There has been no general Sustainable Glasgow member meeting for a couple of months, but the organization is alive, growing, and exceedingly busy on many fronts. This post should help everyone understand what is taking place, what our plans are, and everyone should be able to see possible ways for everyone to get involved with our work in one way or another.
Bounty of the Barrens Market
This is our biggest initiative. BOTBM has been planned as a marketplace for local producers to present their food and other products to local consumers in a relaxed festival atmosphere with the hope of local commerce taking place. It has a home (South Central Kentucky Cultural Center parking lot). It has a planned layout (viewable just below this post on this site). It has a targeted opening date of May 30. We have established rules and regulations for vendors at the market. We are negotiating a contract among Sustainable Glasgow, City of Glasgow, and South Central Kentucky Cultural Center to cover all operating aspects of the market. We are accepting applications from interested vendors and we will have a formal meeting with all interested vendors on April 6 at the Sustainable Glasgow office on the Glasgow Public Square.
So, we have accomplished much toward the creation of the BOTBM, but we still need a lot of things. Our vision for a regular Saturday market day at BOTBM includes a number of high quality vendor booths, local musicians performing for the entertainment of the market patrons, local restaurants or non-profits preparing food for sale at the market, colorful canopies set up at the vendor booths for shade, and even the participation of our own BRAWA folks who may be bringing in adoptable dogs and cats who will be looking to get acquainted with the market patrons. All of these are things we are hoping for, but none of these will occur without the involvement of our membership! We need someone to take on the job of organizing the musical artists for market days. We need someone to help organize the weekly cooked food vendors. We need folks willing to volunteer some time on market days to help us set up, clean up, and tear down the market. If you are willing, please contact us by simply responding with a comment on this blog, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 361-2888. Now is the time to jump in if you want to see this market happen in Glasgow. May 30 will be here in no time!
Garden Plot Project
This is not our biggest initiative, but it is vitally important and needs to get moving even more quickly than the BOTBM project. The idea with this project is to work with Glasgow Parks and Recreation folks to make public land available for garden plots for those locals who do not have access to suitable land for growing their own food. We are very lucky to have a Sustainable Glasgow member, Chris Radus, who has volunteered to chair this project. We are also very lucky to have the full support of Debbie Jones at Glasgow Parks and Recreation. Now what we need are more members who are experienced gardners to help Chris and Debbie choose the right locations, help put together a logical application process, and help advise us all on when to do what so that the project is utilized by those who could benefit. Just as mentioned above, if you can help with this project, please contact us.
The Longer View
We have other projects ongoing as well. We are preparing a presentation for the upcoming Campus Community Partners for Sustainability Conference at WKU on April 24-26. You can read more about that conference at this link (broken). We are staying in constant contact with the local governments to keep them posted on our progress. We are also in process of asking to make presentations to the Glasgow Barren County Chamber of Commerce, Glasgow Barren County IDEA, and other local agencies. We are still working on a totally new web site, which will work much better than this one, to keep our issues and our progress constantly updated for our members.
We are doing all of these things in the hope of invigorating the spirit of self reliance in our region. We hope that the market acts as a catalyst for local folks to create businesses that seek to deliver locally produced good to local residents. We hope that new folks then start doing more business with other local businesses as they start the process of breaking ground, planting seeds, fertilizing, harvesting, etc. and that this helps stabilize employment in the local businesses that cater to these new producers (we already have evidence that is happening!). Over the longer term, we hope that new appetites for local food and goods lead us to making wise investment decisions in the form of local infrastructure like, dairy processing facilities, meat processing facilities, poultry processing facilities, bakery facilities, and other projects that will stabilize our food economy and create long term jobs and economic activity. So, don't think that Sustainable Glasgow is only about creating a farmers market! The BOTBM is only the beginning!