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 October 17


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

Tomorrow’s holiday always sparks discussions of indigenous peoples and colonization. I’d like to plant an idea with you: think about all of the wonderful indigenous foods of North America, many of which have fallen into obscurity. See if you can find some to add to your diet this fall, even if it’s just to try something new for one single meal. Native plants are almost always a better choice to grow than species and varieties not adapted to our environment, but growers won’t plant them if there’s not a demand. Here’s one interesting list to get you started, and you’ll recognize some of them from the ALG listings throughout the year: 20 Native North American Foods with Stories to Tell.

This week I’ll be traveling out of state, so I’ll be leaving our Thursday market here in the hands of our many capable regular volunteers while I’m gone. However, 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, but the good news is Doug is back from his summer fishing expedition to Alaska and has restocked the freezer, so there will be plenty to go around when I get back.

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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!

ALG Market Open for October 10


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

Some of you have already taken advantage of the many seedlings available for your fall gardens. I always say the fall is my favorite time to garden in Athens, even though many people shut their gardens down as the first frost approaches. It still feels like summer outside, but this coming weekend I’d like to get in there and start planting broccoli, collards, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, Brussels sprouts, and more. There are fifty-nine varieties of veggie and herb seedlings listed this week and I expect more to arrive in the coming weeks. Usually we’ve got a better selection than you can find at most garden centers this time of year.

Fall weather does seem to have finally taken hold, and while that means many of our summer crops will soon be saying their goodbyes (though not all, thanks to the many greenhouses our growers use) it also means the autumn crops will be in their element. We should be awash in leafy greens real soon, and I love that.

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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!

ALG Market Open for October 3


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

October already? That’s what the calendar says, but it still feels like June to me. Looks like we’ve got another week of 90 degree days ahead of us, and the cooler temps are staying tantalizingly on the far edge of the seven day forecasts. Will they come this weekend? They have to sometime, right?

Here’s something I haven’t talked about in a while… despite all of our best efforts, sometimes the things you order don’t make it into your baskets come Thursday. The growers try their best, but sometimes they aren’t able to fill orders for a variety of reasons. They almost always go into the system and remove the items they can’t fill by 2pm on Thursday, so by then you should be able to look at your order on the website and get a reasonable expectation of what we’ll have ready for you when you arrive. Even then, though, things can go wrong. A grower can leave a box at home, sitting on their kitchen counter, and when we go to fill your order, an item might be missing. We mark those items off on the spot, using our little hand-held devices, and try to tell you when we hand you your items. And sometimes, we mess up ourselves filling your orders and think we put everything in your box only to find a bag with your name on it at the end of the night. In that case, we take it off your order and automatically issue a refund to your account if you paid in person when you picked things up.

The majority of you are pre-paying these days, though, using cards online. That’s great for everyone, as it really streamlines the process. It’s a bit of a misnomer, though, because even though you placed your order on Monday or Tuesday, I don’t actually run the cards until the end of the night on Thursday, after all the orders have been finalized. That way, you’re never charged for items the growers took off, or didn’t bring, or that we left out of your box. You can see exactly what you were charged for, and what the status was for every item on your order, by looking at your order history on the Your Account page. There, you can see a PDF invoice for every order you have ever placed at ALG, a line-by-line accounting for every item, and the total you were charged (or paid in person).

And if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them of me. Just reply to any email the system sends you, and it’ll come right to me.

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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!

ALG Market Open for September 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

It doesn’t exactly feel like it yet, but there are signs that summer is winding down. Sure, the equinox tomorrow is the official start of Fall, but the weather hasn’t really gotten the memo yet. Still, the nights will now be longer than the days, and the plants pick up on that really quick. Take the arugula, for example — there are a couple different listings for that zesty green. It might have some heat of its own, but it’s not fond of summer at all. Right on its tail we’ll see bountiful spinach, cabbages, broccoli again, and other cool season crops. The summer items will hold on as long as they can — we’ve still got over a month until frost will put an end to those (except for what our growers have planted in high tunnels and greenhouses). So, for the next few weeks we’ll get to enjoy the best of both seasons! It’s exciting times in the kitchen, for sure.

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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!

ALG Market Open for September 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

The rains this weekend sure felt nice, even though I was out camping in it. The ground was rather parched, after the ridiculously long string of days in the 90s we had, and all the plants really needed it. I thought maybe we’d get a break from the heat, but seems there’s a couple more days in the 90s ahead of us. Looking at the end of the week, though, I see nights in the 50s in our future! That is great news for all the leafy greens and other fall crops that have been struggling in the heat, but it also will really slow down the summer crops that have been hanging on. Many of our growers extend their seasons with hoop houses and other protections from the cold, but if you’re a stickler for tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers grown out in the direct sun, you’ve only got a month or so left of those.

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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!

ALG Market Open for September 12


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 was really hoping that today, while I was out working in the yard and fiddling with my new garden, it would really feel like fall was in the air. Instead, it was anther hot day in the 90s. Looks like we’ve got another day or two of that, but I do spot a definite cooling trend in the long term forecast. I for one can’t wait for those afternoons in the 70s and having to put on a hoodie while waiting for the school bus in the mornings.

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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!

ALG Market Open for September 5


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

Happy Labor Day, everyone! I’ve known many hard working laborers in my day, but probably none that work harder than our farmers. Please send a few extra thanks their way next time you’re able.

I don’t have anything specific for the newsletter this week, so I’ll let you get right into ordering. 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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!

ALG Market Open for August 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

All’s still quiet on the farming front. The mornings have a little bit of chill to them, which means the leafy greens ought to be coming in strong before long! Until then, we’re happy to have the last few weeks of summer veggies. It’s hard to believe that the first frost is only six or eight weeks away!

I did get a letter this week from a long-time ALG member, former farm worker, and now new farmer Aura Morris. She’d like me to share it with y’all, so here it is:

Sister Fox Farm was established in Fall 2017 in Athens, GA. We are Aura and Dave, aspiring homesteaders and lovers of nature. We raise organic-fed pastured American Guinea Hogs for pork, as well as vegetables and eggs.

Our main product is pork. We raise heritage-breed American Guinea Hogs, which are a small homestead-sized lard pig that used to be popular for small farms and homesteads. We run two herds that live on pasture all the time; one is supplemented with Certified Organic feed, and the other is supplemented with conventional feed. We offer two feed options to meet people’s cost and food preferences. We are so excited to be able to offer pork that is fed organically, as we were not able to find organic pork anywhere in Georgia before we started raising our own pigs! We sell pigs by the quarter, half, and whole share (approximately the equivalent of 15 lb, 30 lb, and 60 lb of meat each). Each share includes your pick of cuts such as sausage, belly, roasts, ham, boston butt, pork chops, and also lard for rendering, bones for soups, and organ meats if desired. Shares must be reserved in advance and are limited since we have a small herd.

Sister Fox Farm is located on what used to be family farmland on the north side of Athens. This land was farmed in cotton for many generations, and then, like much of the land in the area, it was divided up and sold in parcels and allowed to grow up in trees and brush. The house was left in disrepair, until the previous owner bought it and put years of time and energy into restoring it to beauty. Our name, Sister Fox Farm, is both a tribute to the fox who led our friends to this land and shares our home with us, and a representation of the philosophy that we strive to live out as we caretake this land. We consider the fox, the hawk, the songbirds, the trees and green plants, and even the insects to be kin and community members here, and we respect their right to live and thrive here. We do not use any herbicides, pesticides, or poisons on our land. We see ourselves not as “owners,” but as stewards of this small parcel of earth. We hope to leave it better than we found it.

Please contact us to purchase pork or to be added to our mailing list. We look forward to feeding you!

www.sisterfoxfarm.com
sisterfoxfarm@gmail.com

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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!

ALG Market Open for August 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

Not much news on the farming front this week. It’s been hot, but not abnormally so for August, and we’ve had enough rain to keep the ground from drying out. My eldest turns 15 tomorrow, and that had me reminiscing — I’ve been running our little market for longer than Vivian’s been alive, and some of you who have been on this journey with us will remember me filling orders with a baby strapped to my chest, first on the lawn outside Kudzu Coffee, and then on the patio of Big City Bread. Much has changed since those days!

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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!

ALG Market Open for August 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

The new school year brings many new people to Athens, and many new people to Athens Locally Grown, so I thought this week I’d give a brief primer on how ALG works. Those of you who have been with us during these last seventeen years probably already know all this, but I’ll try to keep it interesting for you too. In January, I’ll spend several weeks going into much more detail about all this.

First off, ALG is best thought of like a traditional farmers market, because except for the lack of tents and tables that’s very much how we operate. The growers are putting their own items up for sale directly to you, at prices and quantities they have set. The market volunteers and I are here to make sure it all happens smoothly, but the growers are selling their products directly to you. Growers do have to apply to sell through the market, and I personally approve each of them before they list their products. Here’s a summary of the standards we have set:

  • All growers must use sustainable practices and never use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
  • All growers can only sell what they themselves have grown or made
  • All growers must be from the greater Athens area. Right now, this means within about 50 miles
  • All animals raised for meat or eggs must be pastured
  • 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
  • All growers must first participate in the market for a few weeks as customers, so they can clearly see how it all works

When I’ve turned down requests to sell through ALG (and I have turned down many), the items clearly broke one or more of those standards. There are a few edge cases that I take on a case by case basis, such as coffee. In cases like that, we set the standards as strict as we can. With coffee, for example, the beans must be sustainably grown, they must be roasted locally, and the roaster must have a direct business relationship with the farm that grew the beans.

So, the growers list their available products and set their prices. For most all of the products, they do this before they’ve harvested the items, so they have to estimate how much they will actually have. They’ve gotten pretty good at this guess, but it is a guess, and the unpredictable nature of farming means they may have far less than they thought (thanks to deer, a hail storm, etc.) or they may have far more than they thought (a nice rain can double the growth of lettuce overnight, for example). Most of them are conservative with their estimates, and so they let you continue to order even if they’ve already sold more than they guessed they’d have. That’s why popular items may have a quantity in the negatives when you look at the listings. The system will still let you order on the chance that they’ll actually have enough, but you’ll get warnings along the way that you’re taking a gamble.

I do not collect items from the farms, and do not know myself until Thursday afternoon what the growers were able to harvest and bring in to town. The growers do have each other’s contact information, so if one grower is short and another has a surplus, they may arrange with each other to get all the orders filled, but in general, if a grower cannot fill an order for something, they’ll remove that ordered item and you’ll see a comment on your invoice indicating that. Since I’m not a middle-man, I can’t arrange for substitutions myself.

When the growers bring in the items you ordered on Thursday afternoon, packaged and labelled with your name, I pay them on your behalf out of our shared cash box during the hour before we open the market for their sales from the previous week. Then, you arrive and pay into the cashbox for your order this week. We deposit the money you pay (via cash, check, or credit) into our bank account so it will be there when we write checks as the cycle begins anew. 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 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. We do accept credit card payments on the website, and many customers take advantage of that and skip the pay table. The cards don’t actually get charged until after pickups on Thursday, so your charge will reflect any adjustments that had to get made along the way.

For a number of legal reasons, ALG never takes possession of your ordered items. We don’t buy them from the growers and resell them to you, nor do we repackage them in any way. The growers drop off your items for you, and you arrive and pick them up. The market volunteers facilitate that happening. Because of the need to maintain that separation, we cannot deliver, nor can we generally hold your items later than 8pm on Thursday if you fail to come pick them up. We start calling those who haven’t arrived by 7:30, and quite often we just get answering machines and voice mail. Anything still at our pickup location at 8pm will get divided up among those there at the time, primarily our volunteers, and then we finish loading up the truck and leave. There are some things you can do to insure you won’t get charged for things you didn’t come get:

1. If you know prior to Tuesday at 8pm that you won’t be able to come get your order or send someone in your place, send me an email and I will cancel your order.
2. If you find out later that you can’t come, send me an email. So long as I know before market begins, I can put the things you ordered on the “extras” table, and your fellow customers will almost certainly buy them for you.
3. If you discover Thursday while we’re at market that you can’t arrive, give me a call at 706-248-1860. I’ll put your items on the “extras” table, and if they sell, you’ll be off the hook.
4. If you have a cell phone, make sure that number is the number on your account. You can go to the “Your Account” page on the website to be sure. If you’re out and about and I get your home phone or your work phone, no one gets helped.

Finally, ours is a paperless system, so we do not have paper receipts for you when you pick up your order. An electronic receipt is generated, though, and can be found on the website. Go to the “Your Account” page, view your order history, and you’ll see an invoice for each order. By 2pm on Thursday, it will show what we expect to have for you that evening. After we fill your order, it will show exactly what we packed for you, and what, if anything, was missing. You can view that at any time, even years from now. If we didn’t get you something we should have, or if anything you got was of unacceptable quality, please contact me ASAP. I’ll share the problem with the grower so we can insure it won’t happen again. If you’re logged into the site, most of the growers have their contact info on their profile page (off the “Our Growers” page), so you can contact them directly if you choose.

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 evenings downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is back as well, Saturdays from 9 to 1, and you can watch for weekly news 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. The Oconee County farmers market is held every Saturday 8 to noon in downtown Watkinsville. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com 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 11 to 3pm. 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!