PLANET GARDEN: Eco-Friendly Resource Guide

Planet Garden ‘Storybook American Town’ Market Sparkles and Grows

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on January 1, 2010

Turning the pages in our ‘Storybook American Town’ in 2009, we found the coolest small town people glowing with local talent. It is because of local people that our neighborhood market experienced phenomenal growth in 2009. We are totally intrigued and wondering, “What will happen next?” What is our 2010 destination? Farmers Markets across our country are growing and Bluebird Market is growing too by taking a step in the right direction. You are invited to be a part as a fascinating story is unfolding for our local efforts. Recapping 2009, we celebrate that over 50 local vendors and hundreds of patrons brought us ‘All the Best’ genuine charm to our neighborhood open air Bluebird Market. Do you know the jewel in the crown of local communities across our country? Farmers Markets have nearly doubled during this decade! Local food systems continue growing as our country rebuilds on local foundations. Market squares in American villages are filled weekly as social gatherings for local fun, friends and foods. Across our country and especially in our hometown, we are re-establishing the value of what makes our nation strong around our market squares. In a hurried world, we are choosing ‘Slow Foods.’ Residents cherish the value of local people, local farmers, and local landscapes. Our hometown is being polished into a picture-perfect Currier and Ives lifestyle. In Thomaston, people continue to come out and show how the pages in a cheerful fairy tale story should read! Our family loved Beatrix Potter garden stories of Peter Rabbit and friends. Thus our effort in 2009, was to plant a vegetable garden. What fun it is to bring charming stories to life. Writing their fascinating pages in our local market story in 2009 were artisans, cottage bakers, growers, patrons, business leaders, chefs and more bringing artisan breads, herbs, veggies, flowers, and Georgia made artworks. The community garden brought a local harvest to over 40 families that signed up at Taste of Thomaston for free organic vegetables. This garden was made possible by generous donations of seeds, soil and plants by C W Enterprises, B & B Feed & Seed, Georgia Greenhouses and more. Among the hundreds of faithful patrons that came out weekly for farm fresh local veggies and artworks were the Clayton Family and the Versemann Family. Alice Versemann made canning cool again and showed us all the tips she has learned from generations of canners. Carla Clayton encouraged us to connect online with social networks like Twitter with a live demonstration on the big screen. now has nearly 10,000 online readers and over 1,800 Twitter followers. Click Live Traffic Feed to see where people live around the world who visit us online. There were numerous cooking shows in 2009 from talented local caterers and chefs like how to make a Crisp Apple Strudel by Cathy Kreismanis and the Art of Gingerbread Cottages by Linda Hayward. We were taught how to make a delicious garden soup by Bess Mayo. Bob James’ revealed his secret to a great pot of chili, and how to bake on a pizza stone to make garden focaccia. Bob Baskin not only gave us his recipe for Divinely Sweet Ambrosia, but also was the source of grove fresh oranges through the holiday season. Mr. Holland brought us apples from his Apple Farm along with his recipe for Apple Salad. Each week has been a learning experience with the spotlight on abundant undiscovered talents of our local growers, artisans, cooks and bakers. Seeking a healthy lifestyle of organic and green living has been the focus of our eco-friendliest market with produce brought by family farmers, like James Family Farm. You may tour this working farm like we did on Christmas Eve and sign up for fresh boxes of CSA produce harvested weekly. During the 2009 holidays, the cozy Christmas Market thrived each Saturday morning as friends gathered for sounds of music, and tastes of steaming hot cocoa, mulled cider, teas and soft warm gingerbread at the Sleighbell Arts Market. TUAC embraced the self-taught Bluebird Artisan Guild and featured Bluebird artist works in the TUAC Mistletoe Gallery Gift Shop. Artwork found for sale now at TUAC includes jewelry, beadwork, warm woolen mittens, stained glass, paintings, a local children’s storybook, handmade soaps, handstitched quilts, pure spa salts, and much more from Middle Georgia countryside artisan studios. Step into a real ‘Storybook American Town’ market. The focus at Bluebird Market is local arts, baking, gardening, botany, a Children’s Bookshop with local authors and over 20,000 titles through Usborne Books. We are so appreciative for the Story Time that sweet spirited, Miss Honey, Kara Beth Huddleston gave children for a love of reading experience with a Dino Dig, walks through the community garden, pet day and weekly themes just for little BEE-a-Readers. It’s been a good year in 2009 because of beautiful people bringing arts and harvest to enrich our collective local experience at Bluebird Garden and Market. So, after a year of fabulous fun and growth in 2009, what is our 2010 destination? Let’s start at the very beginning this Saturday, January 2nd….read more on Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living.


Planet Garden How Crafts Can Put a Little Green in Your Pocket

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on December 1, 2009

Need a place to Earn Christmas Money from Your Crafts?
With all of the cute crafts, arties, Indie arts and folk artists in Thomaston where can you go to sell your crafts to put a little Green in your holiday pocket?
This Saturday, bring your handiwork to the Sleighbell Arts Market in the former RC Cola Building at 215 Barnesville Street in Thomaston. This is a community fundraiser to support our local artisans as an annual holiday handmade arts and crafts sale where the funds go directly to the artisans.  Along with your crafts, be sure to invite about 5 friends to come out take a look at what you have to sell.  These are the 3 top reasons why we have seen successful vendors selling their products when they bring along their friends–
1-debut your works…it’s a great way for your friends to begin to see what you have been making,
2-build your reputation and customer base for your product line, 
3- if 20 vendors bring along only 5 friends each…how many shoppers will choose from holiday arts and crafts at the market? At least 100!
Most craft fairs charge a fee to set up or a daily fee but at Bluebird Market, there is no fee to set up and you only pay $5.00 a day AFTER you sell $20.00 of your products. So, you can come out and give the market a try and unless you make over twenty dollars it is completely no charge. In addition, when your friends and family members come early, they can enjoy a free community breakfast from 8 -9 am. This week Earlybird shoppers at the Sleighbell Arts Market may enjoy free Cranberry Pancakes with Marmalade Syrup along with hot chocolate and coffee.
The family-friendly market has an inside venue and opens at 8 am until noon. Vendors are welcome and should email or just come out ready to set up. This is a local fundraiser for our Bluebird Artists, and Guild members and everyone is welcome to shop the market and support hometown local artisans.
Our country was built and will continue to be strong because we support our local community people in their small business ventures.
If you are seeking a place to sell your handmade crafts to earn extra Christmas money, you are invited to set up at the Sleighbell Arts Market, 215 Barnesville Street, Thomaston on Saturday December 5th. Bring your friends and sell your handmade toys, vintage crafts, holiday ornaments, decorative party ware, table linens, beadwork, woodwork, paintings, knitting, quiltwork,  and other handmade craft items. A fun, easy and impressive opportunity this Saturday to put a little green in your holiday pocket.

Planet Garden Happy Feeling Nothing in the World Can Buy

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on December 1, 2009

You will find a wintry fairy land at the Sleighbell Arts Market this Saturday over at our little neighborhood Bluebird Market on Barnesville St. in Thomaston. It’s lovely weather for an arts sleigh ride together with you…
There will be handmade gifts galore by local artisans that are so unique and precious but more important is the spirit they are created in. These wonderful things are the things we remember all through our lives…handmade mosaics, stained glass works and ornaments, footies, handmade soaps, art photography, beadwork, paintings, handmade wooden doll furniture, custom designed jewelry, beads for life, recycle art, purses, storybooks, hair bows, baby clothes and so much more! We are so blessed to be hosting this event for local artisans. Join us in shopping the Sleighbell Arts Market and Thomaston Upson Arts Council Gift Gallery. Talented local people bring us the way to say no to the madness of the malls and yes to great holiday gifts for everyone on our list.
Building our hometown by working together gives us that storybook happy feeling nothing in the world can buy! When we focus on our family, friends and blessings in our community, the price tag just can’t be bought. What we have is priceless when we work together for a better day for our family and friends. This is a lovely season to seek peace and joy within that passes all understanding and to sing the songs we love to sing without a single stop!
We also want our artisans to put a little green in their pockets this holiday season.  Why should we be certain they gain the encouragement to continue their ventures? Of all the reasons, one vital reason is because local businesses strengthen our hometown in sustainable living and bring us all a stronger local ecomony. Their little businesses are valuable to one and all. Honestly, it is what our country was founded on and what will keep it strong! Our local community has been my focus and this is the season to speak up for our local artisans. Their works are lovely and amazing, their prices are sound and affordable and the love that goes around when we buy from a local artisan is priceless…rebuilding our community brings that happy feeling nothing in the world can buy!
Come and take a sleigh ride this Saturday at Bluebird Market. Have fun learning to make crispy holiday apple strudel, sip some sugar cookie sleigh ride tea and check out all of the art work that has been lovingly created over the previous year by our local people.
There’s a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy when we strengthen our local economy and turn the pages of our ‘storybook American town’ to a brighter day for our hometown people.
Enrich your life on 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 and Email EE questions to:

Planet Garden Sleighbell Arts Market Tells a Story Indeed

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on November 24, 2009

It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you! Giddy yap over to the Bluebird Market on Saturday, December 5th for a collection of our local folk artisans’ most lovely works. When you buy local arts from our local people you buy more that just a piece of work…it is a collective story of our culture. I am so proud of our local people and have seen such gorgeous pieces of work that bring culture to our community that stands the test of who we are as a hometown. In our storybook hometown, it is the people that make up the story and these works of art are the unspoken expression of our local hometown collective storybook.
Sleighbells and mistletoe and warm cider with cookies brings us together for a season of love and hope of how we can continue to grow and turn the pages as the story gets better with every day. Thomaston’s storybook hometown identity should want you to keep turning the pages because you can’t put it down …our fascinating people, love of the arts, homegrown gardeners, friendly shops and fantastic spirit of community is what keeps me turning the pages.
I can’t wait to get up in the morning and read another day in our precious community. As you write your page in our hometown storybook, be sure to get out and tell people about it! Don’t keep your role a secret…come over to Bluebird Market, build a birdhouse, paint a wagon, share your artistic loves with us on Saturdays as we write our little story about folk artists that make time to create.
Find their fasinating little stories and artworks at the TUAC gallery for Christmas shopping. When you give a gift this Christmas, make certain it tells the story of your hometown people.
At the recycle hub grand opening in Griffin, I was especially delighted when a recycling award was given by the Mayor of Griffin. It was a Bluebird House which he created, painted and numbered. Everyone has something to bring as a folk art piece so why not find a way to express yourself. I encourage you to come out and see what local people are doing and saying through their artworks. You will love reading our little hometown storybook every day more and more!
Enrich your life on 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 and Email EE questions to: