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? http://eepurl.com/gd52 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. BluebirdMarket.com now has nearly 10,000 online readers and over 1,800 Twitter followers. Click bluebirdmarket.com 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 http://www.bluebirdmarket.com. Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living.

Planet Garden ‘Storybook American Town’ Happy Christmas

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on December 9, 2009

When we walk around our hometown square during Christmas season, we become part of the illustrations and text in a Storybook American town. There are friendly people who live and work and play in a genteel and gracious way that sometimes seems like a moment floating from another time.
It’s always nice to come home to Thomaston because we see from expressions and friendliness that it is a happy little community filled with many real benefits. Some of those local benefits are coming Saturday to Bluebird Market sharing homemade gingerbread cottages and cups of hot cocoa with local gingerbread artisan and author, Linda Hayward. Everyone is so excited because of the fun we had last Saturday when Cathy Kreismanis taught us the secrets of authentic Holiday Apple Strudel. You will want to drop by 215 Barnesville St. in Thomaston for MOMS Club holiday open house this Saturday with MOMS Club President and Founder Phyllis Bryan at the market. There will be music and stories, friends and fun in another chapter of what makes each fascinating day of American living better than ever.
The best way I connect with our Storybook town lifestyle is through the arts and local artisan culture reflecting our way of life. Thomaston Upson Arts Council is warm and inviting and I always enjoy taking a walk through the gallery wonderland to see our town from the perspectives and impressions of those in touch with the art of life.
Especially now, during the holiday season we hope to encapsulate expressing genuine kindness to friends and family with handmade keepsakes.  That is why the TUAC gift gallery is a very favorite place of mine to choose affordable Christmas artworks. I’m especially delighted that along with the Sleighbell Arts Market, the Bluebird Artisan Guild was invited to place holiday artworks in the gallery at TUAC.
Once I was given for Christmas a handmade coffee mug from a local potter with a Bible verse and I still cherish the lovely handmade cup, it’s maker and the giver. Do you remember any special handmade gifts from local artists? Gifts from the soul are always the most treasured to me so the gift gallery is an ideal place to take a look for creative expressions. Choose beadwork, custom jewelry, pottery, paintings, ceramics, mosaics, photography, hand stitched quilts, handmade soaps and salts, woodworks, and so many more lovely artworks as memorable and meaningful holiday gifts for those you love.
We are blessed to be sharing our life experiences and artistic expressions in a Storybook American Town together. It’s nice to be right here over Christmas…living in our ever-unfolding American story we are writing and illustrating together ‘like a picture print by Currier and Ives.’
Enrich your life on Saturday at 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: planetgarden@live.com.