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 27


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

If you’ve been wanting to get much more closely involved in the local food system but don’t want to become a farmer yourself, here’s a great opportunity for you. The Athens Farmers Market is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Market Manager. Their current manager Jan Kozak is leaving the post in mid-December, and the AFM is hoping to install a new manager within the next 3-4 weeks in order for them to have a chance to shadow Jan for a few market days. You can find an amazingly detailed job description at https://gallery.mailchimp.com/9a03e418e527211fc69bf5b73/files/AFM_Manager_Job_Description.pdf. Annual salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. If you or anyone you know is qualified and interested in applying, please send a resume and cover letter to marketmanager@athensfarmersmarket.net.

Fall seems to be the traditional time for wanting to go visit a farm, maybe to pick apples or to find a good pumpkin, or to get lost in a corn maze. It’s true that most if not all of the agro-tourism spots nearby are conventional farms, but don’t let that stop you from paying them a visit, especially if you have children (or can borrow some for the day). So many kids think that their food supply begins at the grocery store, and farms are just something that they read about in picture books. Take them out and show them that farms are real things, that they’re worth visiting, and that they are near where they live. Farms shouldn’t be exotic places, relegated to storyland places like “The Dell” and “California”.

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!

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 20


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

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!

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 13


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 big news this week is the long awaited return of Doug’s Wild Alaskan Salmon! After another successful summer fishing in the waters off Alaska, Doug and his family have returned with their catch. You’ll find that they’ve updated their listings (In the “Fish” subcategory under “Meat”), so have at it! I’ve been waiting for this week for a quite a while — I’ve been hoarding my dwindling stash for some time.

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. There are nearly seven dozen varieties of veggie and herb seedlings listed this week, which is more than you’ll find and most garden centers this time of year.

Finally, 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.

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!

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 6


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? Looks like a beautiful week ahead of us, just right for both the summer veggies hanging on in the garden and the fall crops coming in. Hopefully we can get more like this right on to frost (preferably mixed with a bit more rain)!

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 question, 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.

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!

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 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

It doesn’t exactly feel like it yet, but there are signs that summer is winding down. Sure, the equinox this last week is the official start of Fall, but the weather hasn’t gotten the memo yet. But the nights are longer than the days, and the plants pick up on that really quick. Take the arugula, for example — there are six different listings for that zesty green. It might have some heat of it’s own, but it’s not fond of summer at all. Right on it’s 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 months until frost will but an end to those. 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.

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!

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 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’m still out of state, and haven’t heard any Athens news for this little newsletter this week. I’ve been lucky enough to get to travel to Hawai’i and be nerdy at a Star Trek convention. My first day here, I did get to travel to the rainforest side of the big island and look at how hard they’re working to create a sustainable local food system there. They have some surprising similarities to Georgia there — my own little farm was the first agricultural use of land that had been decimated by years of cotton farming (much like a lot of the farmland around Athens). The rainy side of the big island was 100% devoted to large-scale production of sugar cane, much to the destruction of the natural ecosystem. When that industry collapsed, there was much work to be done to keep that land from being overrun by invasive species. Many people are working hard to plant mixed-species orchards, vegetable plots that rotate from place to place, and so forth. Mistakes were made — one of the first attempts to put the land to use was a mass planting of eucalyptus trees, and they planted them far too close together for the climate. As a result, there are tens of thousands of acres with tall, skinny, virtually unusable trees. One possible remedy being explored is hand thinning the trees and using the wood for fuel for energy production, a solution with problems of its own.

I got to see quite a few experimental plots where students of all ages were trying things out. Grade school children have proud plots of taro and sweet potato mixed with semi-wild stands of guava and other fruits. Farms of 100% pastured beef have sharply cut into factory-farmed beef shipped in from the mainland. Grocery stores have local fruits and veg front and center. Perhaps being on an island 2000 miles away from the rest of us give Hawai’i a stronger sense of identity and a desire for self-sufficiency than we do in Georgia, but they face many of the same challenges. It’s been a great experience talking with the people here and learning from them.

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!

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 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 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.

I’ll be out of state this coming week, and will be leaving Thursday pickups in the more-than-capable hands of my market volunteers. They’ve really been carrying the duties lately. I’ve been there, but the pressures of a new job keep me on my computer in the back most of the time. I’ll be taking my first real vacation in years, and it’s going to feel really good to get disconnected for a few days. And it’ll be somewhere I’ve never been, too, so I’ll get to sample a new cuisine and explore new types of gardens. Really looking forward to all 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 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!

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 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

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. 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!

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 September1


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 fifteen 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
  • All growers must be from the greater Athens area. Right now, this means within about 75 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.

Some weeks there is a sizable pile of things up for grabs at 8pm. If you’re in the area and want to do a little extra shopping, swing by at about ten til (or wait until then to come get your own order). There may be things for sale you want, and you can save a fellow customer a charge to their account. Our volunteer workers get to split things up as a benefit of working, but paying customers do come first. And it usually seems there are several things sitting there that were in high demand that week.

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.

So, that’s ALG in a nutshell. If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or even complements, please send them my way!

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!

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 25


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

Here we are, nearly to September! If you’re one of the 97% of people in town affected by the start of the school year, I hope it’s been a smooth transition for you. Game days are nearly upon us, too, so the sleepy summer town of Athens has truly been replaced with the bustling city of Athens.

Thinking of all the growth of both the town and the university in recent years, I want to shine a light on one of the unequivocally great areas of growth: UGA’s sustainable agriculture program. It didn’t even exist a few years ago, and already it’s become one of the premier programs of its kind in the country. Not only are students getting immersed in it full time, but the program also offers workshops and classes for new and long-time growers alike, all across the state. Looking at the calendar of events here: http://sustainagga.org/news.html, I see workshops of small ponds, livestock management, attracting honeybees and other pollinators to your garden, growing cover crops, and field trips to working sustainable farms. All of these are open to the public, and you can find details and registration links there on the calendar.

They also offer a journeyman training program for interested beginning growers, even those who (as I did) want to start part time. They have a whole section of information and links elsewhere for people interested in small farms and other small food producing operations, located here: http://sustainagga.org/SmallFarms.html. That page is one of the most comprehensive resources for beginners I’ve seen anywhere, and I wish I had something like that when I was transitioning my large garden to a market microfarm some fifteen years ago.

It’s wonderful to see so much progress in the program in so little time, especially since the university (and Georgia agriculture in general) had such a reputation for being anti-organic for so long. The overall emphasis is still overwhelmingly in favor of industrial agriculture, but no longer exclusively. And it’ll only get better from here.

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!

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!