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Heritage Farm :
Last Call for Wednesday orders and 2019 farm shares!!!!
Store closes tonight for Wednesday farm truck orders. Lots of great items in stock!!!
Last day for farm shares!!!!Only have 6 more spots available for the 2019 season!! The farm share investment insures you save 15% on your favorites year round!
Farm Share sale ends Jan 15th 2019!! Order Here Farm Share
The Hutchins Family
In the past two weeks I’ve talked about the legal organization and considerations behind our market and then the financial operation that keeps everything running. I’ll wrap up my yearly primer on Athens Locally Grown this week with a few words about our growers and other market vendors.
First and foremost, let me preface everything by saying the decision to let a new grower into the market is always made by me alone. I know many farmers markets often get some press regarding one vendor or another feeling left out of the market and complaining that the committee running that market was a little too closed. Well, my efforts to run ALG in a cooperative manner aside, the responsibility here comes back to me. There’s no committee, and no formal application process. I’ve had some potential vendors that I’ve rejected get upset with me and complain that ALG is a “closed” market, and they’re right. It is a closed market, and it’s not open to just anyone to sell through. That doesn’t mean we have arbitrary standards, of course, and actually I think I’ve set the bar pretty high. A good number of our growers also go above and beyond to only bring “the best of the best”, and that pushes the de facto standards even higher. Here’s a summary of what it takes to be able to sell through Athens Locally Grown:
- All growers must use sustainable practices and never use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. I’ll come back to this later.
- All growers can only sell what they themselves have grown, made, or otherwise produced
- All growers must be from the greater Athens area. Right now, this means within about 75 miles
- All growers must be willing to be part of our ALG community, and not think of us as just a dumping off point.
- All animals raised for meat or eggs must be pastured or sustainably wild-caught
- 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
That about covers everything, I think. When I’ve turned down requests to sell through ALG (and I turn down several monthly), the grower has clearly not met one or more of those standards. There are a few edge cases that I take on a case by case basis. Coffee is one. 1000 Faces was our first coffee vendor, and they offered direct trade coffees (they purchase directly from the coffee growers with no distributor or middle man) and did all the roasting and packaging themselves and to order. That set the standard, and other coffee vendors (such as GranCoffee Roasting Co.) have to match it. Mills Farm was a founding ALG member, but they buy in organic grains for their mill. We now have Sylvan Falls Mill in Rabun Gap as a vendor, and they primarily buy their grains from local (to them) organic growers. From now on, all future millers wanting to sell through ALG will have to meet that standard. And so on.
Let me get back to that first requirement: “sustainable practices”. There’s no set definition of that, and there’s really a sliding scale. For example, At my farm I sometimes used a gasoline-powered rototiller, and our no-till growers and the no-hydrocarbon growers would frown upon that. There is a generally accepted definition of what is “conventional” agriculture, and that includes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and confined and grain-fed animals. Those are easy to exclude. At the other end, there is the USDA Organic Certification and Certified Naturally Grown certification. Few small diversified growers can meet the expense of USDA certification, but a good number of our growers are CNG certified. This program uses the USDA rules as a starting point, made a few things more strict, and uses a system of growers certifying other growers to keep things honest. My farm had been CNG certified for nine years (though I eventually dropped my certification simply because my garden got really, really small), and many others area farms have followed since then. If a new grower does not have a certification, then I talk to them, get information about them, and visit their farm in person when necessary. A good number of our growers were ALG customers long before growing for market themselves, so I’ve gotten to know the people and the decision to let them in was easy.
In short: the growers have satisfied my standards, and I personally have approved them for inclusion in ALG. However, I want you to not just take my word for it. We have had farm tours during the warm seasons so you can go on-site yourself and see the farms in action. We have a semi-regular “meet the grower” table at the Thursday pickups so you can talk with the growers yourself face-to-face. We encourage them to take photos for their online photo album, to describe their practices, and to take care with their product listings. We want to facilitate communication between you and them, so when you place an order, they see your name and email address in case they need to clarify a request or offer a substitution, and likewise for most of our growers you can see their contact info when you view their grower profile (while logged into the site) so you can get clarification from them when needed.
I often wrestle with some of those edge cases. Doug’s Wild Alaska Salmon was one such case. The salmon and halibut they sell was caught in Alaska, but Doug and his family live here (well, just over the line in South Carolina). They own their own small boats, and catch the fish themselves. Their practices are certified sustainable by a reputable organization up there, and their products are high quality. They’ve worked out the logistics of getting fish to you every week (by keeping a supply at my house in a freezer they own). I have in the past talked with sugar cane growers from South Georgia, dairies from across the state, fisherman from Savannah, olive growers from Savannah, citrus producers from Florida, and other people making items we just can’t get from growers located right here. Often, the logistics of getting their items from there to here on a regular and timely basis is what breaks down, but I continually try to expand the items at our market without compromising our community of growers located right here.
Hopefully that explains how our growers get into ALG, what standards they have to meet, and so on. It’s a very important topic, perhaps the most important one for our market, but much of it goes on behind the scenes. I know you’ve put your trust in me, and I take that very seriously, If you’d like to talk with me in person about this or any other aspects of ALG, I’d love to do so. Just pull me aside when you come by to pick up your order.
And, as always, if you have any concerns or complaints about the items you receive, please let me know (and the sooner the better). Sometimes descriptions don’t always match the products delivered, or the quality isn’t want you were hoping for. We try to catch those cases before you arrive, but if anything gets by us, please let me know, and we’ll make it right and do our best to prevent it from happening again.
Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, 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!
Other Area Farmers Markets
Most other area markets are starting to close down for the season or move to winter hours. The Athens Farmers Market will return in the Spring. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is closed for the season, and you can watch for their return here: http://www.athenslandtrust.org/west-broad-farmers-market/. The Comer Farmers’ Market is open on Saturday mornings from 9am to noon. Check www.facebook.com/comerfm for more information. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on winter hours now on Saturdays from 1-4pm. Folks to the east can check out the Hartwell Farmers Market, which starts bright and early on Saturday morning from 7am to noon, and Tuesday afternoons from noon to 4pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com. If you know of any other area markets operating, please let me know.
All of these other markets are separate from ALG (including the Athens Farmers Market) but many growers sell at multiple markets. 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!
Good evening Prime Produce Market is now open and accepting orders.
Hello, little market of love customers…
For all of you who have been asking…Dugan Road has updated their milk quantities!!
I know that is music to your ears…the market is open, don’t be shy, go place those orders!
Order now through 5 pm Thursday January 17th for Saturday January 19th Pickup, (or contact me if you want a different day, we do have some flexibility.)
Remember to tell me when you want to pick up!
I AM Cleaning up the Membership list. If you are an active customer, don’t worry you are all set. However, if you are a non local and have not contacted me to let me know WHY you want to get mailings, I’m going to remove you since I don’t really want to be filling junk folders with our mailings.
Hi All, Just want to share that I have been getting back into fermenting again. Let me know if you are interested in getting fresh cultures for Kombucha, Milk Kefir, or Water Kefir. My Kefir grains especially have been growing fast. The Kombucha scoby is a little slower about it and my Jun scoby has been a bit resistant to the idea of replicating (which I understand is kinda common for that particular culture.)
Please let me know what micro greens or shoots you are interested in and I can start growing enough to make them available (most take less than 2 weeks.)
Also, if you want me to list super foods like Purslane, let me know, I have it volunteering wild here and I will likely also have nettles come winter/spring season.
Send me a message if you are interested in Getting Channel Catfish.
If you have any particular requests, let me know I’m happy to grow to order.
Sign in to order. https://yalaha.locallygrown.net/market
You have to sign in to see the add to cart button. Then set the number and click the add to cart button on the items you want to buy (it is the little picture right next to the quantity box.) Remember you need to check out before your order will be placed.
Remember to let me know when you want to pick up on Sat or maybe even Friday late afternoon or on Sunday. (If I don’t send you an e-mail confirmation of your order and pick up time, please make sure you checked out and completed your order.)
To ensure your order is placed, make sure you click the “Place My Order” button once you have completed your shopping. You will receive a confirmation email.
Orders will be ready for pick from 4PM – 6:30PM this Tuesday at the Downtown Russellville Train Depot!
The Market Closes at 10PM! Despite the bleak weather we still have Brussel Sprouts, Collard Greens, Kale, Garlic, and several other vegetables available on the market. Don’t forget to grab your pantry staples like fresh eggs and rice!
Photo courtesy of Liz Chrisman
Winter is a challenging time for farmers on Foothills Market. The cold and the wet are not ideal growing conditions, even for winter-hardy plants. Sometimes, a sudden dip below freezing can decimate a crop you thought was safe inside a tunnel house, as with the cauliflower at the Food for Thought Garden.
That’s all to say our vegetable offerings are slim this week – but we still have plenty of beef and pork that you can trust to have been ethically and sustainably grown and harvested. We also have a selection of baked goods that feature crops like pumpkin and zucchini that grew and were frozen last summer when the weather was sunny and hot!
Keep an eye on the market this week, since our growers will probably update their listings as they see how plants are reacting to the weather. Choose the items you want between now and Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., and click the button to place your order. We’ll have the items ready for pickup on Thursday afternoon between 4:30-5:30.
Eat something fresh this week!
This is your weekly reminder that the Market is open for orders. Please place your order by 10 p.m. Monday. Orders are ready for pick up between 3 and 6 p.m. Wednesday. See the website for this week’s product listings. Here is the link: https://wednesdaymarket.locallygrown.net/market
We hope you are somewhere warm and cozy on this cold, dreary day! It’s a perfect occasion for a good book and a mug of hot tea. Or a nap. Yes, a nap sounds good to me! At any rate, we hope you all have a good evening, and we’ll see you at the Market.
No question – Farmers are an optimistic lot. With a winter wonderland outside, to be planning your garden and starting your seeds, knowing those crops won’t bear until mid-summer? That’d make a good definition of Hope, with a capital H :-)
Pouring over seed catalogs while winter rages – now that’s thrilling! New varieties, ideas, and plenty of potential for a prosperous upcoming season!
Is there something you’d like to see on the Market? It’s planning time, and we want your input!
Send an email to email@example.com, or Reply to this Weblog email, and let us know!
And don’t leave your items in your Shopping Cart – finish that one last step when you’re Checking Out! Make sure you submit that order! ;-)
We’re open til 8pm tonight!!
Four Seasons Farmers Market:
Four Seasons Farmers Mkt Ordering is open for January 13-15!
Dear Four Seasons Farmers Market Customers:
The market is open and orders will be taken through 12:00 PM on Tuesday. Pickup is Wednesday 3-6PM at West Luck Ridge:
335 West Wiles Road
Delivery options are available on Thursdays only.
Available this week:
Vegetables—Swiss chard, kales, Chinese cabbage, spinach, collards, brocolli, lettuce and mixed greens.
Flowers- Seasonal bouquets.
Meat—Pastured beef and chicken.
Olives and Olive Oil—Direct from the organic grower in California.