Monthly Archives: June 2008

To Market, To Market

Options for getting local food dare I say abound in Savannah these days. Full disclosure: I volunteer a bit of my time with the Starland Farmers’ Market as well as the new Green Market at Trustees Garden.

The Starland Farmers’ Market is halfway through it’s 2nd year at the Starland parking lot on 40th Street between Bull and Whitaker. The market is every Saturday from 9-noon. This morning there were several varieties of heirloom tomatoes and potatoes, summer squashes, zucchinis, peppers and melons of every shape, shade and size, blueberries, zipper peas, butter beans, okra, cucumbers and eggs -most of which was organic. I got most of my produce for the week there as well as a couple baugettes from Back in the Day Bakery, which is just around the corner. Now, if only I could talk my favorite wine merchant into opening a little earlier . . .

I didn’t want to stock up too much because I knew that this coming Wednesday I’d have another opportunity.

Wednesday, July 2nd from 4-8pm The Green Market at Trustees Garden promises more local offerings from farms such as Walker Organic Farms, Clark & Sons Organics, Heritage Organic Farms, as well as members of the Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network (SAAFON) and Farmer D Organics. There will also be music, activities and prepared foods from area restaurants that use local ingredients in their cooking. You can read all about it this article from Connect Savannah.

Bring your shopping bag and take advantage of the good food our region has to offer.

On the Roads

Savannah resident Ardis Wood has an interesting letter to the editor in today’s SMN where she implores the Georgia Department of Transportation to actually work with (rather than around) the Sav/Chatham County MPO.  I don’t know about all those politics (though I’m sure John could enlighten us), but I was struck by the conclusion of her letter.  She writes,

Because roads don’t go through a vacuum. They define a community and create, for better or worse, the place where we experience our city and one another in the public realm.

I had to think about that one for a minute. Part of me automatically asssociates our parks and squares as THE place where we experience our city and one another in the public realm. But then I think of the (majority of) Savannah outside of the historic district/ardsley park/parkside and how I get there and experience the rest of the city. I think about the bike lanes I travel to and from work on, I think about the experience of traffic and looking for parking and about connectivity.

We know when and where there are potholes on our well-traveled routes and that we hate traffic and ill-timed traffic lights and looking for parking. We know that we should all look both ways and use turn signals and wear helmets and seat belts and look out for one another -but we don’t always do such a good job of that.

What does a system of roads that creates community look like? What needs to happen for the place where we experience our city and one another in the public realm become a healthy place? Do we really need to redesign the roads we travel or just travel better?

SDRA Workshop: Can Historic Buildings Be Green Buildings?

The Savannah Development and Renewal Authority presents a free workshop called “Can Historic Buildings Be Green Buildings?” on Thursday, July 17 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the SDRA Office, 518 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

There is a common misconception that historic renovations and green buildings are incompatible. Presenting a case study of the first LEED-certified building in the southeast to be on the National Register of Historic Places, Clara Fishel of Melaver, Inc. will demonstrate that historic renovations and high performing, healthy buildings can (and should) go hand in hand.

This will be followed by a presentation by Melissa Jest of the Historic Savannah Foundation about the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program administered by National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service in partnership with State Historic Preservation Offices.

Space is limited so please R.S.V.P by July 11 by emailing or calling 912-651-6973. Lunch will be served.

I’m digging this clamshell

I was too lazy this morning to pack a lunch and I was too busy to leave the office. As a result, I ate out of a styrofoam takeout container. Sad. Then I remembered something I’d read recently in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Florida’s Eckerd College has started a voluntary program through which students can register for reusable takeout containers. How in the world does this work? I’ll let the Eckerd College Web site explain:

Eckerd students can sign up for an EcoClamshell in the cafeteria during any meal. The student’s account is charged five dollars, covering the student’s four years at Eckerd, unless the container is lost or destroyed. The student checks out an EcoClamshell, fills it with food and exits the cafeteria. Upon returning to the cafeteria, the student checks the container back in and places it on the dishwasher conveyor, where it is sanitized and put out for reuse. This creates a closed loop system where the container circulates for years before being retired to a recycling center.

Read more here.

Could the reusable clamshell survive outside of a college campus’ protective ecosystem? Obviously there are some obstacles. Would health department regulations even allow it? Would washing plastic instead of buying styrofoam increase costs for restaurants? Increase hassles?

Reusing containers is not a new idea. I’m not old enough to remember milkmen, but I’m almost certain the tales of leaving empty bottles out for return and refilling at the dairy are not urban legends. But, again, would it work in a restaurant? Maybe if a place is committed to sustainable practices and has enough regular customers, reusable containers could be viable. While not educational in nature, I’m reminded of another Florida institution which assigns serving vessels to individual customers, although these generally don’t leave the building:

A Ken’s mug is more than just a simple piece of plastic. For those lucky enough to have one, it is more like a rite of passage. Usually offered once a semester, anyone who is interested can obtain a Ken’s mug with a little work. After one (of at least 21 years of age) waits long enough, a $35 fee must be paid to receive the mug. Once a mug is purchased, it can last a lifetime as long as its owner makes a point to quench their thirst at Ken’s at least once each semester. Many FSU graduates return just to retain the life of their mug and the drink specials and notoriety that come with it.

What a great way to build customer loyalty. Read more here.