Many of you meat eaters have been purchasing beef and pork through ALG from Tink or Tink’s Beef. I’m pretty sure she was the first meat vendor here, and her products have always set the bar for quality. Many of you may not know that she got into raising 100% grass fed beef to help her combat Multiple Sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with at age 29. In an effort to strictly control her diet and the quality of her food, she realized her only option at the time was to raise her meat herself. We’ve all benefited from her effort, and now we’ve got another way to help her out some more. She’s been accepted to be a patient for a new treatment, a stem cell therapy that has the potential to reverse her symptoms. It’s so new that it hasn’t made it all the way through the regulatory system and insurance won’t cover the costs. She doesn’t want to wait that long, and might not have the chance, so she’s doing all she can to get the treatment now. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for her, and she’s already 1/3 of the way toward her goal. I know together we can get her much, much closer. You can read ore about Tink and the treatment and donate if you wish at the campaign page, here: https://www.gofundme.com/tinkstemcell.
We’re coming into the traditional time of year where growers get together to share what they’ve learned from another season out in the fields, to teach new farmers how to get started, and to have a communal meal made with food supplied by those same growers. If you’re wanting to learn more about sustainable growing in the south, one of my favorite conferences of the year recently opened up for registration. The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group has a long history of education and activism, and their annual conference in January is a can’t miss event. This year, it will be in January 25-28th in Lexington, Kentucky. You can learn more about the conference here http://www.ssawg.org/january-2017-conference/ and then register right here http://www.ssawgconference.org/. I’ll see you there!
Another great conference is much closer, both in time and space. The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is a farmer-driven, membership-based non-profit organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building the systems family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic agriculture. Their conference moves around from year to year, but this year it is being held up in Durham, NC, and would be worth the drive. I attended years ago when it was held in Greenville, and learned quite a lot. It’s since expanded to include many tracks beyond farming, including general gardening, local food business, cooking, and more. It’s being held in just a few weeks, on November 4-6. You can find out more and register here: http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/sac/.
Finally, one of my favorite events of the year is here in Georgia. The 20th annual Georgia Organics Conference will be held in Atlanta on February 17-18th. They’re still in the planning phases and aren’t yet taking registrations, but you can learn more and sign up to volunteer at their conference website here: http://conference.georgiaorganics.org.
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 Wednesdays from 11am-2pm in the atrium at St. Mary’s Hospital. 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. The Oconee County Farmers Market is open on Saturdays in Watkinsville. Their website is www.oconeefarmersmarket.org. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running from 9-1. 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!