This week we welcome back one of the founding farms of ALG, Backyard Harvest. Boo was there with me and a handful of other growers (none of them still operating) back in 2002 when we started this thing under Dan Miller’s leadership. At some point (ten years ago or so?) he moved away to California, where he married and started a family. This year they moved back to the family farm in Oglethorpe County and returns to market this week. Welcome back, Boo!
My only other thing this week is a note about pickup times. For a while, everyone naturally spread out amongst the three hour windows, and all was good. Now, nearly 2/3 of you choose the 5pm window, and most the rest choose 6pm. That’s left us in a near panic each week as we race to get all the 5pm bags packed before you start arriving, and it’s come down to the wire. If only one thing goes wrong, like a main grower arriving late, we won’t be ready and y’all will be in a massive line at 5pm as we try to catch up.
I suspect many of you have just chosen 5pm because that’s first in the list. If you do have the flexibility to come at a different time, can you choose 6pm or 7pm instead? A little bit of breathing room would be nice :) .
We are also still getting new customers every week (and we love seeing new masked 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 Comerian 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!