crowds and local chefs will be conducting cooking demonstrations and turning some of the local produce into delicious treats for the market patrons.

Dr. Jerry Ralston, Sustainable Glasgow Vice President stated, “While the members of Sustainable Glasgow still have a lot of work to do, a lot of money to raise, and a lot to learn about running a market like the one we have planned, these are frightening economic times which call for new and bold initiatives for the community we love. The members of Sustainable Glasgow have already conquered many obstacles but we will persist in our efforts for the benefit of this community. We are determined to succeed. Our measurement of success is improvement in the life and lot of the citizens of this community and region.”

About Sustainable Glasgow:

Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. consists of hundreds of local citizens who are dedicated to the development of the theory and practice of sustainable living in the Barren County area. We seek to provide the ideas, information, education, infrastructure, and political will that can inspire and facilitate community members to bring about the systemic changes in all of our institutions necessary to create a sustainable economy for the region surrounding Glasgow, Kentucky. You can read more about our activities by visiting our website at www.barrencountybounty.com. You can become a member by completing a membership application available on the website and submitting the annual membership fee of $25. All membership proceeds support efforts like the farmers’ market and other local projects for the benefit of our community and region.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

John's Custom Meats Sends Us Great Idea!

Sustainable Glasgow is designed to reinforce Glasgow's economy and promote the construction of infrastructure which is essential for making our community self sufficient. The folks with the 3/50 project feel exactly the same way. Amy Sipes with John's Custom Meats sent us this link and information about this initiative. We highly recommend that you visit their site at this link and sign up as a supporter.

It is a simple idea. Do you know of three local businesses that you cherish and would miss if they were gone? If so, then make a commitment to spend at least $50 per month at those businesses. You cannot lose in this mission. You will help guarantee the survival of your favorite places AND you will receive goods and services from a business that also does business with your business!

This is at the very heart of localism.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Glasgow's Own Joe Trigg in Louisville's LEO Magazine!

Click on this link to see a great article about Sustainable Glasgow Board Member Joe Trigg and his statewide influence on farming and food. Congratulations Joe!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Vendor Meeting Rocked!

Last night we had about fifty folks join us for our Bounty of the Barrens Market Vendor Meeting. This was organized as an informational session to aid those interested in becoming vendors at the market. The response was overwhelming! It is clear that there are many local folks who want to come to Glasgow and sell their produce and products that they so proudly and expertly grow and provide.

A day at the BOTBM should become THE thing to do in the region on Saturdays. We are clearly going to have a lot of fantastic vendors. In addition, we plan on having local musicians perform and local chefs preparing food for consumption as patrons shop and enjoy the music from their neighbors.

Mike Maggard is working with Sustainable Glasgow to book a variety of bluegrass or country bands for one hour performances (11am-12pm) at the BOTBM in Glasgow every Saturday from May until October. Think "Concert in the Park" only at the "Bounty of the Barrens" farmers market. PA is provided for the Bands. Please call Mike direct at 270-404-5707 if you wish to perform or want to recommend someone.

All we really need now is another volunteer like Mike for our cooking demonstrations. Are there any volunteers out there? We need to organize and schedule which Saturdays that different local restaurants might want to send a chef to BOTBM for demonstrations, cooking classes, or even just general sale of food for a profit! We are also interested in allowing local non-profits...athletic teams, chruches, clubs, etc. to come in and cook as a fund raiser for their respective organizations. We just need someone to step up and organize this!

Monday, April 6, 2009

South Central Business Journal

I recommend that everyone pick up a copy of the most recent South Central Business Journal, published by Jobe Publishing. Jeff Jobe wrote a really nice article about development of the LOCAL economy, especially with any stimulus dollars that might come to our area. He emphasizes infusion of that capital into LOCALLY OWNED sustainable businesses that, through the local dollar multiplier effect, can cause a stimulative ripple effect through our economy and lead us to greater self-reliance and prosperity.

Also, Jerry Ralston wrote a nice article in the same journal edition about the initiative to bring fresh local foods into the Barren County School system's food service.

I much appreciate the support shown by Jeff Jobe and his publications for the local economies of Glasgow, Barren County and this region we call "The Barrens" and for their support of Sustainable Glasgow.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

To Make an Omelette You Must Break a Few Eggs

This morning hundreds of volunteers are giving their time and labor to fill sand bags for the City of Fargo’s fight against the rising Red River. This work is taking place inside the FargoDome, a structure owned by the City of Fargo and normally used for football games and concerts. Driving massive dump trucks full of sand into the dome and dumping it out where citizen-volunteers then shovel it into bags for transport by other volunteers to the dikes which are being built by still other volunteers, is not what the FargoDome was designed for, but, a rising river has caused them to abandon their original plans and gladly accommodate this new activity. I doubt very seriously if the folks who run the FargoDome are concerned about the mess the sand is making or the possible liability associated with allowing those volunteers to come in and man the shovels. Rather, they realize that the new needs of the many dramatically outweigh the “business as usual” mentality.

It is impossible to watch this battle of community against the Red River without seeing parallels to our situation in Glasgow. True, we are not being threatened by a raging Red River, but we are being inundated by a failing economy which is highlighting our over-dependence on a manufacturing sector closely aligned to the automotive industry. We are threatened by our lack of planning for a sustainable food economy, wherein we are surrounded by food factories that ship all of their products away to be processed in distant food factories and eventually transported back to Glasgow after being combined with diesel fuel and questionable chemical additives. We are not threatened by a swollen river in the conventional sense, but we are threatened, nonetheless, by complacency and inattention to some essential infrastructure issues, and those are just our particular local challenges.

Our local move toward a sustainable food economy is only the local beginning of a movement that must continue across the country. As this article by Thomas Friedman points out clearly, it is not just our local economy that is down. It is not just the Dow that is collapsing. Mother nature has a Dow as well and it is sending us a signal that must be heeded. It is truly time to think globally and act locally.

Sustainable Glasgow represents the beginning of a band of volunteers willing to shovel sand and build levees. We are willing to stand on the wall to protect our community. But, we are few and we are facing problems which will require the same sort of cooperation and recognition of special circumstances that is being displayed by the City of Fargo. Let’s hope that the folks in Fargo are successful in their fight and that the people of Glasgow learn a lesson from Fargo’s struggle. When bigger problems present themselves, bigger thinking is required to protect our city from the flood.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Membership Update March 25 2009

There has been no general Sustainable Glasgow member meeting for a couple of months, but the organization is alive, growing, and exceedingly busy on many fronts. This post should help everyone understand what is taking place, what our plans are, and everyone should be able to see possible ways for everyone to get involved with our work in one way or another.

Bounty of the Barrens Market
This is our biggest initiative. BOTBM has been planned as a marketplace for local producers to present their food and other products to local consumers in a relaxed festival atmosphere with the hope of local commerce taking place. It has a home (South Central Kentucky Cultural Center parking lot). It has a planned layout (viewable just below this post on this site). It has a targeted opening date of May 30. We have established rules and regulations for vendors at the market. We are negotiating a contract among Sustainable Glasgow, City of Glasgow, and South Central Kentucky Cultural Center to cover all operating aspects of the market. We are accepting applications from interested vendors and we will have a formal meeting with all interested vendors on April 6 at the Sustainable Glasgow office on the Glasgow Public Square.

So, we have accomplished much toward the creation of the BOTBM, but we still need a lot of things. Our vision for a regular Saturday market day at BOTBM includes a number of high quality vendor booths, local musicians performing for the entertainment of the market patrons, local restaurants or non-profits preparing food for sale at the market, colorful canopies set up at the vendor booths for shade, and even the participation of our own BRAWA folks who may be bringing in adoptable dogs and cats who will be looking to get acquainted with the market patrons. All of these are things we are hoping for, but none of these will occur without the involvement of our membership! We need someone to take on the job of organizing the musical artists for market days. We need someone to help organize the weekly cooked food vendors. We need folks willing to volunteer some time on market days to help us set up, clean up, and tear down the market. If you are willing, please contact us by simply responding with a comment on this blog, emailing us at localfirst@glasgow-ky.com or calling us at 361-2888. Now is the time to jump in if you want to see this market happen in Glasgow. May 30 will be here in no time!

Garden Plot Project
This is not our biggest initiative, but it is vitally important and needs to get moving even more quickly than the BOTBM project. The idea with this project is to work with Glasgow Parks and Recreation folks to make public land available for garden plots for those locals who do not have access to suitable land for growing their own food. We are very lucky to have a Sustainable Glasgow member, Chris Radus, who has volunteered to chair this project. We are also very lucky to have the full support of Debbie Jones at Glasgow Parks and Recreation. Now what we need are more members who are experienced gardners to help Chris and Debbie choose the right locations, help put together a logical application process, and help advise us all on when to do what so that the project is utilized by those who could benefit. Just as mentioned above, if you can help with this project, please contact us.

The Longer View
We have other projects ongoing as well. We are preparing a presentation for the upcoming Campus Community Partners for Sustainability Conference at WKU on April 24-26. You can read more about that conference at this link. We are staying in constant contact with the local governments to keep them posted on our progress. We are also in process of asking to make presentations to the Glasgow Barren County Chamber of Commerce, Glasgow Barren County IDEA, and other local agencies. We are still working on a totally new web site, which will work much better than this one, to keep our issues and our progress constantly updated for our members.

We are doing all of these things in the hope of invigorating the spirit of self reliance in our region. We hope that the market acts as a catalyst for local folks to create businesses that seek to deliver locally produced good to local residents. We hope that new folks then start doing more business with other local businesses as they start the process of breaking ground, planting seeds, fertilizing, harvesting, etc. and that this helps stabilize employment in the local businesses that cater to these new producers (we already have evidence that is happening!). Over the longer term, we hope that new appetites for local food and goods lead us to making wise investment decisions in the form of local infrastructure like, dairy processing facilities, meat processing facilities, poultry processing facilities, bakery facilities, and other projects that will stabilize our food economy and create long term jobs and economic activity. So, don't think that Sustainable Glasgow is only about creating a farmers market! The BOTBM is only the beginning!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Is a Food Revolution Now in Season?

That is the title of a sweeping article just published in the New York Times. It is certainly worth reading and underscores the movement that is sweeping Glasgow as well as the rest of the nation. It is time for us all to reclaim our food from the multi-national firms that have been dominating it for the last few decades.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

60 Minutes Covers Sustainable Food and Health

I hope everyone saw 60 Minutes tonight with their interview of Alice Waters. If not, here is the link http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/13/60minutes/main4863738.shtml

She clearly described the need for sustainable food economies, benefit of locally grown food and the need to promote this via our schools.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Start Thinking About "Slow Money"

In the past 20 + years, we have observed peers, acquaintances, friends and even family playing the stock market like a casino. Even those of us who consider ourselves prudent investors are guilty of rolling the dice. The priciple in the market has always been one of trying to game the system to get something for nothing. And nothing is what a lot of those "assets" are worth.

Put cash in, with no control and only the casino's rules, and hope to hit the jackpot. We all know that the house always wins in casinos. The "house" in this case has been the "Masters of the Universe" to quote Tom Wolfe - the big players in the big investment houses and banks. We have all, to some degree, been guilty by association and complicity in their crimes. Even Ronald Reagan said, "Trust but verify."

I guess we are all sobered by this trip to the casino. The bright lights are dimmer,the liquor is wearing off, we are hung over and regretful for our drunken behavior. But we must shake it off and learn from our mistakes.

So the question is "where do I put my money?" The stock market will recover, but in the future it must be approached more warily and with greater accountability demanded. One must know this: in the stock markets, no matter how much you think you know, somebody on the inside knows more and is going to leave you flat footed and wanting. Their interests and your interests are not aligned.

Sustainable Glasgow's goal is to encourage investment in this community and region, where the benefits of your money are multiplied and observable.

I heard a story on NPR today that piqued my interest regarding community investment. The subject was an idea called Slow Money. You can listen to the story through the link below. This is an approach where local citizens invest in businesses that they believe in and can see working in clear sight. The example in the story, and the most sensible first application of this idea, is in local/regional food production. How convenient.

I expect that a smart approach for the future will be broader diversification of assets. Why not make part of your investment for the future in businesses in your community and region? Where will you find greater security, transparency,and local dollar multiplication?

I am anxious to read the book Slow Money and I hope that some of you will, too.

This Slow Money idea may drive some of our future initiatives. Read up, think about it and let's make this part of our conversation going forward.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We're on the Radio!

This link will take you to the fine article WKYU produced about Sustainable Glasgow. Thanks Kevin Willis!

Meanwhile, thanks to Louise Mann for finding another article in the New York Times which is very relevant to our mission. This article describes legislation, being considered at this very moment, which could further enhance the position of large factory farms at the expense of local family farms that we believe hold the promise of food safety, security, and all around goodness. Take a look at it and let our legislators know we want family farms protected!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Click Me For Food Facts

The Great Disruption

Thomas Friedman, author and columnist for The New York Times, writes in this column that we are all awakening to realize our whole way of living has been a giant Ponzi scheme, and I think he is spot on. Bernie Madoff actually had nothing on Exxon or Wal Mart or Cargill, he was just small enough to be caught and prosecuted. Meanwhile, these corporate giants are "too big to fall." Hmmm, that has a familiar ring to it doesn't it?

Long live the local small business! May they always be small enough to fall but big enough to help us all walk together into a time when our obsession with worthless junk imported from distant lands is only a memory.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another Article Which Makes the Case for Localism

Thanks to Louise Mann for this article from the New York Times which, again, makes our case that the national food distribution system is failing to offer us secure and safe food. This just underscores our mission to work with Glasgow City Government to get a garden plot program going to provide a place and means for locals to return to growing some of their own food, and to establish the Bounty of the Barrens Market to provide a place for bigger producers to exchange their locally grown food for local dollars at a festive marketplace.

Plans are underway and work is being done every day to bring these projects to fruition this year. By the looks of these news articles, which are appearing with greater frequency, we are not a minute too soon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monthly Membership Update

February got away from us without having a full membership meeting, but that certainly does not mean we have been on vacation. To the contrary, we are running wide open and gaining members, attracting support, and accomplishing significant milestones toward our stated objectives.

As everyone should know, President Travis presented our plans for a local marketplace and a garden plot program to the Glasgow City Council in January. The report and request for support drew unanimous support from the City Council and that put us on the way toward our vision for the Bounty of the Barrens Market. The next stop for the realization of this dream was a meeting with the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center Board, since we feel that the property surrounding this community asset is the perfect place to bring local producers and consumers together for commerce.

Once again President Travis presented the Sustainable Glasgow story and our proposed partnership with the Cultural Center to bring the Bounty of the Barrens Market into being, and, once again, the proposal was accepted by the Board. Now we are working with them to establish the ground rules under which the market will operate. Soon we should have the skeleton for a contractual agreement among the Cultural Center Board, Sustainable Glasgow, Inc., and the City of Glasgow, which will confirm our agreements and put us officially on the road to the late May or early June opening of the market.

At the same time, we have also been meeting with representatives of the very successful St. Andrews Farmers Market to get their advice and, hopefully, their agreement to partner with us in the Bounty of the Barrens Market. One thing we are all aware of is that we have this dream, but no real experience at creating or operating a local market. So, we are quite hopeful that the team from St. Andrews will join us so that we can concentrate on marketing and infrastructure development at the Cultural Center site, while the BOTB Market committee, hopefully under the direction of the St. Andrews team, works to secure vendors and work out the rules under which the market will operate. Meetings toward this goal are happening every day.

Meanwhile, Lauren is working with a number of organizations like Kentucky Proud, Kentucky Farmers Market Association, Kentucky Department of Agriculture and others who can help us navigate the many rules and regulations which will apply to our market. She is also working with Rhonda Trautman to apply for grants to help capitalize Sustainable Glasgow with sufficient funds to get us through our 2009 program of work.

We are also very lucky to have Chris Radus volunteer to chair the Garden Plot Project. He is researching similar projects in other communities and meeting with our Glasgow Parks and Recreation Department to find suitable land to get this project activated for the upcoming growing season. Our hope is to provide suitable garden plots on public property for those interested in raising a vegetable garden but without access to suitable land. This could be a great example of how we can help each other feed ourselves in this time of economic strife. If you want to be a part of this project, please let Lauren or Chis know!

For an idea that was born only about six months ago, Sustainable Glasgow is growing like crazy. Thanks to each and every one of you who are supporting this initiative with your membership, your words, and your actions. We also need to thank all of the local media, and especially Jeff Jobe of Jobe Publishing, for helping us get the word out about Sustainable Glasgow and the restorative power of localism.