Somehow it’s July already. So many things have come unmoored during this pandemic, and for me the sense of time is one of them. Strange as it may feel, the days are getting shorter from here on out. It’s just about perfect growing weather out there, and our farmers have plenty of produce to go around.
Last week’s Thursday pickup went the smoothest it’s gone since the before times. I’m still not sure if this will be our permanent home, as there are still quite a few unresolved questions hidden on the back end, but for now things are working out quite well. We learned some lessons the first week we were there, made some adjustments in our organization, and things couldn’t have gone any smoother. The forecast right now looks like rain for Thursday, so maybe we’ll see how well the new system holds up in the weather. I still have nightmares about the first week we were at the Y and the awful thunderstorms that rolled through, but I think we can handle those just fine now.
We do still need some more people in the back filling bags, and another couple sets of hands will make a huge difference keeping things sustainable. If you’d like to give up five hours of your Thursday (3pm – 8pm) helping growers unload and then filling bags with food, please let me know. Volunteers do get a food credit every week they work, and the labor can be a bit demanding of late. If you’ve told me before you’d like to help, let me know again. Things change so quickly these days, I probably shouldn’t assume that what was true six weeks ago is still true now.
That’s about all I have, so I’ll let you get right to ordering. We’re getting new customers every week (and we love seeing new faces!) so here’s a quick run-down on how Thursdays go:
- Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. We fill the bags alphabetically (because it’s easier on us that way), but your arrival time or last name has no bearing on what items you get. The growers fill orders based solely on the time you placed your order, so that’s all been long decided by Thursday. 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 pickup loop does have a fair bit of room, but we don’t want you backing up into Tallassee. If you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into the loop and circle around. That may mean that some people who arrived after you may get their food before you, but as I said above, that doesn’t affect at all what items you get when things run short.
- We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose. If you come early, odds are high that we haven’t filled your bags yet and we may ask you to come back. Tallassee is a pretty drive, and I recommend taking it to the county line and back, just for the scenery.
- 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. Venmo is free, and card payments have a 3% processing fee.
- We can not accept any recycling just yet, though that may change once we get settled.
- 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 at our brand new home on Tallassee Road!
Other Area Farmers Markets
If ALG doesn’t have everything you need, please support our growers at the other markets that are now back up and running, or at their own locations. The Comedian takes online orders for Saturday pickup at the bakery here: https://www.thecomerian.com/online-ordering. 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.
All of these other markets are separate from ALG (including the Athens Farmers Market) but many growers sell at multiple markets. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!