Thursday, February 12, 2015

Saturday, August 2, 2014

BOTBFM 2014 is the Best Year Ever!

Wow. That is a perfect explanation of how today's edition of Bounty of the Barrens Farmers' Market went. In fact, that is a great explanation of how the market has gone this whole year! The weather has been kind. The barrens region's soil has responded to the love given it by our farmers by producing an amazingly luscious wealth of tasty food. And the people of our region are responding by making sure that the farmers are paid for their work by coming to the market and purchasing real food.
For all of the many Sustainable Glasgow folks involved in administering the market and promoting the idea of growing our local economy by reinforcing our local food economy, it is hard for us to wipe the grin off of our faces. In 2014, the dream that we had in 2009 seems to finally be coming true. The people of Glasgow, and the barrens region, are getting it when it comes to the health and happiness benefits that come from buying real food from their neighbors.
At the market we see vendors cutting melons, that were still on the vine earlier in the morning, and conducting fun loving taste tests with the market patrons. We see the same thing happening with sweet corn, and peaches, and herbs, and cheeses, and sausages. We see hugs and smiles, and we hear real conversations that extend far beyond the customary, "how are you doing?" We see children of vendors playing with each other and growing up before our eyes, even as they learn to interact with adults, watch the stand while a parent is helping a patron load fresh food into their cars, and become the kind of young people that will know things that their contemporaries at home playing video games, will never know.
Thanks to each and every one of you that is a part of this movement. We are in love with our community, our land, and the happy life that can be found in the micro-nutrients trapped in the soil of the barrens, and we love you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

BOTBFM 2014 Is Coming!

This coming Saturday, April 12, the market will be at the Cooperative Extension office for the last time this winter. Some early crops are coming in and we hope you will come out to the Extension Office between 8:00 and noon to start enjoying local food for 2014.

Two weeks later, on April 26, Bounty of the Barrens Farmers' Market will return to the Square for the balance of the season. We are going to have some very cool enhancements to the 2014 market. We are reworking our layout to allow the vendors to be closer together so it is easier for our patrons to visit all of the vendor tents. We are also happy to announce that Tubbs Farmstead will be cooking fresh breakfast and serving coffee on Saturday mornings at the market this year!

These improvements, and more, will make the center of Glasgow's Square the place to be on Saturday mornings, beginning April 26. We look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sustainable Glasgow’s Plans for Downtown Indoor Market

It has been two months since we first announced our plans to acquire an unoccupied building on the Glasgow Square and renovate it as a place to house the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers’ Market year round. Since many local folks have been so happy with this plan, it is time for us to give everyone an update.

Unfortunately, Sustainable Glasgow’s initial grant application to the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund was rejected. We knew we had a great idea and that we had assembled a quality application.  But the KADF rejected our idea on the basis that Sustainable Glasgow does not have the estimated $150,000 in matching funds which would be required to receive the matching grant.  All of us associated with Sustainable Glasgow knew this was an issue, but we felt that it should not stand in the way of KADF’s consideration of our project. We felt that if the state agency awarded us the grant based upon our success in raising the matching funds, the community would have readily contributed the necessary funds in order to breathe this new life into our square. Apparently, we were wrong about that, but we certainly are not about to give up!

We are more convinced each day that our vision for converting an old building into a place where our local food economy can be nourished, while our local farmers and chefs can nourish us, is the answer to many of our woes. We feel that the establishment of a venue for local food that can be open many hours each week, a place where folks can walk or cycle to a destination, where we can communicate with each other and enjoy the bounty of our land, is worth our extraordinary efforts to secure.

Our next steps include requesting local government to allocate funds toward this project in their upcoming budget cycle, meeting with advisors on the creation of a sustainable business plan for the acquisition and permanent operation of the facility, and refining our renovation plans to get a much better handle on the real costs of providing this facility for the people of Glasgow. We are not giving up; in fact, we are just getting started. Stay tuned and keep letting us know your feelings on this initiative.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sustainable Glasgow Board Meetings

The Sustainable Glasgow board will hold its regular monthly meeting at 5:00 p.m. at the Sustainable Glasgow office at 108 East Public Square on Wednesday, December 11.

We are going to try to do better at meeting at a regular time (presently second Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at this location) and also do better at notifying everyone that might be interested in our deliberations. All are welcome to come and interact!

As we get better at this, and as the holiday season releases some of our time commitments, we will also begin to post our Tentative Agenda in advance as well.

Sustainable Glasgow has a great vision for our community. We welcome all who want to come get involved with us and help formulate that vision and help us make it come to pass.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sustainable Glasgow's Boldest Idea Yet

On the occasion of its fifth anniversary, the board of Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. announced plans to seek funding to purchase and renovate a large unoccupied building on the Glasgow Square. The bold plan they revealed is to acquire the building  at 124 South Public Square, which was formerly the home of the Western Auto Store and most recently PJ’s College of Cosmetology. The building would be converted into a permanent home for Bounty of the Barrens Farmers’ Market and an indoor food-court for the marketing of fresh local farm products and farm to table prepared foods.

Sustainable Glasgow President, Dr. Jerry Ralston, revealed the conceptual plan for the building  and stated, “The board and volunteers  who make up Sustainable Glasgow are very excited to present this plan to establish a garden of opportunity right in the middle of Glasgow, and we hope that it will flourish and that more hope and excitement will grow on the Square at the very center of life in Glasgow.”

Immediate past President of Sustainable Glasgow, Dr. William Travis, expanded on the concept and the economic incubator nature of the plan. “I believe that our downtown can become a livelier, more attractive, and more pedestrian friendly place. We have hope for more restaurants and local businesses to find the public square an attractive place to locate. We want this facility to become a catalyst for the realization of those goals by building upon our local food movement activities and the highly successful history of the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers’ Market.”

The SG board has applied for a matching grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund which they hope will provide 50% of the funds necessary to acquire and renovate the building. .The other half of funding would need to come from local sources that have an interest in establishing this anchor point for the future of Glasgow’s downtown economy. The plans include space for a variety of vendors, a full commercial kitchen and cold storage for produce to be retailed by vendors in the facility, as well as wholesaled to local restaurants, hospitals, schools, and other institutions.  Producers can cost-effectively use the Kitchen to add value to their products by canning and converting fresh produce into products which have a longer shelf life.

President Ralston added “Sustainable Glasgow has a dedicated group of volunteers who are passionate about this community and are striving to improve it for everyone. We composed a very high quality application for the Kentucky Farmers’ Market Competitive Grant Program and we are optimistic about our chances to receive funding. But for the initiative to be successful we must find local supporters who share this passion for making our local economy more durable, improving the livability of our community, and are motivated to donate money to match any grant funds we receive,” . The total estimated cost of getting this dream to become a reality is about $300,000. Therefore, Sustainable Glasgow is seeking to raise half of that from citizens in the community who believe this project is worthwhile.

Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. is a 501-C3 non-profit organization which may provide tax advantages to those who choose to support this project.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Plans for BOTBFM 2013 Continue to Develop

Plans for the 2013 Bounty of the Barrens Farmers' Market continue to evolve. First, you should know that we have one more winter market, on April 13th, at the Cooperative Extension Service office on West Main Street. This will be an exciting day as it will also be the Extension Service's Earth Expo Day. Our vendors will be out in the parking lot along with many other exciting exhibits that day. We hope you will be there.

The next weekend, April 20, will be our opening day on the Glasgow Courthouse Square, and what a day we have planned! That morning there are a number of exciting community events. The Butterflies for Maddie Run, and a new event, the Tour de Farm will also be that morning. The Tour de Farm will begin at WKU Glasgow Campus and it will be a great opportunity for you to walk, jog, cycle, push your stroller, allow  your kids to ride tricycles, in other words, a great opportunity to be outside on a short jaunt from WKU to the Glasgow Square. And when you get to the Square, BOTBFM will be open for the business of bringing fresh, healthy, local food to your table. There will also be celebratory speeches, including our Secretary of Agriculture, James Comer.

We also hope you will take a few minutes and view the short video above. What he has to say is right in line with the way we think about food and the opportunities for our local farmers to provide food that is simply better than anything you can get at a supermarket. Please take a few minutes to view it and then mark your calendars for these important dates in April.