It’s another record setting week at Athens Locally Grown, with 822 items available for you from 53 Athens-area sustainable growers. Thanks to your demand and the untold hours of hard work put in by our growers, we have a diversity of locally grown foods that rivals many large cities. It’s certainly broader than any one market in Atlanta. As many of you know, nearly 100 other communities throughout the country are following on our footsteps, with a handful of customers and a handful of local growers all working hard to get for their own neighborhoods what we’re so lucky to have here. You can see them all on a map, if you’re interested, over at www.locallygrown.net/markets. It’s pretty neat to see them all radiating out from Athens out to the rest of the country.
One of the keys to our success has been the low overhead the market operates. The growers generally keep 90% of the price you see, and the ease they have in bringing products to you lets them bring more things that you’d find at a typical farmers market. The 10% the market keeps goes toward a food allowance for our volunteers, and the tables, cots, coolers, the dairy truck, and the other physical things needed to make the market happen. We don’t advertise, because you all have been doing such a great job telling your friends about us. Don’t be shy about continuing that – I think you have a great thing to brag about!
The fall fruits are starting to come in, so be sure to take a spin down the fruit aisle. We’ve got a number of varieties of apples, lots of heirloom and unusual melons, and the completely unexpectedly wonderful ground cherries. If you were brave enough to try the samples we had at the cash box last week, those things that looked like little tomatillos, you know how great those are. There are also many types of peppers, from giant bells to tiny fiery chiles. And of course the tomato vines are overflowing with tomatoes of all sorts.
So, fill you shopping cart with the finest food our soil has to offer, and then tell your friends about us so they can do the same!
As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and local food. Without your business, the growers wouldn’t be here to supply this diversity, and we’d all be a lot worse off. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!
Our next Farmer for a Day event, a make-up day for our first tour, rained out at Roots Farm, is coming up on August 22nd. Most of the slots are filled, but look in the “Events Reservations” category to claim the last few slots. In September we’ll head over to the Johnston Family Farm to see their dairy (and sample some of that delicious chocolate milk, right off the tap), and then wind up the season at my place for our annual Hunter’s Moon Feast on October 3rd. Spaces for all are limited, so be sure to make your reservations along with your order!
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.
Also, Watkinsville has a thriving farmers market every Saturday morning, behind the Eagle Tavern. And further east, Comer has a nice little market Saturday mornings as well. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!