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This page contains news, event information, and other items added by the market managers, including the weekly availability email. Be sure to check back regularly!



 
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ALG Open for January 29


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

This evening, as I was bouncing between looking through the list of items our farmers have listed this week and forecasts for the winter storm about to hit the northeast that may be unlike anything that’s happened there for several hundred years, it occurred to me again what a wise choice it was moving to northeast Georgia. Some of our northern growers may get some snow and ice this week, but not enough winter weather to really affect them.

UGA graduate student in the department of Geography, and Athens Locally Grown Member, Aidan Hysjulien is conducting a Master’s Thesis project trying to understand how the values associated with alternative foods systems are incorporated into decisions at the supermarket. This research will consist of an interview during a shopping trip and will require a very minimal time commitment. For more information please contact Aidan Hysjulien at ahys@uga.edu or at (919)699-4288. Aidan will be manning a table at our pickups this Thursday, if you’d like to talk to him and get a feel for his research project. He is needing to interview quite a few people for his project, and would love your help.

That’s really all the news I have this week — it’s been pretty slow. There are some conferences and other workshops about the business of growing for market coming up in the next month or two, and I’ll try to run through all of them next week.

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

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also all closed for the season, I believe. If you know of any winter markets operating, please let me know. And they might all be closed, but we’ll be here all year round!

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!

ALG Open for January 22


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

I’ve just arrived home from nearly a week in Mobile, Alabama, where I served on the staff of the annual conference for the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. It’s one of my favorite events, where over 900 farmers from across the south and beyond gather to share stories of failure and success, learn from those, and inspire each other to return home and grow even more real food for their communities. The days there are extremely long, and I’m ready to drop into sleep as I type this, but it is always well worth it.

I haven’t gone over all the listings for the week yet, but there are about 850 items to choose from, including several new items. The winter has been cold and wet so far, and there is plenty more freezing nights yet to come, but our growers are doing a great job of keeping the food coming to our tables.

If you’d like to learn more about the business, there are several educational opportunities coming up for you.

First, there’s Sound and Sensible Organic Certification Workshop on February 5, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., hosted by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). This workshop is intended to enlist new farmers and ranchers and help them learn how to become National Organic Program (NOP)-certified. It will provide information and expertise to farmers interested in NOP and answer questions regarding organic farm practices and NOP certification. This day-long event is free, and lunch will be provided. Location: Athens-Clarke County Cooperative Extension, 2152 West Broad Street, Athens, GA 30606 http://www.ugaextension.com/clarke To register: Please visit https://www.ncat.org/events Questions: For questions and more information, please contact Rockiell Woods at 479-575-1385 or email rockw@ncat.org.

Georgia Organics is again bringing their annual conference, attended by people from all over the county, to Athens next month. You can find details of what’s to come at their website, http://conference.georgiaorganics.org/. It’s one of my favorite conferences anywhere, and there’s something there for everyone involved in the local food system, from growers to cooks to eaters.

Finally, 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, I sometimes use 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 dropped my certification the last few years 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 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 hope that over time we’ll be able 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.

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

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also all closed for the season, I believe. If you know of any winter markets operating, please let me know. And they might all be closed, but we’ll be here all year round!

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!

ALG Open for January 15


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

I’m devoting the newsletter these first few weeks of the year to documenting in detail just how ALG works. I’ll spend some time next week talking about how growers get allowed in the market, and what standards they have to meet. But this week, I’ll get into the details of how the market sustains itself financially. Many of you ask about that from time to time, and I’m happy to oblige.

Before I do, a note for the week. I’ve been focused most of this week getting things ready for a week-long trip to Mobile, Alabama for the annual conference of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG). About 1300 growers from across the country will be gathering to share knowledge and bring new ideas back home with them. I’m on the conference staff, and they keep me hopping, but I always look forward to going. I’ve left our Thursday market here in the hands of our many capable regular volunteers, so I’d imagine you’ll never even notice I’m not there. There are a few things they can’t do, such as looking up account history and resolving old payment issues, so you can send those queries to me via email or wait until the following week. Also, Doug’s Salmon keeps his fish at my house in a freezer, and I bring his sales in to market for him. Since I’ll be gone, the fish will not be available to purchase this week. It’ll all be back next week, though.

Now, to the financials. First off, we’re legally a sole proprietorship, and the market is owned and operated by me. In years past, it was rolled into my farm, and reported on our Schedule F in addition to our regular tax forms. For now, while the gardens have dwindled, it’s an item on my Schedule A, like many other small home businesses. When the market started in 2002, it was named “Locally Grown Cooperative”, but it was never legally organized as a co-op. Dan & Kris Miller, the founders from Heirloom Organics farm in Watkinsville, were always sure to run things in a cooperative spirit, and since they handed the business to me in 2004 (I’ve sold as a grower since day one), I’ve tried to do the same thing. I’ve renamed it to “Athens Locally Grown”, but you’ll still hear a number of people refer to us as “the co-op”.

We’re not a non-profit, either, but we’ve structured things so that over time the market can just barely cover its own expenses. Just like all of our member farms are sustainable growers, the market itself needs to be sustainable. So how do we cover its expenses? One small way is through the memberships you pay. The $25 a year you give to the market is enough (to put it bluntly) to cover the costs of having you as a customer: banking fees from depositing your checks, paper and ink for printing, web hosting fees, and that sort of thing. What’s left over goes to helping fund farm tours, food donations to like-minded area groups and events, etc. We currently have 335 paid members out of the 3810 active accounts on the website.

By far the bulk of our funding comes from the growers themselves. They generally pay a 10% commission on their sales through the site. This money covers the many coolers we use, the tables and shelves used to spread out and organize your orders, the truck we bought at the end of 2007, gasoline, the food allowance we offer our volunteers, rent and utilities at Ben’s Bikes, etc. During the slow parts of the year, the sales are usually not enough to cover our weekly costs, but in the busy times (late fall and early spring, for us) there is extra. If we plan things out well, it pretty much all evens out in the end.

Last year, the total sales and memberships combined through the market amounted to $235,091. This is actually a bit of a decline from last year, but the continual rise of so many other markets in the area is the biggest reason for that. We used to be the largest farmers market in this part of the state, but only because the others were so small. Now, not only are there several very large area farmers makers throughout the week, but there are many other locallygrown markets serving customers that used to drive to Athens. About 90% of the sales went straight to our growers, and the rest went to a food allowance for our volunteers ($200 to $300 a week), rent ($300/month), web hosting, and transportation. The “profit” gets counted as personal income on my tax forms, and comes out to roughly $2000. I haven’t yet calculated milage allowances and other minor expenses, and I expect that the profit total will pretty much come out to zero when I do. It almost always does.

The growers get paid out of the shared cashbox for their previous week’s sales when they drop off their items, during the hour before we open the market. Then, you arrive and pay into the cashbox for your order. We used to then rush to the bank to deposit the money to cover the checks we just wrote to the growers, but now the growers get paid the following week (money you pay via credit cards takes up to a week to reach our account). 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 has so far satisfied the tax man, but it 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. On the books right now (going back to 2007) is about $3769 of produce ordered but never picked up and so far never paid for at all (or picked up but paid for with bad checks). That might seem like a lot (and it is), but considering that the market’s sales total, that’s not so bad. In fact, it’s about a sixth of the US retail industry’s “shrinkage” rate, and almost all of it is owed by only ten people. Only $600 came from this last year. On the flip side, $4135 has been pre-paid into the cash box by people who pay online via credit card or who write large checks in person, and then draw down on that balance over time.

There were 6505 orders placed last year, so that averages to $36.15 spent per order. There are no good studies on this number, but I’ve seen a few surveys conducted by the USDA indicate that the average customer spends $25 per trip to a farmers market. We continue to far exceed that average, which I think says a lot about the advantages ALG offers over the traditional market. And to your dedication to supporting our growers.

So, in probably far too much detail, that’s how we operate financially. Our market might be more expensive to run than a traditional “booths and tables” farmers market, but that price buys a system that’s simple, time-saving, flexible, and in my opinion, just better. There’s no money in the bank, but the market is paying for itself and that’s my primary financial goal. 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.

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

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also all closed for the season, I believe. If you know of any winter markets operating, please let me know. And they might all be closed, but we’ll be here all year round!

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!

ALG Open for January 8


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

Welcome to 2015, and another year of Athens Locally Grown. This will be our fourteenth(!!) year in operation, and we are looking forward to many more. Many of our growers are have slowed down for the winter, delivering every other week or otherwise reducing their availability. Many others, however, are still going strong thanks to greenhouses and other season-extending methods. Now that the holiday season is behind us, we’ll be going every single week from now until our next week off — Thanksgiving.

Each year, I devote the first few mailings of the year to the behind the scenes operation of ALG. This week, I’m going to talk about the many legal issues surrounding our market. Even though many people call us “the co-op”, ALG is legally a market owned and operated me, so I can have a place to sell items I occasionally offer from my own garden. There’s no board of directors, no shield corporation, no pot of grant money. It’s just me, and while that keeps things very simple, it also exposes my family to a ton of potential liability. It’s never been an issue (except when the whole raw milk thing erupted a few years ago) but there are several things I do specifically to minimize that risk:

  • The growers list their own items and set their own prices. When you buy from them, it is from them, not from me, and not from Athens Locally Grown.
  • Athens Locally Grown never takes ownership or possession of the food. The growers drop it off, and you pick it up.
  • Everything at the market has a customer’s name attached to it when it arrives. ALG does not repackage any items, or buy in bulk for redistribution.
  • When you pay, you’re paying into a shared cash box for all of the growers. This lets you write a single check or swipe your card once for convenience, but you are really paying all of the growers directly and individually. Your money goes in, and the software I wrote to keep everything going spits out checks for each of the growers you buy from.
  • The growers give a small percentage of their sales, generally 10%, back to the market to cover the many expenses of keeping the market going. I’ll cover the details of finances another week.
  • ALG never buys from a grower and resells the items to you. Never.
  • When a grower sells items that need licenses from either the state or the federal government, ALG verifies that the proper licenses have been obtained.

The ownership issue is key. It’s one of the reasons why we don’t offer delivery, and why we usually can’t hold items for you if you aren’t able to pick up your orders. Delivery might be a good business for someone (if they could figure out all the legal requirements), but it’s not at all what I personally want to be into. I think it would be a valuable service for you, and I’m hoping someone will be able to partner with me for this. Many food co-ops and even some farmers markets aren’t as careful with keeping ownership straight as I try to be, and that has gotten other groups similar to us into serious legal trouble (deserved or not) over the years. There are so many grey areas in all this, and the written regulations still don’t even consider that something like Athens Locally Grown might exist. We’re so firmly in the grey areas with most everything we do that it’s just too risky for me to bring us into the areas that are clearly black.

So, these are the sorts of things that guide my thinking as Athens Locally Grown has grown over the years. Everything we do has legal ramifications, and the state of Georgia has a reputation for being no nonsense when it comes to enforcement — with the little guy, anyway. That has became extra obvious in recent years, and the FDA is also putting pressure on groups like us too. I’m not a lawyer, but every time we enter those grey areas, I make sure we follow the intent of the laws, don’t flaunt anything, and have a good defense and a paper trail should we need it. And when that doesn’t work, the good folks at the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund are behind us. They have consumer memberships, too, and I do encourage everyone who is able to become a member of the FtCLDF.

The FtCLDF was my legal counsel in the federal lawsuit against the FDA I (and one of our members) was a plaintiff on. The lawsuit was in response to the seizure and destruction of 110 gallons of South Carolina milk purchased by ALG members in October 2009. During the pre-trial phase, the FDA moved to dismiss the suit, and went so far as to claim that the milk dumping, filmed and placed on YouTube, with an FDA agent clearly identified, never happened. The judge refused to dismiss, and gave the FDA six months to give a yes or no answer to whether what we did is really considered illegal. Exactly six months later, they responded that it was illegal, but also claimed that even though an FDA agent was at my house giving direction, they had no hand in the dumping. They also went on record stating that individuals were legally free to cross state lines and buy raw milk to take home with them (something that the FDA agent at my house said, on camera, was completely illegal under all circumstances). After that, the judge dismissed the suit without fully ruling whether ALG was also free to facilitate our members collectively ordering and picking up milk across state lines. In any case, the state of Georgia still says what we were doing was illegal, so raw milk is still very hard to come by.

And there in a nutshell is the legalities behind ALG. In the following weeks, I’ll get more into the nuts and bolts of finances and other aspects of how we work.

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

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also all closed for the season, I believe. If you know of any winter markets operating, please let me know. And they might all be closed, but we’ll be here all year round!

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!

ALG Open for December 30


Since Thursday of this week is New Year’s Day, a terrible day to try to hold a market, we’re going to try something a little different. We’ll be moving the next ALG pickup to TUESDAY, December 30, from 4:30 to 8pm at Ben’s Bikes. The time and place will stay the same — only the day will change. The website is open for you now to place your order, and you have through Sunday night to get your order in. We’ll see you on Tuesday!

Your order confirmation email will still say Thursday, as it always does, but don’t let that confuse you. I’ll email those of you with orders on Tuesday morning reminding you of this one-time change of schedule.

In the meantime, you can help bring a wonderful local food related event to Athens. A recent episode of the Colbert Report hosted Eva Longoria, actress and activist, speaking about the movie “Food Chains”, for which she served as an executive producer. The film explores the Fair Food campaign of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and has been getting a lot of press. Athenian Dr. Shane Hamilton appears in the film as a talking head, along with Eva and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation). For anyone with even a passing interest in modern food systems, economic inequality, social justice, women’s rights, or activism, this is a film worth seeing.

And you can see it! CINE will be screening the film at 7:30pm on Wednesday, January 14th, to be followed by a short Q&A with Dr. Hilda Kurtz (Geography), Dr. Cecilia Herles (Women’s Studies), and Dr. Shane Hamilton (History). But because the film is being “crowdfunded,” anyone who wants to see the film to reserve a ticket today. If a minimum threshold of reservations aren’t made, the film doesn’t screen.

You can reserve your ticket at (and share with friends, colleagues, and fellow food folks) the following link: https://www.tugg.com/events/12322.

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 TUESDAY, December 30, at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

ALG Reminder: We are closed this week!


Hi there! This is just a reminder that Athens Locally Grown will be closed this week to allow us all to celebrate Christmas and all the other holidays occurring this week.

Since Thursday of next week is New Year’s Day, a terrible day to try to hold a market, we’re going to try something a little different. We’ll be moving next week’s pickup to TUESDAY, December 30, from 4:30 to 8pm at Ben’s Bikes. The time and place will stay the same — only the day will change. I’m planning on opening the website for you at noon on Friday, December 26th, and giving you through Sunday night to get your order in. I’ll be sending you a reminder on Friday, of course.

In the meantime, you can help bring a wonderful local food related event to Athens. A recent episode of the Colbert Report hosted Eva Longoria, actress and activist, speaking about the movie “Food Chains”, for which she served as an executive producer. The film explores the Fair Food campaign of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and has been getting a lot of press. Athenian Dr. Shane Hamilton appears in the film as a talking head, along with Eva and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation). For anyone with even a passing interest in modern food systems, economic inequality, social justice, women’s rights, or activism, this is a film worth seeing.

And you can see it! CINE will be screening the film at 7:30pm on Wednesday, January 14th, to be followed by a short Q&A with Dr. Hilda Kurtz (Geography), Dr. Cecilia Herles (Women’s Studies), and Dr. Shane Hamilton (History). But because the film is being “crowdfunded,” anyone who wants to see the film to reserve a ticket today. If a minimum threshold of reservations aren’t made, the film doesn’t screen.

You can reserve your ticket at (and share with friends, colleagues, and fellow food folks) the following link: https://www.tugg.com/events/12322.

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 TUESDAY, December 30, at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

ALG Market Open for December 18


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

I hope if you celebrate any of the many holidays that fall this time of year, that things are happy and bright for you. Next Thursday is Christmas Day, and so we will be CLOSED next week. If there’s anything you need for your holiday meals next week, be sure to order it for pickup this Thursday.

New Year’s Day is a bad day to hold a farmers market, but I don’t want you to have to go three weeks between markets, so we’re going to try something different this year. We will have a special ALG pickup day on TUESDAY December 30. I’m still working on details, but it looks like I’ll open the market for orders on the evening of Friday, December 26, and give you through Sunday night to get your orders in. Then on Tuesday, we’ll have pickups from 4:30 until 8pm, and just pretend like it’s Thursday. Some of our growers will be taking the week off, but most of them have told me they’ll have things that need harvested (and eggs that need collecting, etc.), so we’ll be here for them and you.

The Comerian is taking January off to remodel her new storefront in Comer, so stock up this week if you don’t want to wait until February. She tells me that her breads do freeze beautifully, so you can portion it out throughout the month.

This Thursday we’ll have a special evening for you. Kathryn from Beehaven will be there with her beautiful beeswax candles and balms, if you need to pick up some last minute gifts for someone (including yourself). Engelman’s Finest Ferments will also be on hand with some of his latest fermented products. I’ll have a pot of spiced apple cider going for you to drink, so feel feel to bundle up and hang out with us for a while!

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

The Athens Farmers Market is open on Saturdays at Bishop Park for one more week. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is open throughout the month 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!

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!

ALG Market Open for December 11


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

As promised last week, below is a list of upcoming holiday artisan markets, as printed in the Flagpole and otherwise passed along to me. I’m sure there are others that didn’t yet make the list. I’ll spread the word when I hear their details via out Twitter and Facebook feeds. If you don’t already follow them, you can find the addresses right above. You’ve already demonstrated your commitment to buy some of your food from local farmers. Giving gifts made from local artisans is just as important, and can be even more rewarding!

Deck the Walls, a holiday-themed market held annually by the Lyndon House Arts Center, is currently open Tuesday through Saturday from 12–5 p.m. until Jan. 4. The Gallery Shop and Lower Atrium Gallery are stocked full of unique items made by 70 regional artists, authors, crafters and musicians, with the gift selection including paintings, prints, embroidery, photography, scarves and more. New additions to this year’s shop are glass ornaments by Hung Nguyen and Patti Quinn, pottery by Dewitt Smith and Adrina Richards and sculptural works by Tex Crawford and Lisa Freeman. For more details on the Lyndon House, located at 293 Hoyt St., visit http://athensclarkecounty.com/lyndonhouse.

Saturday, Dec. 13 & Sunday, Dec. 14, Carter Gillies will be joined by fellow potters Geoff Pickett, Jeff Bishoff and Nancy Green for the annual Carter and Friends Pottery Market. Both days are from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and are located at 572 Nantahala Ave. in the Boulevard neighborhood. Call 706-546-7235 or email cartergillies@hotmail.com for details.

Grab a hot drink and peruse gifts at Normal Bar’s Holiday “Yart Sale” on Wednesday, Dec. 10 from 5–8 p.m. Featured artists and makers include Hannah Jones, Katherine McGuire, Leslie Snipes, Amanda Burk, Basil Mattox, Tin Cup and a handful of others. Normal Bar is located in Normaltown at 1365 Prince Ave. For details, find “Holiday Yart Sale! at Normal Bar” on Facebook.

An outdoor patio under twinkling lights makes for a festive setting at the juried Athens Holiday Market, held at Big City Bread on Thursday, Dec. 11 & Friday, Dec. 12 from 5 p.m.–9 p.m. Peruse the works of over 50 local artists while a live string band performs around the bon fire. The lineup includes paintings by Dan Smith, glass terrariums by Lindsay Troutman, jewelry by Barbara Allen, watercolors by Jamie Calkin, stained glass by Susan Staley, wooden Santas by Ken Calkin and Don Highfield, and birdhouses by Frank Saggus. Big City Bread Cafe is located at 393 N. Finley St. and can be reached at 706-353-0029.

Ted’s Most Best is having a Holiday Market Saturday Dec. 13th 12-7pm out on the patio, featuring all local artists and crafters with a fun eclectic group of holiday gift options.

As part of Christmas at the Classic Center, the Handmade Holiday Market, set for Dec. 13–14 & Dec. 20–21 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., will offer a selection of seasonal crafts and gift items. Exhibitors include Beca Designs, Daisycakes Soap, JazzyKreationz, Kristen Ashley Artist, Oscar Bites Dog Treats, OuttheBox Creations and Studio Earth. Other festivities at the Classic Center include ice skating on the new indoor rink, a display of gingerbread houses created by local bakers, breakfast and portraits with Santa, and a Festival of Trees which features a forest of 50 Christmas trees decorated by local businesses. The State Ballet Theatre of Russia will perform The Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 20 and Sunday, Dec. 21. A portion of proceeds from Christmas at the Classic Center will benefit Extra Special People. The Classic Center is located at 300 N. Thomas Street. Visit http://classiccenterchristmas.com for a schedule of daily activities.

For handmade ceramic and sterling silver jewelry, funky functional pottery, tree ornaments and one-of-a-kind carved items, drop by Soup Studios’ 10th Annual Holiday Market on Saturday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Soup Studios is located at 2140 S. Lumpkin St. To see examples of founding potter Jamie Voivedich’s brightly colored, whimsical works—some of which have been featured in Southern Living and on HGTV—visit http://soupstudios.com.

In addition to an abundance of locally sourced produce, honey, eggs, soaps and prepared food items, the vendors of The West Broad Farmers Market will offer handmade crafts, cookie-decorating for children and caroling by local schoolchildren during a Holiday Market on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The market, which is hosted at the old West Broad School, 1573 W. Broad St., aims to develop new food-based entrepreneurs, build a neighborhood-centered economy and increase access to healthy, affordable foods. For more information on the market’s goals, visit http://athenslandtrust.org.

Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market hosts one of the last opportunities for seasonal shopping on Sunday, Dec. 14 from 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. during brunch hours. Handmade wares will range from printmaking, textiles, jewelry, jams and preserves, botanical bath items, felt-work and more, with the 14-name vendor list including Kenneth Kase, Jim Norton, Beth Zorbanos, Chelsea Born and Tiffany Matthews. While at Heirloom, which is located at 815 N. Chase St., be sure to stop next door at the house of painter Susie Burch, who will have her home studio open. Visit http://heirloomathens.com for details.

Finally, since both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a Thursday, we are currently planning on taking both weeks off. I am talking with the growers to see if it’s feasible to hold perhaps a Tuesday pickup on December 30th. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers and artisans, 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. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is open throughout the month 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!

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!

ALG Market Open for December 4


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was a late one this year, which means only a few weeks of holiday festivities all crammed together. Christmas is on Thursday this year, which means New Year’s Day is as well. Our current plans are to be closed both weeks. I’ll leave the door open to running on an alternate schedule, depending on our farmers, and I’ll be sure to let you know if that’s what we do.

The Athens Christmas parade will be held this Thursday night, and it will be impossible to get through downtown. Plan your travel accordingly! We do not open until 4:30, but we will start filling orders earlier if the growers have all arrived and unloaded on time. If you’re coming late in the evening, be sure to give downtown a wide berth!

This is the time for holiday artisan markets, and it seems like each year there are more than ever in Athens. I hope to provide a list next week of all the upcoming holiday artisan markets, so please let me know if you know of any you want me to mention particularly. I’ll spread the word when I hear of more as they happen via our Twitter and Facebook feeds. If you don’t already follow them, you can find the addresses right above. You’ve already demonstrated your commitment to buy some of your food from local farmers. Giving gifts made from local artisans is just as important, and can be even more rewarding!

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

The Athens Farmers Market is open on Saturdays at Bishop Park. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is open throughout the month 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!

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!

ALG Reminder: We are closed this week!


Hi there! This is just a reminder that Athens Locally Grown will be closed this week to allow us all to celebrate Thanksgiving. If you need a last minute item from our local farmers, Heirloom Cafe on Chase Street will be hosting a mini version of the Athens Farmers Market from 11-2 on Wednesday.

I am very thankful for all the food options available to us provided by members of our community who care about the health of both the people eating the food they provide and the land from which it came from. And I find it very fitting that I get to express these thanks via a meal made from that very same food.

Thanks also to you, and happy Thanksgiving! We’ll see you in two weeks.