Sustainability Down The Street: Pine Avenue’s Edible Community Gardens

We talk a lot in this space about the importance of eating locally. This can include visiting nearby farmer’s markets (or even farms themselves) for fresh and organic produce and seeking out local, independent fishermen to ensure you’re eating a sustainable catch. But eating locally on Anna Maria Island just became a whole lot more accessible, thanks to the new Edible Community Gardens project on Pine Avenue. Image Source: This innovative venture is the result of a collaboration between Pine Avenue Restoration (PAR) developers Ed Chiles and Mike Coleman (who, along with Lizzie Thrasher and her Historic Green Village, are largely responsible for making Pine Avenue “The Greenest Little Main Street In America”) and landscape designer and native habitat expert Michael Miller. Chiles, Coleman, and Miller have teamed up with the Pine Avenue Merchants to design and implement this unique garden system that brings fresh produce to one of the most bustling streets on the Island. Image Source: Miller designed the eight raised beds to use a one-of-a-kind sheet mulch system that has been developed through the permaculture movement. Essentially, the mulch system consists of layers of materials that engineer a soil medium that makes year-round open-air produce growing possible even in the inhospitable Florida summer climate. And since the gardens were installed a few weeks ago, the array of vegetables (including Malabar spinach, Seminole pumpkin, and edible hibiscus) has been flourishing. Image Source: Though this project may be taking root on Pine Avenue, this garden will not be contained to one area for long. Miller, Chiles, and Coleman share the long-term goal of bringing Edible Community Gardens all over the Island and beyond. Image Source: In addition to providing an abundance of exotic, tasty produce to the Island, the Edible Community Gardens will also serve as a powerful visual reminder of just what kind of an impact can be made when people pitch in to bring imaginative projects to life. As projects like this continue to grow, sustainability will become less of a concept and more of a reality for all of us. For more information on this exciting project, check out the Perfect Island website.

Beer Tasting

It’s time for a beer tasting again, and this week we will have the Renegade Reps with us showing off 6 of their delicious brews. We will have three beers from Boulder Beer, Colorado’s first microbrewery dating back to 1979. We’ll start with Sweaty Betty Blond, a hefeweizen, followed by Singletrack Copper Ale and Hoopla Pale Ale. The other three beers come from Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company, Mississippi’s first brewery. I was fortunate to have met Leslie Henderson a while back and she definitely knows how to brew some delicious stuff. We’ll try her Indian Summer American wheat, a keg of Southern Hops’pitality India Pale Ale and my favorite, Southern Pecan Brown Ale. Once we throw in some good ol’ summer style appetizers we are ready for big ol’ time.

Happy Hour Changes

We are happy to announce that we have decided to offer happy hour at the bar seven days a week from 4:30 to 6:30 starting immediately. Previously it was not available on weekends. We have also added four wine pours to the offerings, including a reisling, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc and a malbec in addition to the chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon we have always offered. We look forward to serving you.