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 July 2


Hello! I just walked in the door after competing in the Iron AthChef event at AthFest, where Craig Page and I started setting up our outdoor kitchens at nine this morning, started prepping our locally grown ingredients at 3:30, and then had an hour to cook five dishes starting at 5, using our secret ingredient. That turned out to be whole pastured chickens, donated by Greendale Farms.

In the end, Craig beat me, but just barely, and local food came out a big, big winner.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it later, but I’m just exhausted so I’ll open market now and go find my bed. I’ll see you on Thursday!

Availability for June 25


To Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
http://athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown

Recipes

Sweet Zucchini Crumble

Silky smooth baked zucchini is the surprising filling in this sweet dessert. Like the best apple crumble, this dessert has a tender, lemony-sweet, spiced filling just waiting to be discovered beneath its irresistible, crunchy crust. Don’t count on having leftovers. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 6 to 8

4 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups shortening, softened, or butter, cold
6–8 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 4 large zucchini)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Stir the flour, 2 cups of the sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add the shortening or butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture looks like coarse oatmeal.
3. Pour half of the mixture into a 9×13-inch cake pan. Using your fingers or a rubber spatula, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside.
4. Combine the zucchini and lemon juice in a large pot over high heat and cook until zucchini is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer for 1 minute more. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved flour mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove the pot from the heat to cool for 10 minutes.
5. Pour the zucchini mixture over the baked crust and sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture. Return the pan to the oven and bake until it is lightly browned and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes.

Market News

One thing I get asked often (and typically in the middle of winter, of all times) is “where is all the fruit?” For everything, there is a season, and the season for fruit is… right about now. The last of the strawberries are on their way out, but the same heat that is doing in the strawberries has also been ripening the blueberries, blackberries, plums, and peaches. And we have all of them listed this week. This is the first time ever peaches have been offered through Athens Locally Grown, I believe. Peaches are very, very hard to grow organically here, thanks to many decades of monoculture growing creating the perfect conditions for pests and diseases. All conventionally grown peaches are sprayed, and the problem is bad enough that many Georgia peach orchards have been cut down (leaving relatively few peaches still being grown in the Peach State). Michael McMullan at McMullan Family Farm in Hartwell has stepped up to the challenge, and has 100 pounds listed this week.

I saw several news stories this past week proclaiming that Georgia’s blueberry crop has been all but wiped out this year, due to storm and other damage. That might be true for the big commercial orchards down south, but here in Athens it’s been a fantastic growing season for blueberries. Many of our growers have some, but perhaps none more than Jim McBride of Jim’s Farm on the east side of Athens. Only trouble is Jim’s health troubles are preventing him from making the most of the harvest, and he’d love some help. If you want to help with the blueberry harvest, especially if you like getting paid in berries, contact Jim at jimsfarm@windstream.net





Finally, local food gets a prime spot in the middle of the action at AthFest this year. Sunday at 5pm in a special outdoor kitchen on Washington Street, Criag Page (director of P.L.A.C.E.) and I will be competing head-to-head Iron Chef style cooking locally grown food purchased directly from growers at Athens Locally Grown and the Athens Farmers Market. We each have a budget to stock our pantries with veggies, herbs, and anything else we might need, and we’ll be shopping at the two markets. Then, at 5pm, a special secret ingredient will be unveiled, and we’ll each have to produce a number of dishes spotlighting that ingredient and using the pantry items we had previously purchased. We’ll be there a few hours ahead of time getting set up and doing some basic prep work if you want to come down early, or you can arrive by 5 to cheer us both on. Our dishes will be judged by farmer Jay Payne (of Cedar Grove Farm), District 1 Commissioner Doug Lowry (a staunch supporter of building a local food system), and a musical guest (I’ve forgotten who). I’m very nervous, but it ought to be a great time. It’s free to watch. There’s no need for a wristband or anything like that. We’d love to see you there!

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and local food. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

Our guest this week for Meet the Grower is Geoff & Lisa Lewis from Dancing Sprout Farm in Athens. The Lewis family is hosting our next Farmer For a Day event in July. If you can’t join us then, you’ll get a chance to meet them on Thursday.

The Athens Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at Bishop Park from 8am to noon. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Our third Farmer for a Day event is on Saturday, July 11th at Dancing Sprout Farm in Athens. You can make reservations for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

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!

Availability for June 18


To Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown

Recipes

Colcannon

You’ll find this classic dish on the menu at any real Irish restaurant. It’s a recipe that takes two staples of the island, potatoes and kale (or sometimes cabbage), and transforms them into a dish truly worthy of the word classic. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds medium boiling potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)
2 teaspoons salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 1/2–2 pounds kale (15–20 large leaves)
1 cup chopped leeks or scallions
1 cup half-and-half or milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Put the whole potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and boil until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash. Put in a heatproof dish and keep warm in a 200°F oven.
2. Meanwhile, put the kale in a pot, cover with water, and bring to boil. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and cook until the kale is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and finely chop the kale.
3. Place the leeks or scallions in a small pot, cover with the half-and-half, and cook over low heat until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Add the kale to the warm potatoes and mix well. Add the half-and-half with leeks or scallions. Add pepper; season with salt.
5. Spoon a little of the melted butter over each serving and serve hot.

Market News

With more people ordering, and order sizes growing, we’re starting to have a problem again with people not arriving to pick up their orders on Thursday. Please remember that for both legal and logistical reasons (the legal being the most important, of course), I can not hold your items beyond 8pm on Thursday. We start calling those who haven’t arrived by 7:30, but most of the time 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 my volunteers, and then we finish loading up the truck and leave. Since I had already paid the growers on your behalf earlier in the day, you are still responsible for paying for any items you order but do not come pick up. If this happens, I charge your account, and the total is added to your next order.

Here 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, 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, there’s often 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 always seems there are several things sitting there that were in high demand that week.

I do wish that I could be more flexible and accommodating for those who missed the window, but one of the legal “loopholes” we have to operate under is that I never take possession of your orders. You are buying directly from the growers, who bring their items to our pickup location, and then you arrive to pick it all up. The volunteers and I are there to facilitate and orchestrate the process, but if we go beyond that then we fall under the category of food resellers and distributors, which means we’d need the same equipment you’d find at the grocery store: refrigerators with charting temperature recorders, hot and cold running water, freezers, stainless steel tables and fixtures, etc. In short… Athens Locally Grown would cease to exist.





Well, with that out of the way, I won’t delay the opening of market any further. There are just under 700 items for sale this week. The summer items are coming on strong, and I see heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, squash & zucchini, peppers, lots of beans, and more. A few things you won’t yet see but might be looking for: corn (the March snowstorm killed the first several plantings, but more is on the way), eggplant (they need a few more weeks of heat before they begin producing), and okra (they come even later, and really reach their peak in late summer).

One last thing: Catarina Passidomo is compiling recipes from local-food-lovers to put into a cookbook, and would love input from both the farmers and customers in the ALG network. Any recipe that highlights local ingredients (from any season) will be considered. In addition to the recipe, she invites that contributors provide a short story, memory, or description to accompany it. The cookbook will be available for sale at the Athens Farmers’ Market as soon as all recipes are compiled and the books published, and sales will benefit the farmers market. Anyone interested in contributing to this project can email her at cpassidomo@gmail.com.

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and local food. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

We currently don’t have anyone scheduled for our “Meet the Grower” table this week. Someone may volunteer before Thursday, however.

If you’ll be in town for AthFest, be sure to swing by the special outdoor kitchen on Washington Street on Sunday afternoon, June 28th, where Craig Page (director of P.L.A.C.E.) and I will be competing head-to-head Iron Chef style cooking locally grown food purchased directly from growers at Athens Locally Grown and the Athens Farmers Market. I’ll have more details next week, but we’ll have a locally grown “mystery ingredient”, nearly all of our pantry items will be from ALG and the AFM, we’ll have local dignitary judges, and a whole lot of fun.

The Athens Farmers Market has re-opened for the season, and is every Saturday morning at Bishop Park. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Our third Farmer for a Day event is on Saturday, July 11th at Dancing Sprout Farm in Athens. You can make reservations for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

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!

Availability for June 11


Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
http://athens.locallygrown.net

Recipes

Leek and Mushroom Sauce with Thyme over Pasta

Mushrooms and leeks work very well together. Although this is superb with wild mushrooms like chanterelles and morels, any more common kind, such as shiitake, crimini or portabella, will do. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 2 to 4

1/2 pound mushrooms
1/2 pound fresh linguine or other thin pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Brush or briefly wash the mushrooms and cut them into thick slices, including the stems.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, salt, and pepper; sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic. Cover; cook until the leeks are tender, about 5 more minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms and wine; gently simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
5. Add the pasta and thyme to the mushroom mixture; toss well. Top with grated Parmesan.

Market News

It’s already getting late, so I’ll be brief. There are about 200 lbs of tomatoes listed this week, many varieties of summer squash and zucchini, a good number of potatoes, the first of the heirloom garlic heads, several types of beans, some peppers, and that’s not to even mention all of the spring greens, salad mixes, carrots, and other veggies that are still abundant. The growing season has been very, very good so far, and the variety reflects it. If you’ve been ordering only things you’re familiar and comfortable with, you’ve got a great opportunity to try a bag or two of something new. If you’re not sure what to do with it once you’ve got it in your hand, don’t be shy about asking us or the grower. We all like to experiment, and will be happy to share our tips.

About 18 of us had a great time at Greendale Farm on Saturday. We moved several portable pens of meat chickens to fresh pasture (they move them twice daily), their laying hens to fresh pasture (along with their large house, built on skids and pulled with a tractor), and moved the pigs to fresh pasture. We broke for a great lunch provided by Daily Grocery and Russ & Christel Green, then had a bit of a walk around the place and talked about the logistics and demands of starting up a brand new farm like theirs. We still have four more “Farmer for a Day” events scheduled throughout the summer and fall, and we’d love to see you there!

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and local food. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

We currently don’t have anyone scheduled for our “Meet the Grower” table this week.

If you’ll be in town for AthFest, be sure to swing by the special outdoor kitchen on Sunday afternoon, June 28th, where Craig Page (director of P.L.A.C.E.) and I will be competing head-to-head Iron Chef style cooking locally grown food purchased directly from growers at Athens Locally Grown and the Athens Farmers Market. I’ll have more details in the coming weeks, but it’s already shaping up to be a lot of fun.

The Athens Farmers Market has re-opened for the season, and is every Saturday morning at Bishop Park. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Our third Farmer for a Day event is on Saturday, July 11th at Dancing Sprout Farm in Athens. You can make reservations for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

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!

Availability for June 4


Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
http://athens.locallygrown.net

Recipes

Young Turnip Salad with Apples and Lemon Dressing

Raw young turnips are sweet, with a tender-firm crunch. In this refreshing salad, lemon juice and tart, crispy apples accentuate both of these qualities. For a sweet treat, try tossing in some raisins, or top with chopped and freshly toasted pecans or walnuts. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup peeled and grated raw young turnips (about 2 medium turnips)
1 cup peeled and grated tart apples (about 1 large apple)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Toss the turnips, apples, parsley, lemon juice, and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Market News

Today was the hottest day of the year so far, and the summer veggies are starting to roll in. Even though we do have a few tomatoes and peppers, one thing that surprises new market shoppers every year is the lack of tomatoes when June arrives. The summer heat hits us so fast that it’s easy to forget that just a week and a half ago, we had lows in the 40s (and upper 30s out at my place). Tomatoes don’t really thrive until the nights are consistently in the 50s, and then it takes a few weeks before they start pumping out the fruit. So, we’ll have a few early season varieties over the next few weeks, and then the heirlooms and big slicers should start coming in by the end of June. Peppers have the same growth habit, so it’ll be a few weeks for them as well. Eggplant, however, come even later. And okra, later still.

In the meantime, we’ve got over 640 items for you to choose from. I mentioned my excitement over onions last week, and I’m equally happy to see some potatoes trickle in as well. I’ll have lots more to say about the wealth of potatoes we have later on.

Our next Farmer For a Day event is happening this coming Saturday, June 6, at Greendale Farm in Madison. You all have seen the industrial chicken houses that dot our countryside, making us the biggest chicken producing region of the country. Here’s your chance to see chickens raised in a humane and sustainable way. If you’d like to join us, add your reservations to your order.

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

Our guest this week for Meet the Grower is Melissa Powell from Oak Leaf Farm in Bostwick. Oak Leaf Farm is one of our egg producers, and their multi-colored eggs have been very popular since they’ve joined the market.

The Athens Farmers Market has re-opened for the season, and is every Saturday morning at Bishop Park. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Our second Farmer for a Day event is on Saturday, June 6th at Greendale Farm in Madison, where they pasture raise chickens for both eggs and meat. You can make reservations for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

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!

Availability for May 28


Contact Us!

Athens Locally Grown
http://athens.locallygrown.net

Recipes

Onion or Scallion and Orange Salsa

This salsa is fantastic on anything grilled, or as an addition to a salad plate, over lettuce, or over cottage cheese. The milder scallion version is fantastic on lettuce or endive cups with a salty and creamy cheese such as soft feta, chèvre, or blue. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup minced scallions or onions (about 3 scallions or 1 medium onion)
2 large or 3–4 medium oranges peeled, seeds removed, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped chile pepper (or more or less, to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1. Put the chopped scallion or onion in a strainer and run under cold water. Drain well.
2. Stir all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Grilled Scallions with Sesame Oil

The intense heat of the grill or broiler caramelizes the natural sugars in scallions as they cook, making them exquisitely sweet and tender. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 2

8 scallions, greens trimmed to 5 inches, cut in half lengthwise
toasted sesame oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the broiler or lightly oiled grill to medium-high heat. Arrange the scallions on a shallow baking sheet or aluminum foil.
2. Use a pastry brush to coat the scallions with a thin layer of sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper. Broil or grill until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes.

Market News

We have over 600 products available this week. The first of the summer items, still being grown in greenhouses, are showing up. Super-early tomatoes and summer squash can be found, but you’ll have to act fast. The strawberries are still coming, but this may be the last week for asparagus. The mix of spring and summer is great for the variety, but as some things are on their way out and others are just arriving, the quantities of both can be limited.

One of my absolute favorite farmers market items is just coming into its peak, though, and will be with us for a while. I’m speaking of the lowly onion, but it really is so wonderful to have a variety of fresh onions available. I use onions for pretty much every meal, and when they’re out of season and I have to get storage onions from the store, I’m always disappointed. They’re dry, sharp in flavor, and many of them have bad spots in the middle. But right now there are a good half dozen varieties available, and it’s the perfect time to experiment with all the great things you can do with onions. We’ve got a range of sizes & flavors, so have fun!

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and for cooking at least some of your food with local ingredients. Whether you’re a 100% locavore or just get a thing or two, every little bit helps our community become a little bit more sustainable. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

Our guest this week for Meet the Grower is Christel & Russ Green from Greendale Farm in Madison. Greendale Farm is one of our pastured chicken growers, and is also hosting our next Farmer For a Day event. If you can’t join us then, you’ll get a chance to meet the growers on Thursday.

If you’d like to take a little road trip and visit 19 farms, some of them Athens Locally Grown grown growers, the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is holding a full weekend of tours throughout upstate South Carolina next weekend, May 30 & 31. You can find full details, a list of participating farms, and maps on their website.

The Athens Farmers Market has re-opened for the season, and is every Saturday morning at Bishop Park. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Our second Farmer for a Day event is on Saturday, June 6th at Greendale Farm in Madison, where they pasture raise chickens for both eggs and meat. You can make reservations for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

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!

Availability for May 21


Contact Us!

Athens Locally Grown
http://athens.locallygrown.net

Recipes

Steamed Asparagus with Balsamic Butter and Pine Nuts

Perhaps the best way to honor the delectable simplicity of tender-crisp, just-steamed asparagus spears is to prepare them with a light touch. In this recipe a touch of butter makes the bright green spears glisten, a sprinkling of tangy-sweet balsamic vinegar brings out their sweetness, and a scattering of crispy nuts complements their unique silky-firm texture. This is elegant—and a cinch to prepare. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 3 to 4

1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts or slivered almonds
1 pound asparagus, tough ends peeled or snapped off
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Place a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts or slivered almonds. Toast the nuts on the dry skillet, stirring constantly, until they are lightly browned and begin to smell toasty, 3 to 5 minutes. (Be careful not to overtoast them, as they will burn very quickly once toasted.) Remove the skillet from heat and immediately transfer the nuts to a heatproof dish. Set the dish aside to let the nuts cool completely.
2. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket, set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water, and cover. Steam until the spears are tender-firm, 4 to 7 minutes depending on thickness. Remove spears from the water and arrange on individual plates.
3. Combine the melted butter and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour this mixture over the asparagus and sprinkle on the toasted nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Market News

Thank you everyone for the overwhelming response to my call for volunteers to help fill orders on Thursdays. There are over 1800 accounts receiving this email, and I’m pretty sure half of you offered to help. If I haven’t responded personally to your reply to me, I have put you on my “interested” list, but have already filled our immediate needs. I’ll call more of you in later in the season, though. It’s nice to have a large pool of trained people to call to when the need arises. My goal is to have enough workers so that no one has to wait more than 15 minutes to get their order filled. There is always a rush right at 4:30, though, so if you arrive right then, your wait might be longer. Keep in mind that orders are filled in the order they are placed and not in the order you arrive, so there’s no need to get there right when we open. If your schedule if flexible, there is often no wait at all from 6pm to 7:30.

Our first “Farmer for a Day” event was scheduled for today at Roots Farm, but it was postponed due to the weather. When it gets rescheduled, we’ll give preferential spots to those registered for today, and if there are still slots open, I’ll let the rest of you know. Our next one is only a few weeks away at Greendale Farm in Madison.

We’ve seen an upswing in the number of no-shows on Thursday. Remember that you’re responsible for what you order, even if you forget or otherwise are unable to pick them up on Thursday. I’ll try calling everyone who hasn’t arrived by 7:30, using the phone number for the account (check or change yours on the Your Account page of the site), but I usually reach only one out of every ten people I call, with the rest getting answering machines and voice mail. I am not legally allowed to take your items home with me to try and deliver them to you later, so if I haven’t reached you by 8pm and your things are still there, I am forced to give them away to anyone who can use them. And, since I’ve already paid the growers on your behalf, I have to charge your account for the items.

Please take a spin through the New Products carousel on the website. There are lots of new items, a new grower, and plenty of goodies to go around.

Thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and for doing your part to cultivate the thriving local food system we have here in Athens. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

Our guest this week for Meet the Grower is Ed Lane from GranCoffee Roasting Co. in Bogart. GranCoffee has been selling through Athens Locally Grown only a few weeks, and is our second supplier of direct trade coffee beans, which they roast themselves in small batches.

Our second Farmer for a Day event is on Saturday, June 6th at Greendale Farm in Madison, where they pasture raise chickens for both eggs and meat. You can make reservations for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

The Athens Farmers Market has re-opened for the season, and is every Saturday morning at Bishop Park. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

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!

Call for Volunteers & Calendar Correction


I’ve got two short items I didn’t want to wait until Sunday to send to you all.

First, in last week’s email, I referred to the Saturday Farmers Market, and then said it was happening on Sunday. Of course, that’d be silly. The Saturday market is indeed on Saturday, from 8am until noon at Bishop Park in Athens. That market is a separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but there is quite an overlap of growers between the two.

Secondly, as Athens Locally Grown business picks up for the season, we’ll be needing more market volunteers. I haven’t put out a call for volunteers since last year, so I’m going to assume that people’s schedules have changed since then and start my list over.

If you’d like to work from 3:30 to 8pm on Thursdays, helping growers unload and then filling customer orders in exchange for a $50 market credit, please let me know and I’ll put you on my list. Please do so even if you’ve contacted me before. I’ll begin rotating new volunteers in starting next week to get people trained up, and then add to the permanent positions as the orders continue to grow.

Thanks!

Availability for May 14


Contact Us!

Athens Locally Grown
http://athens.locallygrown.net

Recipes

Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas with Carrots and Honey Glaze

The fresh, summery flavor of sugar snap peas is set off by the sweetness of lightly cooked carrots and a honey glaze. Sweet simplicity. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 3 to 4

1/2–1 pound sugar snap peas
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove the strings from both edges of the pea pods.
2. Cut each carrot into thirds. Slice each third, lengthwise, into quarters so that the slices are about the size and shape of the sugar snap peas.
3. Place the carrots in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water, cover, and steam until they are just crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the carrots in a colander.
4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar snap peas; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the carrots. Continue to cook and stir until the peas are bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the honey and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly, until the peas and carrots are thoroughly glazed with the honey.
5. Remove the skillet from heat. Season generously with pepper.

Market News

The last dangers of frost are now behind us for another year, and the nights are warm enough now to keep even the tomato plants happy. If you’re still looking to fill a few spaces in your garden, we have (among many other live plants) tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings. Many of them are old heirloom varieties that produce fruit that is exceptional in flavor and appearance. Beware, though: growing heirlooms is one sure way to get hooked on gardening, and before you know it you’ll be wanting to sell your excess through Athens Locally Grown. If you haven’t started a garden, why not dig one hole and throw a tomato plant in it. You know, just for fun.

One of the newest innovations in sustainable farming is the “distributed farm”. There are entire CSAs fed not from one single farm, but by a group of growers who plant gardens throughout their town, using their member’s yards for space. Why have one community garden when the entire neighborhood can be a garden? It’s working well in those areas that have tried it, but one of the biggest resistances they’ve had is from subdivision covenants and other local regulations that effectively criminalize agriculture. We’ve got the same problem here. Just ask the Athens Locally Grown members who got ticketed for having a few laying hens within Athens city limits.

Another recent innovation is the explosion of “local food blogs”, diary-like websites that chronicle the writer’s experience finding or growing local food and cooking it, often with beautiful photography. There are several in Athens, but today I want to point out two of them. The first is from one of our own growers, Nature’s Harmony Farm. Tim and Liz Young began farming only last year, but they didn’t do anything by halves. They went all in, and have been documenting their adventures, both good and bad, on their weblog. Now their site has become a destination for other aspiring farmers and lovers of good food worldwide, and is worth a regular visit from all Athens Locally Grown members who want to know what sort of love and effort goes into raising animals for meat in a way that modern factory farms have totally moved away from. Second, Twin Yolks is written by a recent transplant to Athens and a recent convert to local foods. She expresses her wonder and joy at all Athens has to offer, writes about the meals she makes with ingredients she purchased at Athens Locally Grown (and now the Saturday market too), takes great photos, and even provides recipes. She’ll inspire you to find the same joy in your food. Of course, just because you’re reading this email, I know you already do.

Thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and for doing your part to cultivate the thriving local food system we have here in Athens. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

Our guest this week for Meet the Grower is Jennif Chandler from Shady Brook Farm in Danielsville. Jennif is responsible for all of the lamb available at our market. She has also recently begun “farming out” her sheep flock to people needing large lawns and other greenspaces neatly trimmed. They really are the best lawn mowers money can buy.

Our first Farmer for a Day event is a week from today, Sunday May 17th at Roots Farm. You can make reservations for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

The Athens Farmers Market has re-opened for the season, and is every Saturday morning at Bishop Park. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

The Comer Farmers Market has also begun, as have markets in Watkinsville & Winder (I believe).

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!

Availability for May 7


Contact Us!

Athens Locally Grown
http://athens.locallygrown.net

Recipes

Baked Beet-and-Carrot Burgers with Brown Rice, Sunflower Seeds, and Cheddar Cheese

If you like veggie burgers, you’ll love this recipe. Sweet beets and carrots give luscious flavor to these baked patties—together with pungent onion, snappy Cheddar cheese, and lots of toasty nuts and seeds. Great on wheat buns with mayo! Additional flour and egg can be substituted for the rice. Angelic Organics Kitchen (adapted from the Rose Valley Farm Food Book).

Makes 12 patties

butter for greasing the baking sheet
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups peeled, grated beets (1–2 medium beets)
2 cups grated carrots (about 4 carrots)
1/2 cup minced onion (about 1 medium onion)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/8–1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with butter.
2. Place a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir them on the dry skillet just until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning them. Immediately remove from heat and transfer the toasted seeds to a dish to cool.
3. Return the skillet to the heat. Add the sunflower seeds and stir them on the dry skillet just until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning them. Immediately transfer them to the dish with the sesame seeds.
4. Combine the beets, carrots, and onion in a large bowl. Stir in the toasted sunflower and sesame seeds, eggs, rice, Cheddar cheese, oil, flour, parsley, soy sauce or tamari, and garlic (your hands work best here). Add cayenne (use 1/4 teaspoon for spicier burgers) and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 patties and arrange them in rows on the baking sheet.
6. Bake the patties until brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Unless they are very large and thick, it should not be necessary to turn them. Serve alone or on buns.

Market News

We have 580 products listed this week, which I think is a new record for us. There is a wide array of heirloom lettuces, so if all you’ve had is the usual iceberg and romaine, you’ve got a great chance to try something new you just can’t find at the grocery. There are several offerings of young beets this week, too, and I promise you these are like no beets you’ll find at the store. There is more asparagus, snap peas, many types of flower bouquets, a variety of herbs, more spinach, cabbages, kales, and plenty of other goodies.

The days have suddenly gotten hot, but the nights are cool and we’ve gotten just enough rain to keep the plants happy. Still, if the days stay hot like this, the cool weather items (some of which are just starting to produce) may stop producing at any time. Some of the baby cabbages in my garden, for instance, have already gone straight to flower.

There are a couple items I’ve been forgetting to mention. First is we’ve had complementary coffee at pickup each week, thanks to 1000 Faces Coffee. Please help yourself if you’d like. Also, the state legislature did craft a bill that officially put the market property up for sale. The wheels of government turn slowly, however, so we’ll be able to remain there until likely September at the very earliest, and potentially even later than that. I’ll keep you informed on the state’s progress on selling the property.

Thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and for doing your part to cultivate the thriving local food system we have here in Athens. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

Our guest this week for Meet the Grower is Melissa Tufts from Two Swallows Farm in Comer. Melissa is one of the founding farmers of Athens Locally Grown, and has been with us since 2002. Melissa grows a wide array of vegetables, but is best known for her array of garden seedlings and other transplants. Her husband Michael’s traditional Shaker brooms are objects of both functionality and beauty.

The Athens Farmers Market is reopening for the season on Saturday May 9th at Bishop Park. It’s a totally separate entity from Athens Locally Grown, but you’ll find many of the same growers at both. And of course, you can learn more about that market on their website.

Our first Farmer for a Day event is May 17th at Roots Farm. You can make reservations for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

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!