Losing Farms

There is a CSA farm down the street from me where I am luckily able to buy fresh grown vegetables. It also happens to be the largest block of undeveloped land in the town. The farmer has recently sold the land to the town and now there is a hullabaloo about what to do with the property. It is clear the town wants it to remain open space, as that was the rational for the purchase. So what is open space?

It seems that the idea that has captured a portion of the town’s imagination is recreation space – a ballfield, soccer field or some such thing. This is mindboggling in light of the fact there are over a dozen such places within two miles of this property. Some people do want to keep it as a farm and turn it into a true community garden. People can ask for a plot and grow their own vegetables, flowers or whatever crop they want. There are a few small scale gardens in this and a few neighboring towns. It seems like a good idea and one that is much more in line with actually preserving some true open space.

Now the town meeting are being held and each side is getting to plead their case . I really do hope that there community garden model holds sway. If this space is converted we will lose the last farm in what once was a farming community. Over one hundred years ago “truck” farming was a major industry here, supplying the city of Boston with produce. That history and the last farm will hopefully not be lost. It is odd to look at a satellite image of the area today and compare it to some of the old historical pictures that you can find in various history books about this area.

So much change.

How do I…

One of the difficult things about trying to live a bit differently than the average person is finding out how to do stuff. If I find out about TVP and then want to eat it, well I need to find out a lot of things. Where to buy it, what forms it comes in, how to cook with it, etc. It takes awhile too to get to the point where I can say, one day, hey I have this great TVP recipe. It is a great combination of x, y and z that works really well together. And get to the point that I actually know how to cook well with this ingredient and can experiment in ways that make sense.

On the other hand trying to find, figure out and thrive in doing stuff a bit differently can be a great joy. I think there are wonderful people everywhere By having to search things out, I force myself to get out of my comfort zone and this inevitable puts me in a place to meet new people. Some of them are great and my life is enriched by having met them.

So I need to keep trudging this road, although sometimes it seems a lot of work. The benefits are great and what the heck, I might as well enjoy my life!

Keep the natural faith.

Red Top Mountain

Georgia’s Red Top Mountain

Escaping from Atlanta is not as hard as it may seem when you are sitting in downtown traffic. Red Top Mountain Park is worlds away from the busy pace and traffic of Atlanta’s highways but it only about 45 minutes away from downtown. The park is situated along the shore of Lake Allatoona and has many amenities to offer its visitors.

Getting There

The park is located to the northwest of downtown, and it accessible from I75 exit 285. There is a fee of $3 per car to enter the park, which you can pay at the visitor’s center or a few other places in the park.

What to do at Red Top Mountain

When you visit the park you can go: camping, hiking, fishing, boating, biking, picnicking or attend park presentations. Those are at least the highlights, as there are other things you can do too. The facilities that can help you enjoy your visit include: an improved campsite, rental cabins, the marina, boat launches, a swimming beach for the kiddies, putt-putt golf, picnic facilities, a lodge with hotel rooms and a restaurant.

More details about staying overnight – There are a few options, ranging from staying in a lodge hotel room, to renting a cabin to staying in the campground. The lodge offers full service rooms and a restaurant. You can also eat at the restaurant if you are not staying at the lodge. Cabins are one of the nicest places to stay and they cost ~ $100 per night. They are fully equipped with a kitchen and utensils, have complete climate control (heat and air) and also have many other nice features. Best of all the lake is not far from your front door. The campground features 92 sites ($16 to $24) that accommodate many different kinds of camping: tent sites without or water and electric, RV sites w/full hookups.

The Marina – There is a privately managed full service marina within the park. They rent boats, boat slips, and have a full range of boating services.

Hiking and Biking in Red Top – There are six nice trails in the park that cover more than 15 miles. They can take you through the forest, through fields and along the edge of the lake. The longest path is a shared use bike and hike path. It passes through an area that was once an mining community. At one point iron ore, both mining and smelting, was a booming business that fueled the local economy.

This is just a taste of what you can do in the park. The best thing you can do to learn more is to visit yourself and see what you can find there.

Here are some other places like Red Top that I have gotten out into and find to be nice. Enjoy!

Myrtle Beach State Park

Island Beach State Park

Joe Pool Lake Camping

Salisbury Beach MA