A compelling alternative to raising taxes or issuing bonds for public projects.


Mileur Orchards is selling apples from 9-5 Monday-Saturday and 12 noon-5 on Sundays right up to Thanksgiving.

They are located at 172 Mileur Orchard Road Murphysboro, IL 62966, ‎(618) 687-3663.

Drive through town on Walnut toward Lake Murphsyboro where the road turns into Hwy 149. Their driveway is just a little ways out. You will see their building and sign. Mileur’s was featured in the South of 64 video series and you can watch their segment here. They are so friendly and the apples delicious. Need I say more?

Once you have your apples, take a gander at these dishes and recipes, including the one pictured of Rice Pudding with Caramel  Apples. ‘Tis the season!

ricepudding wcaramelapples

Photograph by Richard Pierce

Here is a nice slideshow about Murphysboro’s PRAISE THE LARD BBQ Cook-off held September 20-22, 2012 just off of 17th Street. The slide show is by New York Magazine’s GRUB STREET site, and we are thankful that they chose to feature our town!

Slide 8:
But nobody has as many trophies as Mike Mills, whose now-retired team remains the only three-time Memphis in May Grand Champion. This is about a third of his haul, in the attic above the restaurant. Amy says he looks at them and counts the cost of winning them — “One thousand, two thousand, three thousand … “

Crimson Express!

Slide 3: The high-school marching band kicks off Friday night’s festivities by marching through the campgrounds.

Here is a link to a story by Jim Horwich on the Marketplace Morning Report about a new way to measure income inequality. Horwich interviews Tim De Chant, who is the senior digital editor for Nova Online and has a blog called PerSquareMile. Check out the discussion on his blog on this subject.

“There are some direct economic impacts of trees. They increase property value and reduce cooling costs. All of these things can add together to a large economic impact,” De Chant says.

Murphysboro has made a start by planting trees on Walnut, but we have a ways to go. There are so many benefits to planting and tending to trees and maintaining landscaping that it is hard to know where to start. Air quality if a much-cited benefit, but there are many more.

If you are mulching your yard, business plantings or public parks for fall, remember that local business Bost Trucking and Materials Handling is offering a discount on their excellent mulch to friends of the Big Muddy Garden Club.

Just mention the club to Danny Bost and he will take care of your order. This is not a paid announcement, I just got mulch from there and happened to mention the Club, and they told me about the discount (which I then gladly took advantage of), so I am passing that news on. It’s a very good deal.

Below I have pasted just a small part of a 139 page study/compilation from the U.K. titled A Summary of the Benefits of Urban Trees Accompanied by a Selection of Research Papers and Pamphlets. It is a massive document but a quick read, and cites mostly American articles. (The italics below are mine, for emphasis.)

A study by the University of Washington established a number of benefits in terms of consumer experiences of business districts with trees (Wolf, 1998(a), Wolf, 1999 and Wolf, 2003). Consumers reported consistently higher ratings for a number of categories related to their perception of business districts with trees. They reported a willingness to pay more for parking in landscaped car parks and on average reported a willingness to pay an average of about 11% more for goods in a landscaped business district than a non landscaped district, with this figure being as high as 50% for convenience goods.

Both the business community and consumers were found to favour business districts with good landscaping (Wolf, 1998(b)). The quality of landscaping along approach routes to business districts has also been found to positively influence consumer perceptions (Wolf, 2000).

Inward investment
The attractiveness of an environment is an important factor in attracting inward investment. Both consumers and businesses have been found to favour districts with high tree cover and the increase in retail prices that can be commanded in well landscaped areas can reasonably be assumed to be a positive benefit in attracting businesses to the district.

Property values
Several studies in the USA have analysed the effect of tree cover on the price of residential house sales, finding that values of properties in tree lined areas may be up to 6% greater than in similar areas without trees (Wolf, 1998 (c)).

I would love to hear your own views on the benefits of trees and landscaping in our town. Please feel free to comment. Thanks.

In honor of Apple Festival weekend here in Murphysboro, here is a recipe a reader sent from a blog called Deliciously Organic. There are so many apples to choose from in the orchards that surround our town – but they deserve a dedicated post. Enjoy the recipe and the blog!

copyright Delliciously Organic

from the blog Deliciously Organic.


Before you click on the link, a few tips. The zinio.com reading format can be cumbersome. There are ads* to wade through before you can find the page you want. Click through to pages 6 and 7 for the table of contents. From there click on the awards stories you are interested in reading.

The Landmark award story begins on page 167: the Village of Yorkville Park in Ontario, which is designed to be a series or collection of the landscapes of Canada. According to one of the landscape architects, the way the landscapes are arranged references Victorian row houses and the hobby of collecting. The park is well-loved, but it took several decades to make it happen. You can read that story here.

The park restored a sense of elegance to a neighborhood that desperately needed it.                                    – Christopher Hume

On a similar subject, a young lady tending bar at Hanger 9 in C’dale told me, after I shared that I live in Murphysboro, that she has a friend who would love to hold her wedding in our Town Center Park Bandshell. She asked me if it was still closed. I told her that she should have her friend contact the owner and ask him for permission, and I let her know that she might need to work with the garden club to tend to the plants since the City is not doing so.

Hopefully we will have leadership in Murphysboro in the near future that values beautiful, unique public spaces as the magnet for economic growth and public celebration that they can be, if maintained and valued properly.

Thanks again for reading this blog.

*In this instance I was pleased to see a Pomona, Illinois firm’s ad
for their Longshadow Planters on the inside front cover!


Click HERE to read THE MIDWESTERNER: Blogging the Global Midwest. The article is titled “A Light Dawns on Economists” and it is chiefly about the idea that America could use an industrial policy in response to the global economy. Here is the biography of the author/blogger from his site:

Richard Longworth is a Senior Fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He is the author of Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism, now out in paperback (Bloomsbury USA). He is a longtime editor and foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and United Press International, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, twice an Overseas Press Club Award winner, and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. More important, he is an Iowa native and is a recognized expert and frequent speaker on the Midwest and its place in a globalizing world.

After reading his piece I found myself thinking about the idea of a purely free market, and how, outside of classroom models, theory and talk radio, it does not exist. For example, we provide subsidies and tax breaks to businesses and individuals, enterprise zones and such are set aside to nurture new businesses in our communities. We must admit that truth. Nothing is pure. In order to engage in a realistic discussion that can lead to policies that work in relation to our competitors in the manufacturing sector (China and India, Germany and Japan, Morocco and Turkey, Tennessee and Mississippi!), we have to begin on common ground, with common goals. And our leaders and representatives must be articulate, serious stakeholders in the results if we are to succeed.

Click here to read about the concept of tacit approval in business. This also applies in government, family life, and friendship.

A great idea. Fishing this weekend with the kids. Make an skillet of applepandowdy in the morning so it’s waiting for you when you get back from the lake, hungry, tired, and itchy. Don’t forget the Farm Fresh milk!



The last holiday weekend of summer presents an opportunity to reinforce the fun of fishing in the minds of youngsters.  School begins soon and they need fond memories of the summer past. 

For children to enjoy fishing, it is important to know the child.  Pre-school children are more interested in chasing minnows and casting rocks than they are in spending a day “chunkin’ and winding” a bass rod.  It is important adults recognize the short attention span of young children.  To them fishing is something that you do for a little while until bored. 

Adults need to watch for signs of boredom and then switch the activity either temporarily or for the day.  It is important youngsters catch fish in order to maintain interest in the activity.  Just sitting and watching a bobber float on the water will get old in a hurry.  That is why bluegill and sunfish are…

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The mantle is a heavy one, and he carries it with patience, intelligence, and the healthy skepticism and optimism of a businessman and scholar. Bruce Wallace has studied Public Administration while he has been doing that very thing in important quarters.

As Executive Director of the Murphysboro Chamber, Bruce speaks for the business community here and also advocates for it. His efforts in that office have transformed the once quiet Chamber into the strongest force for growth and economic prosperity in our city. He has experience in property development, non-profit consulting, finance, and leadership.

Bruce Wallace:
Executive Director, Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce

As CEO of Wallace Enterprises, Treasurer of the Southern Illinois Investment Company and service on other boards and commissions, he maintains a personal stake in the the economics of Southern Illinois. He has also served as the Jackson County Republican chairman, focusing on taxation and economic issues on the county level, fighting corruption and wasteful spending on the state level.

Bruce has his finger on the pulse of Murphysboro. He brings a unique perspective. Having grown up in Carbondale, he can see both good and bad concerns that natives might overlook out of habit or take for granted. He is the very kind of individual we need in our town, having moved here because this is the place where he could afford a nice home. Our housing stock is a major selling point for newcomers, and Bruce Wallace is a great example of a person who landed here for that reason and has stayed here for the express purpose of making Murphysboro a better place. He is committed to thoughtfully, systematically turning the economy here around.

He was quoted in the paper as saying Murphysboro is a “Town of Festivals,” and that is correct. We know how to celebrate! But Bruce Wallace is interested in welcoming entities that are not just seasonal, but perennial. Businesses that we can and will support for the long term.

Though he is eloquent, Bruce is a self-motivated worker. If he ever runs for municipal office, we should get behind him regardless of political party affiliation. He would be a refreshing, experienced, trustworthy steward and public servant. The kind of leader we need.

Bruce Wallace

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