PLANET GARDEN: Eco-Friendly Resource Guide

Planet Garden Testify to Love

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 29, 2009

 Testify to Love by Patti Robinson

 

When our life work in our daily lives is invested in what we love, we are on our way to freedom.   Many believe that financial freedom is the answer in life.  I will testify it is not.  Love of life and love of our place and work and family in life is my life experience of what brings personal freedom. So, I testify to love.  Where you find love and bring love is the journey. 

 

Last week we were so fortunate to receive an invitation to the Chamber meeting at Colony Bank.  Of all the leaders there, the one I was most drawn to because of my personal efforts was Scott Blackstock.  Scott has won an award for his small business and having the platform he is using his voice to say, you can be a nurse, or there is also the opportunity for you to build your own homecare service.  In other words, Scott understands the value of building a business.  If Scott can do it right here in Thomaston, we can do it, right?

 

The Bluebird Market is more than a tailgate market.  It is a network of small business potential owners hatching.  Some see that potential and are out there with their products.  Some understand the brilliant concept of redirecting weekly shopping budgets to buy local. It is wonderful that we are moving in the entrepreneur friendly direction.  Entrepreneurship is one way to freedom.  When you build your independence through a small business that grows to support you and your family and those you care about, you can give from that abundance.

 

Leaders who come out and buy local are the people who are making an impact in our hometown for everyone to get better.  If anyone is hurting, we all hurt.  Although we are not necessarily responsible in any way, I believe, when people are up and positive, working and strong and vibrant, growing and laughing and happy, we all reap from that state of being.  It brings us to a better place. It brings us to hope that we do each have unlimited and untapped potential power to make meaningful life choices that bring about goodness and pure love and care for others.

 

Financial independence does play a role for us on planet earth.  And the strongest way to the freedom of financial independence is building your own small business.  Here in Thomaston one working platform for that priceless network of support and like-minded people is the Bluebird Market.  We want our town to thrive financially. We want our market to bring income weekly to those who are working hard at building their business.  We are establishing outside markets but our foundation is right here at home.

 

The next time you are shopping at a chain store, stop and look in your buggy and bags.  Did you purchase squash, bread, eggs, watermelon, cantaloupe, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, baked goods, honey, or green beans?  If you did, you probably could have found a fresher product that has not been sitting in a warehouse at the Bluebird Market.

  

Enrich your life on Saturday mornings as steady as rain at the Bluebird Market. Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at www.yougottabekidding.org and www.bluebirdmarket.com   Email EE questions to: bluebirdmarket@live.com

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Planet Garden Steady as Rain

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 19, 2009

Steady as Rain by Patti Robinson

The little Bluebird Market in Thomaston is becoming such a beautiful success thanks to Eco-friendly fans visiting the market on Saturdays as steady as rain. 

Each week you will find Sunlit Living classes, guests, events and door prizes.  This week is the Father’s Day Cookout and Grill-Off and we invite you to bring your family and friends out for a fun day of old-fashioned summertime grilling to celebrate Fathers we love and adore.  www.bluebirdmarket.com

Last week was so much fun because Kevin Barkley, busy recycling guru, made a surprise visit to the Bluebird Market with his lame non-recycler friend, Tommy Krenshaw.  We had our picture taken with flat Tommy and it was uploaded to the Flickr page of YouGottaBeKidding.org along with other fun pictures of recycling fans across the State of Georgia.  It is such a fun and interactive campaign with many more recycling activities coming soon.

This week I have been working on a surprise for our vendors.  Because we want income as steady as rain for our local growers and artisans and bakers, Bluebird Market is developing a product line that will be offered online.  It is very exciting and we are already registered with the Local Harvest Store (products coming soon) and Georgia Made Georgia Grown.  We have the materials in hand to become a Certified Georgia Farmers Market this fall and that will be another boost for our efforts.

A sneak peak at one company I have sent a proposal to is Gratitude Goodies.  We hope to be able to connect with this fine line of “meaningful ways to say thank you” as a sustainable giving alternative.  Products that are in the local spotlight include handmade artisan soaps, Blazing Kitchens brownies and chutneys,  Bluebird Market private label coffees and teas, Custom Threads monogrammed items and many more lovely Georgia Made items you will find locally at the Bluebird Market.  Enrich your life on Saturday mornings as steady as rain at the Bluebird Market.

Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at www.yougottabekidding.org www.bluebirdmarket.com    Email EE questions to: bluebirdmarket@live.com

Planet Garden Vertical Thinking vs. Random Influence

Posted in Environmental Education by planetgarden on June 18, 2009


Cross disiplinary discussions. Open listening.
Vertical Thinking Relevant Ideas.

Planet Garden The Sky is the Limit

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

The Sky is the Limit by Patti Robinson
For everyone who put their hearts and souls into our new community Bluebird Market the sky is the limit. The turnout was amazing, many sold out, and are now getting ready for next Saturday’s market. The Early Bird Wrangler Breakfast was a wonderful success and so we will again offer this free community breakfast for the early birds at 8 am this Saturday. On Opening Day the free Wrangler Breakfast was cooked outside over open coals featuring local eggs on toast and Cook’s Market sausage with Pineapple Banana Chutney from Blazing Kitchens. The market opens at 8 am until noon at 215 Barnesville Street in Thomaston.
You will find a link to watch a movie of all the Opening Day fun on YouTube on the website: http://www.bluebirdmarket.wordpress.com
Our local growers and artisans offered a fine array of live green foods and handmade products and their hard work was rewarded with top reviews and a very impressive Opening Day at the Bluebird Market on June 6th. There was an authentic Thai Cooking Demonstration by On Ramsey that used fresh garden herbs like spring onions, cucumbers and more and plates were served afterwards of the delicious hot Thai meal that Mrs. Ramsey prepared at the market.
We are very thankful to local growers such as Newman Farms and Elliott Farms and others for their hard work to bring us fresh and wholesome garden vegetables. There were many choices for eggs, fresh flowers, fresh herbs, quilting, green plums, loofahs, fresh lettuces, beets, pecan pie (sold out),goat milk soap (sold out), and so much more will be there this Saturday for one and all. The founding vendors have such an eco-friendly talent for sustainable living that we are fortunate to have them share their homegrown and handmade products with us all at market.
Yougottabekidding.org was launched at the market with a fun recycle movie shown on the big screen featuring Tommy Krenshaw, a lame non-recycler in pictures with friends around Thomaston.
A special thank you to Carla Clayton, an internet marketing expert, as she builds a fun and purposeful local network for our community on Twitter. Her presentation of how being connected on Twitter can boost your local business was awesome on the big screen! http://www.twitter.com/bluebirdmarket
With praise and meaningful rewards, the Bluebird Market local vendors now have the option to be in the Founding Guild. There are 2 fun ways so come out on Saturday and be a part. We invite everyone to bake a loaf of bread or pick some flowers from your yard at home and come out with your product in a basket next Saturday so you can be on the Founding Guild. This tailgate market also offers an inside venue if you have special needs. June market shoppers will also receive an invitation to be on the Bluebird Market Founding Guild. Those that have the vision of what buying local can do to strengthen our community are valuable and will have the opportunity to lead the way as we grow together.
This little birdie went to market and the sky is the limit as we hatch and fly our businesses of locally grown or handmade products.
Join the Bluebird Market eco-friendly efforts to rebuild, redirect and renew our hometown that we love and share.
Your part is to find the best way for you to experience this sustainable living adventure that has hatched the new local Bluebird Market in Thomaston. Email: bluebirdmarket@live.com
http://www.bluebirdmarket.wordpress.com

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3 Fun Ways You Serve Your Community by Shopping at the Bluebird Market

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

3 Fun Ways You Serve Your Community by Shopping at the Bluebird Market by Patti Robinson
1- Entrepreneur-Friendly Initiative: The State of Georgia leads the nation in 2009 Ranking #1 nationwide for Entrepreneurship and shopping at the Bluebird Market serves this Entrepreneur-Friendly Initiative. “According to the Kaufman Foundation, Georgia ranked first in the U.S. for entrepreneurial activity. The state is home to 590 entrepreneurs per 100,000 adults, vaulting Georgia to #1 in 2009. Georgia’s Entrepreneur Friendly program helped lay the groundwork for small business growth in the state, Governor Perdue said in a release.”
Locally Bluebird Market is working to match suppliers with business owners. I am completely confident in the abilities of our local people to run a business and support each other as mutual stakeholders. Local businesses that have already committed to buy local at the Bluebird Market include florists like Jinger’s Showcase, Eateries like Tasty Shoppe and Pharmacies like Big “C” Drugs. Our recycling business was fortunate to receive an office in the EMBARC program. In May we also graduated from the Max Marketing course. Six months after EMBARC assisted our recycling program, we were invited by the State to lead locally the current Statewide Recycling Campaign http://www.yougottabekidding.org. We aim to pay it forward with the Bluebird Market, an entrepreneur friendly initiative that provides a place for persons to hatch a business.
2- As an Eco-Friendly Initiative, shopping at the Bluebird Market serves the State of Georgia “homegrown” business development. http://bit.ly/tK87t. Bluebird Market is registered with Georgia Made Georgia Grown. On May 15, 2009, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) was pleased to announce Georgia Made Georgia Grown as one of 25 finalists for the EDA Excellence in Economic Development Awards 2009.” I have heard so many people state that the Bluebird Market is bringing people together in a vibrant, caring hometown community. Don’t keep the market a secret. Invite your friends to join us as we buy local one-day-a-week to take the control out of distant corporate boardrooms and return it to where it belongs…our local community stakeholders.
3- As a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) advocate, Bluebird Market is registered with The RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship for energizing entrepreneurs. Let’s do some math: How much do you spend on groceries a week? If 10,000 local residents spend $100 a week buying local fresh produce, eggs and fresh baked breads what would that mean for our local economy? Roughly one million dollars a week and over $50 million dollars annually to our local stakeholders. Even a portion of that amount would be a stimulus! Tomatoes and squash are often on our shopping list. Join others and redirect $25.00 a week to Buy Local. Shopping at the Bluebird Market facilitates a Do- It-Yourself (DIY) stimulus.
How much fun is Bluebird Market Day? Check it out this Saturday and watch a youtube video http://bit.ly/18C5C0. Free Earlybird Wrangler Breakfast with local eggs. Saturdays 8 am until noon. 215 Barnesville Street. http://www.twitter.com/bluebirdmarket
http://www.bluebirdmarket.wordpress.com.
Email: bluebirdmarket@live.com

Father’s Day Make-Your-Own-Kabob Cookout

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Father’s Day Make-Your-Own-Kabob Cookout by Patti Robinson
In the easiest, summer-paced way we are having a fun Make-Your-Own-Kabob Cookout/Grill-Off for Father’s Day at the Bluebird Market. There is a big grill, our local growers and the community garden have vine-ripened veggies, so I invite you to come out and help us put them on the grill and celebrate Father’s Day together this Saturday, June 20th at the Bluebird Market. If you want to take the challenge, bring your own grill for the Grill-Off. Cook your favorite summertime veggies and fruits and win prizes like a free website. Rules are online at http://www.bluebirdmarket.com. There is a $3.00 fee for the Grill-Off but the community cookout is a free public service. We’re excited about ice cold watermelon and refreshing, simple summertime fun to honor Dads.
Last week, Kevin Barkley, Grant Winner of the State of Georgia Recycling Hub and Winner of the SWANA top award for recycling, was our guest at the Bluebird Market. Kevin brought us red-hot coasters, t-shirts, cards and flat Tommy from the State of Georgia recycling campaign YouGottaBeKidding.org! This statewide campaign has not only been educational, it is so much fun. Flat-Tommy is a stand up figure of Tommy Krenshaw, a lame non-recycler. We had our picture made with Tommy and it was uploaded live from the Bluebird Market to Flickr where the campaign has pictures from other towns across Georgia and people having their pictures made with Tommy in funny places. Afterwards, several friends went up with us to June Jam in Griffin. Kevin invited us to June Jam for another flat-Tommy fun event. There were lanterns hanging from big trees and a block party with a live band.
We went with friends to Safehouse Coffee during June Jam and had a refreshing iced tea called Lemon Solstace. We are so appreciative for everything the State of Georgia Department of Community Affairs is investing in to encourage and educate about how recycling curbside is vital for our infrastructures to sustain a healthy planet. Also, I am thankful to the Keep Griffin Spalding Beautiful affiliate for devoted and dedicated efforts shared so generously here in Thomaston. I was asked to work on their new mascot committee and met with their group to experience first hand why Griffin has won top awards from the State. We are fortunate to have them as a role model. Thank you busy, Kevin Barkley, recycling guru, for dedicating a morning for the Bluebird Market!
Tommy and more will be making surprise visits again at the Bluebird Market. My advice is bring your family and be a part of the biggest campaign the state has had in this regard. It is being directed by Hill and Knowlton a top firm that also promotes the Olympics with effective and fun public interactive events. YouGottaBeKidding.org is an interactive learning experience for everyone that chooses to get involved right here in Thomaston. Top leaders in marketing in our community have the opportunity to learn state of the art best practices. And, in addition, we are having fun which makes it a positive life experience while we learn.
If you want to bring a grill to the Bluebird Market, please do so this Saturday for the Grill-Off and fun prizes. Shoppers will win door prizes each week at our Gratitude Goodies table. Gratitude Goodies are meaningful ways to say thank you and we are so appreciative that people are coming out and buying local. We’re always glad you came to the Bluebird Market so we are setting up a Gratitude Table with fun prizes for people to receive meaningful thanks for supporting our hometown local growers and artisans.

Enrich your life each Saturday at the Bluebird Market. Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.yougottabekidding.org and http://www.bluebirdmarket.com
Email EE questions to: bluebirdmarket@live.com

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Local at the Bluebird Market

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Local at the Bluebird Market by Patti Robinson

1. What is the Bluebird Market? The Bluebird Market is more than a farmers market of pleasant and charming life enrichment. The Bluebird Market is a sustainability initiative to bring vibrancy where it belongs with our local people.
2. What is my part in better sustaining our community? Redirect $25.00 to Buy Local One-Day-a-Week. Sustaining our community is reachable but it takes working together. Your part is to come out and show we are real about making our hometown thrive instead of just survive. If you agree that shopping local is one solution that we can easily manage, please forward to friends and encourage them to come out this Saturday.
3. How will Bluebird Market help my family? Not only is shopping local at a farmer’s market listed as one of 9 top ways to enrich our lives on MSN, it brings vibrancy back to where it belongs with local families rather than into warehouses of goods directed by corporate boardrooms.
4. What Does it Mean if We Redirect $25.00 to Buy Local One-Day-a-Week? The impact when we buy local is fuel savings, healthier & fresher foods for our families, and a vibrant local ecomony with an immediate do-it-yourself stimulus boost to our local people.
5. How does my 25.00 count? The collective power of one. Let’s explore together below how it adds up for well oiled corporate chainstores in approximate figures with a proforma (best case scenario) to see what is possible when we work together.
6. Don’t we need outside assistance to boost our economy? When you read the figure $100,000,000 for local Thomaston people, it appears untouchable. In reality this is a figure that is already within our reach every year and our choices have been to direct this collective big blank check to corporate chainstores rather than local producers like you and me!
7. Where would this come from when I am already struggling to make ends meet? Collectively, we already have this amount as spending power right here in Upson County. The key is to redirect a small portion to buy local. Here’s how: If everyone in Upson County (census population of greater than 25,000) spends an average (some spend less, some spend more) of $100.00 locally for 52 weeks the result is a big impact. Our collective power of one is more than one hundred million dollars. We encourage you to come out and redirect $25.00 locally as your part to make an impact.
8. Who can join this effort?
Everyone is invited to buy/sell locally grown or locally made whether it is fresh tomatoes or a loaf of fresh homebaked banana bread. Bluebird Market is first and foremost for locally grown products but just as vital are local handmade products. The market cost for vendors is $5.00 AFTER you sell $20.00 of product. The Department of Ag has stated we can sell homemade at the Bluebird Market like a bake sale without being a certified kitchen. The 3 ways we make a difference are sell, buy or sponsor the market.
9. How do I Take the Pledge?
We want our children to love their hometown and believe there is no place on earth where the quality of life is better than Thomaston, Georgia. Take the pledge online at http://www.bluebirdmarket.wordpress.com. Join us and Redirect $25.00 One-Day-a-Week to buy local.
10. When is Bluebird Market Opening Day?
Bluebird Market opens this Saturday, June 6. Enjoy local vendors and fun demonstrations on the big screen at 215 Barnesville Street (former R.C. Cola Building) across from Big Chic on Barnesville Street in Thomaston. Open Saturdays 8 am to noon.

Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local says, “Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.”

Enrich Your Life

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Enrich Your Life by Patti Robinson
Visiting a farmer’s market is listed as one of 9 inpiring ways to enrich your life in a recent article on MSN.
Enrichment is such a simple thing to achieve this week right here in Thomaston when the Bluebird Market opens. There will be lots of exciting things to see and learn when vendors set up at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning at the former R.C. Cola Building at 215 Barnesville Street across from Big Chic. Of all the interesting ways to learn at the market, the one I am most delighted about is how to effectively and efficiently Twitter. This fun and informative life skill marketing lesson will be featured indoors on a big screen with a live Twitter broadcast. There will also be interviews with local vendors and buyers at the market. Hot popcorn and drinks will be provided as we enjoy touring twitter. There is no charge for this valuable lesson on why sustainable internet marketing is a top tool for your local business.
Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local says, “Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.”
When you take the pledge to Redirect $25.00 One-Day-a-Week to Buy Local, you have the opportunity to go green in a meaningful way. Right now our local people send staggering amounts each week to outside corporate powerhouses. Just the small, simple act of redirecting $25.00 of grocery purchases to growers right here in town will bring positive changes to all. When we shop Bluebird Market, we become part of a solution. Take action to grow a living economy in Thomaston. Show up. Make your voice count and support our town in a small way that can bring positive change.
Significantly more money re-circulates in Thomaston when purchases are made at locally owned, rather than nationally owned, businesses. Living ecomony initiatives are being launched all across America in countless hometowns like ours. Our Bluebird Market Twitter has 777 followers and Bluebird Garden now has 723 followers, many of whom are in hometowns with community a garden and market like ours.
Included in our local system are not only the growers and consumers, but also the restaurants, retailers, and institutions that sell and serve food. The closer you are to your food source, the fresher and healthier that food is. That is why we are so excited about local establishments that have stated yes, we will buy local like Tasty Shoppe, Big “C” Drugs, La Fiesta, Butcher Block and many more. Bluebird Market is working like an incubator to assist vendors hatching a small business. Enrich your life this Saturday by shopping at the Bluebird Market. Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.yougottabekidding.org and http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Cottage Industry Baked Goods

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Cottage Industry Baked Goods by Patti Robinson
Those same freshly baked homemade fruit pies that you bake in the morning, set on the windowsill to cool in the afternoon breeze and then bring that evening for a covered dish supper may now be sold from your home kitchen without being certified. I learned that the Department of Agriculture has recently updated the rules on certified kitchens for homemade baked goods, honeys, jams and jellies. They no longer require certified kitchens for cottage industries to sell products at farmer’s markets.
I would much prefer to buy freshly baked goods from neighbors and friends that are not loaded with additives and preservatives to be shipped on trucks across country and stored in warehouses along the way.
Please pass the news along to your friends so everyone who wants to earn extra income on a weekly basis might now choose to begin marketing fresh and healthy home baked goods. Many of us bring homebaked favorites to church suppers and private bake sales on a regular basis but in the past we were not allowed to sell them at the local market. Visit the Bluebird Market on June 6th but come early because homebaked family recipes that are now available will go first!
If you want to make your grandmother’s secret recipe of oatmeal pecan raisin cookies at home using home-raised eggs and local honey, please feel free to do so and bring these healthy granola-style cookies to sell at market. When we know our neighbors who prepare our cookies, preserves and homebaked cakes and breads, we can buy at the market in the same manner we enjoy covered dish suppers from neighbors in our hometown.
If you are a devoted fan of sustainable eco-friendly living, you have the opportunity to show your support in Thomaston. There will be a live Twitter broadcast on the big screen and popcorn and much more fun and educational demonstrations.
It is such an exciting time to be launching a recycling campaign with the Griffin Recycle Hub and the State of Georgia. The recycling campaign will officially kickoff here in Thomaston at the Bluebird Market at the former R.C. Cola Building across from Big Chic at 215 Barnesville Street on Saturday, June 6th at 8 am. and everyone is welcome. It was also meaningful to learn Thomaston’s Bluebird community garden was featured at the Atlanta Green Expo, Global GreenUp. You can view this listing online at http://bit.ly/CXE3Z
The Bluebird Market is where everyone who cares about how we live using healthy organic and natural products available locally can come out and encourage each other. My advice is to shop the Bluebird Market as an opportunity to support sustainable living efforts in our hometown. In addition to buying locally one-day-a-week, we will find fruits, veggies and herbs along with heirloom plants and yard eggs. Fortunately, you will also now find home-baked items from neighbors you know, especially delicious and nutritious favorite recipes that have kept our families healthy and strong for generations. Isn’t it nice to know who is growing and baking our foods? Our cottage industry baked goods, jams and preserves now have an open door at the Bluebird Market 6/6.
Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.yougottabekidding.org and http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Carte Blanche

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Carte Blanche by Patti Robinson
Have you ever given anybody a big blank check signed by you? You might say ridiculous! I say we do it every day when we consider the power of one. In a manner of speaking, every time we collectively spend/invest/entrust one dollar it adds up to huge big blank checks of empowerment. When we spend we are really investing for a return on our dollar. The choice then becomes, how do we invest to better sustain our hometown in a vibrant way? We come together in hearts and minds for our children’s bright futures and a chance to live longer, stronger and healthier.

Paintings might not be enough to invite our children into a hometown of empty, dark buildings and hurting local businesses. Because we really value our hometown way of life, let’s come together and act collectively to sustain it. We can have both paintings and vibrant hometown business. It might not be enough to paint a picture. Our children can see eye candy on screens. Let’s redirect to buy local. Each one of us has immeasurable value and how we use our dollars counts. When we act collectively to rebuild, hatch and grow local owners, we better sustain our hometown culture. Token short term prop-ups can be well meaning for survival. Our sustainable aim is to thrive. We want to do what it takes so each family will have the tools to begin a genuine and thriving personal best way of living!
It’s easy when we follow the simple rule of buying locally. That is our part. Shop local. Look at the annual budget of chainstores. Now redirect to local owners for an immeasurable ripple effect. That is the power of our collective dollar. Do we believe in the long run it is sustainable for trucks to bring tomatoes and bread from across the country just so we can serve an affordable tomato sandwich to our children for lunch? I like the way people are rebuilding the power to grow their own food and operate their own business. Equip our precious children to have credible hope for a bright and healthy future right here.
To rebuild our town like others are doing, my advice is do it ourselves. Redirect each collective dollar to local establishments who in turn aim to order from local suppliers. Who could be more deserving of the power of our collective dollars than our own people? We are living our one life on planet earth right this moment second to none in Thomaston, Georgia. Each of us has special skills and value. I love being given the opportunity for unleashing life-changing potential. Get outside, do something. Find people who want you to bloom. Show up at the Bluebird Market and hatch something simple that you do well. My market product is garden sweetened lemonades. I believe simple, fun fresh lemonade is healthier and worth more in our town than boxes of sodas. I hope to supply Gardenade on a weekly basis to a local owner to earn extra income. Delicious real fruit blueberry, cherry lime and more. I invite you to come to market and test Gardenade to find the flavor you like best. I want to test your product too.
Who is fueling big loads from tractor trailer trucks? We buy. Our dollars together add up to make big profits everyday for somebody. It is our collective power to determine who the somebody will be. Entrust the power of our collective blank check with local family mainstreet owners so our children win. Find people who encourage what you need to unleash your personal best for the highest good. Join me in acting locally for sustainable choices with our collective carte blanche.
Countdown is a few short weeks until the recycling campaign and Bluebird Market. Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.yougottabekidding.org and http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Bluebird Market is a Do-It-Yourself Local Stimulus

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Bluebird Market is a Do-It-Yourself Local Stimulus by Patti Robinson
Bringing local buyers and sellers together to increase prosperity locally is the aim of the Bluebird Market. This is a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) local stimulus initiative for our hometown. The market, open to the public on Saturday, June 6th, 8 am until noon, will feature locally grown and handmade items for sale. Each week there will be educational demonstrations like Master Gardeners Planting Lessons, How to Compost, Recycle Art, Thai Cooking, Vegetable Grilling and more. Children will learn how to hatch friendly insects for organic gardens, artisan crafts, how to become certified as a National Wildlife backyard or schoolyard habitat and much more.
If you are a local gardener, like me, the market is a fantastic place to network and get the word out about your products and give samples. As we Think Global, Act Local the market is an effort to come together and build a sustainable system of buying and selling that will bring prosperity to us locally. I have often shopped at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart. Here is your opportunity to hatch a business without going to the Atlanta Mart and paying large fees. For Georgia gift baskets at my Wine and Cheese Shop, I bought cases of vidalia onion relish, stone ground grits, benne wafers from Savannah and sugared pecans from Georgia growers at the Mart. Local buyers will be shopping the Bluebird Market ready to buy from our local vendors. The selling fee is $5.00/day after you sell $20.00. Set up a table or use your tailgate in the old RC Cola parking lot at 215 Barnesville Street.
Everyone has something to bring to market. Many local shop and eatery owners have committed to buying local. I spoke with the owner of the Tasty Shoppe and he said he sure would buy locally. Also Ashley at Big C stated she was very interested and many more. I am so impressed with these leaders for terrific community service. This means not just a one time sale, but local buyers setting up accounts with local growers to become a regular supplier. This is a sustainable initiative as a Do-It-Yourself Stimulus. We now see trucks bringing in boxes of products from out of town, however soon we will see our local growers and artisans as top priority. Won’t it be nice to eat fresh breakfast eggs raised right here in Thomaston? Please support establishments that feature locally grown and handmade items. Fresh herbs, artisan breads, yard eggs, local honey, fruit pies and many more locally grown and handmade items will be available at market.
In addition to locally grown, local artisans with comparables to items online at Etsy will be available each Saturday. I have spoken with so many people who have great products they are growing or making right here in our community. If right now you don’t have a need for local items at your business and you don’t have an item to market, you still can be of incredible service by shopping for your family locally. Often we use our buying power in national chainstores supporting other communities instead of our neighbors. Please join this sustainability initiative spending dollars as we should with local trade.
Bringing local buyers and sellers together is the aim of the Bluebird Market as a local stimulus that we make happen ourselves. We have unlimited potential when we come together and make a difference by doing our part to buy, sell and shop locally. Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Your Part to Think Globally

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Your Part to Think Globally by Patti Robinson
Think Globally, Act locally is a new sustainability initiative I invite you to join. What is your part to Think Globally? One way to think globally is having a conversation where our world is communicating today…online. To better be able to think globally, it is vital to have a global presence. Also it’s fun to make friends with people around the world in just a click.
We don’t want to find ourselves having an isolationist perspective. No man is an island. We all are human beings. We are all interconnected living together on the planet we share and caring for creation together. Each one of us counts. That is the power of one, coming together one by one to make a difference. You matter, your local business matters. We want to think globally and project ourselves globally as a sustainable community that is empowering our citizens daily to make our world as a whole a better place. And we are doing that by thinking globally and acting locally. So let’s get online and present our middle Georgia best practices of how we live and work and play in our region as responsible global participants. What is being established for our region to link together is a middle Georgia Who’s Who. This is a fun way to get your name out and communicate with your customers and the rest of the planet. To better be able to think globally, it is vital to have a global presence.
The name of the webpage for Middle Georgia Who’s Who is Peachiest. If you want your business listed, please email us at peachiest @live.com. We have a simple and affordable way for you to to begin thinking globally. If we choose to begin a conversation, we can better shape our planet. Do we want to live in a bunker mentality shut off from the rest of the world? Or do we want to play a strong role showcasing our region and why we like the way we live and how we do our part to make it better for everyone on planet earth.
We want business ventures in our hometown to be good citizens in the global economy. We want to do our part for sustainable living and the most simple and affordable way for you to spotlight how you practice EPR (extended producer responsiblity) is to communicate your efforts online. Your customers, clients and associates can quickly see your bio and link to your online presence.
As a human being we all want to have a happy family and feel safe and of worth and have purpose. And we want to do this without harming others. We want our children to believe in themselves and in their bright futures. We want to have hope and we want to do our part in ways that are best for us to make the world a better place.
What do you have to contribute as we think globally on how best to make the world better for one and all? Quietly speak up online. Blog it. Everyone has something to say. Everyone has a meaningful story. Everyone has life experiences that bring wisdom.
I encourage you to learn to blog, to twitter, to speak up about what life experiences you are learning from daily and how you are working to make our planet and our local way of life sustainable and happy and hopeful. We can show you how, its affordable, its simple and most of all it is really fun. What is your part to thinking globally? That is up to you, but if you would like to join the conversation on a global line of thinking instead of an isolation thought pattern, I invite you to join us on Peachiest…who’s who in Middle Georgia. Think globally and make friends with people who like what you like. I can’t wait to follow you on Twitter/peachiest.
Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Spring is Here

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Spring is Here by Patti Robinson
Spring is here and because of the lovely weather we are working in the community garden often. The plants and seeds are in the ground and growing beautifully. We are happy with the herb garden basil and Stevia plants. Stevia is a green plant with sweet leaves. The leaves are 30 times sweeter than sugar but have low carbs. My friend told me her brother grows this plant, dries it and grinds the leaves as a healthier sweetener.
One individual who stopped by the garden noticed the leaves of some plants were turning yellow and showed me underneath the leaves a tiny insect. The treatment I chose is called Organicide (locally available at Home Depot.) This product is fish oil and sesame oil concentrate that mixes in water to naturally prevent pests. So I have sprayed the leaves and hope to see improvement soon. I am also getting a treatment of cayenne pepper to try. If you are an organic grower and have other ideas that have worked for you, please feel free to share them at planetgarden@live.com
We have many vegetables planted in a number of rows like eggplant, red and yellow bell peppers, acorn squash and more. There are rows available to adopt and also planters that are about 6 feet square. There is no fee to Adopt-a-Row or planter. We have some seeds and plants for the plant exchange available that we will be putting in containers and sharing as container gardens for those who might not be able to tend a garden but would be able to manage a container.
For the farmers market that begins on Saturday, June 6 in the old R. C. Cola parking lot, the container gardens should be a nice size and will be available along with artisan breads, organic vegetables and fruits, and many more locally made and grown items. This is a wonderful way to hatch a small business so I hope you are preparing at least one item ready for market. Another idea for those who have fresh eggs is to make homemade quiche and sell by the slice.
Remember to use mason jars to collect extra seeds and save for a rainy day. It is a step in the right direction of sustainable living to focus on healthy choices. One year I saved sunflower seeds, zinnias, marigolds and more flowers and put them in a large glass cannister. It works. Today I saw some corn a young student has grown from leftover popcorn kernals and some plants that are about a foot tall that have been grown from kidney beans.
A group is forming now of those interested in organic methods of agriculture. If you are an organic lover like me, you may want to find out more about this alliance of local organic growers. Please feel free to drop by the garden on Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30-5:00 for garden tending. Green onions are ready to share now and I invite you to stop by and take a look at the progress from R. C. Cola parking lot to community garden. Spring is here and we will be working in the garden to keep growing greener every day. Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

2 Fun Solutions for Eco-Friendly Stakeholders

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

2 Fun Solutions for Eco-Friendly Stakeholders by Patti Robinson

As Eco-Friendly stakeholders, I invite you to work together to rebuild local prosperity. Thousands of miles fresher, products will be available for you this summer at the Bluebird Market from local artisans, gardeners, and country kitchens. Who are these local gardeners and craftspeople? We are. We are the stakeholders. Everyone has something of healthy value to bring to market. The fun begins now as we prepare for the first eco-friendly summer opportunity. I am so excited about this new, weekly local market for home, organic and local Georgia growers and artisans–that’s us. You are invited to sign up now as we develop together fun ways to market our fresh and healthy products from Middle Georgia.
A vital solution for a thriving rural culture is for economic activities to remain local. The eco-friendly market encourages, at all times, the use of healthy, local ingredients and products, and the sustainable support of our local growers, artisans and their families. We are the stakeholders, let’s work together locally.
Be a part of opening day at the Bluebird Market on Saturday June 6th, in the parking lot at the old R.C. Cola Building next to the community garden. I encourage you as a stakeholder to hatch your business and earn income for your family as we shop locally. If you are a garden lover, or just aim to enjoy locally grown or handmade products, you and your family will love the Bluebird Market. Bring your ideas and sign up at our Taste of Thomaston table. You may also sign up for free to Adopt-a-Row in the community garden.

The second fun Eco-Friendly event coming to town in June is a statewide recycling campaign. This will be very exciting and there are many ways for recycle fans to get involved. Greensun Recycling is registered with DCA to bring the campaign to Thomaston. We enjoyed the unveiling of the campaign and laughed for hours at the funny recycling characters we saw when we attended at Griffin City Hall. I have been told by Griffin Recycling there are grant funds to bring all the fun to Thomaston this June. There will be contests and prizes as we all have fun learning about recycling.

I invite you as a stakeholder to join in the fun to begin in June with these 2 remarkable sustainable initiatives. Both the recycling campaign and the Bluebird Market are eco-friendly solutions to earn extra income for your family. My advice is begin now. The focus I especially invite you to consider is the Bluebird Market. It is an open air farmers market sustainability initiative that will bring prosperity. Hatch a business that you might have needed encouragement to do. Keep it simple, keep it fun! Think about fitness and choose a bright, healthy idea like grilling zucchini, offering fresh and local Middle Georgia fruits and vegetables, artisan breads, fresh eggs, fresh flowers, handmade soaps, organic herbs, mint tea, Stevia plants, fresh squeezed lemonade, or ice cold watermelon. There is unlimited opportunity.
The focus of the market is our local culture. If you love the way of life in Thomaston and believe it is worth sustaining, let’s thrive together. I also encourage participation in ongoing events like Farm Heritage Day this September. If you would like to work towards a prosperous eco-friendly summer, we invite you to sign up at our table at Taste of Thomaston. Countdown is one month until The Bluebird Market and the Statewide Recycling Campaign begin.
Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.yougottabekidding.org and http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Adopt-a-Row to Grow Green Together

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Adopt-a-Row to Grow Green Together by Patti Robinson
If you want to grow together with your family and have fun making new friends, we invite you to join in the community garden experience. Mothers, here’s a gift to go at the top of your Mother’s Day wishlist. Your family may Adopt-a-Row in the Garden and grow together as they grow for you. Dedicated Moms will benefit from live green foods for healthy dinners galore. We love a bright idea to have community street BBQ’s grilling locally grown vegetables and more, so plan now to celebrate with us at a Father’s Day Cookout. Honor Mothers on May 10th and Fathers on June 21st (also the first day of summer.)
There is exciting news about the garden project. I have been asked in Zebulon to serve on a Board of Directors that promotes ag. We are meeting this week to discuss how to bring together everybody in middle Georgia who loves to garden and farm into an ag co-op alliance with a year round co-op market here in Thomaston. Be thinking of what you have to offer so you can be a part from the beginning. The best practices model is in north Georgia and the program is a perfect fit for our community. If you like to bake bread, have fresh eggs, make homemade soap, have flowers, or homegrown vegetables or fruits get ready to have fun one day a week on market day. At the end of each market day, vendors may trade if they have anything left with each other.

You are now invited to come out to the garden as it is open to the community. Individuals are already signing up to Adopt -a- row so if you are interested please email me at planetgarden@live.com. We will be open from 3-5 pm on Wonderful Wednesdays and Fantastic Fridays. After-school church programs are welcome to Adopt-a-Row. You may also stop by the garden and Adopt-a-Row for your club, as an individual, church, or classroom to grow together. This is a community service and all are welcome. We are at your service to accomodate your needs. There is no fee. Green onions are ready and also growing are edible sweet pea pods, beets, radishes, lettuces and much more. The complete list is on the garden website. We are also receiving more locally tested and true recipes for the FFA victory garden cookbook. The latest claim to fame is very delicious Squash Pickles by CW Enterprises. I am so excited about this recipe for the cookbook.
We have had such a wonderful response to the 2nd Annual Earth Day Thomaston and the community garden. I am deeply appreciative to all of those who made the 2nd Annual Earth Day Thomaston a big success as our hometown grows green together. I had more calls from several generous individuals last week to share plants. A kind doctor in Macon wants us to have as much and anything we would like from his garden which he has cultivated for over 30 years. Bountiful generosity like this is why we call it a victory garden. One happy gardener stated it is a victory of the tenderly cultivated human spirit over weeds that can take hold like envy and greed. I spent a morning with this gardener from Thomaston and was reminded why gardening is the love of my life. In a garden so abundant, this caring gardener said, “every time we put the shovel in the ground, we come up with bulbs”. Botanicals like garlic, wild cherry, bamboo, poplar, red maple and more were received; the list can be found at http://www.bluebirdvictorygarden.wordpress.com. Local growers and businesses have been generous. I’m thankful every day for the growing number of friends of the garden.
When it is time to take a break from the heat of the community garden, I walk across Barnesville Street for a cup of ice from Big Chic. My favorite summer drink is mint iced tea while cooling off reading Twitter garden tip updates. We need some fresh mint in the garden so we can enjoy iced mint tea together this summer. It is a boost to see like-minded people come together on Twitter. There are now over 350 following our little Bluebirdgarden twitter site online like National Geographic, PBS National Parks, Wall St. Journal and 1 Thing 4 Green. We invite you to join in this fun, learning experience online at http://www.twitter.com/bluebirdgarden, to read the informative updates. Twitter is a convenient way to learn how other victory garden efforts are growing together.
I invite you to come out and Adopt-a-Row or online sign up for twitter, it’s free, to join the fun and follow along with little steps we are taking to be sustainable. There is so much abundance — it’s immeasurable — when we open up to learn, share and grow with each other. I look forward to hearing from you and growing together in our community garden.
Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Full Circle from Parking Lot to Garden

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Full Circle from Parking Lot to Garden by Patti Robinson
“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” The victory celebrated this Earth Day, is our community coming together full circle to restore a former parking lot to garden status. If we had invested a million dollars, Thomaston could not have been blessed with a more beautiful Earth Day celebration. When three buses of smiling, happy children arrived for the Earth Day Thomaston, Victory Garden Party, I thought to myself, “what a wonderful world…our Earth Day song we’ve been singing is coming true.”
The hard news here is for our planet to continue to be a healthy environment we must work to bring solutions. I am so excited about moving forward in the upcoming months. We have been invited to the unveiling of a Statewide Recycling Education Campaign on Thursday, April 30th at Griffin City Hall. We are impressed by what the State of Georgia is now offering communites for recycling programs.
Last year at American Pie, we held an Earth Day Dialogue for a small step in the right direction. As our planet was moving in a full circle around the sun, our community was bringing beautification full circle. This Earth Day was a giant leap in the right direction with genuine enthusiasm beyond recycling to the community garden vision. Participating Scouts also made Earth Day significant.
What I enjoyed most at the second annual Earth Day Thomaston, was an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt. Clean-up items like litter, sticks, rocks, what a bird might eat and something made by man were searched for. To gather Scavenger Hunt items, children were given a checklist and a canvas bag. Thomaston Federal canvas bags were recycled to insure best green practices. A Bill Nye Science Guy, Paper Recycling Factory was awarded to the team who collected over 1,000 clean-up items. Mego Haralu planted an apple tree for Arbor Day. To see Earth Day Thomaston pictures, visit http://www.bluebirdvictorygarden.wordpress.com. Earth Day Thomaston was a registered event with Earth Day Network.
Our precious children are the future solution to keeping Thomaston beautiful. Devoted caregivers are going to immeasurable lengths to enrich the lives of children in eco-friendly ways. I am so thankful to these go green leaders for all they do. Many are coming full circle in sustainable living, for example, at First United Methodist Church, I was invited last fall to speak to a group of Seniors at a Creation Care performance. Also on Christmas Eve the front grounds were lit with hundreds of lanterns made from recycled plastic milk jugs. It is touching and memorable to see Creation Care expressed in a quiet but transforming way.
You might not consider yourself an eco-crusader, however, you could be surprised. You are recycling if your family reuses children’s clothes for a younger sibling. What about recycling efforts at the House of Care, a stunning model of renewable value. Conserving, instead of wasting, is sustainable living. Closing a cycle, or circle by leading back to original value brings full circle recycling.
To creatively illustrate to the UGA 4-H Club how homegrown vegetables are renewable resources, local Director, Anita Fillingim, is designing an arts education mascot that will make a May 15th appearance in the community garden. Because of a generous local grower, the garden now has plants growing to produce eggplant, squash, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, edible pea pods, sunflowers, basil, dill and the list goes on. What could you do with the money you save by growing produce? Why not adopt-a-row? Wednesdays and Fridays from 3-5, the garden is now open.

Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Whoops, They Did it Again!

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Whoops, They Did it Again! by Patti Robinson
When I needed a salad dish for a dinner party, I thought about going to a low price chainstore and realized it would probably be about a ten dollar purchase. That cost would likely include a transport fee for an overseas product. But there were several alternatives and the one I chose was to purchase nearly new. I stopped in a resale shop and found a nice dish in perfect condition for 5.00. Then I stopped by a store with local vendors and found a real treasure. It was a lovely 14″ hand painted vegetable dish for $3.00. I found a renewable serving dish that I now enjoy putting to good use weekly.
The lesson is before buying new, stop in one of our several local nearly new and antique shops. You will likely find a higher quality for a lesser price. It only makes sense to reuse, reduce and recycle. This is yard sale season and a top way to recycle. Shop the yardsales and the price will usually be right. My grandparents used to listen to the Swap Shop on the radio in Thomaston. It was a fun show and a practical way of doing business demonstrating Thomaston residents have long been living green. When we shop, dine and play locally it supports our local economy and insures a better way of life for our hometown people. It also saves us all on transport costs.
I am a lover of global fair trade and true blue supporter of global business. However, I solidly believe if a local person that is reputable makes a bid on a city or county service, that bid should be considered top priority, especially if the competition is based overseas. Certainly I am a believer that our local people can effectively operate a waste service that will satisfy as well as the French. My intellect says our local operators are more worthy of local dollars than overseas owners. I have every bit of confidence that we can find a way to make it work locally. I believe that our local people have the know-how to make it happen for us. I am totally supportive and open to local operators and business owners. I have total faith and belief in their abilities.
Unfortunately, some do not–whoops Upson County elected officials did it again!
Lamar, Spalding and many others are like-minded and already up and running with locally owned waste services in the State program. Upson is out of the loop and if the contract goes through will not be moving forward like our neighbors any time in the near future.
Let’s get real. Reuse, reduce and recycle. Shop, dine and play locally. Do business with and become a main street small business owner. Plant a victory garden in hanging baskets, containers or in a small backyard plot. When we plant a package of cucumber seeds from a local feed and seed store, we can feed our family cucumbers all summer long for the price of one cucumber from a chainstore. The real unsung American heroes encourage in every way our independently owned local small businesses and residents second to none.
Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Who Will Keep Thomaston Upson Beautiful?

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Who Will Keep Thomaston Upson Beautiful? by Patti Robinson
Authentic beautification is the eco-friendly way we do business and the healthy, sustainable working systems we choose. I was encouraged by Griffin leaders to facilitate a Keep Thomaston Upson Beautiful affiliate. That is why like-minded people are coming together on Earthday, April 22 in support of Keep Thomaston Upson Beautiful. If you are a garden club member or just a beautification lover like me, you will want to in some way be a part of this meaningful non-profit group forming now to promote everyday real beautification of our community forward. Words have power. Your voice does count.
Thomaston was in many ways green before it was cool. Many of us and our grandparents had home vegetable gardens. If there was a setback today how would you feed your family? My advice is to save for a rainy day with a safety net of a simple, yet valuable cannister of seeds. Plant at least a container of tomatoes to take a step towards sustainability. The victory garden way of life is now highly sought after. It is empowering to feed our families without being dependent on the price of fuel needed to haul a head of lettuce to Georgia from California or a basket of strawberries from Mexico. Excess is over. Sustainable living is our future.
Griffin is winning heavy State funding for sustainable infrastructures. Keep Griffin Spalding Beautiful public service efforts quietly spearheaded well earned rewards. I was fortunate to be asked to assist in the design of their new mascot. When I attended a KGSB meeting I was impressed at the beautification efforts that have resulted in awards, funds and favor by the State. Last month when I attended the Griffin Recycle Hub Groundbreaking Ceremony I heard State and local officials focused like a laser on recycling. Their message is communities that are serious about new business will reduce waste and commit to a recycling infrastructure. Because of EPR (extended producer responsibility), it is a must for companies to recycle. April is Keep Georgia Beautiful month reducing waste by recycling.
I invite you to bring your family outside on Earthday for a sustainable experience. If offered, children are drawn to healthy living. At an Atlanta festival there were activities like pan for gold, however, I noticed crowds of children gathered around a washtub. The tub was filled with water, a bar of soap and doll clothes. Both boys and girls were having a wonderful time washing and hanging clothes on a line. The initials of Keep Thomaston Upson Beautiful are KTUB. On Earthday for fun there will be a washtub for children and a solar (sunshine) dryer and clothesline.
Come outside on Earthday, Wednesday, April 22. Play with us anytime from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the community garden at the old R.C. Cola building on Barnesville Street. Be a founding supporter of Keep Thomaston Upson Beautiful. Because words we say have power, our 2009 Earthday theme song is “What a Wonderful World.”
Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Thank you Thomaston for Planting Trees

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Thank you Thomaston for Planting Trees by Patti Robinson
April is a lovely month of blooming and celebrations. In addition to Earth Day on April 22nd, we celebrate Arbor Day on April 24th.
It is such an inpiration to see new trees planted in Thomaston along Goodrich Avenue. In addition to bringing us cleaner air and more, trees give Thomaston lovely charm. Planting trees is an excellent step in the right direction towards beautification.
When I was first married, we were building a cabin in the country on top of a little wooded hill. The idea was to clear the underbrush and leave the tall pine trees. This idea of clearing was upsetting to me but my grandfather came up with an acceptable compromise. Replanting 100 dogwood trees on the hill. I agreed, and the brush was cleared, pine trees remained and dogwoods were planted. I wish we had known about Tree Gators used on the trees just planted on Goodrich for a slow release of water to newly planted trees. Using Tree Gators for effective water use is another environmentally friendly action in Thomaston.
Trees are Terrific is the theme for this year’s poster contest at the Arbor Day Foundation. You will find many educational resources and games online like Who wants to be a treellionaire? Visit http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com to see a video of Carly Cardinal singing the Arbor Day tree song. The Tree Muskateers was founded by a group of third graders and is another great site to encourage the value of trees in our communities.
If you plant a tree, my advice is to plant a pair of fruit trees for your family. There are many types of fruit trees that I have enjoyed watching bloom and bear fruit in Georgia including figs, apricots, pears, apples, plums and peaches. Blueberries grow to be a sweet little tree that also thrive in our region. Last summer I wanted to pick blueberries on an organic farm and while visiting Barnesville we stopped by Sun Ray Blueberry Farm. We made friends and spent a wonderful summer learning the proper way to pick blueberries taught to us by organic blueberry expert, Julie Ray. She takes special orders for blueberries that freeze well. The goal is to wait until they are marble sized with a powder finish. If they are still shiny they are not sweet enough for Julie. So we picked gallons of berries and pretended we were in the Garden of Eden. These berries were shared with lots of friends and it was such a success I received an email from Julie asking us to come again this summer. We said absolutely, and are looking forward to it.
On Arbor Day, Friday April 24th, I encourage you to go outdoors. Look around our community and your neighborhood at all of the lovely trees that have given us so much for so many years. Like The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, you might have a favorite. Email me a picture of the tree you like the most and why. Is it lovely, has it given you shade in the summer, pretty colors in the fall, fruit for your table?
I will be looking around town to see which tree I believe is the prettiest in Thomaston. We might have a contest to find our hometown’s most lovely tree and dedicate the story behind it. At Auburn one of my favorite places by the Phi Mu dorm was the Arboretum. Let’s celebrate terrific trees and plant a new one on Arbor Day, a day designed for planting trees.
Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.

Happy Earth Day Thomaston

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on June 16, 2009

Happy Earth Day Thomaston by Patti Robinson
Earth Friendly big news for Thomaston this summer is a new Victory Garden keepsake cookbook for those who order now! I ask you to invest your support for Environmental Education in Georgia (www.greenandhealthy.org). This keepsake is a fundraiser to benefit Thomaston’s bright Future Farmers. (www.toagardenparty.wordpress.com) Cheer them on by ordering “FFA: A Taste of Victory.”
At Earth Day Thomaston, Wednesday, April 22, you are invited to celebrate from 3-5 pm at the Community Victory Garden at the old R.C. Cola Building, 215 Barnesville Street. You may reserve your cookbook as we sing together “This Land is Your Land.” Email cookbook orders to planetgarden@live.com. Affordable at $7.99 per spiral bound copy; they are limited. If you are busy but would like to be a part of the community garden, this is your chance. Your investment in this keepsake hometown cookbook to benefit FFA is valuable and the delicious garden recipes will be of service to you and your family.
It is an honor to boost these talented and promising ag students on the right tract to becoming Georgia’s future horticulture leaders. I was fortunate to be invited to speak at ULHS and was impressed with overwhelming interest and helpfulness. Many exciting careers are ag based but with complex changes, our students need encouragement and praise as they determine future studies. Their worthwhile decision takes fuel of hard work and perserverance to reach goals. Listening politely to my Victory Garden Power Point presentation, ag students received skilled guidance by horticulture teacher, Casey Shumate. While advising them to take notes for follow up, Ms. Shumate encouraged students in the Victory Garden SAE (Supervised Ag Experience) for hands on work experience as 1/3 of their curriculum. After learning why home vegetable gardens are vital for sustainable living, students worked outside in the school’s onsite garden and greenhouse.
If you are a garden club member or gardening fan, “FFA: A Taste of Victory” keepsake is a way to boost reuse of valuable land for home vegetable gardens in Thomaston. You may submit garden recipes listed in the name of your club.
Here are 3 fun and meaningful ways to Celebrate Earth Day Thomaston on April 22
1- Reuse – Sing “This Land is Your Land” & order a Victory Garden Cookbook at the Community Victory Garden
2- Reduce – place affordable solar lights in your garden walkways
3- Re-power- Eco-friendly cooking using the sun’s radiant energy
Earth Day Solar S’mores
1 box Golden Grahams cereal
1 box Cookie Crisp cereal
1 box Organic Chocolate cereal
2 bags mini marshmallows
2 bags milk chocolate chips
In a large bowl, simply combine cereals, and stir in marshmallows. Fill individual plastic bags. Sprinkle about 1 Tablespoon of chocolate chips per bag. When ready to enjoy, explain the power of solar energy as bags are placed for several minutes in the sun until chips are melted. This is a fun learning experience to demonstrate ways we can re-power with radiant energy.

Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at http://www.planetgarden.wordpress.com. Email EE questions to: planetgarden@live.com.