On my first tour of TS Designs, I was immediately impressed by each and every sustainable innovation on the premises. One of my absolute favorite features, however, is the Garden of Eat’n. This extensive employee-grown garden provides veggies for those of us who spend a few hours per week hoeing, watering, and loving the plants. It is just one more aspect of TS Designs that makes us so incredibly unique. We not only are all about making the very best t-shirt around, but we plug sustainability into all facets of our lives… our faces being one of those extremely important facets. “Buying local” has been one of the latest pushes in the Green Movement. As Eric Henry (our beloved President of TS Designs) once said, “Just because you bought that cheeseburger from the McDonald’s down the street from your house does not mean you are buying local.” Unfortunately, some people still fail to make the distinction between products that are “final destination local” and “of local origin”. I am personally a grocery snob. There, I said it. During the school year, I carpool with my other hippie friends once a month to drive from Elon, NC to Chapel Hill, NC (a forty minute hop, skip, and a jump away) to hit up our nearest Trader Joe’s. They supply fantastic organic, antibiotic-free, grass-fed, crunchy granola groceries from peanut butter to soy nuggets. I love Trader Joe’s. However, with summer in full swing, I’ve been looking to farmer’s markets for my produce runs. But buyer beware! Ask the vendors where their goods are from. It’s very easy to strike up a conversation with a overall-bedecked fellow peddling tomatoes, “Hey there, these tomatoes look lovely, do you grow all of these yourself?” And you will be met with one of two answers, “Why yes I do,” or “Nope, just shipped these bad boys in from Mexico.” Having been to a Burlington, NC farmer’s market and receiving the latter of the two responses, I make certain I know exactly what I’m buying, and where it came from. By becoming a conscientious consumer, you are not only keeping yourself informed of what you’re putting in your body, but also knowing exactly where your dollar is going. Buying local supports the local economy, your local growers, and your overall well-being. Not sure where to start your journey to becoming a better buyer in North Carolina? Keep reading. SAXAPAHAW RIVER MILL http://www.rivermillvillage.com/farmers.html A quaint little town filled with history, fantastic people, and even better food. On Saturday afternoons, Saxapahaw boasts an incredible Market & Music Series, bringing the best organic goods, crafts, and musical talent to one riverside hill. Bring your blanket and an empty cooler for an amazing picnic to be contributed to by the Saxapahaw vendors. Don't forget to stop by the general store! (I highly recommend the goat burger.) GROWING SMALL FARMS: North Carolina Cooperative Extension http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg/otherareamarkets.html This resource contains a plethora of excellent locations all over the Triangle Area to find the farmers market nearest you. I have explored several of the markets on the list, however my favorite thus far is the Downtown Raleigh site in terms of convenience for me. WHY BE THE VILLAGE IDIOT WHEN YOU CAN BE A LOCAL HERO? Peace, love & t-shirts, NatalieRead More
Both Tom Sineath and Eric Henry here at TS Designs are committed to reconnecting their employees back to local food. It is better for them, their wallets, and the environment. TSD will be moving ahead with their community garden this year after a successful first year under the management of Glenn Kern. Glenn will be returning, but there will be a lot of changes for this season. This year, instead of volunteering, all employees will be required to work a half hour a week in the garden—they will be paid for their time, of course.
TSD lost the hoop house during a recent windstorm (see photo above), but that opened the door to bring in chickens. Ben Wright from Peacehaven Community Garden and Will Hooker, head of the Permaculture program at NC State, will help with the chicken endeavor. The plan is to start with about six chickens, which will be allowed to graze in the fallow rolls of the garden, contained in a fence, within the fenced garden.Read More
The folks at Peacehaven Community Farm in Guilford County recently put in a yurt from Blue Ridge Yurts. They are testing the yurt to determine how to best use their land with as light an impact as possible. Some of the future uses for the yurt that they are considering include meeting or office spaces and storage uses.
Our friends at the Abundance Foundation recently completed their "Office of the Future," a fossil fuel-free workspace. The office runs off of a 510 watt solar array, a 30 watt solar air heater, and they plan on putting in a solar air conditioner for the summer. It was made out of local materials and they also used soy spray insulation and low VOC paints. In the photo above, they are sporting their new red TS Designs shirts on a snowy afternoon in front of their office in Pittsboro, NC.