The Weblog

This page contains news, event information, and other items added by the market managers, including the weekly availability email. Be sure to check back regularly!



 
Subscribe to an RSS Feed

ALG Market Open for June 18


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

We’re back! I’ve sure missed you, but I bet you’ve missed the wonderful food from all our producers even more. I think it’s been at least fifteen years since we’ve been closed three weeks in a row, and I’m hoping it’ll be the last time that happens.

We’re trying out a new location on Tallassee Rd, and it has potential to be our new permanent home. We plan on operating pretty much exactly without the system we honed during our time at the YMCA, where we’ll have your items waiting for you and we’ll load them into your car as you drive on through. There’s a nice scenic driveway loop through the woods that goes past the old farmhouse that recently housed the Double Helix STEAM school. We’ll have signs at the road so you’ll know where to turn (there’s even a turn lane for you) and people to guide you where to go.

The address is 580 Tallassee Rd. Athens, GA 30606, a short distance off the loop. If you’re coming off the loop or Mitchell Bridge or Oglethorpe, head right up Tallassee Rd, just a bit past the Whitehead roundabout, and we’ll be on the right hand side. If the Oglethorpe/Tallassee/Mitchell Bridge intersection is daunting, come up Prince, continue onto Jefferson Hwy, and turn left at Whitehead Rd and take that o he roundabout and turn right. It happens to be right around he corner from my house, but tI know some of you might rarely ge tout o this part of town. I’ve converted your pickup slot from the Y to the same time at the new place, but feel free to change it if a different time works for you better now. Lord knows so much has changed just in the four weeks since we’ve seen you last. Here are some things that we’ve all been doing that worked wonderfully at the Y, and we’d like you to keep them up:

  • Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so 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 is newt to all of us, and while I think there is plenty of room we don’t want you backing up into Tallassee, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into the loop and circle around.

Here are some general reminders of things that have changed from the before times:

  • If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
  • 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. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling just yet
  • 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.

I hope everything will go smoothly but since this is new to all of us, there may be some weirdness. Bear with us, and I’m sure we’ll be settled in in no time.

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!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

ALG CLOSED But Will Reopen Next Week (Promise)


Hello!

Thank you everyone for your feedback on the options we had for new locations, but the temporary place out by the airport and the potentially permanent new home on Tallassee Road. I really appreciated the many thoughtful comments you gave me.

I’d been figuring out the logistics for moving everything over to the airport. It was doable, though just barely. A number of you said it was much more inconvenient, but you’d be willing to drive over there anyway. At the last moment, though, just this weekend, I got the news that we can move into the Tallassee space next week.

And that changed everything. It would have been a huge endeavor to clean out the airport space, move everything in, and then take it all back down and move it again next week, so I decided to just keep things on hold one last week.

Our new space, starting on June 18, will be at 580 Tallassee Rd. Athens, GA 30606. If you’re coming off the loop or Mitchell Bridge or Oglethorpe, head right up Tallassee Rd, just a bit past the Whitehead roundabout, and we’ll be on the right hand side. There’s a turn lane, and we’ll have signs out. It’s where the Double Helix STEAM school has been, if you’re familiar with their great work.

I expect to keep as much of the system we finely honed while at the YMCA and continue the contactless loading right into your car as you drive through the looped driveway. I’ll keep the hourly slots, though of course you can change yours if your earlier choice is no longer best.

I’m excited by the potential the new space offers, both for us and the sustainable community as a whole!

In the meantime, 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. Dawson Farms has been contacting their regular milk customers to offer alternative pickups. 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.

Also, the local restaurants are starting to staff up again, open their doors, and offer more options for takeout. If you’re so inclined, can I suggest spending some money at Damunchiezz, Dawg Gone Good Barbeque, Food for the Soul, JR Crickets, Kelly’s Jamaican Food, Lil Ice Cream Dude, Mannaweenta, Rashe’s Jamaican Cuisine, Weaver D’s, and/or the Barnett Shoals African and Asian grocery?

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 NEXT WEEK at 580 Tallassee Rd!

ALG CLOSED Again For Another Week


Athens Locally Grown will be closed one more week.

It’s been rather difficult finding a place that can host us during the pandemic. Our need for space, for our growers, our organizing, and you, has never been greater. The ideal places that would work for us, that were sitting unused just a few weeks ago, are mostly opening back up again. Or, they’re not wanting to have a bunch of people come through (and that’s totally understandable).

I’m watching the covid infection rates rise in the state once again, and I’m just not ready to cram us all back into the bike shop. It’s just not the right time.

I have found a place, though, with the minimum we need, but it’s not available to us until next week. It would be temporary, but it would get us through the summer while we either find a more permanent home (or are able to return to Ben’s Bikes). It’s across the street from the airport on Winterville Rd in an area of artists studios. There is a car loop right in front that could handle you all, and space where we can set up and keep all our shelves we use to organize all the grocery bags. I’ve always thought of the airport as pretty far out, but the new Olympic Drive exits off the loop put it only two minutes away from there.

What do you think? If this move would absolutely keep you from ordering from our growers, please let me know. I am still pursuing other leads (and thank all of you who continue to feed those to me) and this would be temporary for part of the summer, but I do want to know if it’s too much of a change for you.

Another place that has a lot of potential, but isn’t available until July, is the property on Tallassee Drive that has hosted the Double Helix STEAM school. It’s even closer to the loop, just past the Whitehead Rd roundabout. There’s easy access down Whitehead Rd, too, so the Tallassee bridge construction won’t be a pain. Not only would we be able to have pickups there, but it also has a commercial kitchen, space to hold classes and workshops, a walk-in cooler our growers could use, and other amenities that could make what we do on Thursday just be one part of a bigger picture.

I’d love to know your thoughts about that, too. Now is a perfect time to reinvent ourselves and build something even better than before. I wish we didn’t have to take a couple weeks off while we worked things through, but I try as I might I couldn’t avoid that.

In the meantime, 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. Dawson Farms has been contacting their regular milk customers to offer alternative pickups. 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.

I promise we’ll be back as soon as we possibly can, and odds are very good that will be next week.

ALG Market is NOT Opening This Week


I wish I had better news to report, but I’m afraid Athens Locally Grown is going to be taking at least one week off. The Athens YMCA has reclaimed their space, and I’m still on the hunt for a new temporary home for us. We’ve grown so much over the last two months, about eight times larger than before all this craziness, and there’s just no way we can safely fit inside Ben’s Bikes right now.

I do still have several leads I’m following up on, but we’ve been turned away from all the obviously perfect spaces. We’ve been offered other spaces that have turned out to be too small or otherwise impractical for how we have to operate right now. I’m looking into some vacant retail spaces, event spaces, and churches still, and I’m hopeful something will turn up this week so we can return next week.

Many of you have offered leads, some of which I’m still chasing, and I thank all of you for that. You’ve had some awesome out of the box ideas I’m grateful for.

Maybe you have contacts with a vacant space that could host us for a while? Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • a room large enough to hold our 65 plastic shelving units and about a dozen giant coolers, with space to move around and allow our growers to drop things off with minimal contact. The room at the Y was about 40×60, perhaps a bit smaller. We’d need to keep things there for the duration, since broken down and packed tightly they completely fill a 20 foot box truck. This has been the biggest hurdle so far.
  • easy access for our customers, ideally one where they would not have to leave their car
  • ideally a path between the room and the cars that is protected from the elements, so we can operate in the rain
  • Ideally centrally located in Athens
  • Our current schedule has us there every Thursday. Volunteers arrive at 3pm to set up, growers show up at 3:30 to drop off, and customers arrive between 5 and 8 to pick up.

The school system is not allowing outside groups in right now. Many churches are the same. Event spaces are empty right now, but most are champing at the bit to open back up again and are hesitant to commit to hosting us. I’ve always operated the market to break even (at best), so without major restructuring, we can’t pay rent. We can offer a bit of a food credit (same as we give the volunteers) for someone who can host us.

In the meantime, 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. Dawson Farms has been contacting their regular milk customers to offer alternative pickups. 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.

I promise we’ll be back as soon as we possibly can. My garage is stuffed to the literal rafters with shelves and coolers, and I’d much rather they be somewhere where they can hold food for all of you.

ALG Market Open for May 21


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

This will be the last week we’ll be holding pickups at the YMCA. They’ve been wonderful hosts to us, but they’re opening back up and need their space back. I’m not sure yet where we’ll be going after this, but I do have a bunch of leads to chase over the next few days. Hopefully something will fall into place before next week.

Things don’t seem anywhere close to “back to normal” to me, but the powers that be have decided to pretend they are, and so here we are. I know you all are still wanting good clean locally grown food over that shipped in from everywhere, processed in plants that haven’t had the best safety records of late. You’ve got more options than before, which is good news. 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, https://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.

So, if everything doesn’t fall neatly into place for us before next week and we need to take a week or two off to re-group, you won’t have to go completely without. Many of our growers also sell at one or more of those other markets, so you’ll recognize some familiar (virtual) faces.

In the meantime, for one more week, we’ll be at the YMCA. Here are some things that we’ve all been doing that worked wonderfully while we’ve been there, and we’d like you to keep them up:

  • Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so 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 Y’s pickup loop is a little odd, and unmanaged it can be a zoo. We don’t want you backing up into Hawthorne, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into the loop and circle around.
  • The folks at the Y have been holding an ongoing food drive for their pantry for members in need. If you have canned or packaged food you don’t need, feel free to bring it and we’ll give it to them.

Here are some general reminders of things that have changed from the before times:

  • If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
  • 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. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • 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 one more time on Thursday at the YMCA!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

ALG Market Open for May 14


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

I think we’ve settled into a nice system for pickups on Thursday. Last week, we averaged over one car per minute over the three hours, and for nearly all of you there was little to no waiting. For the first time, I can think about even more orders coming in without panicking just a little bit!

However, ready or not things are beginning to open back up around town, and that included the YMCA. This week they’re only opening their outdoor areas, and those will close at five as you all start arriving. They’re not sure yet what will happen next week, but it won’t be long before they need to reclaim the space they’ve been lending us, and we’ll have to either find a similar home that can take us or try to stuff us all back into Ben’s Bikes. Could be as early as next week, and I’ll keep you all informed.

This week, though, we’ll be at the Y, operating just as we have the last few weeks. Every week has brought new sales records, and our growers have been able to keep going through one of their busiest times of the year thanks to you and the other area markets that have been able to adapt to the times. We recognize the danger hasn’t passed and the need for good clean food is as great as ever, so we’ll keep doing what we need to so the growers can get it to you.

We’ve been pulling in almost everyone we know to help us organize orders these last few weeks, and we’ll need more in the weeks ahead. If you’d like to add your name to the list, please let me know! It’s five hours of hard work right now, but everyone does get a food credit.

Here are some things that we’ve all been doing that worked wonderfully, and we’d like you to keep them up:

  • Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so 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 Y’s pickup loop is a little odd, and unmanaged it can be a zoo. We don’t want you backing up into Hawthorne, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into the loop and circle around.
  • The folks at the Y have been holding an ongoing food drive for their pantry for members in need. If you have canned or packaged food you don’t need, feel free to bring it and we’ll give it to them.

Here are some general reminders of things that have changed from the before times:

  • If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
  • 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. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • 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 on Thursday at the YMCA!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

ALG Market Open for May 7


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

Order pickup this last week went the smoothest they have in quite a while, apart from problems with the live plants. We brought in quite a few more volunteers to help each and made some other organization improvements to get us off to a good start. Y’all managed to spread yourselves out perfectly, and we never fell behind through out the entire evening. So, we’re going to try to do all that again.

Places around the state are beginning to open back up, but there’s no way we’ll be going back to the old way of doing things, at least not for a while. Our time at the Y is limited because they’ll be slowly opening back up in the next few weeks, but we’ll be there at least two weeks longer. Where we’ll be after that is anyone’s guess, but I’ve started looking around for somewhere in town that can provide all of what we need: space inside to organize (right now it’s holding about sixty sets of shelves and a dozen giant coolers), a covered spot outside to let us set up in rainy weather, and a parking lot or pull-through area that is big enough to handle all of you coming through. It’s a challenging task.

We pulled in almost everyone we know to help us organize orders last week. If you’d like to add your name to the list, please let me know! It’s five hours of hard work right now, but everyone does get a food credit.

I know a number of you had issues with not getting everything you ordered last week, and we had a hard time telling you what it was you did and didn’t get, particularly with seedlings. There’s a little-known feature of the website that can help you with that! If you go to the Your Account page and scroll about half-way down, you’ll see a link for “Your Oder History”. There, you can see every order you’ve ever placed with us. Clicking on one will display a condensed version of the order, but there’s also a link for “View a PDF Invoice”. That has an extremely detailed look into your order, showing line by line what you ordered, whether we believe you received it or not, and if not, a line assuring you that you did not get charged for it. If the growers removed any items before Thursday at 2pm, notes to that effect are added to the order comments. When we close the orders Thursday night, the invoice will show your payment method and then your cards get charged (if that’s how you chose to pay). An aside: even though you may have tied your order to a credit or debit card, I do not process those cards until the very end of the night on Thursday, after we know what you did and didn’t get. You are never charged ahead of time.

Here are some things that y’all did last week that worked wonderfully, and we’d like you to do them again:

  • Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. Last week we had record sales, as I mentioned, and about a third of you showed up right at 5pm. That swamped us, and we really didn’t recover until almost seven. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so 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 was wonderful. If you think to do that same, it’ll make things even smoother.
  • The Y’s pickup loop is a little odd, and when I pick my kids up from camp there (remember camps? Those were nice.) it can be a zoo. We don’t want you backing up into Hawthorne, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into look and circle around. You’ll have to merge back into the line, but I promise you we’ll get everyone as fast as you can and if someone happened to arrive after you but didn’t need to make the loop so got in the line ahead of you, that won’t cause you to get fewer items than you ordered. My ask here is to be patient with us and keep in mind we’re doing what we can to keep everyone safe from both viruses and distracted drivers speeding down Hawthorne.
  • The folks at the Y have been holding an ongoing food drive for their pantry for members in need. If you have canned or packaged food you don’t need, feel free to bring it and we’ll give it to them.

Here are some general reminders of things that have changed from the before times:

  • If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
  • 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. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • 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.

Finally, I didn’t want this week to go by without mentioning that we’re starting our nineteenth year in operation. When we started this market back in May 2002 and I wrote this software to keep things organized, we accidentally invented the world’s first virtual farmers market. Some of you have been with us since then, and it’s amazing how much things have changed, right? And to all of you that have joined us since, including many just this last week, I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you, all of you!

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 on Thursday at the YMCA!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

ALG Market Open for April 30


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

I’m not gonna lie: last week was a challenge. Between the new location, record sales, curbside delivery, and the thunderstorms, we really had our work cut out for us. I know there was some frustration for you as we struggled to manage traffic and keep up with everyone, but at the end of the night everyone got everything they were supposed to except for two items. Two months ago misplacing only two items would have been a celebration. Now? Seems miraculous.

We’re going to do the same system this Thursday, with a few modifications on our end to (hopefully) make it easier on you. I’ve brought in several more workers to help us organize and fill orders in the back. I made some software changes that will help us better consolidate orders before you arrive. We’re going to try to manage traffic in that pickup loop better. And I did what I could to keep the rain away. Granted, that last one wasn’t much.

The main bottleneck for us is the cold and frozen items. The veggies are easy, and we can usually get those together well in advance of your arrival. The cold stuff sits in the many giant coolers we have, and we can’t really pull things out of there until you arrive. So, last week when we took your name, that got radio’d to the back where we got your pre-packed veggie bag, and then went around collecting the cold items out of the various coolers. When you had to wait, it was generally for that. At the end of the night that’s much easier because there’s simply fewer items t look through but at 5pm, the growers have packed our coolers full and we have to hunt through piles to find the ones with your name on them. Perhaps with the extra hands this week we’ll be able to start organizing those by name before you get there, and I’ve made a few tweaks to the software to help that out.

A few things you can do:

  • Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. Last week we had record sales, as I mentioned, and about a third of you showed up right at 5pm. That swamped us, and we really didn’t recover until almost seven. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so 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. Several of you had papers with your name written in big letters we could read through the window, and that was wonderful. If you think to do that same, it’ll make things even smoother.
  • The Y’s pickup loop is a little odd, and when I pick my kids up from camp there (remember camps? Those were nice.) it can be a zoo. We don’t want you backing up into Hawthorne, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into look and circle around. You’ll have to merge back into the line, but I promise you we’ll get everyone as fast as you can and if someone happened to arrive after you but didn’t need to make the loop so got in the line ahead of you, that won’t cause you to get fewer items than you ordered. My ask here is to be patient with us and keep in mind we’re doing what we can to keep everyone safe from both viruses and distracted drivers speeding down Hawthorne.

Finally, the Y has been holding an ongoing food drive for their pantry for members in need. If you have canned or packaged food you don’t need, feel free to bring it and we’ll give it to them.

That’s about it, really. We have had to continually adapt to changing conditions and increasing demand, and every week is better than the last. I know this week will be better yet.

Some reminders:

  • If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
  • 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. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • 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 on Thursday at the YMCA!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

ALG Market Open for April 23


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

Hi there! First things first: WE ARE MOVING! Starting this week, pickups are moving from Ben’s Bikes to the Athens YMCA, located at 915 Hawthorne Ave. We love Ben’s, and as soon as the medical emergency has passed we’ll be moving back. But for now we needed someplace with more room, better vehicle access, and better protection from the elements. The YMCA offers all that, and we’re so thankful they’re allowing us to use their facilities while they remain closed.

This means we can now offer you curbside contactless delivery! As you pull in through the entrance loop up to the front of the building, we’ll get your name, ask you to pull forward, and then bring all your items out to you. You can pop your trunk or unlock your back or passenger door, and we’ll load your car up for you.

If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.

I’ve got a plan in my head for how all this will work, and it should be a lot better for everyone compared to how we’ve been managing, but bear in mind this’ll be our first time and we’ll need to fine tune it as we go. On top of that, the forecast is calling for a steady and sometimes hard rain all through the day. We’ll have challenges, but considering that I don’t think we could have operated in the rain at all at Ben’s, I think we’ll be in good shape.

Live plants were the biggest challenge, and given the rain I had to make the hard choice to temporarily remove most of them from the availability list this week. I just couldn’t think of any way to manage getting you those in a clean way in the rain. Some of the growers can put them in paper bags and such so we can hold them inside, but the rest I’ve taken down. Hopefully after a week at the Y under our belt, we’ll have a way to handle them rain or shine and all the growers can bring their plants back.

Some things will remain the same:

  • We’ve still got three pickup windows, and I’ve converted your account’s previous choice to the same slot at the Y
  • 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. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • 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 (sorry to the two of you we mixed up last week!), feel free to pull into the lot and have a look.

I’ll send out the usual reminder email Thursday morning reminding you of the location change, and we’ll have a sign at Ben’s in case force of habit takes you there. We look forward to seeing you at the Y on Thursday evening!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

ALG Market Open for April 16


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

Hi there! Each week for the last several, I’ve thought “This is it. There’s no way we can keep going like this.” But we make it through the evening on Thursday in one piece, and decide to give it another go next week. So, here we are.

The biggest thing we learned last week is we are very much weather-dependent. Wind gusts came through while we were setting up and destroyed one of our pop-up tents, and I really have no idea what we’d’ve done if it had stormed. Things look really good for beautiful weather this week, so that gives me a bit more time to mull that over.

Having three separate pickup windows has really helped a lot! About half of you chose the 5-6pm time slot, and it took us the entire hour to go through everyone. About a third of you chose 6-7, and the remaining few chose 7-8. Those of you who chose the 5pm hour last week and didn’t like the long line might want to choose the 7pm slot, when the parking lot has lots of room and we’ve got your items ready to go. The time you arrive has no bearing on if you get everything you order, as that’s determined by when you place your order if the grower runs short. If they can’t fill everything, the system prompts them to remove the shortage from people who ordered last. So, no need to arrive right at the beginning of your time slot, and odds are that’ll only increase your wait time.

The live plants are the biggest bottleneck. There’s a reason Cofer’s doesn’t sell groceries, and we’re just not set up to be able to efficiently get you all the plants you’re wanting to put into your gardens, what with all this free time and all. But gardening is really important, and the single biggest reason why I run a farmers market, so we’re not going to cut you off. If you buy plants, please know the following things:

  • We will not be able to get your plants for you. They will be together, organized by grower with your plants together in each grower’s area
  • We likely won’t be able to tell you exactly what you ordered or what grower you bought them for. Print out your order confirmation email or better yet, check your order online before you come and bring that list with you somehow.
  • We cannot police who takes what. All the plants have labels with your names on them, same as the food. Please, please only grab the plants with your name on them. Pay more attention than just the first few letters of your last name, as many of you share those letters. Several people had to go home without their plants last week because earlier people with similar names took their plants first.
  • I promised our volunteers that they could organize food in the back without having to come into contact with the record number of people coming to pick things up. I want to keep them and you safe, so I’m the only one of us physically interacting with you. That means we can’t have someone sitting among the plants directing traffic.

These other things about pickups are still the same:

  • 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. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
  • We can not accept any recycling
  • We cannot take your own bags or bins
  • We ask that you keep yourselves separated. I will have three tables up front so you can take your time looking through your order if you choose while I move on to the next person.

Keep in mind that conditions are still changing rapidly. We’ll notify you as soon as we know if anything happens to affect where, when, and if you can pick up your order.

Finally, a reminder that while the parking lot there is decently sized, it’s still no shopping center and there are a lot of you coming and going. Take it slow, give yourselves lots of room to get around, and be patient with everyone. This is new territory for all of us, and we’re having to adjust on the fly. Last week saw several times the usual amount of sales for our growers, which would be logistically challenging for us in normal circumstances. Please be patient with us on Thursday if things don’t go the most smoothly, and if you see something we could be doing better, please tell us. We don’t know how long we’ll be able to do this, but we’ll keep it going as long as we possibly, and safely, can.

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!