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This weblog contains LocallyGrown.net news and the weblog entries from all the markets currently using the system.

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Gwinnett Locally Grown:  The Market is Open


Greetings All:
This week absolutely flew by – but I accomplished a good number of things and hope you all had a productive week also.

A couple of Updates:

Freshly Made Breads has decided to leave the Market. Irma and Jerry served us faithfully for these last 3 years and we wish them well.

Mary Drisdell, the owner of Patchwork Pastures will now supply you with grains, flours and legumes. Her baked goods not only look amazing but truly are melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Try any variety of her delectable Scones or my personal favorite Pecan Cinnamon Rolls – I get them for my niece because I am gluten free, but the aroma is unbelievable and Cody RAVES about the taste – and I am jealous! I can vouch for her tasty Granola and the awesome Granola Bars! Last week, for those of you who missed it, she had samples of her delicious Pumpkin Bread. If you have something special you would like for Mary to bake, please put it in the Comment Section of your order and I will be sure that she gets the info. I’m not committing her to make it, but I am sure that she will contact you to let you whether or not it is possible.

Farmer Brown assured me last week that he will have more veggies available this week and next week, the beets should be ready! Thanks, Ricky! We are all looking forward to more veggies! Anyone for making some Beet Kvass? I promise to feature it for tasting the week after beets are available.

On the Veggie subject – because our Market is small and growing, it is difficult to attract another vendor for the veggies that Ricky (Farmer Brown) will not be providing. I have been negotiating with Tony at the Veggie Patch. My first request to join the Market was turned down due to the time commitment of bagging and tagging and the small size of the Market. I went back to Tony today and convinced him that we could make it work with some changes since he has another customer he delivers to in this vicinity on Tuesday morning. He is taking the proposition back to the owner of the Farm and I will know next week. If we do get a 4 week trial with them and it doesn’t work we are fortunate THAT -

Rancho Alegre has a new Farmer! Welcome to RaShauld Mincey! RaShauld comes to us as a graduate of the Urban Farming Program offered by Truly Living Well. His first task is to completely re-vamp the garden area – I have heard rumors that it is going to be fabulous! I know that he has all kinds of seeds and seedlings for some tasty winter veggies and greens! The most fabulous part is he is going to offer his produce to us at Gwinnett Locally Grown! So in a short amount of time, you will be able to order your veggies on line and then take a stroll to the garden to see where your food was grown! I will be sneaking a peek to see what’s happening before Market pickup on Tuesday and will keep everyone up to date! Make those veggies grow RaShauld!

There is still time to let me know you would like to order Salmon from The Wild Salmon Company. We are still below our minimum required – so I am hoping you will pass this along to friends and family so that we can take advantage of this great deal. Please call me at 404-432-4337 for more info! This is a once a year opportunity – so don’t miss it! It is $12 per pound. It comes packaged in 10 or 20 pound boxes. Inside you will find, cryo-packed packages contained 2 filets each, with a weight of between 12 and 16 oz per package – A perfect serving size for 2 people! I am doing my best to match people who want just a few pounds to come to a 20lb total. I am working with Heidi at the company and will let you know when we can log into the website to actually order.

Need eggs? Please put your order in the Comment Section!

Kefir grains or Kits should be requested in the Comment Section of the ordering form.

Thank you all for your support and patience as I do my best to serve you by growing the Market and providing you with Nutrient Dense Food choices and resources to feed you and your families! I appreciate you all! And thank you to Rancho Alegre Farm who is our Farm Partner and our sponsor!

The Market is OPEN, so scoot on down and put in your order. It will be waiting for you to pickup on Tuesday! Hmmm, I wonder what Mary will be showcasing and offering samples of this week?

Joyful thoughts,

~Maryanne

Republican Valley Produce:  RVP- The Market is Open


Here to let you know, we haven’t blown away! All the fall colors are now gone, but the new fall and winter colored produce is looking great!

Orders are due by 5 pm on Sunday

Thanks,

Jay

Suwanee Whole Life Co-op:  Suwanee Market is OPEN for orders


Hi Everyone,

The market is now open for ordering!
suwanee.locallygrown.net

Look for Pink Eye Purple Hull Peas from Covenant Family Farms! My kids have had so much fun shelling pink eye peas. Very similar to black eye peas but a milder flavor. Makes a great side dish and is high in Vitamin B and folate!

Market closes Sunday at 5pm
Have a great weekend!
Nora

Jbo Locally Grown:  Tomorrow at the market (10/20)


Be sure to leave time to visit Art in the Park at the storytelling center (starts at 10am) after the market! It is the 4th annual judged and juried fine art show—and you’ll see a number of familiar market faces there!

Remember: Market hours are 9-12 for October.

Tomorrow’s music:
The Blue Ridge Bakery Boys…this group got its start at the Brevard, NC farmers market, and we are pleased to welcome them for their Jonesborough Market debut!

Things to look for at tomorrow’s market (not a complete list, but a good representation!):

Produce
Pumpkins! All shapes & sizes…orange, white and bumpy ones too.
Pears—Bartlett and Bosch
Candy roaster squash
Acorn and other fall squash
Fresh & dried chili peppers
Sweet and hot peppers
Sweet potatoes
Shiitake mushrooms—dried and some fresh shiitake (limited quantity)
Tomatillos
Radishes
Broom Corn
Turnips
Greens
Daikon Radish microgreens
Watercress
Italian parsely
Scallions
Baby bok choi
Lettuce mix
Greenleaf lettuce
Swiss chard

From the farm
Eggs
Honey
Goat Cheese, plain and flavored, Colby and Feta
Lamb cuts and sausage
Grass-fed beef

From the kitchen
Jams, jellies & apple butter
Breads
Croissants
Hot fresh coffee

And more
Worm bins
Shrubs
Flowering plants
Ornamental peppers
Pottery

Away this week
Sentelle’s sausage (back on the 27th)
David Cook (photography) and Bear Anderson (Grizzwood) will be at Art in the Park

Poll for loyal readers: Do you prefer today’s general list format, or one listing farm-by-farm availability? Let us know!

See you tomorrow!
9am-noon
Courthouse Square

Conway, AR:  CLG Pickup TODAY at 4pm! Bring glass jars!


Good Morning,

This is a pickup reminder for those of you who ordered this week. Thank you for your order. You can pick up your order from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. today at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church at 925 Mitchell Street in Conway.

Remember to bring your glass jars for recycling, and bags for ordered items.

See you this afternoon. Have a great day!

Athens Locally Grown:  Availability for November 18


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown

Market News

First off. let me announce again, in case you missed it, that Athens Locally Grown will be closed next week. Thanksgiving week is the one week a year that we close down completely, so we can all travel to family, prepare feasts of thanksgiving, and otherwise mark the holiday. That means if you’d like any ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal, you will need to purchase them this week! The Saturday Athens Farmers Market at Bishop park is also still open, so that’ll give you one last chance should something not come through from us on Thursday.

And what a glorious selection we have for you this week! I have never, in all nine years of Athens Locally Grown, seen such a variety of products from so many growers heading into Thanksgiving. Can you believe we have green beans? Tomatoes? Peppers? Eggplant? Squash & zucchini? And of course there is all the fall produce you’d expect to see: the greens, salads, peas, root veggies, and so on. Our growers have put so much effort and resources to extending their seasons, every year able to grow a little bit more a little bit longer, and this year it’s really all paid off. I hope you can reward their efforts by making as much of your Thanksgiving meal locally grown as possible. And if you’re going to be traveling (as I will be), pack up the bounty and take it with you! I’ll be in Missouri, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be having a Georgia Thanksgiving.

Of course the traditional centerpiece for a carnivore household’s table, the turkey, is extremely hard to come by. This year there were two growers raising pastured heritage turkeys (double from last year), and both of them sold out six months ago or earlier. There’s an obvious market there with far more demand than supply, so hopefully other growers will join in in upcoming years. If you weren’t able to get your hands on one of those available this year, or you’re just not the turkey-eating sort, there is more than enough veggies available to make a meal fit for a king. We have so many things to be thankful for in our community, and the abundance of locally grown food is right up there.

So, one last time: Athens Locally Grown will be closed next week. If you’d like any ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal next week, you will need to purchase them this week! In addition, Righteous Juice will be taking an extended vacation of a month, so if you’re a regular customer, you may wish to order extra to put in your freezer.

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, and local food in general. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

Recipes

Simple Savory Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet potatoes create a smooth orange soup that is quick to prepare. The fire of cayenne pepper cuts their natural sweetness. The first version is inspired by Southern cooking, with its roasted peanut and scallion garnish. The second is seasoned with the Mexican flavors of lime and cilantro. This is a simple recipe, but feel free to fool with it, adding spices like curry, to the sauté, root veggies to the simmer and ingredients like coconut milk to finish — whatever delights you! This is an efficient use for thanksgiving leftovers, although the recipe work equally well with raw ones. From The Locavore Way by Amy Cotler

Makes about 2-1/2 quarts, easily halved

2 large onions, diced (3 cups)
2 large celery rib, diced (2 cups)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6), peeled and thinly sliced or 6 roasted sweet potatoes, peeled (about 3 cups packed)
About 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
About 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
About 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Southern Style Version 1:
Garnish with —
Chives or scallion greens, sliced on the diagonal
Roasted peanuts, chopped
A touch of cream, optional

Mexican Style Version 2:
Prepare the soup, omitting version 1 garnish. Instead, season with lime and garnish with cilantro.
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Chopped cilantro

1. Cook the onion and celery in the oil over a medium-low heat, until the onion is transparent but not brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the sweet potatoes, if they are raw, with half the stock. Simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. If the sweets are cooked, add them, but no need to simmer.
3. Add sweet potato mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth, scraping down the bowl, if necessary. Return to the pot, and add remaining stock. Season with salt and cayenne to taste. (Be careful on the salt if you are using store-bought stock. It may not be needed.) If needed, add a touch of extra stock to reach the consistency of a thick soup.
4. Finish. Southern Style Version 1: Garnish with scallions and peanuts for Southern version 1, drizzling each bowl with a little cream, before garnishing, if you like. Mexican Style version 2: Season the soup with lime and garnish with cilantro.

Coming Events

The Athens Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at Bishop Park from 8am to noon and every Tuesday evening at Little Kings downtown. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. This week is the last Tuesday market of the season, but the Saturday markets will continue through mid-December. You can learn more about that market on their website.

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

Athens Locally Grown:  Availability for October 14


It’ll be just a quick “opening bell” email from me tonight. The biggest news of the week is that Athens Locally Grown has finally been approved to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program EBT cards! I say “finally” because I’ve been trying for almost five years, as soon as the USDA approved EBT use at farmers markets, to get ALG accepted into the program. I could go on at length about the bureaucratic odyssey I’ve undergone, but the important thing is we have been accepted. We can’t yet accept EBT payments, however! We still have to get the accounts set up and the equipment in place. I’m hopeful that we’ll have everything we need by the time the Athens Farmers Market (both locations began accepting EBT payments this season) closes for the year next month. If I can make that happen, then there will be an uninterrupted opportunity for those needing EBT to obtain fresh, locally grown food. Athens Locally Grown is not yet part of the Wholesome Wave program (a non-profit that doubles the value of SNAP money spent at farmers markets), but I’ve enquired about becoming a part of it in 2011. I’ll keep you all informed!

Athens Locally Grown Hunter’s Moon Feast: October 23, Saturday, at Boann’s Banks (Royston, Franklin County)

“The October full moon has been known as the “Hunter’s Moon” for millennia, and was a time of feasting throughout the Northern hemisphere. We revive the notion here with a day of feasting at Boann’s Banks (the farm of Athens Locally Grown managers Chris and Eric Wagoner) on the banks of the Broad River outside Royston. It’ll be a low-key affair, without any farm work for you to do. Just good food and drink (Eric will prepare a variety of dishes using locally grown vegetables and locally raised meats, and perhaps brew an adult beverage. There’s also the likelihood of home-brewed beer, and the possibility of good live music. There’ll certainly be good company (all of you), and a river to splash in. There’s even some camping space, for those who really want to enjoy the moon. Come any time, but I’ll be aiming for 2pm to have the BBQ and other dishes ready. Stay as long as you’d like, even into Sunday. Nights are chilly, though, so bring a tent if you’re wanting to do that. There is no charge for Locally Grown members and their families. We do ask that you bring a dish to share, and if it’s made from Locally Grown ingredients, so much the better." You can make your reservations for the feast on the Market page of the website, under the Event Reservations category.

The Athens Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at Bishop Park from 8am to noon and every Tuesday evening at Little Kings downtown. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Also, Watkinsville has a thriving farmers market every Saturday morning, behind the Eagle Tavern. And further east, Comer has a nice little market Saturday mornings as well. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

Athens Locally Grown:  Availability for September 30


To Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown

Recipes

Bell Peppers Lemonly Dressed and Cumin-esque

This versatile recipe will add just the right amount of color to any dish in need of some visual pizzazz. What’s more, the lemony cumin in the peppers will pizzazzify the flavors on your plate. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 4

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 red or purple bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 green or yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon) (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions or red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers; saute, stirring until slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
2. Combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, parsley, cumin, honey, and garlic in a large jar. With the lid tightly screwed on, shake the jar vigorously until the oil and vinegar have combined and thickened.
3. Toss the peppers and scallions or red onion with the vinaigrette in a large bowl; add the salt and season with pepper to taste. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Market News

The big news this week is Athens Locally Grown is adding another payment method this week, one that has been asked for since we began nine years ago. Starting this Thursday, in addition to paying by cash or check, you will also be able to pay with your credit or debit card, so long as it has a Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover logo. There are a few things you should know first, however.

Most people have a vague awareness that merchants are charged fees in order to accept credit cards. There are typically equipment fees, monthly fees, monthly minimums, special merchant banks account fees, a per-swipe fee, and a percentage based fee, and often those fees vary by card type. On average, the fees all added up come to over 3% of your purchase price. The card companies have all kinds of statistics to show that sales increase when a merchants starts accepting cards, and so the merchant knows he can simply raise his prices by 2 to 3% for everyone, and then make up the fees in increased volume. For a medium to large business, that makes a lot of sense, but for small merchants with slim margins, it’s usually only something they do because they feel they have to.

A new company is trying to change all that, by offering a flat per-swipe fee of 2.75% plus 15 cents and eliminating everything else. This has the potential to be extremely disruptive to the entire industry, but the founder of the company, Square (http://www.squareup.com), has experience with that. He also founded Twitter. It took a while for them to convince the big banks to accept this simplified method of credit card processing, so even though we were first accepted into the program almost a year ago, it took until this week for everything to get turned on. We’re now good to go.

Athens Locally Grown has always been weird, as far as businesses go. We don’t run it in order to make money, and we keep our margins as close to zero as we can. We don’t set the prices at all, so the growers decide how to package and price their items. We charge them 10% of that price as a “table fee”, and that is largely how we cover the market’s expenses. Much of that goes to cover food credits for our team of volunteers, and the rest buys market equipment such as all the coolers, the tables, the shelving, the truck, and so forth. So, even a simple flat 3% credit card fee would suddenly eat up a full third of our operating budget. I’m not going to raise prices for everyone, nor will I increase the table fee for the growers, so that leaves one option for now: if you wish to pay with your credit or debit card, we’ll ask you to add a 3% gratuity to your payment. We’ll make that easy for you, if you find the convenience of plastic worth the added expense. If you wish to continue paying with cash or check, payments that cost us next to nothing to accept, we’ll gladly take that.

Another payment method that I’ve been trying to make available for years now is also getting closer: EBT. The Athens Farms Market began taking EBT this year, but we were still shut out because of our “weird” business model. After pushing all summer on this, though, we finally had our full application accepted by the USDA. They still need to approve it, though, and after that we’ll need to obtain the equipment, but we’re closer than ever. I’m hoping that by the time the Athens Farmers Market closes for the winter in November that we’ll be up and running with that, so families who rely upon EBT can still obtain fresh, locally grown food throughout the winter.

And speaking of winter, it looks like we’ll get our first real taste of cooler weather this week. Today’s rain has been wonderful (and so greatly needed), but I’m most happy about the string of 90+ degree days finally coming to an end. The heat has been great about keeping the summer vegetables going, but I won’t be that sad to see it go. These next few weeks, you’ll get to see the summer and fall veggie seasons overlap, and so you’ll get a greater than usual variety of foods to choose from. There are 117 types of peppers alone listed this week, but you’ll also find cabbages, lettuces, and other leafy greens. There are 26 types of beans, 16 of eggplant, and 17 of tomatoes. By the end of October, though, the frost will come, and all of them will be done until next year. Stock up now, and enjoy them all while we’ve got them!

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, and local food in general. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

Coming Events

Georgia Organics “Field of Greens” Party

This don’t miss event is held every year at Whippoorwill Hollow Farm right down the road from Athens in Walnut Grove. This year’s event is shaping up to be the best ever. They’ll be having small-plate tastings of farm-fresh food creatively prepared by Atlanta and Athens’ most dedicated farm-to-table chefs, a kid’s learning and activity area, live music, and cooking demos. New this year, many of the Atlanta-area “street food” vendors will be present, so you’ll get a chance to see what the buzz is about. They’ll also have an organic market onsite where attendees can learn about sustainable living options, and purchase farm products, from 50 vendors. The event is being held on October 3 from 11am – 5pm. You can find more info about Field of Greens at their special website, http://www.fieldofgreensfestival.com/

Athens Locally Grown Hunter’s Moon Feast: October 23, Saturday, at Boann’s Banks (Royston, Franklin County)

“The October full moon has been known as the “Hunter’s Moon” for millennia, and was a time of feasting throughout the Northern hemisphere. We revive the notion here with a day of feasting at Boann’s Banks (the farm of Athens Locally Grown managers Chris and Eric Wagoner) on the banks of the Broad River outside Royston. It’ll be a low-key affair, without any farm work for you to do. Just good food and drink (Eric will prepare a variety of dishes using locally grown vegetables and locally raised meats, and perhaps brew an adult beverage. There’s also the likelihood of home-brewed beer, and the possibility of good live music. There’ll certainly be good company (all of you), and a river to splash in. There’s even some camping space, for those who really want to enjoy the moon. Come any time, but I’ll be aiming for 2pm to have the BBQ and other dishes ready. Stay as long as you’d like, even into Sunday. Nights are chilly, though, so bring a tent if you’re wanting to do that. There is no charge for Locally Grown members and their families. We do ask that you bring a dish to share, and if it’s made from Locally Grown ingredients, so much the better." You can make your reservations for the feast on the Market page of the website, under the Event Reservations category.

The Athens Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at Bishop Park from 8am to noon and every Tuesday evening at Little Kings downtown. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Also, Watkinsville has a thriving farmers market every Saturday morning, behind the Eagle Tavern. And further east, Comer has a nice little market Saturday mornings as well. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

Athens Locally Grown:  Availability for September 16


To Contact Us

Our Website: http://athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/athenslocallygrown

Recipes

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Served hot or cold, this soup is packed with a savory-sweet roasted pepper flavor that might have you skipping the main course and opting for a second bowl of soup instead. It’s preferable to use home-made roasted red bell peppers in this soup. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small potato, quartered
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or thyme, or 1/2 tablespoon dried, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 large red bell peppers, roasted, skinned, chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
salt
freshly grated Parmesan cheese croutons (optional)

1. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, potato, garlic, bay leaf, and herbs; sauté until potato and onion begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the roasted peppers, paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook for 30 seconds.
2. Pour in stock or water and scrape up any of the flavorful caramelized pieces stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer; cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
3. Purée soup in a blender or food processor or run it through a food mill. Return it to the pot and heat until warmed through. Add the balsamic vinegar and a few grindings of fresh black pepper. Taste; add salt if desired.
4. Garnish each serving with some Parmesan, a little fresh herb, and croutons if desired.

Coming Events

Athens Locally Grown Hunter’s Moon Feast: October 23, Saturday, at Boann’s Banks (Royston, Franklin County)

“The October full moon has been known as the “Hunter’s Moon” for millennia, and was a time of feasting throughout the Northern hemisphere. We revive the notion here with a day of feasting at Boann’s Banks (the farm of Athens Locally Grown managers Chris and Eric Wagoner) on the banks of the Broad River outside Royston. It’ll be a low-key affair, without any farm work for you to do. Just good food and drink (Eric will prepare a variety of dishes using locally grown vegetables and locally raised meats, and perhaps brew an adult beverage. There’s also the possibility of home-brewed beer, and the likelihood of good live music. There’ll certainly be good company (all of you), and a river to splash in. There’s even some camping space, for those who really want to enjoy the moon. Come any time, but I’ll be aiming for 2pm to have the BBQ and other dishes ready. Stay as long as you’d like, even into Sunday. Nights are chilly, though, so bring a tent if you’re wanting to do that. There is no charge for Locally Grown members and their families. We do ask that you bring a dish to share, and if it’s made from Locally Grown ingredients, so much the better." You can make your reservations for the feast on the Market page of the website, under the Event Reservations category.

The Athens Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at Bishop Park from 8am to noon and every Tuesday evening at Little Kings downtown. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so! We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

Market News

August and September bring many new people to Athens, and many new people to Athens Locally Grown, so I thought this week I’d give a brief primer on how ALG works. Those of you who have been with us during these last nine years probably already know all this, but I’ll try to keep it interesting for you too.

First off, ALG is best thought of like a traditional farmers market, because except for the lack of tents and tables, that’s very much how we operate. The growers are putting their own items up for sale directly to you, at prices and quantities they have set. The market volunteers and I are here to make sure it all happens smoothly, but the growers are all selling their products directly to you. GRowers do have to apply to sell through the market, and I personally approve each of them before they list their products. Here’s a summary of the standards we have set:

  • All growers must use sustainable practices and never use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
  • All growers can only sell what they themselves have grown
  • All growers must be from the greater Athens area. Right now, this means within about 75 miles
  • All animals raised for meat or eggs must be pastured
  • Handicrafts must be made primarily from items produced or gathered on the farm
  • Prepared foods must use organic ingredients if at all possible, and locally grown ingredients if at all possible
  • All proper licenses, when required by law, must be obtained

When I’ve turned down requests to sell through ALG (and I have turned down many), the items clearly broke one or more of those standards. There are a few edge cases that I take on a case by case basis, such as coffee. In cases like that, we set the standards as strict as we can. With coffee, for example, the beans must be sustainably grown, they must be roasted locally, and the roaster must have a direct business relationship with the farm that grew the beans.

So, the growers list their available products and set their prices. For most all of the products, they do this before they’ve harvested the items, so they have to estimate how much they will actually have. They’ve gotten pretty good at this guess, but it is a guess, and the unpredictable nature of farming means they may have far less than they thought (thanks to deer, a hail storm, etc.) or they may have far more than they thought (a nice rain can double the growth of lettuce overnight, for example). Most of them are conservative with their estimates, and so they let you continue to order, even if they’ve already sold more than they guessed they’d have. That’s why popular items may have a quantity in the negatives when you look at the listings. The system will still let you order, on the chance that they’ll actually have enough, but you’ll get warnings along the way that you’re taking a gamble.

I do not collect items from the farm, and do not know myself until Thursday afternoon what the growers were able to harvest and bring in to town. The growers do have each other’s contact information, so if one grower is short and another has a surplus, they may arrange with each other to get all the orders filled, but in general, if a grower cannot fill an order for something, they’ll remove that ordered item, and you’ll see a comment on your invoice indicating that. Since i’m not a middle-man, I can’t arrange for substitutions myself.

When the growers bring in the items you ordered on Thursday afternoon, packaged and labelled with your name, I pay them on your behalf out of our shared cash box during the hour before we open the market. Then, you arrive and pay into the cashbox for your order. We then rush to the bank to deposit the money to cover the checks we just wrote to the growers. As explained elsewhere on the website, you are really ordering directly from and paying the growers yourself, but our shared cashbox system makes things convenient for you and them. (Imagine if you ordered from ten growers having to write ten checks when you picked up your items!) This shared cashbox system does mean that if you place an order and then never arrive to pick it up, we’re left holding the bag. For that reason, you are responsible for paying for orders not picked up, and that amount is automatically added on to your next order for your convenience.

For a number of legal reasons, ALG never takes possession of your ordered items. We don’t buy them from the growers and resell them to you, nor do we repackage them in any way. The growers drop off your items for you, and you arrive and pick them up. The market volunteers facilitate that happening. Because of the need to maintain that separation, we cannot deliver, nor can we generally hold your items later than 8pm on Thursday if you fail to come pick them up. We start calling those who haven’t arrived by 7:30, but most of the time we just get answering machines and voice mail. Anything still at our pickup location at 8pm will get divided up among those there at the time, primarily our volunteers, and then we finish loading up the truck and leave. There are some things you can do to insure you won’t get charged for things you didn’t come get:

1. If you know prior to Tuesday at 8pm that you won’t be able to come get your order, send me an email and I will cancel your order.
2. If you find out later that you can’t come, send me an email. So long as I know before market begins, I can put the things you ordered on the “extras” table, and your fellow customers will almost certainly buy them for you.
3. If you discover Thursday while we’re at market that you can’t arrive, give me a call at 706-248-1860. I’ll put your items on the “extras” table, and if they sell, you’ll be off the hook.
4. If you have a cell phone, make sure that number is the number on your account. You can go to the “Your Account” page on the website to be sure. If you’re out and about and I get your home phone or your work phone, no one gets helped.

There’s often a sizable pile of things up for grabs at 8pm. If you’re in the area and want to do a little extra shopping, swing by at about ten til (or wait until then to come get your own order). There may be things for sale you want, and you can save a fellow customer a charge to their account. Our volunteer workers get to split things up as a benefit of working, but paying customers do come first. And it usually seems there are several things sitting there that were in high demand that week.

Finally, we have recently switched to a paperless system, so we do not have paper receipts for you when you pick up your order. An electronic receipt is generated, though, and can be found on the website. Go to the “Your Account” page, view your order history, and you’ll see an invoice for each order. By 2pm on Thursday, it will show what we expect to have for you that evening. After we fill your order, it will show exactly what we packed for you, and what, if anything, was missing. You can view that at any time, even years from now. If we didn’t get you something we should have, or if anything you got was of unacceptable quality, please contact me ASAP. I’ll share the problem with the grower so we can insure it won’t happen again. If you’re logged into the site, most of the growers have their contact info on their profile page (off the “Our Growers” page), so you can contact them directly if you choose.

So, that’s ALG in a nutshell. If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or even complements, please send them my way!

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown and everything we’ve tried to accomplish. With your help, we’ve been able to build something truly great and inspirational to people all across the country, more than you could know. Thank you also for your support of all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

Athens Locally Grown:  Availability for September 2


To Contact Us

Our Website: http://athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/athenslocallygrown

Recipes

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Serve these for breakfast or as a side dish. Small, even tiny, pan- cakes, topped with spicy pineapple salsa or something creative of your choosing, make ideal hors d’oeuvres. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Makes about twenty 3 1/2- to 4-inch pancakes

6 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and grated
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. Combine the sweet potatoes and onion in a large bowl. Add the flour, eggs, and olive oil; mix well. Stir in the milk, salt, and pepper.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Test the heat by dropping a small amount of batter in the pan— if the oil immediately bubbles up around the batter, it has reached the proper temperature. Be careful not to let the oil overheat and smoke.
3. Using a ladle, 1/2 cup measuring cup, or large spoon, drop the pancake batter into the hot oil and then lightly press it into a pancake shape with a spatula. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes, then flip them and cook until brown on the other side, 5 minutes. Remove pancakes and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately or keep them warm in the oven.

Market News

It was back-to-school week at my house this past week. I think adjusting to the new daily routine is harder on my than my daughter, but we’re getting there. It’s a little extra challenging this year, since the Franklin County school system is doing something novel to save some money. By starting school ten minutes earlier and ending a half hour later each day, they were able to shave two whole weeks off the school year. Unfortunately, that means we need to leave the house to meet the bus at 6:30 in the morning, and she gets less than three hours at home in the evening before bedtime. So, it’s more important than ever that meals are quick to prepare, nutrient dense, and her breakfasts need to be substantial enough to get her through lunch, yet easy enough for me to prepare while half asleep (and for her to eat while half asleep). And of course there’s the matter of lunch. Her school is typical of the American school lunch, and so most of the time she takes her own, which I make for her in the morning.

I feel really lucky to have ingredients purchased through Athens Locally Grown to help make my job easier. Breads made from multiple freshly milled grains make great breakfast toast. She likes hers with cinnamon, so I’ve been able to have the jars of wonderful strawberry jam I made early this summer all to myself. Eggs laid by chickens that have been able to forage for bugs and greens produce eggs I can trust. As the mornings turn cooler, we’ll have porridge and grits milled by ALG’s two mills. We can even get kid-friendly items like hotdogs, chicken drumsticks, yogurt, and fruit. She’s a typical kid when it comes to vegetables, but of course there’s enough variety available at ALG that she’s got plenty of new things to try.

We still mix in a few “kid foods”. For instance, there’s a fruity loop cereal we’ve found that is decent, and she’s no stranger to the powdered cheese packet. But I can relax knowing that she’s getting a mix of foods, mostly locally sourced, that is both good for her and filling enough to get her through the challenging daily schedule of a six year old. And really, I have no idea how I’d do it without all the growers supplying such a great variety of products through Athens Locally Grown.

I hope you’re finding our market to be just as useful a resource for your household. There are literally hundreds of people working to supply the market. Just as I’ve become dependent on them, they are all dependent on us as customers. It’s a virtuous cycle, a race to the top, where we all come out winners.

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown and everything we’ve tried to accomplish. With your help, we’ve been able to build something truly great and inspirational to people all across the country, more than you could know. Thank you also for your support of all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

Coming Events

Farmer for a Day: September 4, Saturday, at Burnell Farm (Hart County)

“Certified Naturally Grown. We are a produce farm in Royston, Ga. One of are goals is to supply our local community with vegetables grown with no herbicides, chemicals are pesticides. We also raise chickens (Cornish X Rocks) and Rainbow Layers using the same standards as we do with our vegetables. We like to say our birds are DRUG free. We currently farm 9 acres and we have a greenhouse and use raised beds. We also have a 91/2 acre pond.” There are slots still available for both our September Farmer for a Day event, and you can find more details on the Market page of the website, under the Event Reservations category.

Athens Locally Grown Hunter’s Moon Feast: October 23, Saturday, at Boann’s Banks (Royston, Franklin County)

“The October full moon has been known as the “Hunter’s Moon” for millennia, and was a time of feasting throughout the Northern hemisphere. We revive the notion here with a day of feasting at Boann’s Banks (the farm of Athens Locally Grown managers Chris and Eric Wagoner) on the banks of the Broad River outside Royston. It’ll be a low-key affair, without any farm work for you to do. Just good food and drink (Eric will prepare a variety of dishes using locally grown vegetables and locally raised meats, and perhaps brew an adult beverage. There’s also the possibility of home-brewed beer, and the likelihood of good live music. There’ll certainly be good company (all of you), and a river to splash in. There’s even some camping space, for those who really want to enjoy the moon. Come any time, but I’ll be aiming for 2pm to have the BBQ and other dishes ready. Stay as long as you’d like, even into Sunday. Nights are chilly, though, so bring a tent if you’re wanting to do that. There is no charge for Locally Grown members and their families. We do ask that you bring a dish to share, and if it’s made from Locally Grown ingredients, so much the better." You can make your reservations for the feast on the Market page of the website, under the Event Reservations category.

The Athens Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at Bishop Park from 8am to noon and every Tuesday evening at Little Kings downtown. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!