Sunday, August 30, 2009


Dinner tonight was Episcopalian Squash with non-denominational chicken thighs.....the bread refused to declare a preference.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Local Farmers market

In 2006 the All Saints' Episcopal Church of Smyrna almost ceased to exist. A schism over the ordination of clergy in their church led to the congregation splitting into two groups. The one group that did end up with the building might be considered by many to be the victors the truth is that numbers are needed to keep a community going.

In 2007 or so a new group of people entered the picture and new energy filled the building. A group of refugees from Myanmar took religious residence and a new feel was born. This new group was not one to be pew sitters and they quickly asked if they could turn part of the property into a small garden....and thus congregational history was made.

That small garden has grown into several well tended fields, multiple crops, and a thriving energetic community that has even set up their own farmers market.

My wife and I dropped by after I belatedly noticed that they had posted the hours for the market on their blog, Kurios Farms.
Farm Market Set to Open July 12
This Saturday July 12 will see the opening of our farm market on the church property located at 1401 Lee Victory Pkwy, Smyrna, TN in the picnic pavilion to the left of the church building. Through the rest of the season, the market will be open mornings on Saturdays and Tuesdays. This Saturday we expect to offer two varieties of yellow summer squash and zucchini. We may also have green beans, pickling cucumbers and okra. In the coming weeks we will be harvesting beefsteak tomatoes, lima beans, peppers, and sweet corn. As fall approaches we will continue to offer the above as they are available in addition to pumpkins, decorative corn and decorative corn husk arrangements. If you are adventurous, we also currently have a small variety of greens native to Burma.
This is really the best type of farmers market. You not only know it is grown here, but you can even see the fields as it grows.

The fields, the church and the market are located at 1401 Lee Victory Parkway. Their blog has pictures from the last year of them working the farm and other endeavours as they brought it up to full production.

The ladies there were very kind and they talked of the issues of cross cultural farming. One was explaining that Okra was to be picked small not large and that due to inexperience they tied the tomatoes late and that did hinder that crop some.
The market is located in a picnic pavilion on our property to the left of the church building. The market offers fresh produce grown in sight from the pavilion behind our church. All of our produce is grown cleanly without the use of ANYTHING artificial. God has provided us with sunlight, a natural water source and land made for farming. Our market will be open Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the growing season. Read our Kurios Farm blog for updates, and come visit us.
Drop by for what is truly a local farmers market.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chickens in the neighborhood.

Hi all
Remember when Gunner went before our town council over a year ago with a proposal to develop codes to allow chickens within town limits? At that time the council responded (besides a few wise cracks) that because no other communities around Smyrna had codes permitting chickens, Smyrna did not need codes allowing chickens.
Looks like the council is about to lose that argument, check out this article in today’s Tennessean. Nashville is well on its way to allow keeping fowl within city limits.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Split level dreams

My column today might bother some people, but I hope they pause and think about the growth issues that Smyrna is going to go through. There is not enough affordable housing for lower income people in Smyrna. Just look at the cost of houses.

I specifically brought up a neighborhood that united to keep out the "poor" and "huddled masses" that might be brought in with section 8 housing.

Yes Smyrna is a nice town, and Smyrna is a costly town, and yes Smyrna is going to have to find places for low income housing that is NOT government subsidized. It is possible you know. The Imperial Gardens is getting 1.2 Million dollars of stimulus money in Smyrna for public housing and that could be part of the problem. Whenever you hear of poor and trouble it normally has a connection with government housing such as public housing, projects, or section 8 housing, so funding more public housing might not be for the best.

Instead funding housing do you feel there is a way the government can make it that low income housing can be made and it somehow fit in with an affluent community like Smyrna. That seems hypothetical, but it's one we need to look at. Smyrna is growing in all areas....including its poor.

The Market artist

The Market is not just going to be a place to host tables for sales, but also will have "feature display"s during some days....such as Olga Alexeeva.
Born and raised in Russia, Olga came to USA in 1991. Former actress, mother of a 11-year old son, she had the courage to start from the beginning.

It took some time for her to learn English and develop new friends and relationships. She had worked diligently, and her optimistic, daring nature - along with her artistic ability - sustained her through thick and thin. She started to paint very unexpectedly - the hidden artistic soul begged to get out. Never having expressed herself through painting, she is now vigorous in her search for her own way and unique voice.

Her work reflects her cry for beauty, her desire to nurture the eye, challenge the intellect, and provoke the subconscious...her stage background telling us stories.
Olga will be their feature display Saturday August 29 from 9am to 3pm.

While normally I like to just do Grand Openings and charity events, this is a whole side to the Market that needs to be brought to your attention. I'm greatly impressed at the possibilities that this site offers Smyrna.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Drudge supports us....sort of.

Front page of Drudge Report

Here is the link. Seems people are doing it against the wishes of bullheaded governments in Indiana. I find humor in this article as I came across it just as I am about to leave and meet up with some people to organize our efforts to allow chickens in Smyrna.

Viva la resistance.

Small Business does survive in our town.

As I was out doing my errands this morning I stopped by one of my favorite local eateries. I was told by the owner that tomorrow August 19th will be her 5th year in business. I am so happy she moved down from Ill. and opened this business up. I am talking about Karen's Kustards on South Lowery street. If you havent been you should make plans to drop by for a burger or even better stop by for an ice cream or dessert. I want to thank Karen for opening her business for us in our great town and I hope you have another 5 yrs of wonderful business!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Opening day

"The Market" had their Grand Opening and it looks like it has gotten off to a good start. Their blog has pictures and information and one thing worth noting. The Market is not just inside, they also had fresh vegetables and farm produce being sold outside.

I wish them luck.

Child safety

From the town website
On August 19th from 3PM to 6PM the Smyrna Police Department will be performing child safety seat checks at the Smyrna Justice Center on Enon Springs Road. The Smyrna Police Department will check to make sure your child safety seat is securely installed in your vehicle. This inspection is free. Help protect the safety of your child by having their safety seat inspected.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Retail coming to downtown Smyrna area.

As I enjoy my day/night off I look through ads online and found this one website. It looks to me that there is some new retail coming to the area.

I started this blog to spread the word about what's coming next...The Market - a much needed retail shopping experience for downtown Smyrna. I'm in the research and development stage, but I expect this project to come together quickly. The end unit at the corner of Lowry & Tank Street will be home to The Market. This will be a vendor market for unique homemade and home-based retail businesses. It's like a flea market, only much more selective. Depending on the feedback I receive from the vendors, we may be open every weekend or just 1-2 times per month. The details are still a work in progress. A booth will be approximately 10'x10' in size. A few booths are smaller and a couple are larger. I'm in the process of recruiting vendors now. If you know of anyone who you think might be a good fit for The Market, please send them my information. Keep watching downtown Smyrna and this blog for announcements on when we'll be open.

Contact: Rhonda Allen @ 615-207-6826 or

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Empty Chair

With Tony Dover moving from the position of Vice-Mayor to Mayor a position on the council is opening up. This position will be filled with tomorrow night when they get to "New Business" and deal with items 'I' and 'J'.
i. Consideration of appointment of Vice-Mayor.
j. Consideration of appointment of member to the Town Council to fill unexpired term.
Normally items on the town meeting agenda are discussed on the previous workshop but this was not. The codes are pretty simple on the subject.
If the office of mayor shall become vacant, the vice-mayor shall automatically become mayor for the remainder of the unexpired term; and in the latter event, the council shall elect another of its members to the office of vice-mayor to serve during the remainder of the unexpired term. The council shall fill the vacancy in the council created by the vice-mayor becoming mayor.
This leaves the question of whom will be picked.

Late last week Mealand did two article on 5 people who have already stepped forward to seek this position.
Caroyln Peebles, who has lived in Smyrna for almost 35 years, has already contacted several council members to let them know she'd like to be considered.
Mayor Dover said he'd also heard from Richard Garvin Jr., who is also black, via e-mail Thursday afternoon. Garvin, a motivational speaker, is a member of the town's Historical Zoning Committee

Councilwoman Mary Esther Reed said she'd heard from three others outside of Peebles: Jimmy Richardson, Marc Adkins and Rob White. Richardson ran against Reed in the 2006 Democratic primary for state House District 34. Both Adkins, a Realtor, and White, who works as deputy inspector general for the state, currently serve on the town's Planning Commission.
I worked with Rob White while he was on the Storm Water Advisory Board before he moved to the planning committee. I feel he would be a good addition to the council.

These two articles (article 2) were written last week so I suspect there might be others by now.

I am intrigued by one item on the agenda for tomorrow nights meeting. Under citizens comments.
2. Pastor Ronnie Simmons, 205 Valley Court – “Vacant Council Position”
I wonder what the Pastor will have to say on this vacancy?

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Huge Organic Smyrnian Garden

When I first moved to my little house in Smyrna, I did my darndest to grow a few things. I had only a tiny bit of luck. Having grown up in South Florida, I was used to sand... not clay and chunks of rock.

Now, a few years and lots of free organic amendments later... check it out!

I have at least a hundred varieties of plants growing in the yard now. And plenty of food.

This week's project: two gallons of traditional brine-fermented pickles with my homegrown cukes.

Here are a few images from the backyard:

I'd say my garden this year is about 2000 square feet. Wish that empty lot in the "historic" downtown could be used for a community garden for the folks that don't have any space - that would rock.

Of course... now all I need is a few hens...


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Banner of Freedom

New Business in town

Lee Brothers Concrete Services are new to town. These guys have lived in the Smyrna area for years and have started up a new business. They do concrete and other handy man things around the house. I am using them to install outside electrical outlets for the house and recommend them. Friendly happy guys that will make sure the job is done to 100% satisfaction. Give them a call today at 615-642-3748 and tell them Mark sent you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Here, there, and everywhere.

This month the package liquor board of Smyrna had only one application for a store so I feel maybe things will be slowing down. I decided to play with Google/maps and created an interactive map showing all the applications, owners, application dates, and addresses.

Here's "This is Smyrna, TN.'s" first interactive map.

This will give you an idea of their growth, placement, and just general knowledge of the stores. As applications come in I'll update the map.

Our chicken movement

Two things happened today that have made me think, “What else can be done to bring chickens back to Smyrna”? The first of these was an article in Tuesdays Tennessean that I found this morning. The story was by Jenny Upchurch entitled “Urban chicken coops spark zoning conflict”( The story is about the efforts to pass laws to ban or permit chickens in Nashville. I hope the Metro council moves to up hold property rights and allow chickens. The second was an e-mail from a neighbor here in Smyrna asking what she could do to help in our efforts to get our town council to pass codes to allow chickens back into Smyrna.
I have not done much in this effort, my excuse was that I work two jobs and attend school full time. Well I am out of school how and wish to do more. To this end I have contacted the Historic Smyrna people to see about setting up an informational booth at this years Depot Days (Oct 10th) and have contacted a number of groups for permission to use their pamphlets at the booth. I have sent an e-mail to Food Security Partners (mentioned in the Tennessean article) for advice on what else to do. I have also asked the neighbor who contacted me if she would develop a petition asking the council to pass the laws needed to allow chicken back in to Smyrna, for people visiting the booth to sign. And finally I have started preparing a display for the booth. This consists of a chicken tractor with several of my wife’s fancy chickens and displays supporting urban farming and sustainability.
How I need to ask “What else can be done”? So I’m asking those concerned with the effort to bring chickens back to Smyrna, should we arrange to meet and talk about this? How far are we willing to go with this issue?
I believe the time to push for this is how. With concern over the quality of our foods and the economy the way it is people are looking to produce their foods. Also with the Mayor resigning, I am thinking that our council will be more open to the idea of the urban chicken. So what say ye all?

Chicken Wednesday - Others also fight

Chickens are not allowed within Salem's residential areas and Dana Matthews of Chickens in the Yard is hoping to persuade Salem city council to revise it's ordinance to allow residents in Salem to keep a few backyard hens, for eggs and as pets. This item from living culture also features a chicken keeper (and her backyard flock) from Portland Oregon where they do allow backyard chickens and have the benefits of keeping a few chickens.

I wish them luck. she doesn't look like she has two heads so that's a plus for their movement.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's carnival time once again

It's carnival time once again in Smyrna. Starting on Wed this week the carnival is in town and will be here for at least 4 days and maybe more if people support it. The location is on Weakley lane across the street from the Smyrna Bowling center so come on out and have some fun then come bowling afterwrds! see you there!!


I'm doing an article on guns in the parks. I would like your opinion no matter which side you fall on. Understand that the people that would be allowed are ones with permits and have been trained, vetted, and okay'd by the police.

If you wish you could email if you do not with to leave a quote in comments. I might try to work some material into the column if I can.

Hit me!

Smyrna is on eBay

The town of Smyrna has entered the modern age by starting to sell items on eBay. Yes now you can buy stuff like a...
The Town of Smyrna has switched from an NEC 2000 IPS PBX to Cisco CallManager and is auctioning the NEC equipment. Some equipment is used and some is New In Box. All equipment is believed to be in good working order, but there is no warranty, either express or implied.

This auction is for an NEC Dterm IP ITR-16D-2 (BK) business telephone. This phone was purchased new by the Town and was never placed into service. It has never been removed from the original box. It is black with a silver face.

The ITR-16D-2 (BK) model is an VoIP telephone for NEC IP telephone systems and has the following features.

11 dedicated function keys for ease of operation ( Hold, Transfer, Answer, Speaker, Conference, Redial, Recall, Feature, Mic, Message, Directory)
16 programmable line keys for immediate line or feature access (DSS)
2-color LED per key immediately indicates call status Call/Message indicator lamp
Hands-free speakerphone
Convenient built-in headset jack
Volume/Contrast control
3 lines of LCD information (adjustable) with 24 characters per line
4 Softkeys
Desk & Wall mountable Tilt stand
Powered via PoE or AC adapter (not included)
The picture contained in this listing is of an actual surplus unit of the same model and condition the town has offered, but might not be the specific unit for sale in this particular auction.
This is a VOIP telephone. Is this a model that can be used on a home system? Sinec I am electronically knowledgeable at a level just above hammering rocks into the keyboard while grunting in a neanderthal like voice, I'll leave this up to my readers to answer.

I think this is very cool. While sites like are used by many, eBay is the biggest site there is.

Oh dear. Not more news.

Remember last week the 'kidnapping' story that was commented on nicely here. In the Smyrna Police reports it looks like the fun never ends at some places.
A mother called police around 2 a.m. Saturday after her teenage son was in the shed in the backyard of their Hicks Lane home with another person armed with a gun. The home is the same one where a teen was dropped off after being kidnapped at another location July 27.

One of those arrested was reported as kicking the window of Officer Luke Naylor. Seven tablets of a medication used to treat seizures and panic disorder were found on one of the individuals.
4 people had charges brought against them.

Parks and Recreation August 2009 newsletter

Newsletter August 2009

National Night Out America's Night Out Against Crime

This coming Thursday Smyrna will have their annual Night out against crime.
  • 2009 National Night Out America's Night Out Against Crime

    Neighborhoods throughout Smyrna are invited to join with thousands of communities nationwide on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 to participate in the 2009 'National Night Out' from 5pm to 8pm at Lee Victory Park. This event is free.

    "Live music by the Koolers"

    Department Booths:
    FBI Crime Lab
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Vanderbilt Life Flight
    Tennessee Highway Patrol
    Drug Task Force

    'National Night Out' is designed to:
    *Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
    *Generate support and participation in crime efforts
    *STrengthen neighborhood spirit and police community relations
    *Send the message that your neighborhood is a safe place to live

    'National Night Out' is a great opportunity for citizens, law enforcement and other public safety officials to join forces. Events are planned to promote crime prevention and drug prevention awareness and to strengthen the police - community partnership. We encourage neighborhoods to come together and send the message that we are all working together to prevent crime and keep our neighborhoods safe. On August 4th, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., residents are asked to turn on their porch lights, lock their doors and spend the evening outside with their neighbors, police officers, EMS, and fire fighters.

    'National Night Out' will show neighborhood strength, increase the police officer/citizen bond and help to make our community a safer place to live.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm going to be what! Finale

I received what will likely be the last email from MRMASHPOTATOESMOOTH. He requested for these people that the video be removed because it was causing them problems and no charges were being filed. Since this request seemed sincere I removed the initial post and consider the matter closed.