We’ve reached that busy part of the year, when the slowness of summer turns over to the hustle and bustle of another school year and the gardens go into overdrive producing more than most people can handle. Often, late in August, it gets so hot here that everything pauses (flowers can’t set fruit when it’s really hot for too long), but for now all the squash, all the tomatoes, all the corn, the okra, and so forth of going gangbusters. If you’ve never tried preserving the summer harvest, now is a great time to learn. Former ALG member Liana Krissoff (like so many in this college town, she moved off to another city a couple years ago) has a wonderful book, “Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry”, that is both a great introduction and a valuable resource of more seasoned folks. Equipment is easy to come by, and there’s little impediment to getting started.
One thing that can be hard to find when all the produce is coming in at once is kitchen space. Athens has an answer for that problem, too. Jennie Phillips-De la Vega, owner of Mama Bird’s Shared Kitchen (where she makes her popular granola), located downtown, is actively searching for kitchen clients. She sent me this the other day:
Do you have a large dinner to prepare? Do you need a place for an evening for a group? Do you have a girl scout troop that needs to earn a cooking badge or the like? Do you have a food related business that needs a certified kitchen to prepare your product? Mama Bird’s has three business options. Private options available as well. I’m here for you. Contact me! 678-997-9647, email@example.com, www.mamabirdssharedkitchen.com.
I’ve not used her kitchen, but I’ve rented a commercial kitchen for a few hours at a time in years past, and it’s amazing how much difference all that space can make. The fees I’ve paid have always been totally worth it.
Thanks 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
The Athens Farmers Market is open on Saturdays at Bishop Park and Wednesday afternoons downtown at city hall. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is open throughout the week here in Athens, and you can find more information about them here: www.athenslandtrust.org. The Washington-Wilkes Farmer’s Market in Washington is open every Saturday 9-12 behind the Washington Courthouse. The Oconee County farmers market is open Saturday mornings in front of the Oconee County Courthouse. The other area markets I haven’t mentioned have yet to open for the season, so far as I 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!