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!