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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Availability for March 22


Hello from Las Vegas! My off-farm job has me on the road this week at a trade show here. It’s my first trip here, and being the nerd that I am, I haven’t done much other than visit the Star Trek Experience. Something tells me that the flaming ribs they served me at the restaurant there were not organic (and they were literally on fire as they were brought to the table), but they were tasty nonetheless.

The produce listing will continue to be in flux over the next few weeks as the spring season gets underway. There are fewer leafy greens this week, but there are a few new items, including the first of the asparagus crop from Mills Farm. We also have eggs from both Mills and Double B farm listed, so those of you who have been coming by early to see if we had some on the table can now just order them directly.

Things grow slowly this time of year, but a day comes when it seems like everything doubles in size overnight and there is more than enough to go around. Until that day comes, just get your order in early for the best chances at what our growers do have.

Thanks again for all your support, and we’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 7pm at Gosford Wine!

Availability for March 15


We’re all back from deep south Georgia, where we attended the Georgia Organics conference. The annual conferences are wonderful affairs for both growers and eaters, and this year was no exception.

The keynote speaker this year was Joel Salatin, who is at the forefront of non-industrial food production at his farm, Polyface Farms in Virginia. In addition to speaking Friday night, he led an on-farm field day Saturday, hosted by a family farm near Douglas that is following in Joel’s footsteps.

Joel had many, many inspirational things to show and tell, but one of the more striking stories was his description of how his farm has moved this past year to an internet based buying program that allows local families to conveniently buy his products every six weeks. Moving to this new model has brought so many new customers to him that it has already become his primary retail market. He firmly believes that this new system, which has worked so well for him, is the future for farms getting their products into the hands of local families. The efficiencies it creates for both the farm and the family approaches (and maybe passes) the distribution efficiencies of even Wal-Mart.

Of course, you here in Athens have known that for over five years now. And today’s listing marks the start of the sixth year that Athens Locally Grown has been bringing you the bounty of many farms and producers surrounding Athens (now up to sixteen!). We anticipate continued growth this year, in farms, in variety of produce, and in families being served. It really is an exciting time to be doing what we’re doing, as the small natural farm is moving from the specialized niche to a sought after mainstream way for people to get their food.

Anyway, on to the listings! We do have a number of new items, though as this is the first week of the spring season, many of them are in very limited quantities. We have baby lettuce mix, mustard, micro beets, spinach, and arugula new this week from McMullan Family Farm. Double B farm has some goldenseal and echanacea products made right on the farm. Songbird Designs has several new soaps. We also have dairy products from Milky Way dairy, milled products from Mills Farm, coffee from 1000 Faces, processed foods from TaylOrganics, and other products I’m sure I’m forgetting.

Oh—many of you have been asking about Whole Earth Granary, and their lack of products the last couple weeks. I did speak with them a few days ago, and discovered that they are recovering from a devastating burglary. Someone took everything—including the ovens! They are in the process of putting their business back together, and they hope to return very soon.

As always, we greatly appreciate your support. It has brought us to our sixth year, has brought new growers to Athens, and has brought other communities to open markets like ours. The latest is the Cumberland Farmers Market in Sewanee, Tennessee, which has begun taking orders this week. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 7pm at Gosford Wine!

Closed This Week


This is just a quick reminder that we are closed this week, due to the annual Georgia Organics conference which begins Thursday way down in Douglas, Georgia.

We will return next week, and it is looking good for the first of the spring harvest then as well. See you then!

Availability for March 1


We have a week without fresh veggies this week, but there are still 101 items listed on the website, including several new items. The growers have been listing their own products on the new website, but I’ve been keeping an eye on what goes up (using the optional “What’s New” section).

New this week are bouquets of daffodils from McMullan Family Farm. He doesn’t have any greens, but he expects to the week after next (we’ll be taking next week off, as I’ll explain later). He also has more ground beef, pecans, and walnuts.

Double B Farms has listed several flavors of homemade lip balm (using wax from his own hives) in addition to the fresh and dried mushrooms, mushroom logs, soaps, honey and candles. If you’ve already ordered from Double B, you’ll have found some samples of the lip balm in your bags.

Split Creek returns with raw goat milk, award-winning cheeses, fudge, and soap. Diamond Hill is offering raw cow’s milk. Mills Farm has milled products and dried tomatoes. 1000 Faces has coffee with local connections roasted to order. Soangbird Designs has wonderful soaps and candles. And TaylOrganics has processed ciders, pickles, jellies, etc.

As I mentioned, we’ll be taking next week off due to the annual Georgia Organics conference, which begins Thursday morning way down in Douglas Georgia. Several of us growers are trekking down there, and some of you may be planning on it as well (it’s by no means just for growers, and the locally grown feast Friday night will be well worth the drive). It’s not too late to register yourself if you’re interested—you can find out more at www.georgiaorganics.org

We’ll see you this Thursday at Gosford Wine from 4:30 to 7pm, and then we’ll return the week after next. We expect to have the first of the spring veggies then. Thanks for all your support!

Availability for February 22


I spent pretty much the entire weekend outside working the vegetable beds. It really felt nice to be back in the dirt again. As many of you know, I took the last year off from growing so I could work on the rewrite of the Locally Grown site as well as FarmNotebook.com, a site for growers to manage their plantings and harvests, and keeping their customers informed. With most of that work behind me, I’m back to the garden.

Naturally, after sitting for so long, the tiller wouldn’t start. Considering that it’s older than I am (and half of it is older than my parents), I guess that’s not too surprising. It’s at the shop now, getting a brand new engine. Hopefully that’ll mean we’ll get another 35 years out of it.

In the meantime, I got out the tiny Mantis tiller and got to work. Two beds are now prepped and planted, and we’ll have Amish snap peas, purple and orange carrots, purple and red radishes, golden turnips, and albino and chiogga beets before too long. You can see for yourself what’s going on at my place at boannsbanks.farmnotebook.com. I’ve given the other Locally Grown growers free use of that system, so maybe you’ll get to see what’s going on at all of the member farms in pretty much real time.

There isn’t a whole lot again this week, but you will find a couple new items on the list. McMullan Family Farm has a few bags of mixed asian greens, perfect for braising. Double B Farm is offering inoculated shiitake logs if you wanted to try growing some for yourself this year.

In addition, we’ve got cabbages, coffee, nuts, beef, soaps, candles, and jams and jellies.

One final note: the annual Georgia Organics conference will be going on in three weeks down in Douglas, Georgia. It unfortunately starts on a Thursday this year, so we’ll be closing down Locally Grown that week (March 8th). I’ll be sure to give you several more warnings between now and then.

Thanks for all your support! I know many of you have been out there spreading the word about Locally Grown. It looks like this could be a good year for supply, so keep letting your friends know about us. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30pm to 7:00pm at Gosford Wine!

Local growers selling locally good for all


The recent trend of local growers selling their produce, poultry, pork and beef locally, keeping local dollars in the local economy, is gaining momentum and attention.

Availability for February 15


It is a very light week this week, as the recent freezes are combining with the normal dip in productivity as the overwintered items run out before the spring items come in.

We do have some new items this week, including baby cabbage heads from McMullan Family Farms (our sole entry in the greens category for the week).

We also welcome a new grower to Locally Grown this week. Double B Farm is located in Oxford, Georgia (to the south-west of Athens), and started operations last season. Their spring veggies are still to young to harvest, but they are offering dried and powdered shitake mushrooms from their own cultured logs, honey from hives located throughout Madison county, and wax, candles, and soaps made from thier own beeswax. You can see a photo of their shitake logs in the “Our Growers” section of the website.

We’ve also got milk, buttermilk, and cream from Milky Way Dairy, soaps and candles from Songbird Designs, milled products from Mills Farm, and jams, jellies, and pickles from TaylOrganics.

Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to the “Weblog” portion of the website. Some entries, such as the weekly availability announcements and breaking Locally Grown new, get emailed out to all the accounts, but it’s also a space where I’ll post links to upcoming events, news stories, and other items you might find of interest. Those will appear on the website only, so take a look at the weblog when you’re visiting the site to place your order.

Thanks for all your support, and we’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 7pm at Gosford Wine!

The Myth of Grass-Fed Beef


Julia: Hi, do you have any grass-fed beef?

Butcher: Hmm, grass-fed? I don’t think you can feed grass to cows.

Climate Change Speaker Series


Furman University and Upstate Forever are kicking off their new speaker series on climate change next month with a presentation by Jim Kunstler on “Climate Change and the End of Oil: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century”. The talk is from 7:00 to 8:30pm on Wednesday, March 14th.

Furman University is right up the interstate from us in Greenville, SC. It’s not that far—I’ve made the drive in an hour (granted, my wife was in heavy labor at the time).

For more information, visit this link.

Availability for February 8


The cold nights and overcast days have slowed the growth of the greens in the gardens, so you’ll see that we don’t have as much this week as we did last week. While Athens just got a bit of slush, Hartwell got several inches of sleet and snow, and that’ll make for a slow week.

Still we do have one new item: the first arugula of the season. On top of that is broccoli greens, some more lettuce, beets, shelled pecans and walnuts (and whole walnuts for those of you with strong crackers). There is also soap and candles (Ansley has been busy adding new photos to the website), milled products, baked goods, and processed foods.

If any of you have friends in Atlanta who are jealous of your source for locally grown foods here in Athens, you can now point them toward Moore Farms and Friends, who are starting taking orders this week using this website, with four pickup locations in Atlanta. Their website is http://moorefarms.locallygrown.net—pass the word!