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ALG Market is NOT Opening This Week


I wish I had better news to report, but I’m afraid Athens Locally Grown is going to be taking at least one week off. The Athens YMCA has reclaimed their space, and I’m still on the hunt for a new temporary home for us. We’ve grown so much over the last two months, about eight times larger than before all this craziness, and there’s just no way we can safely fit inside Ben’s Bikes right now.

I do still have several leads I’m following up on, but we’ve been turned away from all the obviously perfect spaces. We’ve been offered other spaces that have turned out to be too small or otherwise impractical for how we have to operate right now. I’m looking into some vacant retail spaces, event spaces, and churches still, and I’m hopeful something will turn up this week so we can return next week.

Many of you have offered leads, some of which I’m still chasing, and I thank all of you for that. You’ve had some awesome out of the box ideas I’m grateful for.

Maybe you have contacts with a vacant space that could host us for a while? Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • a room large enough to hold our 65 plastic shelving units and about a dozen giant coolers, with space to move around and allow our growers to drop things off with minimal contact. The room at the Y was about 40×60, perhaps a bit smaller. We’d need to keep things there for the duration, since broken down and packed tightly they completely fill a 20 foot box truck. This has been the biggest hurdle so far.
  • easy access for our customers, ideally one where they would not have to leave their car
  • ideally a path between the room and the cars that is protected from the elements, so we can operate in the rain
  • Ideally centrally located in Athens
  • Our current schedule has us there every Thursday. Volunteers arrive at 3pm to set up, growers show up at 3:30 to drop off, and customers arrive between 5 and 8 to pick up.

The school system is not allowing outside groups in right now. Many churches are the same. Event spaces are empty right now, but most are champing at the bit to open back up again and are hesitant to commit to hosting us. I’ve always operated the market to break even (at best), so without major restructuring, we can’t pay rent. We can offer a bit of a food credit (same as we give the volunteers) for someone who can host us.

In the meantime, please support our growers at the other markets that are now back up and running, or at their own locations. The Comerian takes online orders for Saturday pickup at the bakery here: https://www.thecomerian.com/online-ordering. Dawson Farms has been contacting their regular milk customers to offer alternative pickups. The Athens Farmers Market is holding their Saturday market once again in Bishop Park. It’s not anything like it was before, so you’ll want to read up on all the changes on their website, http://athensfarmersmarket.net. The West Broad Farmers Market is back too, holding a drive through market just like us (and using my software too, so it’ll be nice and familiar). You can join them at https://wbfm.locallygrown.net. And of course Collective Harvest is going strong over at https://www.collectiveharvestathens.com.

I promise we’ll be back as soon as we possibly can. My garage is stuffed to the literal rafters with shelves and coolers, and I’d much rather they be somewhere where they can hold food for all of you.

ALG Market Open for May 21


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

This will be the last week we’ll be holding pickups at the YMCA. They’ve been wonderful hosts to us, but they’re opening back up and need their space back. I’m not sure yet where we’ll be going after this, but I do have a bunch of leads to chase over the next few days. Hopefully something will fall into place before next week.

Things don’t seem anywhere close to “back to normal” to me, but the powers that be have decided to pretend they are, and so here we are. I know you all are still wanting good clean locally grown food over that shipped in from everywhere, processed in plants that haven’t had the best safety records of late. You’ve got more options than before, which is good news. The Athens Farmers Market is holding their Saturday market once again in Bishop Park. It’s not anything like it was before, so you’ll want to read up on all the changes on their website, https://athensfarmersmarket.net. The West Broad Farmers Market is back too, holding a drive through market just like us (and using my software too, so it’ll be nice and familiar). You can join them at https://wbfm.locallygrown.net. And of course Collective Harvest is going strong over at https://www.collectiveharvestathens.com.

So, if everything doesn’t fall neatly into place for us before next week and we need to take a week or two off to re-group, you won’t have to go completely without. Many of our growers also sell at one or more of those other markets, so you’ll recognize some familiar (virtual) faces.

In the meantime, for one more week, we’ll be at the YMCA. Here are some things that we’ve all been doing that worked wonderfully while we’ve been there, and we’d like you to keep them up:

  • Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so take your time getting there and that’ll naturally spread things out a bit. Flatten the curve, if you will.
  • I’m bad with faces as it is, and masks make it even harder to recognize you and even hear you when you give your name. Many of you had papers with your name written in big letters we could read through the window, and that is wonderful. If you think to do that same, it’ll make things even smoother.
  • The Y’s pickup loop is a little odd, and unmanaged it can be a zoo. We don’t want you backing up into Hawthorne, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into the loop and circle around.
  • The folks at the Y have been holding an ongoing food drive for their pantry for members in need. If you have canned or packaged food you don’t need, feel free to bring it and we’ll give it to them.

Here are some general reminders of things that have changed from the before times:

  • If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
  • We’re not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • We cannot take your own bags or bins out of your car and fill them up
  • If you’d like to go through your items before you leave to make sure you’ve got everything, or that we didn’t mix up people’s items, feel free to pull into the lot and have a look.

Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you one more time on Thursday at the YMCA!

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 May 14


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 think we’ve settled into a nice system for pickups on Thursday. Last week, we averaged over one car per minute over the three hours, and for nearly all of you there was little to no waiting. For the first time, I can think about even more orders coming in without panicking just a little bit!

However, ready or not things are beginning to open back up around town, and that included the YMCA. This week they’re only opening their outdoor areas, and those will close at five as you all start arriving. They’re not sure yet what will happen next week, but it won’t be long before they need to reclaim the space they’ve been lending us, and we’ll have to either find a similar home that can take us or try to stuff us all back into Ben’s Bikes. Could be as early as next week, and I’ll keep you all informed.

This week, though, we’ll be at the Y, operating just as we have the last few weeks. Every week has brought new sales records, and our growers have been able to keep going through one of their busiest times of the year thanks to you and the other area markets that have been able to adapt to the times. We recognize the danger hasn’t passed and the need for good clean food is as great as ever, so we’ll keep doing what we need to so the growers can get it to you.

We’ve been pulling in almost everyone we know to help us organize orders these last few weeks, and we’ll need more in the weeks ahead. If you’d like to add your name to the list, please let me know! It’s five hours of hard work right now, but everyone does get a food credit.

Here are some things that we’ve all been doing that worked wonderfully, and we’d like you to keep them up:

  • Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so take your time getting there and that’ll naturally spread things out a bit. Flatten the curve, if you will.
  • I’m bad with faces as it is, and masks make it even harder to recognize you and even hear you when you give your name. Many of you had papers with your name written in big letters we could read through the window, and that is wonderful. If you think to do that same, it’ll make things even smoother.
  • The Y’s pickup loop is a little odd, and unmanaged it can be a zoo. We don’t want you backing up into Hawthorne, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into the loop and circle around.
  • The folks at the Y have been holding an ongoing food drive for their pantry for members in need. If you have canned or packaged food you don’t need, feel free to bring it and we’ll give it to them.

Here are some general reminders of things that have changed from the before times:

  • If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
  • We’re not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • We cannot take your own bags or bins out of your car and fill them up
  • If you’d like to go through your items before you leave to make sure you’ve got everything, or that we didn’t mix up people’s items, feel free to pull into the lot and have a look.

Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at the YMCA!

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 May 7


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

Order pickup this last week went the smoothest they have in quite a while, apart from problems with the live plants. We brought in quite a few more volunteers to help each and made some other organization improvements to get us off to a good start. Y’all managed to spread yourselves out perfectly, and we never fell behind through out the entire evening. So, we’re going to try to do all that again.

Places around the state are beginning to open back up, but there’s no way we’ll be going back to the old way of doing things, at least not for a while. Our time at the Y is limited because they’ll be slowly opening back up in the next few weeks, but we’ll be there at least two weeks longer. Where we’ll be after that is anyone’s guess, but I’ve started looking around for somewhere in town that can provide all of what we need: space inside to organize (right now it’s holding about sixty sets of shelves and a dozen giant coolers), a covered spot outside to let us set up in rainy weather, and a parking lot or pull-through area that is big enough to handle all of you coming through. It’s a challenging task.

We pulled in almost everyone we know to help us organize orders last week. If you’d like to add your name to the list, please let me know! It’s five hours of hard work right now, but everyone does get a food credit.

I know a number of you had issues with not getting everything you ordered last week, and we had a hard time telling you what it was you did and didn’t get, particularly with seedlings. There’s a little-known feature of the website that can help you with that! If you go to the Your Account page and scroll about half-way down, you’ll see a link for “Your Oder History”. There, you can see every order you’ve ever placed with us. Clicking on one will display a condensed version of the order, but there’s also a link for “View a PDF Invoice”. That has an extremely detailed look into your order, showing line by line what you ordered, whether we believe you received it or not, and if not, a line assuring you that you did not get charged for it. If the growers removed any items before Thursday at 2pm, notes to that effect are added to the order comments. When we close the orders Thursday night, the invoice will show your payment method and then your cards get charged (if that’s how you chose to pay). An aside: even though you may have tied your order to a credit or debit card, I do not process those cards until the very end of the night on Thursday, after we know what you did and didn’t get. You are never charged ahead of time.

Here are some things that y’all did last week that worked wonderfully, and we’d like you to do them again:

  • Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. Last week we had record sales, as I mentioned, and about a third of you showed up right at 5pm. That swamped us, and we really didn’t recover until almost seven. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so take your time getting there and that’ll naturally spread things out a bit. Flatten the curve, if you will.
  • I’m bad with faces as it is, and masks make it even harder to recognize you and even hear you when you give your name. Many of you had papers with your name written in big letters we could read through the window, and that was wonderful. If you think to do that same, it’ll make things even smoother.
  • The Y’s pickup loop is a little odd, and when I pick my kids up from camp there (remember camps? Those were nice.) it can be a zoo. We don’t want you backing up into Hawthorne, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into look and circle around. You’ll have to merge back into the line, but I promise you we’ll get everyone as fast as you can and if someone happened to arrive after you but didn’t need to make the loop so got in the line ahead of you, that won’t cause you to get fewer items than you ordered. My ask here is to be patient with us and keep in mind we’re doing what we can to keep everyone safe from both viruses and distracted drivers speeding down Hawthorne.
  • The folks at the Y have been holding an ongoing food drive for their pantry for members in need. If you have canned or packaged food you don’t need, feel free to bring it and we’ll give it to them.

Here are some general reminders of things that have changed from the before times:

  • If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
  • We’re not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • We cannot take your own bags or bins out of your car and fill them up
  • If you’d like to go through your items before you leave to make sure you’ve got everything, or that we didn’t mix up people’s items, feel free to pull into the lot and have a look.

Finally, I didn’t want this week to go by without mentioning that we’re starting our nineteenth year in operation. When we started this market back in May 2002 and I wrote this software to keep things organized, we accidentally invented the world’s first virtual farmers market. Some of you have been with us since then, and it’s amazing how much things have changed, right? And to all of you that have joined us since, including many just this last week, I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you, all of you!

Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at the YMCA!

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 April 30


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 not gonna lie: last week was a challenge. Between the new location, record sales, curbside delivery, and the thunderstorms, we really had our work cut out for us. I know there was some frustration for you as we struggled to manage traffic and keep up with everyone, but at the end of the night everyone got everything they were supposed to except for two items. Two months ago misplacing only two items would have been a celebration. Now? Seems miraculous.

We’re going to do the same system this Thursday, with a few modifications on our end to (hopefully) make it easier on you. I’ve brought in several more workers to help us organize and fill orders in the back. I made some software changes that will help us better consolidate orders before you arrive. We’re going to try to manage traffic in that pickup loop better. And I did what I could to keep the rain away. Granted, that last one wasn’t much.

The main bottleneck for us is the cold and frozen items. The veggies are easy, and we can usually get those together well in advance of your arrival. The cold stuff sits in the many giant coolers we have, and we can’t really pull things out of there until you arrive. So, last week when we took your name, that got radio’d to the back where we got your pre-packed veggie bag, and then went around collecting the cold items out of the various coolers. When you had to wait, it was generally for that. At the end of the night that’s much easier because there’s simply fewer items t look through but at 5pm, the growers have packed our coolers full and we have to hunt through piles to find the ones with your name on them. Perhaps with the extra hands this week we’ll be able to start organizing those by name before you get there, and I’ve made a few tweaks to the software to help that out.

A few things you can do:

  • Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. Last week we had record sales, as I mentioned, and about a third of you showed up right at 5pm. That swamped us, and we really didn’t recover until almost seven. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so take your time getting there and that’ll naturally spread things out a bit. Flatten the curve, if you will.
  • I’m bad with faces as it is, and masks make it even harder to recognize you and even hear you when you give your name. Several of you had papers with your name written in big letters we could read through the window, and that was wonderful. If you think to do that same, it’ll make things even smoother.
  • The Y’s pickup loop is a little odd, and when I pick my kids up from camp there (remember camps? Those were nice.) it can be a zoo. We don’t want you backing up into Hawthorne, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into look and circle around. You’ll have to merge back into the line, but I promise you we’ll get everyone as fast as you can and if someone happened to arrive after you but didn’t need to make the loop so got in the line ahead of you, that won’t cause you to get fewer items than you ordered. My ask here is to be patient with us and keep in mind we’re doing what we can to keep everyone safe from both viruses and distracted drivers speeding down Hawthorne.

Finally, the Y has been holding an ongoing food drive for their pantry for members in need. If you have canned or packaged food you don’t need, feel free to bring it and we’ll give it to them.

That’s about it, really. We have had to continually adapt to changing conditions and increasing demand, and every week is better than the last. I know this week will be better yet.

Some reminders:

  • If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
  • We’re not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • We cannot take your own bags or bins out of your car and fill them up
  • If you’d like to go through your items before you leave to make sure you’ve got everything, or that we didn’t mix up people’s items, feel free to pull into the lot and have a look.

Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at the YMCA!

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 April 23


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

Hi there! First things first: WE ARE MOVING! Starting this week, pickups are moving from Ben’s Bikes to the Athens YMCA, located at 915 Hawthorne Ave. We love Ben’s, and as soon as the medical emergency has passed we’ll be moving back. But for now we needed someplace with more room, better vehicle access, and better protection from the elements. The YMCA offers all that, and we’re so thankful they’re allowing us to use their facilities while they remain closed.

This means we can now offer you curbside contactless delivery! As you pull in through the entrance loop up to the front of the building, we’ll get your name, ask you to pull forward, and then bring all your items out to you. You can pop your trunk or unlock your back or passenger door, and we’ll load your car up for you.

If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.

I’ve got a plan in my head for how all this will work, and it should be a lot better for everyone compared to how we’ve been managing, but bear in mind this’ll be our first time and we’ll need to fine tune it as we go. On top of that, the forecast is calling for a steady and sometimes hard rain all through the day. We’ll have challenges, but considering that I don’t think we could have operated in the rain at all at Ben’s, I think we’ll be in good shape.

Live plants were the biggest challenge, and given the rain I had to make the hard choice to temporarily remove most of them from the availability list this week. I just couldn’t think of any way to manage getting you those in a clean way in the rain. Some of the growers can put them in paper bags and such so we can hold them inside, but the rest I’ve taken down. Hopefully after a week at the Y under our belt, we’ll have a way to handle them rain or shine and all the growers can bring their plants back.

Some things will remain the same:

  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and I’ve converted your account’s previous choice to the same slot at the Y
  • We’re not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • We cannot take your own bags or bins out of your car and fill them up

If you’d like to go through your items before you leave to make sure you’ve got everything, or that we didn’t mix up people’s items (sorry to the two of you we mixed up last week!), feel free to pull into the lot and have a look.

I’ll send out the usual reminder email Thursday morning reminding you of the location change, and we’ll have a sign at Ben’s in case force of habit takes you there. We look forward to seeing you at the Y on Thursday evening!

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 April 16


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

Hi there! Each week for the last several, I’ve thought “This is it. There’s no way we can keep going like this.” But we make it through the evening on Thursday in one piece, and decide to give it another go next week. So, here we are.

The biggest thing we learned last week is we are very much weather-dependent. Wind gusts came through while we were setting up and destroyed one of our pop-up tents, and I really have no idea what we’d’ve done if it had stormed. Things look really good for beautiful weather this week, so that gives me a bit more time to mull that over.

Having three separate pickup windows has really helped a lot! About half of you chose the 5-6pm time slot, and it took us the entire hour to go through everyone. About a third of you chose 6-7, and the remaining few chose 7-8. Those of you who chose the 5pm hour last week and didn’t like the long line might want to choose the 7pm slot, when the parking lot has lots of room and we’ve got your items ready to go. The time you arrive has no bearing on if you get everything you order, as that’s determined by when you place your order if the grower runs short. If they can’t fill everything, the system prompts them to remove the shortage from people who ordered last. So, no need to arrive right at the beginning of your time slot, and odds are that’ll only increase your wait time.

The live plants are the biggest bottleneck. There’s a reason Cofer’s doesn’t sell groceries, and we’re just not set up to be able to efficiently get you all the plants you’re wanting to put into your gardens, what with all this free time and all. But gardening is really important, and the single biggest reason why I run a farmers market, so we’re not going to cut you off. If you buy plants, please know the following things:

  • We will not be able to get your plants for you. They will be together, organized by grower with your plants together in each grower’s area
  • We likely won’t be able to tell you exactly what you ordered or what grower you bought them for. Print out your order confirmation email or better yet, check your order online before you come and bring that list with you somehow.
  • We cannot police who takes what. All the plants have labels with your names on them, same as the food. Please, please only grab the plants with your name on them. Pay more attention than just the first few letters of your last name, as many of you share those letters. Several people had to go home without their plants last week because earlier people with similar names took their plants first.
  • I promised our volunteers that they could organize food in the back without having to come into contact with the record number of people coming to pick things up. I want to keep them and you safe, so I’m the only one of us physically interacting with you. That means we can’t have someone sitting among the plants directing traffic.

These other things about pickups are still the same:

  • We’re not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • We cannot take your own bags or bins
  • We ask that you keep yourselves separated. I will have three tables up front so you can take your time looking through your order if you choose while I move on to the next person.

Keep in mind that conditions are still changing rapidly. We’ll notify you as soon as we know if anything happens to affect where, when, and if you can pick up your order.

Finally, a reminder that while the parking lot there is decently sized, it’s still no shopping center and there are a lot of you coming and going. Take it slow, give yourselves lots of room to get around, and be patient with everyone. This is new territory for all of us, and we’re having to adjust on the fly. Last week saw several times the usual amount of sales for our growers, which would be logistically challenging for us in normal circumstances. Please be patient with us on Thursday if things don’t go the most smoothly, and if you see something we could be doing better, please tell us. We don’t know how long we’ll be able to do this, but we’ll keep it going as long as we possibly, and safely, can.

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 April 9


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

Hi there! We’re still taking things week by week, day by day, but right now it looks like we can keep going another week. Getting farm fresh food in your hands is more important than ever and we’ll be doing everything we can to safely get it to you. Last week was the most amount of food we’ve ever distributed at our Ben’s Bikes location. We made some tweaks to our organization in the back, and having the hour-long blocks for you to choose when to arrive really helped a lot. We’re going to keep doing that for the foreseeable future.

The live plants will continue to be self-service. Organizing the food will be our first priority, and if we have hands after that to organize the plants by customer, we will. All the pots are labelled, just like your food items, but it’ll be up to you to get the right ones. Bringing a list or your order confirmation email will help out a lot there, and we’ll point you to the general area where we think your plants are. Be sure you grab the right ones! Some of you have the same last name, so take a look at the full name on the pots before you grab them to be sure they’re yours. Last week we had some people go home empty handed because someone else grabbed their plants by mistake.

We’re still not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free. We can not accept any recycling, we cannot take your own bags or bins, and we ask that you keep yourselves separated. I will have three tables up front so you can form three separate lines if you choose.

Keep in mind that conditions are still changing rapidly. We’ll notify you as soon as we know if anything happens to affect where, when, and if you can pick up your order.

Finally, a reminder that while the parking lot there is decently sized, it’s still no shopping center and there are a lot of you coming and going. Take it slow, give yourselves lots of room to get around, and be patient with everyone. This is new territory for all of us, and we’re having to adjust on the fly. Last week saw several times the usual amount of sales for our growers, which would be logistically challenging for us in normal circumstances. Please be patient with us on Thursday if things don’t go the most smoothly, and if you see something we could be doing better, please tell us. We don’t know how long we’ll be able to do this, but we’ll keep it going as long as we possibly, and safely, can.

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 April 2


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

Hi there! We’re taking things week by week, day by day, but right now it looks like we can try this another week. Getting farm fresh food in your hands is more important than ever and we’ll be doing everything we can to safely get it to you.

Last week we pretty much were at capacity, though. Y’all are ordering far more than usual from the farmers (that’s a good thing!) but we really had no more room back there where we were organizing. I know there are even more of you this week, though, so we’re going to keep trying to wring every bit of efficiency we can out of time and space. o this end, I’ve made one very big change to how you order this week:

I’d like you to commit to an hour block you’ll be arriving on Thursday. When you go to place your order, on the last screen, there’s a new drop-down labelled “Pickup Location”. he only thing different between the options are the times: 5-6pm, 6-7pm, and 7-8pm. If you don’t choose one, your order will not go through (it’ll tell you why and how to fix it). If you place multiple orders, please choose the same time block for each. You can click on “Change Your Account Information” on the Your Account page to set a default for your account so you don’ have to choose a time slot each time.

Knowing roughly when you arrive will help us prepare things moor efficiently. I’m hoping you naturally spread yourselves out some and don’t all choose the 5pm slot. When you arrive has no bearing on what you receive, so there’s no reason to try to get there first.

Live plans will continue to be self-service, and will likely be even less organized than last week. Organizing the food will be our first priority, and if we have hands after that to organize the plants by customer, we will. All the pots are labelled, just like your food items, bu it’ll be up to you to get the right ones. We can tell you, but last week some of you ordered 20 plants and didn’t remember what you ordered, and that was pretty hard for everyone. Bringing a list or your order confirmation email will help out a lot there.

We’re still not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.

We do have a lot of options on the able right now, including moving to another pickup location altogether that can better handle the traffic. If that happens, I’ll send out another email to everyone.

Finally, keep in mind that while the parking lot there is decently sized, it’s still no shopping center and there are a lot of you coming and going. Take it slow, give yourselves lots of room to get around, and be patient with everyone. This is new territory for all of us, and we’re having to adjust on the fly. Last week saw several times the usual amount of sales for our growers, which would be logistically challenging for us in normal circumstances. Please be patient with us on Thursday if things don’t go the most smoothly, and if you see something we could be doing better, please tell us. We don’t know how long we’ll be able to do this, but we’ll keep it going as long as we possibly, and safely, can.

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 March 26


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

Things worked well enough last week that we’re going to try to have order pickups at Ben’s Bikes again this Thursday. Incase you just woke up from a month-long nap, we’ve had to make a few changes to keep everyone as safe as possible. We know that now more than ever it’s important for you to have fresh, locally grown food direct from our area farmers, and we’re here to facilitate that as best as we possibly can.

First, we will be working to gather all of your non-refrigerated items together before you get there, ready to pick up in paper grocery sacks. We’ll be working as quickly as possible, but we do need a little bit more time than usual. We’d love it if you wait until 5pm to arrive. The coolers will be full of cold and frozen things that we have to dig through, so if you all arrive right at five, not only will you have to socially distance yourselves across the parking lot, but you’ll also have to wait as we try to find everyone’s things in the coolers. We’ll be there until 8pm as usual, so feel free to come any time between five and eight.

We also want to minimize the amount of things that get handled. That’s why we’ll be pre-bagging your items instead of using your baskets or our bins. Also, please hold on to your recyclables for the foreseeable future. Even better, recycle them yourself at the various ACC locations about town.

We’d also rather not handle cash, checks, or cards in person. We understand if you really need to pay in person with paper money, but if at all possible, there are two better options for payment:

First, you can add a credit or debit card to your account, on the “Your Account” page of the website. It’s secure, powered by Stripe, and ALG never possesses your number ourselves. The downside is they charge us 3% for processing, and we have to pass that along to you.

Second, you can pay via Venmo on your phone. This is totally free to you, saving you from that 3% surcharge, and we treat it same as cash. You can find us there as @athenslocallygrown. You can pay via your phone right when you pick up your order, so you have the amount exactly right. If you want to add me as a contact first, go for it! If it asks you for my phone number as confirmation you actually know me, use 706-567-8954. Don’t try calling us, though — that’s the hotspot we use for our tablets.

Finally, we went to minimize the crowd waiting for food. To that end, please only send one person, and leave the kids in the car. We’ll be as quick as we can handing out orders, but if you want to text me to let me know you’re on the way, send me a message to 706-248-1860. Be sure to say who you are! Last week I got so many messages from people not in my contacts that my phone decided I was being spammed, and I didn’t actually see most of your messages until I got home. It turns out we did manage to pre-bag most everything so it didn’t really matter, but if you still want to text me to say you’re on the way, go for it. I added everyone from last week to my contacts, so not only will my phone know who you are, it also looks like I have lots of friends.

On our end, we’re minimizing our contact with the items, will wear gloves, and be washing our hands and using all the hand sanitizer we can have available. Speaking of which, I know that stuff is the most valuable substance on earth right now, but if you happen to have a bottle in your bunker that you can spare, could you please donate it to us? Thank you!

Like for everyone else, this is new territory for us, and we’re having to adjust on the fly. Last week saw three times the normal amount of sales for our growers, which would be logistically challenging for us in normal circumstances. Please be patient with us on Thursday if things don’t go the most smoothly, and if you see something we could be doing better, please tell us. We don’t know how long we’ll be able to do this, but we’ll keep it going as long as we possibly, and safely, can.

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!