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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!



 
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Availability for November 19


To Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown

Recipes

Young Turnip Salad with Apples and Lemon Dressing

Raw young turnips are sweet, with a tender-firm crunch. In this refreshing salad, lemon juice and tart, crispy apples accentuate both of these qualities. For a sweet treat, try tossing in some raisins, or top with chopped and freshly toasted pecans or walnuts. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup peeled and grated raw young turnips (about 2 medium turnips)
1 cup peeled and grated tart apples (Granny Smith or greenings) (about 1 large apple)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable
oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper
Toss the turnips, apples, parsley, lemon juice, and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Market News

This week we welcome back Fred’s Bread, the baker in Honea Path, South Carolina who not only bakes to order, but also grinds the flour he uses immediately prior to baking. Without the raw milk, we weren’t able to justify driving all the way out to meet him, but we’ve adjusting things on our side and he’s agreed to come in a little closer, so now we should be able to continue to include him in the market from now on. This means the market is once again offering everything it did before the raw milk fiasco, except, of course, the raw milk itself. We’re also experimenting with allowing Split Creek to remain permanently listed on the website instead of only listing them every other week. So, you won’t have to remember if this week is a cheese week or not. The answer will always be “yes”.

We will be closed next week for Thanksgiving. It is the only week a year we completely close down. If you wanted ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal (and you could make the entire meal with what’s listed here), be sure to purchase them this week.

We’ve looked ahead on the calendar to next month. Even though Christmas Eve is on a Thursday, we do plan on being open that week. It still depends on the growers, of course, and there’s a chance we may move the pickup to Wednesday. We’ll keep you informed there.

Many of you have asked about local turkeys for your Thanksgiving meal. There is only one grower of naturally raised heritage beed turkeys, and that is Nature’s Harmony Farm. Unfortunately, they’re just one farm and the demand is so great that they actually sold out way back in May. Or February, even. A very long time ago. If you’d like to know about their turkeys for next year, head over to their website and sign up for their email newsletter. You may still be able to find turkeys raised with care from other farms across the country, perhaps even a state or two away, that will ship to you. Just head over to localharvest.org to search for those.

Our new location, Ben’s Bikes, seems to be working out well. We’re still tweaking things on our end, especially with how we organize the growers as they arrive with their items, but it has been going very smoothly. I hope you agree. We are planning on a few projects over the winter to make things even better for us when spring rolls around, and I’m sure we’ll need some extra hands making those happen. I’ll keep you up to date on that as well.

Thanks 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 Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

Coming Events

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website.

The Georgia Organics annual conference being held in Athens on February 18-20. The keynote speaker will be Slow Food Founder and Leader, Carlo Petrini. To make the travel expenses more affordable for farmers who travel from across the state (and beyond), Georgia Organics is looking for Athens households willing to host a farmer in their home during the conference. Check your calendars, see if you have a room you’re willing to share, and if so please let Georgia Organics know by filling out the form you can find at http://athens.locallygrown.net/files/document/document/334/2010HomeStaysForm.pdf.

Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

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!

November 12 Addendum


Hello! I realized this morning that I completely forgot to mention Thanksgiving in my email last night, and there were a few things I wanted you to know. Here they are:

Many of you have asked about local turkeys for your Thanksgiving meal. There is only one grower of naturally raised heritage beed turkeys, and that is Nature’s Harmony Farm. Unfortunately, they’re just one farm and the demand is so great that they actually sold out way back in May. Or February, even. A very long time ago. If you’d like to know about their turkeys for next year, head over to their website and sign up for their email newsletter. You may still be able to find turkeys raised with care from other farms across the country, perhaps even a state or two away, that will ship to you. Just head over to localharvest.org to search for those.

Second, we will be open next week, but we will be taking the week of Thanksgiving off. It’s the only week a year we close up shop (unless Christmas also falls on a Thursday, which it doesn’t this year). So, stock up now and next week for items you’ll be needing for your Thanksgiving meal.

Finally, to help toward that end, we’ve decided to drive out to Split Creek Farm both this week and next so that you can purchase their award winning cheese, fudge, yogurt, and other items (no, not their raw milk). Some of you already noticed their items listed this week, but if you didn’t and have been missing their fudge, well, don’t be afraid to place another order this week.

Thanks, and we’ll see you on Thursday!

Availability for November 12


To Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown

Recipes

Creamy Choi Soup

This recipe takes the flavors of a Japanese clear vegetable soup and gives them a spin… in the blender… with a potato and a touch of sour cream. The soup ends up thick and slightly creamy — and, incidentally, a lovely shade of jade green. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 3 scallions), divided
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger
1 pound choi (any kind), chopped
1 large potato, peeled, diced
3 cups vegetable stock or water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
hot pepper flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sour cream

1. Heat the peanut oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Set aside a couple tablespoons of scallions for a garnish. Add the remaining scallions, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add the choi and potato. Pour in the stock or water and add the salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to taste. Increase the heat and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the toasted sesame oil.
3. Transfer the soup to a food processor or a blender and puree. Ladle soup into individual bowls.
4. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped scallion. Serve immediately.

Market News

Well, we had a very successful move to our new location last week. In case you missed the news, our Thursday pickups are now at Ben’s Bikes, located at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets. Their address is 670 W. Broad Street, but their entrance is off Pope Street. That intersection is between downtown and Milledge Avenue. The building is shared by several businesses, including a video store and an alterations shop. Those businesses are right along Broad Street, but Ben’s Bikes has the entire bottom floor of the building, and has an entrance at the rear.

I fully expected some chaos, but by and large things went very, very smoothly. We’ll keep tweaking things to adjust to the new space, but there weren’t any major problems at all. There are a few things that can be done to make the space better for both us and the folks at BEn’s Bikes, including sheltering the doors from the rain, adding some plastic strips to the roll-up door to keep the weather out and the heat in, and so forth. They’re the kind of things that many hands can make light work of, and so we’ll be calling a volunteer work day for a Sunday afternoon, probably early next month. I’ll have more details as we plan a bit better later on.

Today I was reminded yet again that our area is full of wonderful events, groups, and social activities that may have been occurring like clockwork for years and yet remain just out of sight. This time we discovered HemlockFest, an annual benefit music festival held the first full weekend of November outside of Dahlonega to increase public awareness and generate funds to help save the Eastern and Carolina Hemlock trees. It lasted for three days, but we just drove up for today, and it was well worth the ninety minute drive. There was live music throughout the day (including the Solstice Sisters), lots of artisans and craftsmen, Appalachian lore demonstrations, canoeing on the small lake there, etc. This is such a busy time of year, and it was great to take the family for a short day trip to something both fun and peaceful. You can learn more about the festival and the plight of the Appalachian HEmlocks here: http://www.lumpkincoalition.org/HemlockFest.htm

Last week, I mentioned the Georgia Organics annual conference being held in Athens on February 18-20. The keynote speaker will be Slow Food Founder and Leader, Carlo Petrini. To make the travel expenses more affordable for farmers who travel from across the state (and beyond), Georgia Organics is looking for Athens households willing to host a farmer in their home during the conference. Check your calendars, see if you have a room you’re willing to share, and if so please let Georgia Organics know by filling out the form you can find at http://athens.locallygrown.net/files/document/document/334/2010HomeStaysForm.pdf.

Thanks 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 Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

Coming Events

The State Botanical Gardens is hosting Sustainability: Bring It Home! It will be a full weekend program November 13 through 15 focusing on ways homeowners can accomplish sustainablity.

“Sustainability: Bring It Home!” is a weekend workshop for people who want to transform their home into a fun and practical part of a more ecological world. This comprehensive workshop is filled with interactive presentations and hands-on sessions that educate and inspire participants to create home systems to meet their needs for food, water, and energy as locally, sustainably, and economically as possible. Topics will include: Home Energy Alternatives; Home Orchards and Forest Gardens; Annual and Perennial Vegetable Gardens; Soil Health and Composting; Raising Animals at Home; Natural Building; Creative Erosion Control; Rainwater Catchment; and Creating an Ecological Neighborhood. Registration is available at www.uga.edu/botgarden/educationalevents.html

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.

Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

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!

New Athens Locally Grown Location This Week!


Hi! This is a reminder that Athens Locally Grown IS MOVING to a new location this week. Our Thursday pickups will now be at Ben’s Bikes, located at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets. Their address is 670 W. Broad Street, but their entrance is off Pope Street. That intersection is between downtown and Milledge Avenue. If you’re heading toward downtown, it will be on the left. Going toward Milledge, on the right. The building is shared by several businesses, including a video store and an alterations shop. Those businesses are right along Broad Street, but Ben’s Bikes has the entire bottom floor of the building, and has an entrance at the rear. Just turn onto Pope Street, then right into their parking lot.

You can find a map here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=106615564576602772749.000475e974a674ae172ce&ll=33.956033,-83.382432&spn=0.014025,0.01929&z=16.

There is even more parking room than where we have been, but the inside area where we will be is quite a bit smaller. I’m sure it will take us a few weeks to adjust our workflow to the new space, so please bear with us if the line moves slower than usual. We’ll adjust our process as needed to get things moving quickly again.

We’ll be at the far end of the building. For now, enter through the roll-up door, past the regular customer entrance to the bike shop. We may adjust that as we go, but we’ll try that this week.

If you send someone to pick your orders up for you, be sure to tell them about the new location! There won’t be anyone at the old place to point them to the new. If you get lost, give me a call at 706-248-1860.

We’ve got a great opportunity to work with the folks at Ben’s Bikes to do what we need to make it a really nice market spot. We’ll work over the winter as things slow down to get it really ready for Spring, and I think the place has a lot of long-term potential for us and the entire community. I do expect tomorrow will be a bit rough, but hopefully that’ll be confined to our volunteers. We do adapt quickly, so if you do have any problems, please bear with us.

See you there, from 4:30 to 8pm!

Availability for November 5


To Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown

Recipes

Carrots with Juniper Berries

These carrots are a good example of thoughtful preparation. The juniper berries highlight the earthy sweetness of the carrots, the touch of honey softens their flavor, and the butter rounds it all out. They make an easy, elegant side dish. From French Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis.

Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into thin rounds
1 t sea salt
1 1/2 t honey
2 cups water
1 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 t juniper berries, finely ground

1. Place the carrots, salt, honey, and water in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Cook at a good rolling boil until the carrots are nearly soft through, about 15 minutes. Remove the cover and adjust the heat so the water is boiling vigorously. Continue cooking the carrots, shaking the pan frequently so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the pan, until all but about 2 tablespoons of the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the butter and the juniper berries and toss. Add more salt, if needed, and serve.

Market News

First off this week, let me remind you that Athens Locally Grown IS MOVING to a new location this week. Our Thursday pickups will now be at Ben’s Bikes, located at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets. Their address is 670 W. Broad Street, but their entrance is off Pope Street. That intersection is between downtown and Milledge Avenue. The building is shared by several businesses, including a video store and an alterations shop. Those businesses are right along Broad Street, but Ben’s Bikes has the entire bottom floor of the building, and has an entrance at the rear.

You can find a map here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=106615564576602772749.000475e974a674ae172ce&ll=33.956033,-83.382432&spn=0.014025,0.01929&z=16.

There is even more parking room than where we have been, but the inside area where we will be is quite a bit smaller. I’m sure it will take us a few weeks to adjust our workflow to the new space, so please bear with us if the line moves slower than usual. We’ll adjust our process as needed to get things moving quickly again.

I’ll send another reminder before Thursday.

There’s not yet anything new to report on the raw milk front, but I did leave out one important part last week. There is one nationwide group dedicated to defending the right to buy and protecting the right to sell nutritious food directly from the farm. This group is the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and you can read all about them on their website, http://www.ftcldf.org/. I am a member, and would be even if I weren’t managing Athens Locally Grown. Membership dues and donations (they are a 501©3 entity) fund the legal defenses needed to stop overreaching government officials, and unfortunately these overreaches are becoming far too common. If you’re able to join as a consumer or even donate a little bit to their cause. please consider it.

There are lots of new products listed this week, including a wide variety of heirloom lettuces. It’s time to start planning the Thanksgiving meal, if you’ll be the one cooking it, and you’ll be surprised at how much of it can be sourced locally. The heritage turkeys from Nature’s Harmony sold out way back in May, but most everything else can be found through Athens Locally Grown. Don’t wait until the last minute, though… ALG will be taking the week of Thanksgiving itself off.

Further down the calendar, Georgia Organics will be holding its annual conference in Athens on February 18-20. The keynote speaker will be Slow Food Founder and Leader, Carlo Petrini. To make the travel expenses more affordable for farmers who travel from across the state (and beyond), Georgia Organics is looking for Athens households willing to host a farmer in their home during the conference. Check your calendars, see if you have a room you’re willing to share, and I’ll be posting a form on our website next week you can use to offer your space.

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and out 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 Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

Coming Events

The State Botanical Gardens is hosting Sustainability: Bring It Home! It will be a full weekend program November 13 through 15 focusing on ways homeowners can accomplish sustainablity.

“Sustainability: Bring It Home!” is a weekend workshop for people who want to transform their home into a fun and practical part of a more ecological world. This comprehensive workshop is filled with interactive presentations and hands-on sessions that educate and inspire participants to create home systems to meet their needs for food, water, and energy as locally, sustainably, and economically as possible. Topics will include: Home Energy Alternatives; Home Orchards and Forest Gardens; Annual and Perennial Vegetable Gardens; Soil Health and Composting; Raising Animals at Home; Natural Building; Creative Erosion Control; Rainwater Catchment; and Creating an Ecological Neighborhood. Registration is available at www.uga.edu/botgarden/educationalevents.html

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.

Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

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!

Availability for October 29


I’ll devote the bulk of this week’s email to the raw milk situation, but before I do I want to remind everyone that this is the last week we will be at the old state farmers market on Broad Street. Starting next week, we’ll move a few blocks closer to downtown to Ben’s Bikes, at the corner of Broad & Pope Streets. I will send out more reminders & change the website after Thursday.

Now, what’s happened since last Sunday…

As you recall, on Thursday, October 15, state inspectors from the meat division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture came to our pickup site, looking for illegal meat. Of course they found none (all of our growers are fully licensed for all of their products), but they did discover our load of raw milk many of you had ordered from Cows R Us dairy in South Carolina and seized the entire load on orders from Peggy Gates, director of the dairy division of the state Ag Department. Instead of taking it away themselves, they left it on my truck and told us they’d be at my house the following Monday to destroy it all.

I spent the next few days trying to prevent the milk’s waste by arranging to get it donated to Nature’s Harmony Farm, who could have used it to feed to their pigs, but Peggy wanted to be personally present when the milk was destroyed and she was not available any sooner than Monday morning.

So, I invited to my home everyone who had milk on the truck, along with a few other interested parties. Several dozen people did come out, but at five to nine, Peggy’s secretary called to say they she had been “held up at another inspection” and wouldn’t be arriving until 1:30. Some people had to leave, but the delay also allowed several more people who couldn’t come in the morning to come after all. Among those present was a cameraman for the documentary project “Farmageddon” (http://www.ftcldf.org/kudos/canty2.html), and several of us had our own cameras running the entire time as well. Peggy Gates came with Marybeth Willis, an agent with the FDA out of their Atlanta office (http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/MilkSafety/FederalStatePrograms/InterstateMilkShippersList/ucm114736.htm), and one of the meat inspectors that had originally impounded the milk. They wasted no time in wasting the milk, and from the time they gave us the orders to dump it all (they wouldn’t do it themselves) to the time they left took twenty minutes. The whole thing is up on YouTube in two parts, and I invite you to watch it and share the links with anyone who may be interested. Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMfQXxVAPgk and Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPey52Ybp0U. Thanks to our very nice Rubbermaid coolers and the record cold weekend temperatures, the milk was still cold and fresh to drink. Except for the two gallons that were passed around, it all ended up pour out in the grass at my house.

Unfortunately, they gave us no wiggle room at all for allowing the South Carolina dairies to offer their milk in the future. Marybeth from the FDA declared it a federal crime to bring milk across state lines for any reason. She specifically said that if you go to the dairy yourself, buy a gallon for your own use, and bring it back to your own home in Georgia, you would be a federal criminal. It doesn’t matter how it’s labelled, even if specifically as “POISON — DO NOT DRINK”. They handed out copies of the FDA rule in question, 21 CFR 1240.61 (PDF here: http://www.ftcldf.org/docs/21_CFR_1240.61_pasteurization.pdf), but this may be the first time they have enforced such an absolute interpretation of that rule. With that interpretation, there is no way to have South Carolina raw milk offered through Athens Locally Grown.

So, how can we get that changed? There are two way: through legislation and through court action. Both are being worked on. Ron Paul earlier this year introduced HR 778 (http://ftcldf.org/federal_bills-HR778.htm) that would specifically allow what we’re doing while keeping in place the ban on bulk shipments and other practices that caused the ban to be put into place in the first place. It seems there’s little likelihood of it passing, but its important to let our legislators know that we want this sort of legislation just the same. On the other end, a federal judge could rule that the enforcement of the rule as it has been done against people like us is unconstitutional, and could also allow direct-to-consumer purchases cross state lines while keeping the other bans in place. I have signed the paperwork to become a plaintiff in a federal suit to try for this result. I can’t say more yet, but I will keep you informed when the suit is filed, hopefully very soon.

(The federal raw milk rule aside, the fact remains that our truck was searched without a search warrant, and the milk was impounded and destroyed without due process. We’re as yet undecided about what action to take about that. Both state and federal agents were involved.)

Another avenue is finding legal Georgia raw milk. Georgia actually does allow the sale, so long as the dairy is registered as a “pet food” producer and the containers are labelled as such. THe trouble is a) there is no testing of the final product, b) anyone can get a license by just paying $75, regardless of the cleanliness of their dairy, and c) there aren’t any near Athens. In contrast, South Carolina has established a strict testing regimen that ensures milk being sold raw has bacterial levels below that required of pasteurized milk. If Georgia were to adopt laws similar to South Carolina, it would take time for the raw milk to enter the market.

So, in the meantime, only milk from Johnston Family Farm will be available through Athens Locally Grown. I’m not knocking their milk in any way — it’s of the highest quality and the best milk you can buy in Georgia, from anyone. But for those who want and need clean raw milk, it’s just not the same.

Also, we’re not able to regularly drive to Split Creek Farm or to Fred’s Bread (both near Anderson, South Carolina) anymore, without significantly raising the “delivery fee” portion of the final price to cover our cost of going out there. However, we will go out there on the 19th of November, so you can buy cheeses, fudge, bread, and other items for your Thanksgiving table. I know I was planning on having some of it on mine.

And finally, thanks to your generosity, our tip jar was overflowing this past Thursday. Cows R Us did get paid for all of the milk that was wasted, and our shared cash box was filled back up to cover the expense on our end. Thank you so much for that. I can’t begin to tell you how stressful this last week has been, but you have given your support in every way possible, and that was wonderful beyond belief. Thank you.

Here are some news links from the past week. The news spread nationwide, partly due to the new strict interpretation and enforcement of the FDA rule, but here is some local coverage:

ABH News: “Some sour as state grabs raw milk” http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/101709/new_505698081.shtml
ABH News: “Unpasteurized drinkers cry foul over spilled milk” http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/102009/new_506640054.shtml
ABH Editorial: “Raw milk advocates should work within system” http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/102109/opi_507140444.shtml
ABH Commentary: “Raw milk is danger to public health” http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/102509/opi_508629389.shtml
NewsTalk 1340 Interview (10/22/09) http://feeds.1340wgau.com/NewsmakersWithTimBryant
Raw video of the milk dumping: Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMfQXxVAPgk and Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPey52Ybp0U

Availability for October 22


To Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown

Recipes

Soupe Savoyarde (Savoyard Cream of Potato Soup)

This soup, which is easy to prepare, is particularly liked by children. The normal preparation time is about 15 minutes, with another 35 minutes of cooking time. On cold days, this soup is especially welcome at the table. From Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette.

Serves 4

5 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
4 lg potatoes, sliced
2 1/2 cups milk
4 T butter
2/3 cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
4 slices bread, toasted

1. Pour the stock into a soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook them, covered, over low-medium heat for 30 minutes.
2. Blend the soup in a blender and then pour it back into the soap pot. Add the milk, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well and continue to cook until all the cheese is melted.
3. Place a slice of toast at the center of each soup place. Pour the hot soup on top of the toast and serve immediately.

Market News

It’s been an eventful week for Athens Locally Grown. Let me start with the good news…

Starting on November 4th, in two weeks, Athens Locally Grown will be moving to a new pickup location. We accepted an offer from the owners of Ben’s Bikes to use their space. They’re located just down the street from where we are now, at the corner of Pope & Broad Streets, in between downtown & Milledge Ave. From your perspective, things shouldn’t change that much. It’s still central, there’s still plenty of parking, and you’ll get to come in out of the rain. For us, we’ll be quite a bit more cramped at first, but we should soon adjust to the new space. Bear with us for a couple of weeks, though, as we will have to make some logistical changes.

Again, that will be in two weeks. We ought to be at the old farmers market both this week and next. Feel free to stop by Ben’s Bikes and say hi and pass on our thanks for letting us use their space. They have many overlapping goals & ideals with us, and though the space may seem cramped at first, there is lots of potential for both of us to work together for something really special there.

I will of course have plenty of reminders, a map, and other things to help you find us when the time comes.

And for the not-so-good news.

Our area lost a champion for local and organic foods this week with the passing of Hilda Byrd. She and her husband Andy ran Whippoorwill Organic Farm just down the road from Athens in Walnut Grove. Their farm has hosted the annual Georgia Organics field day celebration “Field of Greens” every year, and the two of them have been stalwarts in both growing food and working to ensure everyone had access to that food.

Closer to home, nothing has changed on the dairy front since Thursday night. I’m expecting a visit from the state officials and inspectors at 9am tomorrow morning, and we’ll go from there. I’ve invited everyone who had milk on the truck to come witness, along with all the ALG growers, and a few others. I turned down massive offers of support from people who wanted to drive in from all over the southeast US, as I don’t want a confrontational protest at my house. I’m confident we were doing everything legally, though the state doesn’t see it that way. I want to find from them tomorrow what it would take to become legal in their eyes, and that would be harder to do with a giant rally going on.

But in the meantime, we won’t be getting products from Cows R Us, Milky Way Dairy, Split Creek Farm, and Fred’s Bread. Both Split Creek & Fred’s Bread sold items that are not in question, but we just can’t afford to go get those items for you without also hauling a load of your milk. Hopefully everything will be settled by next week, but I really can’t say what will happen tomorrow. Last year a similar police action against a similar group in Ohio didn’t go well for anyone, and it’s still being litigated. I have no reason to expect things will get that bad for us, but you just never know.

There are a number of new items this week. One thing of special note: there are a number of native wildflower transplants being offered this week. Now is the time to plant these wildflowers for the spring, so they won’t be listed for long.

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and out 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 old state market on Broad Street from 4:30 to 8pm!

Coming Events

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. Several of our growers also sell at the Hocshton farmers market, also on Saturday mornings. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

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!

The State of Georgia Seized Your Milk Today


Hello! It’s late and I’m exhausted, but I wanted you all to know what happened today at our Athens Locally Grown pickup.

When we arrived, we were greeted by three badged inspectors from the Georgia Department of Agriculture who were there waiting for us. “We read about you on the internet,” they told me.

I explained to them what Athens Locally Grown is, how we work, discussed that I’ve been diligent to make sure all of the growers who sell through the market have the appropriate licenses when needed, and so forth. The inspectors were very friendly during this time and everything that followed — I do not fault them in any way.

They talked to the growers as they arrived. They were particularly interested in the meat, and indeed found all of that to be legal.

When my wife arrived with the raw milk ordered by ALG members directly from the Cows R Us dairy in South Carolina (A USDA Grade A dairy fully licensed to sell raw milk), the inspectors entered our truck and began opening our coolers.

To be clear, I did not give them permission to enter or search my truck, and they did not have a warrant to do so. When they discovered the coolers to be full of clearly labelled raw milk, they immediately began calling their supervisors. The chain of calls made their way up to Peggy Gates, the director of the Dairy Division of the Consumer Protection Division of the State Department of Agriculture. She immediately gave orders to seize the entire load of milk.

I did try to explain to her all of the very strict rules that we follow to keep things legal. She was very gruff with me and was not at all interested in hearing what we do. “I know exactly what you’re doing” she told me. She told me what we were doing is a Federal offense (it is not, and of course she has no jurisdiction over Federal statute). In the end she declared all 100 gallons an “imminent health hazard” and ordered it seized.

Oddly enough, the inspectors could not seize it themselves, as they only had several small sedans. So, it was impounded in place on my truck, and I was ordered not to disturb the milk in any way, or else I “would be guilty of a felony”.

The inspectors and director Peggy Gates herself personally will be coming to my house Monday morning to witness my “destruction” of the milk. I am hoping they will not be also coming to arrest me, but they do have that power.

Let me reiterate that I believe we have not violated any laws whatsoever. What we are doing is also being done by thousands of groups and individuals throughout the country, and I have been extremely careful that we are doing what has legal precendent. Namely:

  • You order via the website directly from the dairy
  • The dairy receives the orders without any intervention from me. They have a name for every carton of milk
  • We pick up, on your behalf, exactly the cartons that have been pre-ordered. We have a name for every carton of milk
  • You meet us at the pickup location and get your milk.
  • We do not store it beyond the pre-established pickup time.

Given those steps that are followed to the letter (and those of you who ask me every single week “can’t you just bring an extra gallon or two with you?” can attest that they are), I do not believe that the Georgia Department of Agriculture has any authority over those cartons of milk. We are not violating federal law. We are not violating state law.

So where do we stand? Right now, raw milk can no longer be offered through Athens Locally Grown. I have 110 gallons of milk sitting on my truck until Monday morning, when a team of officials will be coming to my house to witness its destruction (and hopefully nothing more). Until Peggy Gates changes her mind (which seems unlikely), that is that. It may well take a court order to change things. I know our membership includes a fair number of lawyers, and if any of you wish to help in this, please let me know. I really don’t know where to even begin.

I’ll keep you all informed. I’m surprised it took so long for them to harass us, and I’m also surprised by how unsympathetic they turned out to be. And by “they”, I really mean director Peggy Gates, who issued the order. Her website address is http://agr.georgia.gov/00/channel_title/0,2094,38902732_125874866,00.html and her office’s phone number is (404) 656-3625. Please don’t harass her, but it may help if they do hear your stories, why you order raw milk, and why you are a member of Athens Locally Grown.

I know many of you were relying on your milk delivery today, especially since our truck’s engine problems kept us from bringing a full load last week. I’m sorry. Hopefully something will happen soon to make them loosen their grip and allow us to once again bring your milk that you ordered directly from the dairy to you.

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone you see fit.

-eric

PS. People around the country are already taking notice of what happened to us today. Here’s one example.

Availability for October 15


To Contact Us

Athens Locally Grown
athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown

Recipes

Steamed Chicory with Pine Nuts and Raisins

This lovely, simple recipe accentuates the bittersweet taste of cooked chicory by pairing it with fruits and nuts. Make a pretty variation by substituting dried cranberries for the raisins and slivered almonds for the pine nuts. Or try chopped dried apricots (use unsulfured for a deeper flavor) and toasted chopped pecans or walnuts. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 4

3 tablespoons raisins
1 pound chicories, such as endive, escarole, or radicchio, leaves separated but left whole (if you’re using radicchio, simply cut it into quarters)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons pine nuts
salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to plump, then drain.
2. Put the chicory in a steamer basket, set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water, and cover. Steam just until wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the greens to a colander to drain.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until the pine nuts begin to brown in spots, about 3 minutes.
4. Give the greens a few chops on a cutting board, then add them to the skillet and stir until the greens are well coated with the oil. Remove from heat and stir in the raisins. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Market News

Since we had a few days off school for Fall break, our family made our annual pilgrimage to Hunting Island State Park, just outside of Beaufort, South Carolina for a long weekend of camping on the beach. If you’ve never been, and are looking for an inexpensive beach getaway (and who isn’t?), I can’t recommend this place highly enough. Campsites are $12 or so a night, with water & electricity, showers with hot water, all just off the prettiest, most uncrowded beach I’ve ever been to. I’m listening to the surf as I type this, in fact.

We took most of our food with us for some good old fashioned camp cooking, all from Athens Locally Grown. Sausage & eggs for breakfast, potatoes & onions & sweet nardello peppers fried in a cast iron pot, a beef stew with carrots, onion, garlic, potatoes, rosemary, & some other odds & ends. Not to different from the sorts of things I make at home, come to think about it. But anyway, we also left some time for exploring the food local to that area. It’s a fun thing to do, and as Athens Locally Grown shoppers, you’re better positioned than most to spot local food when you travel too.





Right on the shore among the salt marshes, sea food is the main find. It’s Gullah country, and it seems like most every house in the marsh has at least one boat tied up next to it with a few hand-thrown fish or shrimp nets. A few larger shrimping operations make their homes there too, but none are the large trawlers that are causing so much damage to the off-shore fisheries. The biggest boats I’ve seen here look to have a crew of six or so.

Just further inland a couple miles, the salt marsh turns to grassland, and there are a few beef pastures and even a few vegetable farms. Barefoot Farm in St. Helena Island is one interesting example. They grow a wide variety of summer produce, but market most of it to tourists who pass by their very large roadside stand. They say the locals are really interested in what they do, and prefer to get their produce from the grocery store. They don’t grow organically, either. The pest and disease pressures are intense there at the edge of the marsh, and they told me they just don’t feel they can risk what they already have for an uncertain market with organics. Still, it’s an unexpected place to find a vegetable farm at all, and was nice to visit.

When you’re traveling, whether for business or vacation, try to discover the food local to that place. It can be hard to find sometimes, especially with the chain restaurants that make every place seem just like every other place, but it’s there. And finding it can often be the thing that turns a ho-hum trip into something to remember.

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, and local food in general. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at the old state market on Broad Street from 4:30 to 8pm!

Coming Events

FOLK is holding their second annual Apple Festival this coming Saturday. I received this from one of the organizers: "FOLK’s second annual Fall Apple Festival… FOLK (Furthering Our Local Knowledge) is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to reviving traditional forms of understanding and doing things (www.folkathens.org, if you’d like to know more about us). Our apple festival will be held from 1 to 8 on October 17th this year, and we’re trying to bring out more farmers and local artists this year; last year we had 500-700 people, and we’re expecting it to be just as big, if not bigger (depending on weather) this year."

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. Several of our growers also sell at the Hocshton
farmers market, also on Saturday mornings. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

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!

Availability for October 8


Hello there! It’s already nearly 11pm as I sit down to write this, so once again I’m going to skip the photos and recipes and skip straight to the availability list. Well, after a few announcements…

Yesterday we held our third annual “Hunter’s Moon Feast” out at my place, and it was our best one yet, I think. A good number of people came out to spend the day with us, and even more came to watch the moon rise over the river. Several tents went up on the riverbank for what turned out to be an excellent night for camping. Thank you everyone for coming out and sharing your food with the rest of us. I hope even more of you can come out to join us next year!

The state has given us a deadline for leaving the old market building: we have at the very latest until early December, and might have to be out even sooner, in early November. I’ll be looking at various alternative sites that have been offered to us over the next few days. Truth is, though, that none of them so far are as ideal as our current location, which was originally built for exactly what we’re using it for. I’ll be searching quickly for something that will work with the least disruption for you, the growers, and the market workers. It’s a tall order, and I’ll keep you well informed.

One of the canonical examples of the dangers of the industrial food system is the good old hamburger. A single hamburger patty can have meat from dozens of animals from cows from around the world, all in the effort to shave a few cents of the cost of producing that patty. The New York Times today had an eye-opening article on the problems of manufacturing food this way that does as good a job of making the case for knowing your farmers than anything else I’ve seen. You can read it yourself here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html.

Finally, FOLK is holding their second annual Apple Festival next weekend. I missed it last year, and will have to again this year, but I’ve heard it’s a wonderful family-friendly event. I received this from one of the organizers: "FOLK’s second annual Fall Apple Festival… FOLK (Furthering Our Local Knowledge) is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to reviving traditional forms of understanding and doing things (www.folkathens.org, if you’d like to know more about us). Our apple festival will be held from 1 to 8 on October 17th this year, and we’re trying to bring out more farmers and local artists this year; last year we had 500-700 people, and we’re expecting it to be just as big, if not bigger (depending on weather) this year."

Thanks as always for all of your support of local food, local farmers, and Athens Locally Grown!