Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas Past

The Christmases of my childhood took place around Glasgow's Square, where enchantment hung heavy in the air. The basement of Newberry's was somehow directly attached to Santa's workshop and the finest work of his Elves was there. Heck, even Santa himself was a resident of the front window of the National Store. These were the days of magic surrounding the holiday and that feeling came from local merchants weaving that fabric of excitement and commerce. We cannot transport you back to the Glasgow of the 1960's, but we can guarantee you some of that same spirit this Saturday morning at the Barren County Cooperative Extension Service offices on West Main Street.

This Saturday morning the second winter Bounty of the Barrens Market will take place from 8:00 am until noon at the Extension office at the old location of the Jackson House Restaurant. About sixteen local farmers, craftsmen, and artists will be there to talk with you about the items they have lovingly produced right here in Barren County. There will be no high stress parking lot experience. There will be no self check-out lines and there will be no bar-code scanners beeping and chirping. There will be local people brimming with the Christmas spirit and suggesting items that you can purchase for your loved ones which already have a lot of love built in. Mindy McCulley has plans to offer another relic of the past...a gift wrapping service right at the market!

We can't guarantee that you will get that old Toy Land feeling when you come out to the market on Saturday morning. But we can assure you that the true spirit of Christmas will be there. We hope you will be there too!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bounty of the Barrens Fall/Winter Market Tomorrow

This is a reminder that the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers' Market will be hosted tomorrow, Saturday, November 13, by Barren County Cooperative Ag Extension Office and Sustainable Glasgow inside the Ag Extension Office Building on W.Main Street. That is the building that was formerly Jackson House Restaurant, just past DANA Corp. Signs will be posted. The hours will be 8:00 to 12:00.

Many of the vendors you are accustomed to seeing at the summer BOTB Market will be present selling seasonal produce, local meats, eggs, baked goods, jellies, jams, and crafts. This is a great opportunity to buy unique holiday foods and Christmas gifts from local producers.

The vendors are excited about this opportunity to provide their locally produced goods to customers in a comfortable environment thoughout the fall and winter. This is a great location for the cool weather market.

The market will be held in this location every 2nd Saturday through March 2011.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Forward

In the mission of Sustainable Glasgow there is no clear line between our efforts to build a robust food economy and our work to make Glasgow a more pedestrian friendly place. These objectives, and many others, are all a part of our goal to reinforce our local economy and make our community the most enjoyable place it can possibly be. This post is intended to bring everyone up to speed on how we are doing with these objectives.

Our biggest project so far has been Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market. For about a month, the full-blown version of the market for 2010 has been put to rest. But many of the BOTBM vendors are still showing up on Saturday mornings at the regular location and a lot of the local produce and meats are still available from them. Of course, we all long to enhance our local food economy by establishing a permanent year-round market place. We are thrilled to announce that another step in that direction is going to come to pass on the second Saturday of each month through March 2011!!

Through the cooperation and work of our local Barren County Cooperative Extension Service, many of the BOTBM vendors will be inside the meeting room at the Extension Service offices on West Main Street (where the Jackson House Restaurant used to be, across from Dana Corporation) on November 13, December 11, January 8, February 12, and March 12 from 8:00 am until noon. Since this version of BOTBM will be inside, you will be able to shop in comfort no matter what the winter weather might bring to Glasgow! Please help us spread the word so that the vendors will have ample opportunities to sell their wares to local folks at the Extension Service offices.

Even though we had a fantastic 2010 market year, there are still many things we want to do better. First and foremost, we need more Barren County farmers to participate by growing local fruits and vegetables and bringing them to the market to sell directly to local consumers. This year, quite often we had more customers than we had local produce to sell to them. Our objective of improving our local economy through production and employment at local farm “factories” cannot be reached until we can convince more landowners in our county to give local food a chance. We know we still have a “long row to hoe” before we can approach success in this endeavor. Will you pitch in and help us with this work?

The Annual Meeting of Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. will be held at 7:00 pm on November 9 on the Square at the SG offices, right beside the Rogers and Driver Attorney offices on the east side of the Square. At that meeting we will conduct some required business like electing board members and such, but our main objective will be to review, with the membership and the community at large, the major initiatives of Sustainable Glasgow, Inc., including the market, our plan for establishing a pedestrian way about Glasgow, our recommendations for improving traffic and parking around the Glasgow Square, and our other ideas for making our local economy more durable and our life in Glasgow more enjoyable. Since we just elected a slate of new local representatives and officials, it is a great time for us to come together and develop our recommendations for their agendas.

Please make plans to visit the market, both at its regular location and on second Saturdays inside at the Barren County Cooperative Extension Office. Also, please make plans to spend the evening of November 9 meeting with us to make important plans for the future of our community. We will welcome you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Next to Last Official Day of BOTBM 2010!

It seems like just a couple of weeks ago that we were building the stage and getting things all lined up for Bounty of the Barrens Market 2010, but now we are about to wind it down. But still, it looks like it is going to be a glorious day on Saturday and there will be lots of reasons for you to come on down to our place behind BB&T starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

While some of the vendors have sold out of their products, you will still find a lot of great stuff at the market. Baked goods, honey, pork, beef, chickens, watermelons, craft items, sweet potatoes, eggs, and all manner of other great local products will be there awaiting you. The music will be unusual this Saturday too as we will be getting a demonstration of ballroom dancing!!

Come on down to the market and have some breakfast, stock up your kitchen, and learn to cut a rug. What else could you hope for on a beautiful Saturday morning in Glasgow?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Patriot Day at Bounty of the Barrens Market

Even though the official season for Bounty of the Barrens Market is winding down, and even though it might be a bit wet, tomorrow is still going to present plenty of reasons for you to come out and join your friends and neighbors. After a few weeks of no live local music, the sweet sounds of Derek Oldenkamp's brass quintet will fill the air starting around 8:00 in the morning.

The air will also carry the delicious aroma of sausage and biscuits and gravy by the Tubbs Family Farm folks. There will be coffee from the St. Andrews Episcopal Church team, and the usual rich palette of local foods that you have come to expect at the market. Rain or shine, come on down to be a part of the river of life in Glasgow. The season is winding down, so don't miss a minute of it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We Want Our Square Back!

For the last few months the Sustainable Glasgow team, supported by the fine folks at BITS, has been putting together the above proposal for a revitalization of Glasgow's Square. Our plan is to emphasize the Square as the nucleus of our community and the layout proposed above intends to return the Square to a pedestrian commons area and increase the available parking while attempting to make it easier for vehicular traffic to get where they are going with much less danger and aggravation to the pedestrian traffic.

This layout nets about fifteen new parking places and it establishes some wider sidewalks and public spaces where park benches, water fountains, art, and other spaces where people-based activities can be promoted. These plans have now been shared with most of the businesses around the Square and they have also been discussed with City Government and with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Now it is up to you. If you like this plan, please let it be known to your elected representatives. If you do not like it and have alternative suggestions, please let us know. Clearly, this project will not move forward without broad community support - that is exactly what we were told by the Transportation Cabinet folks.

We plan on sharing the comments we get with everyone on this site, so keep coming back to see what we are hearing. The comments will be copied here under the "comments" link below this post.

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 28 at Bounty of the Barrens Market

It is time for Bounty of the Barrens Market again! This Saturday we get to hear the musical styling of our own No Bottom Boys! If that is not enough for you, how about the local honey, baked goods, melons, vegetables, eggs, and wonderful locally raised and harvested beef, pork, and chicken.

If you have yet to try JD Country Milk from the market, you simply are missing the best milk drinking experience this side of 1965. I have been getting a quart of their heavenly chocolate milk for the last few weeks and it mysteriously disappears within a day.

At the food tent our own Father Suzanne Barrow will be the chief chef and breakfast wraps and omelets will be there for your nutritional enjoyment. See you there!

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 14 BOTBM - Special Features

It is Friday and time once again to think about things we can do in, and for, our community over the weekend. First, as you already know, there is Jammin' at George J's tonight and we can't wait to be there!

Tomorrow's Bounty of the Barrens Market will also be a lot of fun. One special feature will be local milk (well, actually not Barren County local, but a lot more local that what we have to choose from in our grocery stores!), from JD Farms in Logan County. This dairy farmer is producing hormone free milk that is pasteurized at low temperatures and then cooled very quickly to preserve the natural flavor and beneficial enzymes of milk produced by healthy, grass-fed cows. The folks at the Epicure's Garden/Kenny's Cheese tent will have a limited supply of chocolate, skim, 2%, and whole milk from JD Farms as well as cream, buttermilk and peach and raspberry drinkable yogurt. Orders will be taken this Saturday for delivery the following week.

Now, this does slightly violate our "producer only" philosophy at BOTBM, but we think this special exception is worthwhile to help our local dairy farmers see what demand is out there for local, hormone free milk. We think it will be big and we hope to be a part of convincing local dairy farmers to mimic this model. Right now, the milk we get from local groceries has traveled at least 200 miles before reaching us. Some would say that there is a bigger diesel fuel component to this milk than the milk part of it! We simply say that we are surrounded by beautiful dairy farms operated by our friends and neighbors. We want them to make more money by selling high quality products directly to the folks who want those products. Come by this Saturday and see what this idea is all about.

In the food tent we will be doing sausage and biscuits and Gabe will be doing some French Toast. The musical artists are Bob and Joanna Harvey, and all of the vendors you have come to love will be there with their own products. We hope to see you all there!

Jammin' at George J's Tonight

All friends of SG: Jammin' at George J's tonight featuring "Steel Country." This is a local band that features some great players of "classic country." If you like the country music of the greats from the era before the cookie cutter "hat boys" that Nashville is producing these days, you'll love Steel Country.
Doors open at 6, music starts at 7, cover $3.
Come on down to the square for a great Friday night.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Special Day at Bounty of the Barrens Market

We feel like every market day is special, but tomorrow's version is even more special. In celebration of National Farmers Market Week, we are also celebrating our local market. All of the vendors you know and love will be there with their bountiful selections of locally grown produce and locally crafted goods., but there is more.

You can come hungry because the Tubbs family will be running the food tent and they are doing biscuits, gravy, sausage, and jelly! Yummm! Then, at about 9:00 Julie Ann Williams will sing the National Anthem, kicking off a brief program of remarks from local elected officials and dignitaries. We are so proud to have them recognizing the value that BOTBM is bringing to Glasgow's economy!

Right after the remarks we have another treat. The Song Farmers will be setting up (is there a more appropriately named group?) to deliver a morning full of their unique bluegrass/rock-a-billy/blues sound, developed right here in our region.

Even the weather forecast promises a special day for us! Come on out and participate. Creating a robust local food economy is not a spectator sport!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jammin' at George J's Tonight

Eric Albany will be our performer at Jammin' at George J's on the Square in downtown Glasgow tonight. Eric performed earlier in the year and the crowd had a great time. Eric sings and accompanies himself with acoustic guitar. He performs an interesting and eclectic set of country,rock and blues. Eric is a really talented and seasoned performer who I'm sure you'll enjoy.
Also, George J's has a great menu for this event - perfect for a summer Friday evening.

The doors open at 6:00 and music starts at 7:00. Eric will be playing past 9:00. There is a $3 musician/cover charge at the door.

Come on out, meet your friends and enjoy good food and entertainment on the square in Glasgow tonight!

This event is co-sponsored by Sustainable Glasgow.

July 31 Edition of Bounty of the Barens Market

You can get your sweet tooth fulfilled several ways at the BOTBM tomorrow. Gabe Esters will be serving up his killer french toast at the food tent. Many vendors will have other baked goods, and many will also have some of the sweetest watermelons you have ever tasted! Come on down and commune with your friends and neighbors over the sweet smells of local food!

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 24 at Bounty of the Barrens Market

Tomorrow's market will be extra special! All of the vendors you know and love will be there and this time of year the crops are the most bountiful. There will be lots of everything fresh and local and good. Tambra Cambron and her family will be providing original local music AND we will get a preview of the upcoming production of High School Musical 2 from our talented local youth involved in the upcoming show. The fine folks from T.J. Samson Hospital will be showing us what real chefs can do in the cooking tent. Where else would anyone want to be on a Saturday morning in Glasgow? See you there!

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 17 Version of Bounty of the Barrens Market

Tomorrow's market might get a little wet, if the weather man is correct, but, well, it is summer time! Come on out and get wet at our Bounty of the Barrens...Water Park! We are getting into the time of year when tons of produce is available. There will be tomatoes, corn, beans, and all of the things you have come to expect at the market. AND, this week we have been assured by Jackson's Orchard that they will be there with PEACHES!!

The food tent will be dishing out fabulous breakfast wraps by our own divine chef, Father Suzanne. The music will be very special as Holly Alexander and Jackie Benningfield bring us some classical pieces for flute and violin.

We can't think of any reason why you would not be there on Saturday morning!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Local Food and Local Music on the Glasgow Square Friday Night

This Friday night we all get another chance to vote for local food, locally owned restaurants, and local musical artists by showing up at George J's on the Square in Glasgow to attend the sixth edition of Jammin' at George J's. We hope to see you all there!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bounty of the Barrens Market Tomorrow!

Ready for Bounty of the Barrens Market in the morning? We are! This week you will get to hear local musical artists Jenny Lu and Chad Shireman. You will have access to fantastic locally grown produce and chickens, pork, and grass fed beef. You will be able to enjoy a local breakfast omelet made from all local ingredients. I mean, really, we even have locally brewed root beer!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brew of the Barrens - The Recipe

For the many who have asked about the recipe for the "Brew of the Barrens" homemade root beer we have been making at the market, here it is:
Put 3.5 gallons of cold Glasgow Water Company water in a five gallon cooler. Add 6 cups of white sugar and stir it until fully dissolved. Add 2 ounces of root beer extract (it takes some research to find it, but it is available - Mc Cormick even has it in the spices area of larger grocery stores). Then add the secret ingredient, four pounds of dry ice from Glasgow Ice Company! This puts on the big show with all of the smoke and fog coming off of the mixture...put the top on the cooler LOOSELY and let the brew work for about an hour, stirring occasionally to keep it all going.

On the other hand, you could just keep coming back to the Bounty of the Barrens Market to get your local root beer fix!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Localism in Action

Yesterday I had an experience that was a perfect example of why ownership matters and why the very happiest shopping experiences come in locally owned and operated businesses. It was a simple, yet elegant and totally satisfying experience at Square Deal Lumber Company.

Wednesday night was the first evening of the week that I had time to mow my yard. Of course, it was also too hot for humans to actually be outside, so I waited until nearly dark to do my work. As is usually the case when I try to squeeze an outdoor task into a very limited time slot, something went wrong. This time it was my trusty Echo trimmer that refused to run long enough to tame the weeds around my yard.

Thursday morning I threw the trimmer into the back of my car to drop it off at Square Deal Lumber where I had purchased it many years before. Since we are in the heart of the mowing season, I fully expected them to take the unit in and tell me it should be ready in a week or so, but that is not what happened in this wonderful little establishment owned and staffed by folks who live right here among us. When I walked in the door with by dress shirt and tie on while clutching a very used trimmer, I was immediately acknowledged and within minutes a very nice fellow was asking about my problem with the trimmer. As I described the symptoms he took it out of my hands and walked toward his work bench. "Have you got a minute?" he said, "because if I don't fix it now it is going to be sometime tomorrow before I can get to it." "Why of course I have a minute," said I (even though the prospect of getting it back the next day was way more than I had hoped for).

In five minutes he disassembled, diagnosed, repaired, and returned the trimmer to my hands repaired. He also refused to allow me to pay for the repair! This, friends and neighbors, is not something that would occur at any big box retailer or foreign owned establishment. This is the kind of treatment that can occur in small towns where the locals support these businesses by trading with them even though the initial price might be a little higher than the big box retailer. This is the very heart of localism and the concept of a sustainable local economy where we vote for our happiness with the dollars we spend every day.

Cheers to you Square Deal Lumber Company! Now my neighbors will not have to look at my unkempt yard any longer.

Big Day at the Market Tomorrow!

All Bounty of the Barrens Market Days are exciting. What other word could describe the opportunity to purchase real food, local food, clean and unadulterated food grown by extremely cool folks that live no more than fifty miles from your dinner table?

This Saturday's special offerings will include breakfast prepared by Joellen and John Tubbs. They grow real blueberries right here in the Barrens and they are going to do a blueberry pancake throwdown in the BOTBM food tent that will make you want to throw rocks at your normal breakfast fare! Up on the BB&T - HVAC Services - Square Deal Lumber stage will be Glasgow's own Eric Albany.

Over at the Sustainable Glasgow tent we will be once again, thanks to the fine folks at our own local ice company - Glasgow Ice, preparing our Brew of the Barrens homemade root beer and we will be passing it out for free. With a little luck (and a lot of work by Lauren), we will have our EBT/Debit Card machine working too so you will be able to use EBT cards and regular debit cards for purchases at the market.

Mindy McCully and Kristin Goodin from the Barren County Extension Service Office will also be there to show off their cucumber salsa recipe, and the usual group of fantastic vendors will be on hand to share the fruits of their labor. I can't wait to see you there!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Come to BOTBM Tomorrow!

Time to make plans to attend Bounty of the Barrens Market, behind BB&T on West Main, 8:00 - noon tomorrow. Music will be by Tambra Cambron and her students, local breakfast will be served, local vendors will bring all sorts of locally grown and made items for your enjoyment. We will even have more locally brewed root beer! See you there!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Simple Sandwich - Not So Simple

I am looking for something more elusive than good seats at a concert -- I want a local sandwich with turkey or ham on it that has no other ingredients other than that which was produced by the fowl or the pig. This should be simple, but it isn't for me.

Ever since mine eyes were opened about the horrors of our industrial food system, I thought I was getting good unprocessed turkey or ham by shopping at the deli department of local grocery stores. Surely, I thought, if I step up and point to a turkey and tell the nice deli folks how many pounds of it I want and how thick to slice it I am rewarded with the real thing, but, alas, a friend has revealed the truth. The packaging the deli folks peel back to slice off my sandwich staple tells the real story. That oven baked turkey breast actually contains: Turkey Breast, Water, Modified Food Starch, Lactate, Salt, Honey, Corn Syrup Solids (here too!!!! good grief), Sodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Sodium Diacetate, and it was browned in Oil. As Charlie Brown would say, "ARRRGGGHHHHH!"

Michael Pollan says that if your grandmother would not recognize something as food, don't eat it. My Grandmother never served me any Sodium Diacetate. The folks at Harvard School of Public Health recently confirmed that processed meats are strongly implicated in our spiraling rates of diabetes and heart disease. This study just came out a couple of weeks ago.

So what is an aspiring locavore and dedicated sandwich-for-lunch person supposed to do? Really, I want to know. Other than regularly baking my own ham or filling a crock pot with a turkey breast, is there a way for me to purchase a nicely sliced pound of turkey or ham for my daily bread? When I go to a local restaurant, is the turkey on my hot brown or club sandwich from someone's processed meat inventory? I'm afraid to find out the answer to that, but am eternally hopeful that I will find out that they cooked it and sliced it themselves.

So, I ask you vendors at Bounty of the Barrens Market; I ask you potential local entrepreneurs who might be thinking of opening a real deli, when will I be able to safely go home and make myself a turkey sandwich again? I await your advice with the faint aroma of carrageenan on my breath.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Glasgow Greenway -- An Idea Ripe for the Picking

A few weeks ago Sustainable Glasgow sent a well thought out formal letter to the Mayor and County Judge Executive laying out a proposed master plan for walking/jogging/cycling paths that would form the Glasgow Greenway. As of this morning there has been no formal response to that letter, but I do know that Mayor Pickett is pondering it.

Just a few days ago an article in the Glasgow Daily Times outlined plans for the repaving and re-striping of West Main Street from the Glasgow Square to L. Rogers Wells Blvd. Since that section of West Main is a component of our suggested Glasgow Greenway Master Plan, this is an opportunity to start the years long process of implementing the plan. We need for our local elected officials to immediately interject the master plan into the current plans to rework West Main Street. If this section of roadway is to receive new traffic graphics, this is the time to establish cycling lanes along this route.

While it is true that a set of lanes from the Square to the Bypass along West Main would accomplish little to provide a usable section of Glasgow Greenway, it is a heavily traveled street which would expose many locals to the concept of cycling lanes and would begin the process of teaching folks how to interact with cycling lanes and cyclists. This could easily be done by taking some space away from the vehicle lanes and from the turn lane in the center of the existing roadway. Taking this action would also get us moving on the concept of steering heavy traffic toward major roadways and arterial routes and away from the Square such that pedestrian traffic can be emphasized and cherished in our city center. If the lanes are tighter, it should follow that big vehicles and trucks will seek alternate routes.

If the newspaper article was correct, this work could begin at any time. If we are serious about working for change, improvement, and new thinking in our community; if we are serious about lobbying to get the Glasgow Greenway established, now is the time to contact people you know in local government to get them interested in this project and this opportunity which is being dumped in our lap right now.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

BOTBM 2010 Market Day 1 - Retrospective

The official opening day for 2010 was this morning and it went very well. Perhaps 500 folks, mostly locals, but many from other states, were on hand to share in the bounty of our region and witness what a community can do for itself if it puts its heart and mind into it. Bob and Joanna Harvey christened the new Square Deal Lumber - HVAC Services - BB&T stage by graciously sharing their talents with the folks who attended and about 30 vendors offered to feed us with the products they have produced with the sweat of their brow and the sunshine from Mother Nature. It was a great morning.

Still, we noted several things we can do better and plan to start on those things next week. First, we didn't have anyone there cooking for the attendees and there was not enough there to drink. Next week we hope to remedy that by stepping up to have omelette chefs working with local ingredients available at the market, coffee from the fair trade coffee offered by St. Andrews Church, and other cold drinks offered in recyclable containers.

We also ran into a bit of trouble with our debit card/EBT terminal and hope to have that corrected in two weeks. After that, you will be able to come to the market with no cash and use your debit card on site to acquire tokens which can be spent with any of the vendors at the BOTBM. Also, for anyone who receives government benefits and nutrition support benefits, they will be able to use the EBT cards at the market as well.

For all of you who came this week, thanks, it was a great start, but you really haven't seen anything yet!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market Opening Day

For those of us working on making the market a reality, it came a lot faster than we expected, but Saturday, May 29, Bounty of the Barrens Market officially opens for the 2010 season. The music will be back with Bob and Joanna Harvey kicking off the new season and christening our new Square Deal Lumber/HVAC Services/BB&T stage! The produce, local baked goods, local honey, eggs, beef, pork, etc., etc. will be there as well. The white tents will be there. Most importantly, your friends and neighbors, whom you might not have seen since the market ended last year, will be there as well. All we need is for you to be there to make it a happening!

We are proud of the market and how well it has developed in one year, but no one should forget that the market is not the end of Sustainable Glasgow's work, it is only the beginning. We are determined to make our community more self-sufficient and more enjoyable to live our lives in. The market is designed to bring together producers and consumers for commerce. We don't want to just operate a successful farmers market. We want to create a sustainable food economy where more of our local farmers change from commodity crops to food crops that can be counted on to feed our community. We want more local beef and dairy farmers to find ways to sell directly to the people who live here, for a fair market price, instead of selling their products at a loss to distant middle men. We want local restaurants to thrive by purchasing from those farmers and constructing menus from local ingredients instead of the latest convenient fare from a wholesaler's truck. We want local hospitals, nursing homes, and schools to enter into relationships with local producers so that each enjoys the benefits of trade within our local area, such that the dollars remain in the local community and get circulated for the improvement of all local businesses. We believe ownership matters and that owning our own food economy may matter more that just about anything else.

So come and join us this Saturday, and every Saturday through the summer, at Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market. But, stay with us to push our movement forward toward a community that rediscovers the beauty and peace of living in a place where we invest in ourselves and enjoy the benefits of that investment as we spend our lives in the company of each other.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bounty of the Barrens Pre-Season Continues...May 15

The Bounty of the Barrens Market Preseason continues tomorrow with lots of early season items including.....STRAWBERRIES! And we mean real, local, picked yesterday, strawberries. Not those fake things that look like strawberries and were picked in California a couple of weeks ago while still green. Come on out Saturday morning!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Glasgow Greenway and Bounty of the Barrens Preseason Market Update

First, this link will take you to a draft of the Glasgow Greenway Master Plan that we are proposing for adoption by both City and County governments. Click here and you will open the plan we have developed through our new initiative, Bicycles of the Barrens.

The idea here is to get the local governments to approve this plan to develop a variety of options to establish clearly designated pathways along these routes shown in green. Some of the solutions will be to paint lanes on existing roadways, some will be reconstructed and widened sidewalks, and some of the routes would need to be newly constructed pathways that do not exist at all now (look at the suggested route along South Fork Creek which would connect schools and several parks).

Obviously this network of greenways would not be created quickly, but some segments of the proposed plan would be very simple to establish and we are asking the local governments to start immediately. We are also asking them to begin earmarking at least 5% of their roadway maintenance budgets to the establishment of the Glasgow Greenway. Any opportunity you have to tell an elected official that you support this plan, especially right now as they contemplate budgets for next year, would be a big help!

Also, the Bounty of the Barrens Market Preseason continues this Saturday morning at 8 a.m. to noon. Many of the vendors are showing up for the preseason market. Local crafts, locally baked treats of all manner, locally raised and processed meats, and some early season produce is already available. You can also admire the progress on the new Square Deal Lumber Company stage at Bounty of the Barrens Market! Thanks to Square Deal and some dedicated volunteer carpenters, a great stage will be available for our local musicians this year. Get ready for the Grand Opening of the market on May 29!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bounty of the Barrens Pre-Season Continues...

This Saturday morning we all will have another opportunity to get out and stretch our legs at the preseason version of Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market. Starting at 8:00 on Saturday (and every Saturday through October), the vendors will assemble at the lot behind BB&T on West Main Street in Glasgow. This time of the year they bring locally made art and crafts, locally raised beef, pork, and chickens, along with some early season produce like lettuce, asparagus, and rhubarb. There will also be wonderful baked goods produced in the kitchens of many of your neighbors along with local farm fresh eggs - even buffalo! Please start making plans to be there this Saturday and make it a Saturday morning tradition for your family!

Since it is the preseason (the market does not officially open until May 29), we are not sure which vendors will be there each week, but we do know that some new ones will start on May 1, including the folks from Tubbs' Farmstead (think outstanding baked goods, asparagus, and rhubarb).

Support the vendors who come to the Bounty of the Barrens Market and they will expand and improve our community's ability to feed itself. Isn't that worth a bit of your time on Saturday mornings?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sustainable Glasgow Open Meeting Tonight

A reminder that TONIGHT is our Open Community Meeting at 118 East Public Square at 6:30PM in the storefront below Alexander Law Office. Whether you are a member, a prospective member or just curious, please attend. We plan tonight to review the progress of Sustainable Glasgow and discuss future initiatives. ALL ARE INVITED. WE WARMLY WELCOME YOUR IDEAS AND PARTICIPATION!

Watch Food, Inc.

On Wednesday night, April 21, 8:00 p.m., the documentary Food, Inc. will air on KET (Channel 11 on EPB). This is one of the most important documentary films ever produced. Please do yourself a huge favor by taking the time to watch it and then act on the information contained therein by purchasing local food from your neighbors at Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market. The best way to combat the food system you will learn about by watching the movie is by purchasing food from local producers who will meet you and look at you eyeball to eyeball and assure you that their products are fresh and clean.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Talking About Walking

Among the many things we learned in running Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market last year was that folks love to get out of their cars, walk about, shop, chat, and generally enjoy the company of their friends and neighbors in a quiet, car-free environment. Should anyone be surprised at this? Most of the places where we yearn to go on vacation offer the same qualities. So how might we move our community toward an expansion of this thing we learned at the market? How about starting right in the nucleus of Glasgow on the Square?

Go to George J’s or Subway on the Square and have lunch while watching the traffic on the Square. Anyone can see why the Square is not the pleasant pedestrian plaza that we want. Over the years we have mistakenly emphasized vehicular traffic around our Square and that has made it an arterial roadway instead of a pedestrian plaza. It is noisy. It is unpleasant for pedestrians. The sidewalks are narrow and the roadways are wide. Pedestrians have trouble finding parking places so they can get out of the cars and walk because the parking layout is inefficient and large numbers of parking spaces have been claimed by the various government agencies around the Square. Vague traffic organization and signage makes the problem worse. This is no place for a person in a vehicle, much less a pedestrian that wants the same sort of experience they have at Bounty of the Barrens Market!

Making changes to our city center will certainly bring about doubt and resistance, but surely we can allow ourselves to dream of a different sort of nucleus for our community without causing immediate resistance. What if we were to throw away everything about the way our Square is organized and start with a clean sheet of paper? What if the sidewalks were wider and the driving lanes smaller? Can you imagine the whole Square as a cross-walk and striped to designate that? What if the parking plan for the Square were totally redesigned to provide more, and safer, parking spaces? What if the people who own the Square got a voice in how many parking places were allocated to our government agencies?

If the Square is to be the nucleus of a new transportation plan for our community that includes facilities for walking, jogging, and cycling, then the Square should be an area where the pedestrian, and the local businesses there, are King and Queen, and the vehicular traffic is tamed and respectful of the King and Queen. We think that East-West traffic along Main Street should be two-way in order to allow that traffic to move on without circling the Square. This, by itself, would drastically reduce the number of vehicles orbiting the Square. Maybe there should be speed bumps to calm the traffic, and new traffic control graphics and devices to organize it. Maybe there should be local ordinances that prohibit any vehicle with more than two axles to use the pedestrian zone created around the Square (sitting at George J’s at lunch one day we counted over thirty tandem-axle, heavily loaded dump trucks circumnavigating the Square). To create a pedestrian-friendly plaza in the center of our community, many drivers should find the Square to be too slow for vehicles, prompting them to find alternate routes, and allowing peace and quiet and that elusive pedestrian friendly environment to flourish. Once that happens, it seems that existing businesses on the Square, as well as new ones, will find themselves flourishing as well.

Sustainable Glasgow wants to engage the community in dreaming about a new Public Square. We want to be a catalyst in the process of promoting a cycling/jogging/walking infrastructure plan for Glasgow. In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy asks Glinda (the good witch), “but – how do I start for the Emerald City?” Glinda replies, “It’s always best to start at the beginning. . .” We think it always makes sense to follow the advice of a good witch. Let’s begin at the beginning, on Glasgow’s Square and make it the center of our master plan for a pedestrian friendly city.

If you want to be a part of this conversation, please join us for our next Sustainable Glasgow public meeting at 6:30 p.m. on April 20. We will be meeting on the Square at 108 East Public Square. We hope to see you there!

Friday, April 9, 2010

BOTBM Market Preview again tomorrow!

Remember that several of the Bounty of the Barrens vendors will be set up on the BB&T parking lot tomorrow morning from 8:00 till noon. Several early season produce items, meats, and baked goods will be available if you come on out to get them! Also, we will be commencing work on the Square Deal Lumber Company stage for this year's musical performances. If you want to help, bring your talent and come on!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

April is Bounty of the Barrens Preview Season

This Saturday, the first Saturday in April, will herald the beginning of the Bounty of the Barrens Market season. Obviously it will not be the full blown market as very little is available in the way of fresh produce this time of year, but there will be some of your favorite vendors there at the regular site of the market, behind the big BB&T bank on Main Street in Glasgow.

We don't have an exhaustive list of which vendors will show up during this "preview" season, but it is certain you will find some fresh lettuce, cabbage, greens, cheese, and a variety of locally raised meats. Some of the Sustainable Glasgow crew will be there as well to discuss the plans for the full blown market which will commence at the end of May. We will also be happy to sign you up as an SG member and maybe even convince you to volunteer to help us prepare the grounds for the 2010 season. One of our big projects is to build a better stage facility for our local artists to use in the wonderful music performances which are already a Bounty of the Barrens Market tradition.

Come on down Saturday mornings, starting this Saturday, April 3, and get reacquainted with the fine folks who tend the soil in order to feed the rest of us.

Friday, March 26, 2010

SG Nearly April Update

April is coming around the bend and there is a lot to talk about relative to Sustainable Glasgow. First of all, especially at this time of year when so much is going on in preparation for Bounty of the Barrens Market, we have started doing a lot of our posting of information on our Sustainable Glasgow Facebook site which you can access by following this link. If you do not yet participate in Facebook, all I can say is, click on the link above and follow the directions to set up a simple account. You will be amazed at how easy it is to use and how much sharing of information is possible via this service.

If you just refuse to use Facebook, we will still use this blog to keep you posted and here comes a lot of information! First, we hope to see you tonight at the second Jammin' at George J's on the square in Glasgow. There is local food, local music, and local folk there. What more could you want? Food starts at 6:00 and music by Good Time Charlies starts at 7:00.

The next thing on to talk about is that we now have a fully executed agreement with the fine folks at BB&T Bank to allow us to hold the Bounty of the Barrens Market at the same site we used last year. This year it will be enhanced with picnic tables, and a more permanent stage facility for our local musicians. Some vendors will actually start appearing on Saturday mornings in April as some food items start becoming available. The full blown opening of the market featuring many vendors and local music will be on May 29!

Another new feature of the BOTB Market this year will be our ability to accept EBT cards and debit cards! That's right. During the winter we have worked hard to become certified to accept these benefit cards so that fresh local food will be more available to those who are down on their luck at the moment and are getting these benefit cards to supplement the nutrition of their family. The SG tent will have a card reader device so that we can scan the EBT cards or regular bank debit cards and issue tokens which can be spent like money at any of the vendor locations in the market. Of course, there are certain restrictions on what can be purchased with the EBT cards, but we will work out all of those details by May.

On April 16 we will be presenting the program at the Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Breakfast meeting at Glasgow Country Club. We look forward to that opportunity to bring the community up to speed on the issues Sustainable Glasgow is working on. We hope to see many of you there.

On April 20, we are holding a general Sustainable Glasgow membership meeting to discuss our progress and projects with all SG members and those interested in becoming members. This meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the SG office at 108 East Public Square in Glasgow. Again, we really hope to see you all there. An agenda for that meeting will be posted here within the next few days and we will use Facebook to create an event which will automatically invite the folks who have become fans of our Facebook page.

Well, guess that is about enough for this post. Hope to see you all soon!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jammin' at George J's 2!

UK is not playing on Friday night, so what else are you going to do in Glasgow besides come to the second edition of Jammin' at George J's? Food service starts at 6:00 and music from Good Time Charlies starts at 7:00. Hope to see everyone there!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring and Sustainability in Glasgow

Apparently it is the season for communities to come together to discuss local food issues in Kentucky. We attended the Community Farm Alliance meeting in Louisville last week called Everybody Eats, and we came away with some great new ideas. Then there was the Bluegrass Food Security Conference a few days ago in Lexington, which we did not get to attend but that this article gives a great background on. It seems that the concepts of eating and shopping locally are alive and well in Kentucky and we are pushing hard for them to take root in Glasgow.

The Sustainable Glasgow team is working hard on plans for Bounty of the Barrens Market this year. As always, we are looking for more volunteers to help us pull off an even greater market this year than we had last year. Of course, we are also looking for new and returning members. All of you should have gotten an email invoice for your 2010 Sustainable Glasgow membership. For those of you who have already responded with a check for 2010, Thank You. For those of you who have not yet responded, we really hope you will renew your membership and make a donation toward this essential work we are doing.

Finally, if you have not yet started to participate in Facebook and have not yet discovered our very active Sustainable Glasgow Facebook page at this link, you really are missing the latest and most robust way for us to stay in touch. Please click on the link above and become a fan of our Facebook site!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Let's Do More Than Talk About Alternate Transportation

This post was originally created as a discussion on our new Bicycles of the Barrens Facebook page at this link. It is reposted here for those who do not yet use Facebook.

Anyone who has occasion to drive around the south side of Glasgow on a school day between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. knows it is time to start the discussion that we created the Bicycles of the Barrens group to conduct. It is time to discuss the need for a master cycling/jogging/walking route plan and the need to secure a commitment from local governments for annual funding for the plan.
Nearly every day when the schools are in session, the southern end of the 31E Bypass is just as gridlocked as a southern California freeway. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of vehicles destined to and from WKU Glasgow, the Barren County HS/Trojan Academy Campus, South Green Elementary, Red Cross Elementary, Christian Academy, and Glasgow Montessori all seem to be delivering one child at a time. As a result, traffic is totally locked up between the many traffic signals that exist within a half mile radius of South Gate Shopping Center. This is a wasteful, dangerous, exasperating mess and it repeats itself again later in the afternoon when schools release students and every day when school is in session.

If we had a simple network of cycling/jogging lanes that connect the schools, parks, and residential areas, as well as connecting to the new Veterans Outer Loop, we might have the foundation of a solution. Parking in outlying areas along the cycling lanes might encourage students to drive in with bicycles on racks, park in the outlying lots, and ride in to schools and work. The schools might provide incentives for students arriving and departing on bicycles or on foot. Maybe, just maybe, some of the students who are determined to live a sustainable lifestyle might begin to arrive on bicycles and maybe the idea might catch on. Stranger things have happened, right?

If you look at a map of Glasgow, it is notable that the new Outer Loop will intersect all routes into Glasgow from the westernmost to the easternmost extremes of the city. Beginning in front of South Green Elementary, South Fork Creek similarly runs all the way to an intersection with the new Outer Loop to the east. If we built a multi-use pathway along that scenic creek from South Green to the Outer Loop. Then if we got the Transportation Cabinet to use the broad shoulders of the new loop to paint a bicycle lane all the way around from that point to its eventual intersection with KY 1297 on the west side of Glasgow (and if we could convince the city and county to maintain that pathway by simply sweeping and vacuuming it regularly), we would have a nearly 20 mile loop around the community complete with the exception of a missing segment on the south west side of town. Eventually, Cleveland Avenue will need to be rebuilt from the Bypass to the new Loop, and it can be planned and built with a cycling lane, completing a dream alternate transportation/fitness system around our community. This would benefit our happiness relative to transportation snarls and make a great impact on our overall health, by encouraging us to walk, jog and cycle.

Then if we complete the aforementioned system of internal spokes to that "wheel" with a variety of painted lanes and improved sidewalks over the years we will develop a real cycling/jogging infrastructure capable of actually relieving traffic pressure on many of our existing roadways. With that network in place, 15,000 people will have access, and the option of walking or cycling for 90% of their trips to run local errands of three miles or less (which happens to be what most trips in town actually are). If we got our local governments to commit something like 5% of the existing budget for construction and maintenance of the roadway network, we could have this system totally in place in a few years.

What do you say? Ready to start advocating during this year's budget cycle?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Twenty Minute Talk says it all

Once a year some of the greatest thinkers on the planet come together for the TED conference to examine a wide variety of topics. This year, the hands down best talk of the whole conference was delivered by Jamie Oliver. He talked about food, the American diet, and how our lives are being taken in the name of cheap and fast food. You owe it to yourself to take twenty minutes to watch this video at this link

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

C'mon Barren County Dairy Farmers -- Copy This Idea!

Today's Courier-Journal has a great article linked here written by Marty Rosen about the Schrock family and their local dairy products to consumer operation in Logan County. As the article explains, these folks decided to dump the dairy model that is giving all of our local dairy farmers so much pain because of the low prices being paid by the wholesalers. They set up an operation to process raw milk into excellent finished products which they sell directly to the consumers at a few farmers markets and a few small grocery stores, thus, cutting out several middle men and hundreds of miles of transportation costs.

They also sell their milk in glass bottles that people return for reuse! I know Barren County is bound to be full of folks who could do the same thing. I know for sure that if they do, we would love to help them sell the products at Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market! So, here is the link again, read the story and then find a local dairy farmer that we can convince to make this bold move. This is the sort of localism and commitment to locally produced goods that Sustainable Glasgow is striving to promote. Can we make this happen?

Friday, February 19, 2010

More on the Market for 2010

While the sun is peeking out for a few minutes and thoughts of spring are bouncing around, it seems like a good time to bring everyone up to speed on the latest Sustainable Glasgow happenings.

First of all, everyone should know that plans for the 2010 version of Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market are well underway. Last weekend we held our annual vendors meeting to discuss the market with vendors and over fifty folks showed up to discuss the plans for our second year. We have revised the layout of the market some and we will post the new layout right here as soon as we get final approval from BB&T for our new plans. The new layout provides for more vendor spaces as well, and we really think that we are going to need that space for many new vendors this year.

We are also planning a “food court” area of the market where we hope that a number of local restaurants will set up shop on Saturday mornings and sell us some of their specialties every week. Can’t you just smell breakfast and lunch cooking at the market? Yummm! Near the food court we are hoping that BB&T will give us permission to place several picnic tables so everyone will have a convenient spot to consume the food purchased from the local restaurants, and those tables will also be close to another feature we are planning for this year – a really nice permanent stage facility to be used by the local musicians that come to perform! If you are one of those musicians that wants to perform on that stage, please contact us so we can start arranging dates for this year.

Another really great feature we think is secured for this year is that we will have an ATM/EBT terminal at the market in the Sustainable Glasgow tent. That means we will be able to scan your debit card and give you tokens to use to purchase goods at the vendor tents. No longer will you be going home with only a few food items because you forgot to bring cash! Also, we were just notified by USDA that we are approved to use that same terminal to accept USDA SNAP cards and other food program vouchers.

SNAP helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health. This is the modern day version of the old Food Stamps Program. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and we will be able to accept them at the market. That means that a whole new segment of our local populace will start getting access to real, local, nutritious food. The SNAP helps clients learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices and Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market is proud to be able to be a part of this program.

Finally, at the meeting Dr. Jerry Ralston delivered some thrilling news about the plans, starting with North Jackson Elementary School, for the creation of Edible Schoolyards projects in the Barren County School System. He told us of the excitement which is building among the educators and children in the Barren County Schools about this project which will involve elementary students in the planning, planting, tending, and harvesting of real food on the grounds of their schools. They expect the programs to last through the summer and, hopefully, will include the kids bringing their produce to the market so that they can also learn about the business of retailing food to the public. It is hard to believe that all of this is coming to pass so quickly, but, it truly is. Sure, it has been a long cold winter for us all, but the market will be opening before you know it. I can’t wait!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Jammin' at George J's" on Friday, February 26

Sustainable Glasgow is partnering with our good friends at George J's restaurant to present the inaugural "Jammin' at George J's" on Friday, February 26 from 6:30 to 8:30PM. Our first performer will be Josh Johnson with his trusty sideman Ty Bowles. Josh plays acoustic guitar and sings and Ty plays bass and mandolin. They perform a great set of acoustic favorites from blues to country to folk to rock and everything in-between. Josh played at the Bounty of the Barrens market twice this summer and was a favorite of the patrons and vendors.
I hope you can make it for this evening of food, fun and great live music right on the square in downtown Glasgow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vendor Meeting February 13 @ 10AM!

We will be hosting an informational meeting for anyone interested in being a vendor at the 2010 Bounty of the Barrens Farmers' Market on Saturday, February 13th at 10AM at the Sustainable Glasgow office (108 E Public Square, Glasgow- below Alexander Law). Vendor applications will be available at the meeting and Kristen Goodin with the Barren County Ag Extension Office will be there to answer any questions you may have regarding HB391, sampling, GAP classes, etc. We welcome anyone who is interested in being a vendor or interested in the market in general to join us at this meeting. Please e-mail localfirst@glasgow-ky.com with questions.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Michael Pollan on Oprah

Yesterday the Oprah show featured one of our favorite authors, Michael Pollan. This link takes you to a text summary of his conversation. It is definitely worth a read!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sustainable Glasgow Gears up for 2010

Yesterday the Sustainable Glasgow Board met for several hours concerning our plans for 2010 and I can tell you we have a lot of exciting things planned for this year. Bounty of the Barrens Market will be back and it will be bigger than last year. We are looking forward to new features with things like local artists displaying their finished products and teaching us about their work, multiple local restaurants offering their specialties, special cooking competitions among local chefs (real ones AND those who might just fancy themselves a chef), and even more access to local musical talent.

We are also excited about some new initiatives this year that are not directly related to Bounty of the Barrens Market, one of which is a local version of The Edible Schoolyard Project. We are very optimistic that a local school will put this project into action. This video explains the concept: