The Weblog

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Availability for November 6

I tell you what… I’m tired. I think I could really use a weekend. My family spent the last three days at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s conference, held this year just across the state line in Anderson, SC. I’ve always wanted to go to this one, and couldn’t miss it since it was so close. Athens Locally Grown was well represented there, as many of our growers were also in attendance. LD Peeler, owner of Milky Way Dairy, was even elected to the CFSA board of directors. I also finally got to meet Donna Putney, who started Upstate, SC Locally Grown over a year ago.

The weekend before I was at the Financial Permaculture Summit in Hohenwald, TN. This was entirely unlike anything else I’ve participated in, and in a great way. Four teams with members from around the world worked non-stop for four days building a business from scratch that could be successful in Hohenwald. Each team had one focus: food and farm, ethanol and biofuels, green small business incubation, and renewable construction and salvage. I was the food and farm “resident expert” for the two days I was there, doing what I could to help my team along. After I left, the teams pitched their businesses to a panel of locals with the means to invest in these businesses. And, ideally, the attendees were able to take what they learned back to their own communities and help create similar businesses there. There were giants from the world of finance there, and it was a really interesting dynamic when that world and the often fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants world of permaculture worked together to get things done.

Back here in Athens, our growers have been very busy, as usual. The fall greens are really coming in heavy now, and the first of the broccoli heads have also arrived. It’s sweet potato digging time, and so now is the time to stock up. They keep very well, so you can buy now and store them through the holidays with no trouble at all.

The time change means we’ll be working in the dark for most of the Thursday pickup. Those of you that have been coming during the daylight have missed our light show. The building we’re in has no power (and no chance of getting power), so we bring our own lighting, a combination of rechargable LED worklights magnetically mounted to the steel beams, old fashioned propane lanterns, and head lamps (miner style). We’ve had several weeks to work the kinks out, and I think we’re prepared. To those not familiar with how Athens Locally Grown works, the whole notion of a market of our scale just materializing out of thin air is pretty crazy, and seeing us work in the dark just makes it more so.

We do thank you for all of your support. We will be going right through the winter (except for the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas), and our growers couldn’t continue through this season without the demand you have created for them. We’ll see you on Thursday, from 4:30 to 8pm at the old farms market on Broad Street. You can’t miss us – we’ll be the crazy folks running around with lights on our foreheads.