The Weblog

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 Market Open for May 21


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

Seems like just a few weeks ago, I was ready for the rains to let up, but after a full two weeks of an early hot and dry summer, I’m ready to have just a bit of that rain back. Ideally, there’s be some cool May rains to keep the soil temperatures down and let the spring crops run through the end of the month, if not longer. This year, though, looks like we’re going to jump right into the heat, and the growers around town a shifting their focus onto those crops that are coming in. The strawberries might be gone already, but you’ll find some of the first of the squash and cucumbers, zucchini and beans, and even slicing tomatoes listed this week, and there will be lots more coming along shortly. Another nice thing about this market is some of our grower friends up closer to the mountains run about a month behind the growers here, so we may yet see more strawberries and leafy greens coming from them well after the supply in town has run out.

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 Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market from the Athens Land Trust is open Saturday mornings and their farm stand is open Tuesday afternoons. They have a website too.A new Athens Sunday market has just opened up at the Classic Center, every Sunday from 11 to 4 now through October. They have a website here: http://www.sundaycentermarket.com. The Comer Farmers Market is open in downtown Comer on Saturday mornings. The Oconee County farmers market is open Saturday mornings in front of the Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville. The Shields Ethridge Cultivator Market is held monthly in Jefferson. If you know of any 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!

ALG Market Open for May 14


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

A special hello to all the mothers out there this week! I hope your families treated you to something a little above and beyond this weekend.

This is by far the busiest time of the year for our farmers. They’re out working in the fields weeding and harvesting the delicate spring veggies, trying to protect them from the daytime heat. It’s a challenge to give them enough cool water and shade to keep the greens crisp during the day when it’s over 90 degrees in the afternoon. At the same time, they’re putting in all the seedlings and seeds necessary to maintain a steady supply of summer veggies for the months ahead. They’re preparing beds, thinning seeds, watching over starts in the greenhouse, doing their best to keep bugs off the new growth, and doing what they can to shelter them rom the cool night air. While doing all this, they’re going to the many farmers markets that are all now up and running. Some of them attend three or four markets a week, including ALG. Some of them even more.

We’ve gotten a taste of summer these last few days. It looks like things might cool off a bit this week, all the way down to the mere middle eighties. All this heat came right as the strawberries were coming ripe, and they really don’t care for that at all. I’m hopeful that slightly cooler temps will keep them around for a little while. I’ve missed my yearly berry gorging.

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 Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market from the Athens Land Trust is open Saturday mornings and their farm stand is open Tuesday afternoons. They have a website too.A new Athens Sunday market has just opened up at the Classic Center, every Sunday from 11 to 4 now through October. They have a website here: http://www.sundaycentermarket.com. The Comer Farmers Market is open in downtown Comer on Saturday mornings. The Oconee County farmers market is open Saturday mornings in front of the Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville. The Shields Ethridge Cultivator Market is held monthly in Jefferson. If you know of any 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!

ALG Market Open for May 7


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

So Mother’s Day is already coming up next weekend, and if it’s flowers and plants you’re looking for, I think we’ve got you covered. There are flower bouquets, hanging baskets of annual flowers, container plants ready to go into the ground or your pots, and more are available from of growers this week. There are several plant sales going on around town this week too, and I have details for two of them.

The Williams Farm Plant Sale is happening this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm. Besides the available perennial & annual flowers, medicinal & edible herbs, and veggie seedlings, they’ll have tea and refreshments available. They also would like to meet your mom, so bring her with you! (Or, if you’re a mom, let your kids know that this is something you’d like to do.) Williams Farm is one of the newer urban farm projects of the Athens Land Trust, and is located across from 240 Northside Drive, between North Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive. I’ve not been out to see the place yet, and this plant sale is an excellent opportunity to go visit some farmland being preserved in town.

Another nice project going on in town is Good Roots. They’re a non-profit in town, and they have lots of vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings for sale at their office at 145 Barrington Drive on the Eastside of Athens off Cedar Shoals and behind the Perry’s convenience store. Multiple Choices: Center for Independent Living is their parent organization. Their seedlings are Certified Naturally Grown, and are sown by a small group of differently-abled adults in Jackson County. The proceeds from sales are returned to the sowers based upon what has sold. Baker Creek Seeds (one of my favorite heirloom seed companies) has donated a large supply of seeds and they have quite the variety of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, herbs, along with some unusual crops such as globe artichokes and luffas. So, if you don’t find the veggie seedlings you’re looking for listed at ALG, or you just want to browse another source, take a look to see what they’ve got available over at their office. I didn’t even know this group existed until they told me about their plant sale, and it sounds like a really worthwhile project.

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 Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market from the Athens Land Trust is open Saturday mornings and their farm stand is open Tuesday afternoons. They have a website too. The Comer Farmers Market is open in downtown Comer on Saturday mornings. The Oconee County farmers market is open Saturday mornings in front of the Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville. The Shields Ethridge Cultivator Market is held monthly in Jefferson. If you know of any 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!

ALG Market Open for April 30


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

There was a blessed break in all the rain, long enough for the ground to mostly dry out (or at least not make squishing noises when walked upon). I took advantage of the break to do a little gardening of my own. My plan had been to do a little container garden on the back of my little patio, which is an easy way to grow a surprisingly large amount of veggies when you don’t have any land to grow in. However, I discovered a little treasure in my neighborhood — a community garden built in 2011 by volunteers with the Athens Land Trust. The garden had fallen into disuse for some reason, but I decided to take it under my wing and bring it back. I didn’t have a garden at all last year, a year of upheaval for me, so it felt really good to get back into the dirt again.

There are a number of community gardens around town, though I suspect more than just mine have fallen into disuse. Like any project that runs on volunteers, the amount of gardening getting done will ebb and flow with the hands available. If you’d like to get involved in bringing and maintaining public gardens for Athens communities, I’m sure the Athens Land Trust and the Community Garden Network would love to hear from you. They have a website where you can find out more: http://www.athenslandtrust.org/community-agriculture/community-garden-network. They have descriptions and other information about some of their current active gardens. I’ll have to let them know that they can add one more resurrected garden back to that list.

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 Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The Comer Farmers Market is open in downtown Comer on Saturday mornings. The Oconee County farmers market is open Saturday mornings in front of the Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville. The Shields Ethridge Cultivator Market is held monthly in Jefferson. The other area markets are all still closed for the season, I believe. If you know of any 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!

ALG Market Open for April 23


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

There’s not much I can say about all this rain. It’s good to get it in the water table, but it’s just been wet for so long now, I nearly forget what solid ground feels like. It’s really hard on the growers and gardeners, too, who are working hard to get summer plants in the ground right now. Our clay soil works against us here. A bit of clay in nice, rich soil is a good thing, as it holds moisture when things get dry. However, if there’s too much clay (and we’re famous for our red clay) and the ground is wet, then trying to till or otherwise prepare beds for planting works the clay exactly like a potter or brickmaker. Then, when things do dry out again, that clay layer gets super hard and can keep anything from passing through — roots, worms, sprouting seeds stuck underneath. It’s a real problem, and it’s easy to get caught between gardens that are too wet and not enough time remaining to get all the work done, especially if you’re a home gardener who can only get a few hours here and there to get things in.

It does look like we’ll have a few dry days again this week, maybe, before the rains come back in time for the weekend. I’m hoping to have my rice paddies ready by then. I’ve got my hands on some Carolina Gold rice, and I think this’ll be the perfect year to plant 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 Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The Comer Farmers Market is open in downtown Comer on Saturday mornings. The Oconee County farmers market is open Saturday mornings in front of the Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville. The Shields Ethridge Cultivator Market is held monthly in Jefferson. The other area markets are all still closed for the season, I believe. If you know of any 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!

ALG Market Open for April 16


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 was a beautiful weekend, perfect for working out in the garden. I’ve not even started on mine, but it’s really never too late to put something in the ground, and it’s prime planting season now. I was one of the founding farms of Athens Locally Grown, back in 2002, but these days I’m living back in the city of Athens again, and haven’t established gardens here. Weather like this, though, makes me want to throw seeds in every bit of dirt I can find, wherever I find it.

If you’ve been preparing your garden, or just thinking about starting one, be sure to check out all of the live plants offered by our growers through the market. Sure, you could run off to Home Depot and buy some mass-produced seedlings soaked in synthetic fertilizers and sprayed with fumigants, but you can also get hardy seedlings grown by the same people cultivating plants for their own vegetable beds, free of synthetic chemicals.

The average last frost date for Athens falls this week, but you never know when a weird cold front will blow through, wreaking havoc on the little plants. If you’ve put out summer plants like tomatoes, peppers, squash, and eggplants, keep an eye out on the forecast for the next week or two, just in case you need protect them. The average last frost date for some of our growers won’t come for another month, further up in the mountains, but that just means more variety for our market.

Why am I encouraging you to grow your own food when I’m in the business of helping growers sell you food they grow? For one, studies have shown (and my own experience confirms) that people who grow their own gardens tend to actually increase their yearly purchases at their local farmers markets. Once they take an interest their food so strong that their begin growing what they can, they find that they can rely even more on their local growers for things that they used to get at the grocery store. And besides, my goal is for every community to become less reliant on food grown elsewhere and shipped in from long distances. And you having your own little patch of garden in your yard is a big step in helping Athens do just that.

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 Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The Comer Farmers Market is open in downtown Comer on Saturday mornings. The Oconee County farmers market is open Saturday mornings in front of the Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville. The Shields Ethridge Cultivator Market is held monthly in Jefferson. The other area markets are all still closed for the season, I believe. If you know of any 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!

ALG Open for April 9


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 had a great time Saturday out at Grove Creek Farm for the annual old-timey seed swap. Thank you to Danni at Grove Creek for hosting it each year, and for inviting all the artisans, growers, craftsmen, and others out to her farm. The weather was beautiful, and the potluck lunch was really nice, too. I’m already looking forward to next year.

That event has always been the kickoff for the summer growing season for me, where I finalize what I’m going to put in the ground, pick up some unusual heirloom tomato plants, find some new melons to grow, and so on. The spring growing season started several months ago, so that makes now one of the busiest times of the year for our growers. Not only are they keeping up with all of their cool weather crops, harvesting and weeding and planting more, but they’re also having to start their warm winter gardens and get them going, too. And on top of all that, those markets that didn’t go year-round are starting to open up, so the farmers have to spend time off the farm selling what they grow. There’s not much free time for them right now, and not really much time for sleep, either. If you’re making the rounds at one of the Saturday markets, it might not be a bad idea to ask your favorite farmers if they need a cup of coffee.

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 and Wednesday afternoons downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The Comer Farmers Market is open in downtown Comer on Saturday mornings. The Oconee County farmers market is open Saturday mornings in front of the Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville. The other area markets are all still closed for the season, I believe. If you know of any 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!

ALG Open for April 2


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 think between all the pollen and the temperatures fluctuating wildly every day, my immune system got distracted enough to finally let in the cold bug that’s been after me for months now. I just about fell asleep without opening market for you, so I’ll be brief.

The other area farmers markets are beginning to open up from their winter slumber. I’ve been told the Comer market is now open on Saturday mornings, and the Athens Farmers Market will be opening this coming Saturday at Bishop Park and then the following Wednesday at Creature Comforts downtown. 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!

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!

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 March 26


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

We officially entered Spring this week, and had a few gorgeous days to prove it. I hear that there’s cold weather on the way, though, to give us a reminder of what we’re leaving behind. Our average last frost day isn’t for another few weeks yet, so we’re bound to get some nights below freezing before we really warm up for good. It keeps the growers on their toes, as even the tender cool weather crop seedlings don’t like freezes, and they’ve all got the summer plants started (under protection) too. One cold night and a unpatched hole in a hoophouse can put an end to an entire season of tomatoes, and that makes even a seasoned grower a little nervous.

I did get notice of several spring farm tours happening. Darby Farms in Monroe, one of our pastured meat producers, has four tours and field days lined up between now and June. You can find information about all four of them at his website here: https://www.darbyfarmsga.com/farm-tours.html. Also, Broad River Pastures in Elberton, another of our meat producers, has an educational day, with tour, scheduled for the afternoon of April 18th. I don’t see specific information about the tour on their website, but you can read about the farm and contact Cathy for more information here: http://www.broadriverpastures.com/contact-us/.

I expect more farms will be hosting tours and work days as the weather warms up, and I’ll let you know about them all as I hear details. And if you missed hearing about the Old Timey Seed Swap out at Grove Creek Farm on the 4th when I wrote about it a couple weeks ago, you can see that over our market’s blog, here: http://athens.locallygrown.net/weblog/view/25971.

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 March 19


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 the weather starts warming up and the ground starts drying out, our growers are getting even busier than they’ve been preparing for another (hopefully) great growing season. As part of that planning, they’re trying to figure out how they’re going to keep from losing money this year. Some will expand their operations to grow a little more, some will diversify their crops, some will focus their crops more on just a few big sellers, some will seek out new markets or add CSAs or other strategies, some will scale back, and some will add new revenue streams, such as agri-tourism.

One of our growers just got some recognition for her efforts to bring people out to her farm for events and other activities. Pilar Quintero, of Rancho Allegra, had a nice article written about her and her farm, which you can find online here. Many of you have been agri-tourists yourselves, when you’ve gone to Washington Farms to pick strawberries and ride in the wagons, or to the Athens Corn Maze, or to cut your own Christmas tree. Many of our growers hold tours, special events, and other activities to bring you out to their farm where you can see firsthand how things are grown, what goes into bringing food to your table, and meet those who work so hard so we can eat well. As I hear of these events, I’ll be sure to mention them here, and I encourage all of you to take advantage of some of them to get out and see more of our local food system and to support our growers in yet another way.

Oh, and most of our growers will be employing many of those strategies I listed all at once to try and keep their farms going. It’s a hard business, in many many ways.

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!