The Hardscapes North America (HNA) and GIE Expo will once again combine forces to create one of the industry’s top trade events next week in Louisville, KY. The three day event from Oct. 27-29 at the Kentucky Expo Center will feature an indoor tradeshow and outdoor demonstration area drawing thousands of landscape and hardscape professionals. Belgard® Hardscapes has been preparing for the show for months. Here’s an inside look at what to expect and why to add both Belgard booths—1216 inside and 7368D outside—to your itinerary.
The Belgard Block Party provides the perfect opportunity to showcase great product and host interactive events. We have daily themes including Block Party Rocks with live concerts and an open mic hour, Block Party Street Carnival with carnival games and prizes and a Block Party Tailgate Extravaganza with football highlights on the big screens. Daily event details can be found at www.belgard. biz/hna.htm.
Our city scape allows us to showcase some of our newest products to hit the market as well as a couple of products that won’t be available until later in 2012. From new interlocking pavers, wall concepts and edgers to pre-built modular elements, we’ll showcase the latest and greatest as well as some traditional favorites.
Our outdoor demo area (booth 7368D) will also have a demo pit where you can interact with our products—laying paver patterns, building walls and learning about permeable pavers. This hands-on area is there for you to enjoy and our product experts will be there to answer your questions and jump in the pit with you.
At 11:30am each day in the demo area, Chuck Taylor will talk about using regular Belgard pavers to create permeable surfaces. And Al Pfannenstein will present our newest wall offerings at 2:30pm each day.
Our city scape is laid out to showcase Belgard’s professional programs including the Belgard University, Authorized Contractor & Dealer programs, Belgard Preferred Payment and the Belgard Design Studio. In fact, we used Belgard Design Studio to design the layout of both booths and all the images you see in this blog. So if you have any questions about the professional resources Belgard offers, this is the place to find out more.
Inside and out, we’ll be interviewing some of the industry’s top professionals. Ken O’Neill, VP of Marketing for Belgard, will discuss hardscape innovations and what to expect in 2012 at 10:30 am on Thursday, Oct. 27th in booth 7368D (outside).
At 11:30 am on Thursday, we’ll interview the winner of the Win This Space contest, Bob Streiff of Precision Pavers in Dallas, at booth 1216 (inside). The Win This Space contest was part of the Belgard University Sales Jam 2011. We’ll learn Bob’s secrets to success and growing his business.
From outdoor living trends to permeable pavements and retaining wall construction, we’ll have the Belgard experts on-site every day to answer your questions.
It wouldn’t be a party without great food and we’ll have plenty of it. From 11am until 1pm daily, we’ll be cooking outdoors in our brick ovens. And at 1pm, we’ll have cooking demonstrations from the chefs of 610 Magnolia, a Louisville restaurant, including a demo by Iron Chef Edward Lee.
Don’t miss Belgard Hardscapes at HNA + GIE Expo in Louisville, KY on Oct. 27-29. If you can’t be there, make sure to follow the event on our Facebook page. We’ll have daily updates, photos and videos.
It’s that time again when the holidays are linger around the corner, the leaves are falling and the temperature is starting to get a little cooler. And with the holidays comes great food! Traditional marble cake with vanilla and chocolate is a staple at get-togethers, but have you ever thought of combining the seasonal taste of pumpkin and chocolate into one? These two ingredients intertwined will have you wanting to show off your recipe to everyone at the next family gathering. It’s makes a beautiful display piece at your next dinner party, especially since it serves 12 to 16 hungry guests!
Consider making a few at a time, wrapping them up, and giving as gifts. This is one item that won’t end up as a White Elephant gift!
Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake
- 1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- Chocolate glaze (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts (optional)
- In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Scrape half the mixture into another bowl.
- To make pumpkin batter: Beat pumpkin into half the butter mixture until well blended. In another bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed or fold in with a flexible spatula just until blended.
- To make chocolate batter: In another bowl, mix remaining 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the cocoa. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the other half of the butter mixture (starting and ending with flour mixture), beating after each addition just until blended.
- Spoon half the pumpkin batter into a buttered and floured 12-cup bundt-cake pan. Drop half the chocolate batter by spoonfuls over (but not entirely covering) the pumpkin batter. Repeat to spoon remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters into pan. Gently run the blade of a butter knife around the center of the pan several times, then draw the knife across the width of the pan in 10 to 12 places to swirl batters.
- Bake in a 350° regular or 325° convection oven until a wood skewer inserted into center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto a rack, lift off pan, and cool cake completely.
- Pour warm chocolate glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Sprinkle glaze with peanuts if desired. Let stand until glaze is set, about 2 hours, or chill about 30 minutes.
Chocolate Glaze: In a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler, combine 4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 teaspoon corn syrup. Bring an inch or two of water to a boil in a pan that the bowl can nest in or in bottom of double boiler, then remove from heat. Place chocolate mixture over water and let stand, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, about 10 minutes.
From Sunset Magazine November 2003.
Today, we are encouraged to be green, use green, and buy green. People who are familiar with the “go green” theme strive to help save the environment. Belgard®, with their line of Environmental Pavers is no different.
But how about, “Go Blue!” with regards to a watershed. A watershed, or drainage basin, is an area of water, such as a pond, lake, stream, or other body of water that collects runoff from surrounding areas. Rainwater landing on the non-absorbing surfaces, such as parking lots, walkways and roofs eventually journeys as runoff to a larger holding area. Unfortunately, this runoff collects surface debris and chemicals, such as car fluids, fertilizers, animal waste, and debris, carrying it into our waters.
A watershed may be as large as the Mississippi River spanning 33 states or more communal like Diamond Lake of Minneapolis. The 2010 Blue Community Makeover Program known as “Go Blue!” was developed by residents to improve water quality when their Diamond Lake received the grade “F” because of pollutants and heavy sedimentation in the river from storm water runoff.
“My theory on life is that you should leave the world a little better than you came into it,” said resident of Lake Diamond Community. “This is one way I can help make the earth a little greener and a little happier,” she commented next to her new, serene rainwater-fed pond and gutter rain barrels.
Many residents became very interested and involved in this program by installing rain gardens and water recycling systems, which help to reduce direct storm water runoff. Belgard was called upon to take up the gauntlet. Their Environmental Collection of permeable pavers played a huge role in the fight to improve the situation by reducing water runoff.
With the installation of permeable pavers, pollution from rainwater runoff can be reduced by as much as 100%. Permeable pavers can be installed in any landscape, from a home patio to community streets. Belgard is pleased to offer three types: Subterra Stone, Eco Dublin and Aqua Roc.
Subterra® Stone brings in a more natural chiseled look to your outdoor areas. This paver comes in two different patterns. The modular shapes allows easy installment. The newest addition, Eco Dublin™combines cut stone with contemporary material, to provide a classic look. Aqua Roc™is the strongest out of the permeable pavers. This paver can withstand heavy vehicular traffic, yet subtle enough for a small project. Turfstone, with its high tech design, not only allows water to be absorbed naturally in the soil, but it also prevents erosion. Plus, greenery can grow through it, disguising it, thus working in harmony with nature.
The reason these pavers are so environmentally friendly is their installation. Gaps between pavers, which are filled with sand, gravel or filler, allow water to seep through and into the soil below. Through this process, may contaminants are removed from the water that will eventually make its way to a watershed.
With any one of these permeable pavers, not only will you be able to enjoy your new outdoor area, but you’ll also be environment friendly! Remember, you can always count on a Belgard Contractor when it comes to installing these pavers. Also, local dealers can help and provide color samples for your outdoor living area. Belgard offers its lifetime guaranty with all products.
Nothing is more precious to life than clean water. Because of this, it makes sense to do all we can to instill, in our people (and most especially our youth) an understanding of water and watersheds, and how the activities of man affects them. Make a difference!
Click for more on Go Blue!
For case studies on Belgard Permeable Pavers, visit our site.
Belgard pavers can be used commercially too.