Posts from the ‘Create’ Category

Resale Produce Dupes Dayton and Blocks Bees

Many of us urban dwellers frequent the 2nd Street Market and wonder why there isn’t more variety and why some of the produce isn’t seasonal. The reason is that the Market has a tradition of non-compete.  This means that the vendors are assured that no other vendor will carry the same type of product. In other words, if Mrs. Quinn sells commercial hand soap in a pump and Maggie wants to sell handcrafted, lavender antibacterial hand soap in a pump, she can’t because Mrs. Quinn has been guaranteed that no one else will sell pump hand soap. This practice of non-compete did not serve the Webster Street Investment Group well: they were never able to turn a profit on the 2nd Street Market and were forced to walk away from their investment. Thankfully, Five Rivers Metro Parks realized the value of the 2nd Street Market and took over ownership/management.  We are told that Five Rivers Metro Parks is in the process of refocusing the Market.

One issue that has been brought to our attention and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later is produce resale. Many of our neighbors have purchased produce from an area inside thinking they were getting a great bargain. But, there is in fact, no bargain to be had.  What they purchased was actually grocery produce (frequently imported from overseas) resold under the guise of local, farm fresh food. We feel that when store-bought produce is resold at a farmers market it should be as a convenience and clearly labeled as such! Since a farmers market, at its core, is supposed to support local farmers, perhaps the Market should only allow resale produce that is either out of season or can’t be grown regionally, such as tropical and citrus fruits. Otherwise, isn’t the Market working against the very farmers it is fundamentally supposed to be supporting? Well yes, many Farmers tell us they are in fact hurt by the produce resale issue and report that because of the issue some area farms will not consider selling at the 2nd Street Market. These two issues, produce resale and non-compete assurance; have clearly stunted the growth of the 2nd Street Market leaving us with stale menus and too few choices.

The 2nd Street Market truly has the potential to become a huge regional destination. After all, many Ohioans are learning about corporate agriculture by reading books like The Omnivores Dilemma and watching movies like Fresh, Food, Inc., and Fast Food Nation. Horrified by Agribusiness (uh, the folks behind that very resale produce by the way), people are seeking out an alternative in family farms and flocking to local markets. Imagine both sides of  2nd Street  lined with local growers, seasonal offerings, and inside environmentally sensitive products and creative food that surprises us and keeps us coming back for more.

One last bit of food for thought: remember Mrs. Quinn and Maggie and their soap?  Keep in mind Mrs. Quinn is selling commercial soap, the same kind you can get at any megamart, meanwhile, Maggie can’t sell her soap that’s handmade with locally sourced herbs and beeswax. Don’t you wish you could try Mary’s local product? Here’s the thing, this scenario is actually playing out right now all over the market. This very soap issue is one example.  Maybe you have tried to purchase lamb lately, the one vendor aloud to sell it has been out for weeks meanwhile another farmer at the market has plenty but is not permitted to bring it to market. And what about the Bees… one of the family farmers at the Market tells us that he has been raising bees and would really like to share their honey with us. Well, he can’t bring his honey to the market because the resale produce vendor offers honey which, is sadly merchandised to make us think it is local.

Share your experiences and comments here, maybe they will help Five River Metro Parks focus on what residents want to see happen at our public market!

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Dayton Loves Art?

As many of you know, the City of Dayton is facing a 6 million dollar budget shortfall for 2010.  There is talk of raising taxes and further cutting bare bones services – city officials are asking residents to mow the lawns on vacant lots.  In an atmosphere of all this trimming, you might think that the city would be, well, trimming themselves – focusing on essentials.   That is not the case.  We are told that yesterday a City of Dayton representative called one of our favorite Dayton Loving Knitters after hours and told her that someone witnessed her installing knitted art on Fifth Street; since she did not get the correct permits, the City would be removing the yarn and sending her a bill for the removal. Whoa!

Daytonians, is this cool with you!? Your tax dollars at work here, and for what… most likely one neighbor (a sour apple in the Oregon District –sound familiar?) complained to a buddy at the City about the art instillation and gave him this one Knitter’s name and telephone number.  Meanwhile, the City is cutting back on police services and is unable to take care of painting over spray painted foul language, overgrown lots and vacant buildings. The non-permanent knitted art instillation in question, an art form which has been embraced by literally hundreds of communities around the world (including the London Olympics), has received positive response in our own community.   Thriving cites around the world have the sense to appreciate art installations and recognize that art is the very heartbeat of a city.  We should nurture that heartbeat not stamp it in to the ground. You better weigh in here people!  Let your City Government know that you support our public art by contacting Mayor Gary Leitzell, Commissioner Dean Lovelace, Commissioner Joey Williams, Commissioner Matt Joseph and Commissioner Nan Whaley.

Update: We have been informed that the issue has been moved from Public Works to John Gower’s Office -Planning & Community Development (937) 333-3670. They reportedly have received a number of calls today from a variety of people who have requested that the art both be removed and let alone…

Knitters Love Dayton

Have you noticed that knit and crochet graffiti has made it’s way to downtown Dayton? If you have ventured down 5th street recently, you’ve seen brightly knitted lampposts and street signs in areas that were previously desolate and unattractive.  Yellow Springs was the first Dayton area city to join the trend and they have received praise and accolades from press as far away as Oregon – State that is, not District.  It makes sense that we see these Yarn Bombs, as they are called, sprouting up in the Oregon District. It is, after all, the regions newest and most active Arts’ District.

What’s this all about you ask?  One of the founders of the movement Magda Sayeg, sums up the movement effectively:  “ It’s a collective’s response to the mass-produced.  By inserting handmade art in a landscape of concrete and steel, they were cheekily adding warmth to our urban fixtures. Knit graffiti reengages us with our environment: the parking meters, buses, bike racks, lamp posts, car antennas, columns, statues, exposed plumbing, all of the furniture in our urban world that goes unnoticed every day.”  And of course, Knitta [Sayeg’s knitting crew] makes the streets prettier along the way. Two other Mothers of the knit graffiti culture, Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain explain all this subversive knitting to readers in their book, Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti. They also author a blog called yarnbombing, which chronicles Moore and Prain’s research into knit (and crochet) graffiti groups from around the world.  They explain the movement another way: “Knit graffiti” is an international guerrilla movement that started underground and is now embraced by crochet and knitting artists of all ages, nationalities, and genders. Its practitioners create stunning works of art out of yarn, then ‘donate’ them to public spaces as part of a covert plan for world yarn domination.”

We see this as a wonderful development for Dayton, showing the world that the city is loved and connected with a community that wants to wrap knitted arms around it. What do you think about those yarn bombs popping up in the Oregon District?

Urban Community Gardens

Community gardens are popping up all over Dayton and for good reasons! Many of our urban neighbors don’t have enough room to do the type of gardening that they’d like to. Community gardens provide a wonderful opportunity for the neighborhood to come together as a community.  Gardening together offers unlimited opportunities to meet neighbors, network and socialize. The importance of eating local, organic and sustainable foods has been the focus of many books, articles and movies. The urban farming trend is an important way of putting vacant lots to use. The empty lot at the corner of 6th and Brown street would make a wonderful Oregon District Community Garden. The location though not central, is prominent and close to the restaurants on 5th street. Opening the garden to participation from the Oregon District restaurants would provide a great opportunity to link the Oregon District neighborhood community with the business community in a positive way. Chefs would be able to feature ingredients grown in the Oregon District on their menus. Other projects such as bee keeping and composting could be added in safe and attractive ways, further promoting these important sustainable urban projects.  This project will also enhance the Oregon District property values.  When  someone is considering purchasing a home with little or no yard they may be swayed by the presence of a community garden.

Urban Garden

Bazaar Dayton

At the last Handmade Holidays hosted by C{Space we were thrilled to learn that the nouveau crafting art community is thriving in Dayton! We came up with the idea to develop a cooperative handmade craft shop featuring 30 local artists a month. Each artist would commit to run the shop one day a month. As the concept grows other duties and additional staff will be managed in the same way.  The shop will be arranged in displays mixing the artist goods to create interesting vignettes.  The displays will be created by combining the artist’s resources and with custom construction. Items such as felted Jewelry, gen-x themed tea towels, found art sculpture and jewelry, creative clothing items, handmade paper and books as well as art cards will be incorporated. Great idea right!

Come back Pecha Kucha Dayton!

Where has Pecha Kucha Dayton gone!?  I wanted to get there for the last one in August but the stars just didn’t align for me. Why hasn’t there been another one all ready? How come there isn’t any news about the next one? Wasn’t it as awesome as it seems like it might have been?

Pecha Kucha Night

PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace. www.pechakucha.org