Hello again! I hope you all had a pleasant week, able to spend time with loved ones and having time to reflect on the things to be thankful for (even while fretting over the many things out there to fret over).
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!
If you do want to hang out with us while waiting for the traffic to die down, it’s a great week to do so. Linda from Sylvan Falls Mill up in Rabun Gap will be joining us at the “Meet The Grower” table. She’s not a grower herself, but she does buy much of the grains that she grinds in her mill from growers throughout the North Georgia mountains, and bakes them up into the most wonderful items which she serves at her bed and breakfast there at the mill and sells through ALG and other markets. I wait all year for her fantastic noël log cakes, available only in December. Every year growing up, my mother made similar cakes for our holiday parties, and so besides being delicious, Linda’s cakes bring back wonderful memories for me. I’m going to have to quickly finish all the desserts I made for Thanksgiving so I can make room in my kitchen for one of these cakes this week.
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!
One of our farmers is helping our community of artisans by opening up a permanent market space for them called “HIP Vintage and Handmade” at 215 Commerce Boulevard, right next to the roller skating rink off Atlanta Highway. Leslie Lawson and her husband, of Blackbriar Farms, have been working hard on it and are hosting a grand opening on Friday. Heres an announcement from Leslie: "On Friday, December 2 you are invited to our Grand Opening at Hip Vintage & Handmade. We will be open from 10 am til 9 pm. Hip Vintage & Handmade is a great place to shop for an array of handmade goods as well as vintage and antiques. For vendors or “makers” it is a place to lease a variety of display options, from a basket or a small shelf all the way up to a large booth for selling their handmade items and vintage / antiques. The store is set up with the booths on one side and specific handmade sections on the other. The idea is for each vendor to be able to make their own display, and advertise directly to the public within their display. The store is fairly large (8000+ sq feet). We also have a big “paper moon” photo booth for folks to take a snapshot of themselves(free). It really is neat and we hope that Athens gets a kick out of it. There is no charge to pop in and take your photo in it. We made it several years ago for a fundraiser and it was just sitting in the barn at our farm so we thought it would be fun to share it with all of Athens. And we have a classroom where we will be holding some art classes and homesteading classes (we also own Blackbriar Farms and teach a few basic practicality classes). This classroom space is available for lease, too. Come take a look at what is happening at Hip Vintage & Handmade."
Thanks 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 for a few more weeks. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market from the Athens Land Trust is open Saturday mornings also for a couple more weeks. They have a website too. The Comer Farmers’ Market is open for the season 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 from 1-4. 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!