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Availability for August 28
We spent all of today celebrating our daughter’s fourth birthday, and that got me to remembering how things were four years ago. Vivian was born early in the morning on a Thursday, market day, after four hard days of labor. Dan Miller, founder of Athens Locally Grown, had already passed the market on to my wife and I, but he generously filled in for me that day. Back then, we had maybe two or three dozen orders each week, and pickup was in the de facto park where the Cobb House was leter reconstructed. Back then, everyone’s orders fit into a couple ice chests, and Thursday pickups were a lazy affair. Some of you may remember later that year, as we went year-round for the first time, Vivian bundled in her parka and strapped to my chest as we handed out orders to a handful of people at the patio at Big City Bread in the dead of winter.
Everything has grown since then. Vivian’s learning to read and swim and helps in the garden every chance she gets. Athens Locally Grown is closing in on 1500 customers and it takes essentially a fleet of trucks to get all the produce to the pickup site. (Speaking of which, thank you all for your patience when our own refrigerated truck gave us a scare and made the dairy items show up fifteen minutes late.) We now have eight people filling orders at a time, and still the line, though fast moving, is daunting right at 4:30. Some people who were market customers four years ago are now selling produce from their own gardens, adding to the list of growers that is now over 50 strong.
It’s so nice to see things grow and take hold, whether it’s the market, cauliflower seeds in my garden, or my own daughter. It’s nice to know that enough people know what’s involved in putting the market together each week, and have had a major hand in pulling it off, that it’s pretty much certain that Athens Locally Grown is an Athens fixture. Should circumstances conspire to keep my wife and I from managing the market, I know that it’ll keep going on its own, and that gives me great peace of mind. Not that we’re planning on going anywhere, mind you.
I see a number of new items on the site this week. The winter squashes are really coming in, I noticed someone has pears, there are even more varieties of tomatoes, field peas have returned, there’s yet another type of garlic I’ve never tried, and more. The weather has stayed just cool enough that while the overall quantity of produce has dropped a bit, the usual August doldrums have stayed away. In fact, on Saturday Cedar Grove Farm hosted us for our August “Farmer for a Day” event, and it was just a perfect day to be out on the farm. If you missed out, our next even will be next month at Backyard Harvest. It’s on a Sunday this time, too. We’d love to see you there. It’s free, but limited space makes us take reservations, and you’ll find more details on the website in the “Event Reservations” category.
Thank you all for your continued support! We’ll see you on Thursday, from 4:30 to 8pm at the old state farmers market on Broad Street.