PLANET GARDEN: Eco-Friendly Resource Guide

Planet Garden Peace Quilt

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on August 31, 2009

Peace Quilt
Grow Peace. When we talk together about ways to bring about peace, and believe in peace, the result of that focus can be a self fulfilling prophecy. I am very happy that the International Day of Peace has Bluebird Market in Thomaston listed in the United States to recognize the value of peacefulness. If you go to http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org and look up by zip code or United States and scroll down to T for Thomaston, you will find the Thomaston Bluebird Peace Quilt event.
One year for VBS when we were at the farm for the summer, we made a Noah’s Ark Quilt. I invited the children to paint muslin squares of their favorite animals two by two and sign their first name with a marker. Then we compiled pretty pinks, yellows, blues, browns and purple calico’s to make the ark, the rainbow and the ocean. The precious children squares were added and we hung the quilt in the hall at the church. Everyone loved it. The project brought children and Moms together and was simple when done in steps.
To celebrate peace at Bluebird Market, we are inviting everyone to come out on Saturday, September 19th and paint a square that represents a way to Grow Peace. When we come together to care about this beautiful earth that we all share it is a peaceful way of living that I adore. There is much to learn in a garden and we have been so blessed by working in the community garden and market this spring and summer. I learned that the White House is now planning a Farmers’ Market and some Bluebird Vendors hope to attend. The Peace Quilt project is open to the community and we hope families, businesses and individuals will paint a square. The International Day of Peace comment for our Peace Quilt Project is that they like it and want pictures and a video to put on their website. So I hope you will be there with your family to get your picture made as you show how we Grow Peace in our Hometown USA.
The second Yardcycle event will be September 5th for American Spirit Labor Day at Bluebird Market. It is open to the public and you are invited to repurpose your unwanted items and earn money for your family. There is a $5.00 fee after you sell $20.00. Plan to arrive early as most everything was gone by about 11:00 at the first Yardcycle. The sale begins at 8 am.
The 12 Week Christmas Countdown also begins this week at Bluebird. By Thanksgiving when others are beginning the holiday rush, our aim is to already have gifts, decor and foods prepared. There are many ways we can work together in steps that make Christmas affordable and unhurried for Moms and families to have more quality time to cherish the reason for the season. We want to encourage the Do-It-Yourself manner of green living that has been a strong part of the culture in Thomaston. I am happy that the founder of the new Moms program in a multi-county area is signed up at Bluebird to learn and share ways to have an Eco-Friendly auto-pilot Christmas season.
Stock your freezer now with local veggies from Bluebird Market for fall soups, stews and chilis. Green tomatoes add a wonderful flavor to soups and stews. When you begin with veggies grown for flavor, rather than for ability to withstand long hauling and supermarket shelf life, you will find that there is no need for salts, sugars and processed additives to make a nutritious and delicious heirloom veggies soup. Fresh basil is also available at Bluebird Market and can be frozen for fall soups, egg frittatas and breads.
 
We are giving away Bluebird Garden herb and veggie plants for home fall Kitchen Gardens to 1 in 5 winners who sign up on
Facebook as a Bluebird Market Fan. You may sign up free on Facebook.com, type “Bluebird Market” in the search box, and click Become a Fan. It’s so easy. When we reach 100 fans, the Kitchen garden plant prizes will go to 1 in every 5 fans. Enrich your life Saturdays 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 http://www.bluebirdmarket.com. Email EE questions to: bluebirdmarket@gmail.com
 

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Planet Garden Auto Pilot Your Holiday Season

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on August 26, 2009

Auto-Pilot Your Holiday Season
A friend recently introduced me to the concept of auto-pilot and I have been applying that philosophy on many levels. The one I’m most excited about is how to become free from the business of holiday rush. I remember when it was a shock to see Christmas items before Trick or Treat and now they are here in the summertime from chain stores in the business of rushing us.
Here are 2 eco-friendly solutions to free us from the rushiness of the holiday season so we can spend meaningful family time together instead of creating the hurried child syndrome. The first solution to apply is less-is-more and the second solution is to pace-it. Several active Bluebird Market Patrons have suggested a way to pace our holidays so when Thanksgiving rolls around, we will have completed our gift list, decor and even special entertaining meals. Here is how you can put your Christmas holidays on Auto-Pilot to become swept away in the simple things that are unhurried. Each week for 12 weeks at Bluebird Market we will have a kit you can complete at the Market with friends on Saturday mornings in less than an hour or you may take-home the workshop and Do-It-Yourself in a convenient time.
After 12 weeks, and before Thanksgiving arrives, you will have lovely and cherished handcrafted gifts for family and friends, wonderful decor for your home to simply put in place when ready, and, if you wish, your freezer and pantry will be filled with several special occasion holiday meals. This special workshop is in the name of sharing valuable holiday time with family and friends to give the best gift of all which is more of our priceless attention and care.  We will be more free during the short holiday season to give of ourselves because we Did-it-Ourselves ahead of time at Bluebird Market…a totally green concept. In addition we most probably will plan better, thereby not impulse spending in chain stores. As a result of pacing ourselves, our investment in the Christmas Countdown Workshop should prove very prudent, another green concept.
Invite all of your friends and join the 12-week Christmas Countdown Workshop at Bluebird Market. Just send an email to bluebirdmarket@gmail.com and say you want information to sign up. There is a small, affordable fee to cover some supplies and work scholarships are available also. This is another Buy-local sustainability initiative that encourages us to put our faith in our local people and keep our dollars where they belong, in our local community.
Enrich your life on Saturdays 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.

Unity

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on August 19, 2009

Unity

When we are working together for the highest love and the best for all, we create the potential for everyone to do better.  When people come together with a dream of “what can be” and like-minded unity to accomplish that dream, a circle of community forms with each person giving their best for the highest love and greater good. This is a co-op effort instead of a chain of command heirarchy. United efforts, like our Buy-Local sustainability initiative, aim to bring about a higher purpose for the good of all, pro bono.

We have been fortunate to see the community garden unfold because of many high-minded local people at the Bluebird Garden and Market over the spring and summer.  Such blessings have unfolded to see the community garden created from a parking lot at the former RC Cola Building.  Over 4 inches of gravel were excavated with the kind assistance of Matt Andrews and then C W Enterprises brought in truckloads of soil. Others contributed plants, mulch, and more and, as a result of this unified effort, an ever-flowing stream of organic veggies were harvested and shared.

As we recap summer and move into fall fun, we have celebrated and honored all of the vendors that came out and made the Bluebird Market an example of “what can be” when people are unified and come together for the higher good. In this case, our hometown, where we all live, work and raise our precious children together is worth every effort by those who have genuine hope of a better day for one and all.  In 2 months over the summer, we did not totally meet our goal of 100 people redirecting twenty five dollars weekly to local growers and artisans at Bluebird, however, the market did bring people together and brought refreshing hope.  The idea that we can find a way to enrich our lives by working together is certainly worthwhile.  Bringing people together in a unified, rather than devisive, challenge for our community is priceless.  Having served the purpose to strive to find a way to insure our local families are happy and thriving, each participant who has been a part of this worthwhile patchwork effort is valuable and appreciated.  I am honored and thrilled with those who share the vision.  When a collective choice is made to aim to work together with a unified goal to bring about a venue for productivity, the choice itself is a good outcome.  The choice for unity is beautiful.

Fall brings so much fun and this week we are continuing to learn about Eco-Friendly practices at the Bluebird Market by pointing out that poisons used on vegetables can be very harmful to humans, friendly bugs and animals.  There is a better way to control insect damage….Eco-Friendly Bugs.  Our ultimate garden protectors are my favorite, ladybugs, who feed on insects bent on the destruction of garden plants.  We will learn how dragonflys feast on around 600 insects each day such as gnats, flies and mosquitoes.  Bees are a special favorite at Bluebird Market as Miss Honey and Mr. Hive bring us a love of reading storytime each week at 10 am.  Bees are the only insect to produce food for humans and are vital to provide pollination, in addition to other friendly products they bring us like candles and lip balms featured by Busy Bee Honey Farm.  Lightning bugs are beneficial and eat harmful insects and if you see a Praying Mantis in your garden, you might consider a celebration because of their wonderful ability to remove unfriendly plant-damaging insects.  Next week we will have a fun dinosaur dig and celebrate “More Herbs, Less Salt” Day with herbs and essentials. 

When we act together in green ways that add up to life changing benefits, it’s such a simple thing to enrich our lives. 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

Planet Garden Roll-in-the-Hay

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on August 13, 2009

Roll in the Hay roll in the hay

Late in the summer as we begin planning fall gardens, I look forward to Harvest Festivals. We had the most fun for 5 years when I was fortunate to Co-Found and Chair the Children’s Activities at the Harvest Festival at the Galleria in Atlanta. This worthy fundraiser for the Foundation for Medically Fragile Children was a favorite. Of all the fun, like pan for gold, Native American Teepees, Log Cabins, baby buffaloes and more, the most anticipated each and every year was “Roll in the Hay”.

The line was longest for this activity which consisted of simply a kitchen timer, a hay pile and lots of candy and prizes hidden underneath. Can you imagine the fun the children had in this hilarious scramble for buried treasure? This fall at Bluebird, we are happy to announce the First Annual Roll-in-the-Hay for Thomaston. Along with fall fun like ciders, a pumpkin patch, and sugar cane, the Bluebird Roll-in-the-Hay will be featured as a delightful way of saying “Happy Harvest”.

Today in the Community Garden we have been harvesting, clearing, and getting ready for fall. The Montessori Edible Schoolyard Compost Bin is now filled to the top! Thank you to everyone who made this summer’s sustainable project a terrific yield. Like an ever-flowing stream, we again brought in laundry hamper baskets brimming with carrots, beets, radishes, tender green beans, lettuces, Fordhook limas, purple hull peas, okra, Thai peppers and more. Remaining are over a hundred tomatoes as well as eggplant, bell peppers, basil, Stevia and butterbeans. Bountiful success inspires us and I so hope you had some home-grown veggies this summer. To Adopt-a-Row, now that the weather will be cooler, please call 404-300-9519.

The summer Community Garden was totally organic so much was learned about Eco-Friendly insects –our ultimate plant protectors. We will celebrate ladybugs and more on Bug Day this Saturday as part of Young Naturalist efforts. Southern climate brings us a multitude of bugs bent on destruction and predictably we did lose some squashes, however, the organic garden was a learning experience, and, best of all, when veggies are picked, they can be eaten that very day with no worry about harmful chemicals.

Everyone has been patiently waiting for the Organic and Local Co-Op and the best system for all is moving forward, so stay tuned. It is an honor and delight to serve our beautiful local people who bring us arts and harvest. Happily you will find favorites coming in like collards and butter lettuce. We want to share the bountiful goodness with local families who are a part of the community supported arts and harvest co-op.

When we act together in green ways that add up to life changing benefits, it’s such a simple thing to enrich our lives. 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.

Planet Garden Lovely Day

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on August 4, 2009

Lovely Day by Patti Robinson

On Saturday August 8th, our hometown will celebrate National Farmers Market Week with a “Lovely Day Bluebird Awards Brunch” under the trees at the market at 10 am. Everyone is welcome to bring a dish and enjoy the free community picnic brunch of Spinach Frittata and Sparkling Cider, home baked goods and more.

There has been such a wonderful community response and knitting together of eco-friendly people shopping and selling local products each week. Buying local is a step in the right direction for our community. It is vital that we redirect and keep our community dollars where they belong, with our local people in our community. We are also so appreciative to be featured as “This Bluebird is So Green” in Scoop Magazine’s Daily Scoop newsletter.

On Saturday, August 8th there will be a cans and paper recycling fundraiser at the Gilmore Center sponsored by Quad Graphics. Efforts like these are worthwhile to boost recycling in our hometown as part of the Recycle for Georgia campaign. At the groundbreaking of the Griffin hub it was stated that curbside recycling is a “must” for any Georgia community who wants to attract new business.

Thomaston is filled with good hearted and talented local celebrities that are undiscovered. So many have come out to Bluebird Market bringing what they do best. Because they are so busy creating wonderful vegetable gardens, baking healthy whole breads, building useful woodworking furnishings and more, for them to take the time to come to market on Saturdays speaks so highly of what we value in our community.

Thomaston has been a green eco-friendly town for many years with wonderful citizens who recycle weekly at yard sales and appreciate and love our beautiful creation. We are -for the large part -undiscovered. And so, this week during National Farmers’ Market Week, we are taking the opportunity to say thank you and shine the spotlight on these dedicated and productive local growers, bakers, artisans and educators that have come together over the summer to share their gifts with others.

It’s going to be a lovely day and we so hope you will be there to celebrate with local Farmers’ Market fans under the trees. The Market will be open as usual from 8 am until noon. The brunch awards are at 10 am.

When we act together in green ways that add up to life changing benefits, it’s such a simple thing to enrich our lives. 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.

Planet Garden Spotlight on Local Farmers’ Market Hot Celebs

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on August 3, 2009

Turn the Spotlight on Local Farmers’ Market Celebrities by Patti Robinson

Thomaston is an amazing hometown and one reason is we are fortunate to have talented local area Growers, Bakers, Artisans and Educators second to none. During the 10th Annual National Farmers Market Week (August 2-8), we are turning on the spotlight to recognize the following award-winning Farmers Market participants. If you are enjoying fresh and local from Bluebird Market this summer, we invite you to continue to join us each week on Saturdays this fall to show gratitude to these well-deserving local celebrities. Keep local dollars where they belong …in our local community.

Growers Awards -National Farmers Market Week

Best Overall Area Grower James Family Farm

Top Georgia Grown Supplier Bob Baskin

Best Upson Grower Newman Farms

Best Middle Georgia Growers Elliott Farms

Best Georgia Peaches Dickey Peaches

Best Upson Victory Garden Project 365-V

Best Home Garden Juliette Hightower

Best River Garden Cochran’s Flintside River Garden

Best Youth Garden Project 4-H Home Schoolers

Best Edible Schoolyard Barnesville Street Montessori School

Best You Pick Farm – SunRay Blueberries

Cottage Industry Baked Goods Awards -National Farmers Market Week

Best Orchard Apple Pie James Family Farm

Best Local Honey Busy Bee Honey Farm

Best Pecan Pie Kris Thomas

Best Cookies Constance Cookies

Best Pecan Pralines Greens and Berry Farm

Best Zucchini Bread Freida’s Bakery

Best Cakes Cathy’s Cakes

Best Banana Bread B’s Baked Goods

Best Cinnamon Rolls Margie, the Bread Lady

Best Focaccia Cathy’s Bread of Life

Best Organic Baked Goods T.’s Organica

Artisan Awards-National Farmers Market Week

Best Garden Pottery Eagle’s Nest

Best Mosaics Broken Roses

Best Quilting Landers Quilting

Best Caning Furniture by Bennett

Best Woodworking Gilbert’s Fine Woodworks

Best Painting Lone Daisy Studio

Best Natural Jewelry Jewels by Joy

Best Beading Kathrine Wintercorn Collection

Best Custom Jewelry Cami Chic

Best Embroidery Custom Threads

Best Handmade Clothing Cotton Bud

Best Candle making Busy Bee Honey Farm

Best Soap making Daisy’s Goat Milk Soaps

Best Metalworking This Little Piggie Hibachi Grills

Sunlit Living Awards-National Farmers Market Week

Best Social Networking Blonde Affiliate

Best Sustainable Living Skills Green Mahma

Best Multi Cultural Cuisine Thai Cooking by On Ramsey

Best Canning Lesson Bread of Life Cooking School

Best Kitchen Composting Barnesville Street Montessori School

Best Cooking Wild Greens and Berry Farm

Best Herb Teas Blazing Kitchens

Best Love of Reading Miss Honey’s Bee-a-Reader

Best Community Garden Lesson On Ramsey

Best Blueberry Recipe SunRay Farms

Best Recycling Development Greensun Recycling

Best Recycling Campaign YouGottaBeKidding.org

Best Bee Hive Demonstration Busy Bee Honey Farm

Best Georgia Coffee Roaster Safehouse Coffees & Teas

Best Eco-Friendly Storybooks Stephanie’s Usborne for Children

Best How to Decoupage Cathy Pollard’s Crafts

Best Party Cakes Lisa Fox