October 13, 2016 Newsletter


Soggy Bottom Lodge Offers Full Experience

Looking for a great Alabama Black Belt lodge that offers several ways to enjoy your time in the outdoors? Check out Soggy Bottom Lodge just south of Linden, where you’ll find big bucks, duck blinds, lots of wild turkeys and largemouth bass just waiting to scoop up a tasty-looking lure.

Soggy Bottom Lodge, an Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association partner, sleeps up to 20 and features an outdoor kitchen, eight big-screen TVs and a full inside kitchen that can be stocked to suit your group (or you can have meals catered). There’s a trophy bass lake with tackle available. Polaris Rangers are available for use during your stay. Also, shooters can reserve some time at the skeet range that features a five-stand course. Shooters are challenged with targets flying in at different angles, directions and speeds.

As the Soggy Bottom folks say on their website, “Relax on the porch, wet a line, walk through the majestic woods surrounding the lodge – those are just a few of the activities enjoyed by our guests. Don’t worry about going hungry! The food matches the accommodations – everything is first-class.  The last thing we want our guests to worry about is going hungry while enjoying their stay with us.”

Soggy Bottom Lodge is at 18618 Highway 43 at Linden. Contact them at 334-654-4750 or email at brandon@soggybottomlodge.com.

Vote Yes on Amendment 2

Alabamians have a chance on November 8 to assure our state parks will be able to use all the funds earned at the parks will stay with the parks. For the past five years, Alabama’s Legislature has raided the State Parks System’s budget in order to plug funding gaps for other agencies. This Amendment, if approved, would end that practice.

There are four Alabama state parks in the Black Belt – Lakepoint in Eufaula, Chewacla in Auburn, Lake Lurleen in Tuscaloosa and Blue Springs near Clio – and three others in the region were forced to close as a result of system cutbacks. Most of the money used by the parks comes from park visitor fees and payments from vendors. With the passage of Amendment 2, the parks will be able to reliably budget for the future and make much-needed renovations and repairs.

Visit the Alabama State Parks Partners website for more information and remember to vote yes on Amendment 2!

Sprouted Flour Company Makes Black Belt Jobs

founder-peggy-suttonTo Your Health Sprouted Flour is an organic, sprouted flour company located in Bullock County, Alabama. It was started in founder and president Peggy Sutton’s kitchen in 2005 for a few friends and family members after Peggy researched the benefits of sprouted grains, the time-honored tradition of how our ancestors would harvest grains that had naturally sprouted in the fields. Whenever she began to explain the benefits of sprouting to family and friends, the response was always, “Can’t you just do it for me?” And so she did! And that’s how To Your Health began.

Peggy wanted to make sprouted baked goods available to several markets and retail outlets, so her husband, Jeff, built a commercial kitchen in his barn in 2006. The business then obtained state licensing as a food processor, hired two part-time employees and was on the grow.

In February 2008 the business transitioned to offer only sprouted organic grains and flours. Today, TYH employs 35 full-time employees, 33 of whom reside in Bullock County, which plays a vital role in our county’s economy. Every week, 50,000 pounds of grains, seeds and legumes are currently being sprouted at our facility with projections of 120,000 pounds per week upon full operation of the third expansion and the capability of 250,000 pounds per week at capacity. With the completion of the third expansion, To Your Health plans to offer 20 new job openings over the next two years.

When grains are sprouted, they are converted into a raw, living food with more vital nutrients which are more readily absorbed by the body. Sprouted flours are digested by the body as a vegetable, not a starch or as we like to simply say – like a tomato not a potato. When grains are sprouted, enzymes are created that aid digestion. Complex sugars are also broken down and as a result, painful intestinal gasses and potent carcinogens and enzyme inhibitors are neutralized. This is especially beneficial for those people with intolerance to wheat as they often discover they can digest sprouted grains without a problem. We currently sprout more than 20 different organic grains and legumes to create over 50 different organic, sprouted products and we put peace, love and sprouted flour power in every package. To Your Health exports to Canada, the United Kingdom, Mongolia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Denmark and Mexico and is looking to expand to South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.

Hurry to Visit Sports in America Exhibit

sports-5A special traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street program called “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” will close out at the University of West Alabama on Oct. 31. The exhibit can be enjoyed at the Black Belt Museum on the Courthouse Square in Livingston (126 Franklin Street) as part of the UWA’s Center for the Study of the Black Belt.

UWA and the surrounding community was chosen by the Alabama Humanities Foundation to host the “Hometown Teams” as part of the Museum on Main Street program – a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations.

According to a UWA release, “Hometown Teams” captures the stories that unfold on the neighborhood fields and courts and the underdog heroics, larger-than-life legends, fierce rivalries and gut-wrenching defeats. For more than 100 years, sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape the national character. Whether it is professional sports or those played on the collegiate or scholastic level, amateur sports or sports played by kids on the local playground, sports are everywhere in America.

“With this special tour, we are pleased to be working with the University of West Alabama and Sumter County to help develop local exhibitions and public programs to complement the Smithsonian exhibition,” said Armand DeKeyser, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

Call (205) 652-3828 for information or email blackbeltmuseum@uwa.edu.

AWF Wild Game Cook-Offs Set for Black Belt

Get your team together for these Wild Game Cook-Off competitions set for Alabama’s Black Belt in the next few weeks. The West Central Chapter of the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s cook-off is Oct. 27 in downtown Selma at the Historic St. James Hotel and the Clarke County Chapter’s event is Nov. 3 at the Thomasville Golf & Recreation Park Clubhouse. Both cook-offs begin at 6 p.m.

Tickets in Selma are $50 per couple/person at the door. The Thomasville cook-off tickets are $40 per couple/person at the door. The ticket includes complimentary food and a one-year AWF membership for you or your guest and proceeds benefit the Alabama Wildlife Federation. Youngsters under 15 and cook teams are admitted free.

Both events will feature some of the best wild game cooking in the state, a silent auction and live music.

For ticket information or info about how to enter your team, in Selma call the Central Alabama Farmers Co-op at 334-874-9083, the Dr. B.L. Youngblood at Northside Animal Hospital at 334-872-2355; in Thomasville call Bo Cross at 251-387-0460 or Daniel Powell at 251-331-3550. You can also call AWF Headquarters at 800-822-9453 to inquire about either event.

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Welcome to the Black Belt


<p>Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox. Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox.

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