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