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!



 
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Availability for May 20


To Contact Us

Our Website: http://athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/athenslocallygrown

Recipes

Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam

Rhubarb is really hard to come by down here, but my local grocer had some grown in North Carolina on the shelf today, so my Yankee cravings for homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam (using strawberries from Athens Locally GRown, of course) was satisfied today. From http://www.rhubarbinfo.com.

1 qt Fresh strawberries
6 1/2 c Sugar
1 lb Rhubarb
1 Pouch liquid pectin
1/4 c Water

1. Remove caps from strawberries. Crush berries, one layer at a time. Trim (do not peel) rhubarb. Thinly slice or chop stalks. Add water. Cover and simmer 2 minutes or until soft. Add to the prepared strawberries.
2. Measure 3 1/2 cup of prepared fruit. If it measures slightly less, add water. Place measured fruit in a 6 or 8- quart saucepan.
3. Measure sugar exactly and set aside. Open liquid pectin and set the pouch upright in a cup.
4. Stir sugar into prepared fruit. The saucepan must be no more than one-third full to allow for a full rolling boil.
5. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
6. Stir in pectin at once. Quickly skim off foam with a large metal spoon. Immediately ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4- inch space at top. With a damp cloth, wipe jar rims and threads clean.
7. Immediately cover jars with hot canning lids. Screw bands on firmly.
8. Place jars in a boiling water bath, carefully setting jars on rack in canner of boiling water. Cover canner and return water to a boil; boil 5 minutes.
9. Remove jars from canner and let cool. Check seals and store in a cool, dry place.

Market News

As you probably noticed when you picked up your order last Thursday, we’re revamping our process organizing the produce and fulfilling orders. I emptied the bank account and got many, many shelving units that set up quickly and dear down and stack neatly. When arranged in aisles, the four levels give us about double the capacity we had with the stacked cot system we had been using. We can write right on the edge of the shelves with wet erase markers, so that should make it easier to more quickly find what we’re looking for when we’re gathering your ordered items. We did a limited experiment with the system two weeks ago, and dove right in last week. We right away found a few improvements (my apologies to those who arrived right at 4:30 and had to wait a bit longer than usual), and this coming week things out to run smoothly. We already packed a heck of a lot of food into that little room, and now we can fit in about twice as much.

There will be some more changes to come in the next few weeks. The first parts of the awning arrived this week, and the rest should get here in a few days. We’ll be putting it up on Saturday (assuming everything does indeed arrive). It should be a pretty easy task, but more hands is always nice. If you’d like to help, let me know and I’ll be contacting you with the details. Once that is up, we plan on having everything for you outside under the awning when the weather’s nice. It’s 18 feet by 40 feet, so there will be plenty of room, and you should be more comfortable than cramming into the little space we currently have. The tables to pick up your order and the pay station will all be moved outside.

We’ll also be opening up a second pay station, and that will clear that bottleneck. When there are eight of us filling orders, the payment line can get a bit backed up. I’ve gotten my hands on two iPads, and have been building a system so that the two people taking payments can use them to look up your order, mark it as paid, and even adjust your order right in the system for things that didn’t arrive. We’ll also be able to then start accepting payment via credit or debit cards, something many of you have been asking for. Many great improvements, I think, are coming very soon!

We had our first “Farmer for a Day” event on Saturday, hosted by Darby Farm. We helped them clear scrub and brush from overgrown pasture that will soon be forage area for turkeys and chickens. After a nice lunch, we then got to hear and see Daniel Dover’s approach to providing clean, humane poultry to us with very little operating capital and overhead. A conventional poultry person will tell you you need a quarter million dollar loan just to build a single chicken house, and then you’re beholden to a poultry company like Pilgrim’s Pride to provide you with feed, birds, and everything else on their terms. Darby Farms started with none of that, and disproves the notion that it’s just too expensive to get into farming. Our next Farmer for a Day event is Sunday June 13th at Sundance Farm. Spots are still open, so make your reservations soon!

We’ll be having some other neat demonstrations at the Locally GRown pickup point this Thursday. Evan McGown, founder and director of the Institute for Wild Intelligence here in Athens will be on hand to demonstrate some primitive skills, such as fire by friction, that children especially will enjoy. Evan also runs several nature-based summer camps, and will have information on hand about those. You can learn more about Evan and Wild Intelligence at his website: http://www.wildintelligence.org/.

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown and everything we’ve tried to accomplish. With you’re help, we’ve been able to build something truly great and inspirational to people all across the country, more than you could know. Thank you also for your support of 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

Farmer for a Day: JUNE 13, Sunday, at Sundance Farm (Madison County)

Certified Naturally Grown. We are a family farm growing a diverse variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits and berries. We also raise chickens, heritage turkeys and goats. Our three children are the heart of our farm. They enjoy the healthy food they help harvest and realize what it takes to get from a seed to the table. We are Certified Naturally Grown and have sold produce in the Athens area since 1998. Currently we sell at Athens Locally Grown, Athens Farmers Market, local restaurants and from the farm. We are also planning a C.S.A. in the near future. We appreciate all the Locally Grown customers that have supported us through the years, allowing us to do what we love, Growing good food. This farm is approximately 13 miles from Athens, and it’ll take 20 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

The Athens Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at Bishop Park from 8am to noon and every Tuesday evening at Little Kings downtown. 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 May 13


To Contact Us

Our Website: http://athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/athenslocallygrown

Recipes

Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas with Carrots and Honey Glaze

The fresh, summery flavor of sugar snap peas is set off by the sweetness of lightly cooked carrots and a honey glaze. Sweet simplicity. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Serves 4

1/2–1 pound sugar snap peas
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove the strings from both edges of the pea pods.
2. Cut each carrot into thirds. Slice each third, lengthwise, into quarters so that the slices are about the size and shape of the sugar snap peas.
3. Place the carrots in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water, cover, and steam until they are just crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the carrots in a colander.
4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar snap peas; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the carrots. Continue to cook and stir until the peas are bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the honey and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly, until the peas and carrots are thoroughly glazed with the honey.
5. Remove the skillet from heat. Season generously with pepper.

Market News

For the last six months, Athens Locally Grown has pretty much been the only game in town for buying locally grown foods. That changed in a hurry this week, as the traditional farmers markets have opened in Athens (Saturday mornings at Bishop Park and starting this Tuesday afternoon downtown at Little Kings Shuffle Club), Watkinsville (Saturday mornings downtown), and Comer (Saturday mornings downtown). And likely other neighboring towns I don’t know about. Many of the Athens Locally Grown growers sell only through here, but the others sell at one or several of these other markets. It’s hard to predict what effect that will have on availability, but I expect at least for these first few weeks some of the larger growers will hold back from here to be sure they have enough produce to make their presence worthwhile at the other markets. As the season progresses and the gardens are all producing more (and the growers themselves find their balance), things will even out again. I think Athens Locally Grown will continue to have the most variety, and is the most convenient way to shop for them, but please also frequent the other markets when you can. They do offer an atmosphere that I just can’t reproduce with our system, and especially do a great job of putting the sense of community front and center.

It’s sometimes hard to remember how deep the Athens local food community is when you’re just looking at a website and running in and out to pick up your order for the week. We try to show that more through our “meet the grower” tables (which will be starting up again soon) and our monthly farm tours and “farmer for a day” events. We’re very lucky to be at Ben’s Bikes, which seems to be an emerging center for the local food community. There is a new permaculture group that has starting meeting every Monday evening at 6pm right there where we have our weekly pickup. The meetings are potluck, so bring a dish, meet likeminded folks, and enjoy the evening. They’ve begun building a community garden right behind the shop, along the creek that was, until recently, completely overrun with kudzu. They’re calling it “The People’s Perennial Peace Garden at Tanyard Creek”, and they’re off to fantastic start. Just up the hillside, on the other side of the church there, is a neighborhood garden that even Sam Gamgee would be proud of. Two years ago, that area was also just a kudzu pile, and now it’s one of the most beautiful vegetable gardens I’ve seen. If you’ve got a few minutes when you come pick up your order, walk or drive right up the hill and take a look. It’s quite an inspiration for what could be done at neighborhoods all across town: neighbors banding together to create a thing of beauty that also gives them a fair measure of food independence.

Also there at Ben’s Bikes, in the part of the building opposite where we meet, folks are busy building a community kitchen. I’m not clear on the details, but the vision is to offer a communal space where people can come in and cook for a group, bring in produce from their gardens to cook and share, and so forth. It’s not a commercial space, so you couldn’t come in and, say, cook up a batch of jam to sell. I’m looking forward to learning more and seeing it all come together.

People have been asking me about the milk lawsuit. To recap the story so far, in October the state of Georgia, acting under orders from the FDA, seized a truckload of milk ALG customers had purchased from a dairy in South Carolina. They ordered the milk to remain on my truck, and then on Monday came out to my house and ordered it all dumped on the ground. Through the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, we have filed suit against the FDA, arguing on several grounds that they did not have the legal authority to seize and destroy an individual’s legally purchased milk simply because it had crossed state lines after it was purchased. The suit was filed a couple months ago, and the FDA had 60 days to respond. They have done so, and you may be surprised to learn that they claim you have “no absolute right to any particular food”, nor do you have a right to “bodily and physical health”. Their words. You can find a great analysis of their response here at The Complete Patient weblog. We have a further 60 days to respond, and the lawyers are already drawing that up. One thing the FDA claims in their response is “the government has neither brought nor threatened to bring a single enforcement action against consumers who purchase unpasteurized milk for personal consumption.” If they’re saying that, I can’t imagine what they think called it when an FDA agent came to my house, and in front of cameras ordered under the authority of her badge that 110 gallons of privately owned milk, purchased by ALG customers (including myself) for personal consumption, be destroyed. I’d call that an enforcement action, but what do I know? Anyway, I’ll let you know as things develop. It’s a slow process, but I’m hopeful we will prevail.

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown and everything we’ve tried to accomplish. With you’re help, we’ve been able to build something truly great and inspirational to people all across the country, more than you could know. Thank you also for your support of 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

Farmer for a Day: MAY 15, Saturday, at Darby Farms (Walton County)

Certified Naturally Grown. Darby Farms is a family owned pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and informational outreach in Walton County. We produce: pastured poultry (eggs, chicken, turkeys, ducks and guinea fowl) and will soon be offering pastured pork. We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture. Experience the satisfaction of knowing your food and your farmer and building community. We are your clean meat connection. This farm is approximately 27 miles from Athens and it’ll take about 40 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

Farmer for a Day: JUNE 13, Sunday, at Sundance Farm (Madison County)

Certified Naturally Grown. We are a family farm growing a diverse variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits and berries. We also raise chickens, heritage turkeys and goats. Our three children are the heart of our farm. They enjoy the healthy food they help harvest and realize what it takes to get from a seed to the table. We are Certified Naturally Grown and have sold produce in the Athens area since 1998. Currently we sell at Athens Locally Grown, Athens Farmers Market, local restaurants and from the farm. We are also planning a C.S.A. in the near future. We appreciate all the Locally Grown customers that have supported us through the years, allowing us to do what we love, Growing good food. This farm is approximately 13 miles from Athens, and it’ll take 20 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

The Athens Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at Bishop Park from 8am to noon and every Tuesday evening at Little Kings downtown. 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 May 6


To Contact Us

Our Website: http://athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/athenslocallygrown

Recipes

Roasted Radicchio with Gorgonzola and Balsamic Vinegar

Roasting brings out a concentrated, natural sweetness in radicchio. This dish is unusual, elegant, simple—and delicious. Served on a bed of risotto, it makes an attractive meal. If you’re not a Gorgonzola fan, this is equally delicious with Brie, Swiss, aged Cheddar, or smoked Gouda. You can substitute lemon juice for the balsamic vinegar. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Serves 4

1 medium head radicchio, cut into 2-inch wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper
balsamic vinegar
4–6 ounces Gorgonzola (or other cheese), sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly oil a 2-quart baking dish.
2. Using a pastry brush, brush the radicchio generously with olive oil and place in a single layer in the baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake the radicchio for 20 minutes, turning wedges over once midway through cooking. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with cheese. Return to the oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Market News

Wow, it’s gotten late in a hurry tonight, so I’ll make this short.

When you arrive at Ben’s Bikes this week, be sure to take a look at our brand new mural painted on the outside of the building. The bike folks have a giant mural over on the half of the wall where their store’s entrance is, and a couple weeks ago they offered to let us paint a mural on the other half. We’re planning on putting up a large awning soon, so we had to move fast. I came up with a design that tried to match the style of the existing mural. Thanks to Rachel Parnell for helping me with the design. On Saturday, several of us gathered at BEn’s Bikes and spent the day up on ladders painting. Many thanks to Kim Morris, Kacy Welsh, Edwyna Arey, and Tom Reynolds for help! I think it came out just great. When we put the awning up, hopefully in this next week, it will go at “ground level” across the mural, so that the root veggies will stick down below. What do you think?

There are several events coming up you ought to be aware of. First, the Athens Farmers Market opens their season this Saturday, May 8th, at Bishop Park. Many of the same growers who sell through Athens Locally Grown also sell there, so you’ll see some familiar names. For more information (and for details on their Tuesday market opening up on the 11th downtown) visit their website, http://athensfarmersmarket.net/.

Fancy Feather Farms in Bowman is having an open house on Saturday. Visitors can see the emus and ostriches, along with many other activities. Details are on their website, http://www.fancyfeatherfarms.com.

Also Saturday, Split Creek Farm in Anderson, SC, is having their spring festival on Saturday. It’s the height of kidding season, and there is plenty to see at their farm. I attended this event by chance a few years ago, and was so impressed with what I saw I asked if they could begin selling through Athens Locally Grown so that you all could also benefit from their labors of love. You can find more detials about this event at their website, http://splitcreek.com.

I’d better stop there, as it’s nearly midnight.

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown and everything we’ve tried to accomplish. With you’re help, we’ve been able to build something truly great and inspirational to people all across the country, more than you could know. Thank you also for your support of 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

Farmer for a Day: MAY 15, Saturday, at Darby Farms (Walton County)

Certified Naturally Grown. Darby Farms is a family owned pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and informational outreach in Walton County. We produce: pastured poultry (eggs, chicken, turkeys, ducks and guinea fowl) and will soon be offering pastured pork. We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture. Experience the satisfaction of knowing your food and your farmer and building community. We are your clean meat connection. This farm is approximately 27 miles from Athens and it’ll take about 40 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

Farmer for a Day: JUNE 13, Sunday, at Sundance Farm (Madison County)

Certified Naturally Grown. We are a family farm growing a diverse variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits and berries. We also raise chickens, heritage turkeys and goats. Our three children are the heart of our farm. They enjoy the healthy food they help harvest and realize what it takes to get from a seed to the table. We are Certified Naturally Grown and have sold produce in the Athens area since 1998. Currently we sell at Athens Locally Grown, Athens Farmers Market, local restaurants and from the farm. We are also planning a C.S.A. in the near future. We appreciate all the Locally Grown customers that have supported us through the years, allowing us to do what we love, Growing good food. This farm is approximately 13 miles from Athens, and it’ll take 20 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

The Athens Farmers Market is closed for the winter. They’ll be opening back up for the season on May 8th. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also getting ready to open again. When I hear about their opening dates, I’ll let you know.

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 April 29


To Contact Us

Our Website: http://athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/athenslocallygrown

Recipes

Broccoli and Tofu with Peanut Sauce

Served over brown rice, this dazzling, nutty dish makes for a wonderfully tasteful, healthful, and complete meal. To drain tofu, place it on a towel, place a baking sheet on top of it, and weight the bak- ing sheet down with a heavy pot or pan. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Serves 4

1/4 cup unsalted cashews
3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1–2 cloves garlic, minced (1/2–1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 pound herbed firm tofu, well drained, cubed
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, divided, plus more to taste
1/2 cup peanut butter (preferably chunky)
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
4 cups chopped broccoli, including peeled stalks

1. Toast the cashews in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant. (Be careful not to overtoast them, as they burn very quickly once toasted.) Let cool and then roughly chop.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic to taste, and pepper flakes; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
3. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and 1 tablespoon of the tamari; sauté until the tofu starts to brown in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the tofu to the bowl with the onion and bell pepper mixture.
4. In the same pan, mix the peanut butter, stock, rice vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons tamari. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture reaches a gravy-like texture and comes to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat and stir in the tofu mixture and sesame oil. Season to taste with more tamari.
5. Place the broccoli in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boil- ing water and cover. Steam for 5 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to the pan with the peanut butter mixture and mix well. If necessary, heat through before serving. Garnish with toasted cashews.

Market News

So you might have noticed that things looked a bit crowded over at Ben’s Bikes last week. They were, no doubt, but we managed pretty well, I think. The line seemed pretty intimidating, especially between 4:30 and 5ish, but no one had to wait an especially long time. We had ten people filling orders simultaneously, and the line moved through pretty quickly. Why was it so crowded? Well, we smashed through our sales record last week, that’s all. And I don’t mean our record for this time of year… I mean our growers sold more products to more customers than at any other week in Athens Locally Grown’s history! And considering this isn’t even the peak growing season (many of the state’s farmers markets aren’t even open yet), it’s really got me thinking about how to handle continued growth as the year goes on.

Ben’s Bikes seems to be working out well. It looks like we’ve got it filled to the gills, but there is room yet to grow. For one, we’ll be putting up a large awning on the outside of the building that will allow us to greet you outdoors during good weather. With the pickup tables and the pay station outside, we’ll have almost half again as much space inside to spread out the orders. I’m also working on ways to further streamline how we fill the orders. Right now, we print out all of your invoices, a report that shows everything the growers are supposed to bring, and another condensed copy of all the orders for the pay station. All told, we go through almost a ream of paper each and every week. When the growers don’t bring everything they’re supposed to, or we just can’t find it while we’re filling your order, or we overlook something for you and find it later in the evening, we have to cross-reference those items in order to adjust your amount due, or to refund your accounts, and to charge shortages back to the growers. And then I have to take all that back home and enter everything back into the website. It’s so much simpler than it sounds, but it’s still much more complicated and time consuming than I think it has to be. It particularly slows down whoever is working the cash box, as all this absolutely has to be written down.

Over the last few years, I’ve sort of fantasized about recording all of this live on the website right then and there using iPhones, but they were just too small to make the process as easy as I wanted it to be. That’s all changed though, now that the iPad has arrived. To make the entire market paperless, I’d need about a dozen of them and of course I don’t have anywhere near the resources to acquire that many. The record sales we’ve had have filled the coffers enough to get two, and we’ll start with that. Last week we checked in several of the growers using a special page on the website, and I didn’t print the growers report, an eighty page document, at all. Soon, we’ll have them at the pay station, and orders can be marked and adjusted in real time. This will let us have two people accept payments, so you’ll be able to get out twice as quickly. We should also soon after that be able to start accepting credit and debit cards too, something many of you have been asking for.

Eventually, through a grant or marvelous benefactor maybe, we’ll be able to have one for each market volunteer so they can pull up the orders and fill the bins and mark things off electronically. Once there, we’ll be saving about 400 pages of paper a week. Conceivably, they’d even be able to take your payment then and there, eliminating the need for a separate pay table altogether. It’d only take about $6000 to get us there. It’s a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things, it sounds pretty reasonable to me. I’ll try to make it happen.

In the meantime, we’re working on the space at Ben’s Bikes. I mentioned the awning earlier. All the parts are on order and should be delivered in the next week or two. If everything arrives on schedule, I’d love to build it on the weekend of May 8th. I’ll let you know for sure before then. With just a few people helping, it should be pretty easy to put up. Before that, though, the folks at Ben’s Bikes have offered to let us paint an Athens Locally Grown mural on the outside wall there. You might remember they have a folk-art style mural over on their side (see it here), and it would be great to have a stylistically similar mural over on “our” side. I’ve sketched out a rough idea that includes corn, tomato, and eggplant plants and a radish, turnip, and carrot with their tops appearing above the awning and their roots sticking down below. (You can see a bigger picture here, very poorly drawn.) We have to move fast to get this painted, because once we put up the awning it’ll be too late! I’d like to do it this coming weekend if at all possible. If you’d like to help paint, please let me know, and I’ll send you all the details. Also, if you’d like to take my crude drawing and re-draw it to match the style of their existing mural, we can project that on the wall and use that. If that’s something you can do, please draw it up and send it to me ASAP. I’m certainly no artist…

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown and everything we’ve tried to accomplish. With you’re help, we’ve been able to build something truly great and inspirational to people all across the country, more than you could know. Thank you also for your support of 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

Farmer for a Day: MAY 15, Saturday, at Darby Farms (Walton County)

Certified Naturally Grown. Darby Farms is a family owned pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and informational outreach in Walton County. We produce: pastured poultry (eggs, chicken, turkeys, ducks and guinea fowl) and will soon be offering pastured pork. We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture. Experience the satisfaction of knowing your food and your farmer and building community. We are your clean meat connection. This farm is approximately 27 miles from Athens and it’ll take about 40 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

Farmer for a Day: JUNE 13, Sunday, at Sundance Farm (Madison County)

Certified Naturally Grown. We are a family farm growing a diverse variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits and berries. We also raise chickens, heritage turkeys and goats. Our three children are the heart of our farm. They enjoy the healthy food they help harvest and realize what it takes to get from a seed to the table. We are Certified Naturally Grown and have sold produce in the Athens area since 1998. Currently we sell at Athens Locally Grown, Athens Farmers Market, local restaurants and from the farm. We are also planning a C.S.A. in the near future. We appreciate all the Locally Grown customers that have supported us through the years, allowing us to do what we love, Growing good food. This farm is approximately 13 miles from Athens, and it’ll take 20 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

The Athens Farmers Market is closed for the winter. They’ll be opening back up for the season on May 8th. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also getting ready to open again. When I hear about their opening dates, I’ll let you know.

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 April 22


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Asparagus and White Bean Salad with Feta and Lemon Dressing

Served with crusty bread, this salad makes a terrific meal. White beans provide a delectable hearty tenderness, without overwhelming the delicate asparagus. Tangy feta, zesty lemon, and a touch of mint give this salad a bright and refreshing flavor. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Serves 4

1 pound asparagus, cut on an angle in 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked or canned white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions

1. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water, and cover. Steam until the spears are tender-firm, 4 to 7 minutes depending on thickness. Drain and place in an ice water bath (or under cold, running water) for a moment to stop the cooking.
2. Put the olive oil, lemon juice, fresh mint, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Drain asparagus.
3. Combine the beans, feta, radishes, and scallions in a large bowl. Add the asparagus pieces. Pour on the dressing and gently toss. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Market News

When I was a kid, salad was my most hated food. Well, besides eggplant. I’ve since come to add both back to my favorites list. I’ll save the story of my love of eggplant for warmer weather, but this is salad season. My thoughts on salad began to turn when I realized that it didn’t have to mean a wedge of iceberg lettuce with grainy orange dressing. Without even getting into all of the other ingredients that can go into salad, there is enough variety in lettuce alone to make me forget about that old iceberg. There are looseleaf lettuces, romaines, buttercrunches, and more. And even within those general types, there is a tremendous variety in flavor, color, and textures. Heirloom tomatoes might get all the press, but heirloom lettuces are also something special. One of the unexpected side benefits of the Athens Locally Grown system we’ve built is the growers have the freedom to experiment with heirloom varieties because its easier and less risky to sell them to order on the website than it is to bring them to the traditional markets. And so, this week there are thirty five items listed in the “Lettuce” category. I don’t think any grocer in town can match that! And take a look at some of the names: “Deer Tongue”, “Sweet Valentine”, “Red Sail”, “Drunken Woman”. These aren’t commodity lettuce, bred for easy shipping. These are lettuces with a history, varieties that were passed down from one season’s garden to the next because they were special and worth saving. And because you have made the effort to spend some of your food dollars on things that were grown close to where you live, grown with care by people you know, these varieties are returning to the dinner table, replacing those terrible wedges of iceberg.

And it’s not just lettuce. Pick a vegetable, herb, flower, anything that can be grown and you’ll find varieties that have been passed down for one reason or another, varieties that return true to type each year. These stand apart from those varieties that are hybrids of two or more types, often bred more for their shipping properties than their flavor, and whose seed grows something entirely unlike the parent. I have yet to find a hybrid of anything that tastes better than an heirloom variety of the same species, so heirloom are all that I grow in my garden. There are many places and catalogs where you can find heirloom seed, but my favorite place (and one of my favorite events of the entire year) is the Southern Seed Legacy’s Old Timey Seed Swap. This event will be held this coming Saturday from 3 to 8pm at the Agrarian Connection Heritage Farm, just a short drive from Athens just inside Oglethorpe County. Not only will there be great bluegrass music and a traditional slow-cooked southern barbecue, but there will be more varieties of seeds than you’ve perhaps ever seen in one place. Don’t worry if you don’t have any of your own to bring and trade. You’ll be able to get little envelopes of different types, for free, to begin growing in your own garden. And if you save some seeds from what you grow, well, maybe you can bring some of that next year. It’s a beautiful location with wonderful people, and I encourage you to come on out. The dinner is a $5 donation (unless you bring a side dish to share). More info and directions can be found on their website: http://www.uga.edu/ebl/ssl/activities/seedswap/.

I hope to keep Athens Locally Grown the best place to find and buy locally grown foods in town, but I know sometimes you just want to go to the traditional farmers market and shop there. That’s ok, I do it too, and Athens Locally Grown is even a sponsor of the Athens Farmers Market. Many of the growers sell at both places, and it’s common to find things at one place but not the other. Well, it’s coming up on market season, here in Athens and elsewhere. The Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park market will be opening May 8th through November 20th from 8-noon each Saturday morning. You can find locally grown produce, handmade crafts, hand brewed coffee, fresh breads and baked goods, and enjoy live music, gardening workshops, and cooking demonstrations by local chefs using seasonal fruits and vegetables from the market. Also this year is the Athens Farmers Market Downtown on Tuesday afternoons from 4-7pm, held in the courtyard and parking lot of the Little Kings Club, at the corner of Hull and Hancock Streets, in downtown Athens, GA. The new market 2010 season will run from May 11 to November 16, 2010, with all the great local produce, good food, artisan breads, fresh brewed coffee and live music you have enjoyed at the Saturday market.

When I get word about the other traditional markets opening up in nearby communities, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, we’re continuing to improve the facilities at Ben’s Bikes. I’ve got an order in for an awning that will give up lots of room outdoors under shade, and that will help out and let us spread out a little bit. We’re already putting more things inside the room we’re using than we ever had at the old state market. This last week we had 300 orders for a total over $11,100. Both of those are records for us. Thank you for that! This week, there are nearly 100 more items listed on the website than last week, and it’ll only keep growing from here. 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

Farmer for a Day: MAY 15, Saturday, at Darby Farms (Walton County)

Certified Naturally Grown. Darby Farms is a family owned pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and informational outreach in Walton County. We produce: pastured poultry (eggs, chicken, turkeys, ducks and guinea fowl) and will soon be offering pastured pork. We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture. Experience the satisfaction of knowing your food and your farmer and building community. We are your clean meat connection. This farm is approximately 27 miles from Athens and it’ll take about 40 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

Farmer for a Day: JUNE 13, Sunday, at Sundance Farm (Madison County)

Certified Naturally Grown. We are a family farm growing a diverse variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits and berries. We also raise chickens, heritage turkeys and goats. Our three children are the heart of our farm. They enjoy the healthy food they help harvest and realize what it takes to get from a seed to the table. We are Certified Naturally Grown and have sold produce in the Athens area since 1998. Currently we sell at Athens Locally Grown, Athens Farmers Market, local restaurants and from the farm. We are also planning a C.S.A. in the near future. We appreciate all the Locally Grown customers that have supported us through the years, allowing us to do what we love, Growing good food. This farm is approximately 13 miles from Athens, and it’ll take 20 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

The Athens Farmers Market is closed for the winter. They’ll be opening back up for the season on May 8th. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also getting ready to open again. When I hear about their opening dates, I’ll let you know.

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 April 15


Market News

I’m a bit behind on things for the evening over here, so I’m going to skip the long email this week so you all can get right to shopping. There is one thing to announce, though. Next week, 1000 Faces Coffee will manning our “Meet the Grower” table and will be pouring free brewed-to-order cups of coffee for you while you wait for us to gather your produce. If you’ve wondered about how they select and bring to Athens their direct-trade coffees, you’ll get a chance to ask them directly this week!

A repeat from last week’s mailing: The folks over at Microsoft’s Hotmail have recently begun blocking mail from Athens Locally Grown. They’ve admitted this to me, but couldn’t say why they were doing it. They’ve had me jumping through hoops to prove to them that we don’t send junk mail, and they seem to believe me, but they couldn’t say when they might stop blocking our emails. They may have released the block already, but I have no way of knowing. If you have a hotmail address and get this, could you let me know? If you’re reading this on the website and wondering why you haven’t been getting the emails, well, this is why. There’s a reason, I’m afraid, why Hotmail has a reputation for being a terrible mail provider and why other free services, such as Google’s GMail, have gotten so popular.

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

Farmer for a Day: MAY 15, Saturday, at Darby Farms (Walton County)

Certified Naturally Grown. Darby Farms is a family owned pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and informational outreach in Walton County. We produce: pastured poultry (eggs, chicken, turkeys, ducks and guinea fowl) and will soon be offering pastured pork. We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture. Experience the satisfaction of knowing your food and your farmer and building community. We are your clean meat connection. This farm is approximately 27 miles from Athens and it’ll take about 40 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. They’ll be opening back up for the season on May 8th. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also getting ready to open again. When I hear about their opening dates, I’ll let you know.

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 April 8


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Braised Lettuces

Tired of munching bunny food? Don’t be afraid to add heat to lettuce. In this recipe, small heads ww. Cooking lettuce this way brings out a natural, delicate sweetness in the leaves. The bunnies don’t know what they’re missing. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Serves 3 to 4

3 to 4 small heads lettuce, rinsed whole under running water, tough or bruised outer leaves removed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1–2 tablespoons butter
freshly ground black pepper

1. Tie a piece of string around each head of lettuce, just tightly enough to hold the leaves together and promote even cooking.
2. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil; add the salt and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the lettuce heads and boil for 3 minutes.
3. Drain the lettuces in a colander and let cool. When cool enough to handle, gently squeeze them in your hands to remove any excess water. Remove the string.
4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the lettuce heads; cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning them carefully, for another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Market News

I mentioned a couple weeks ago about the top prize CalyRoad Creamery won at the GeorgiaGrown competition recently. Not to be outdone, the very next week Split Creek won Best In Class for its goat cheese entry in the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest held in March at Madison, Wisconsin. The contest consisted of 2,313 cheese and butter entries representing 20 nations. Their winning entry was the same Feta in Oil that’s listed right here at Athens Locally Grown. And if you’re a fan of bleu cheeses, be sure to look at the raw milk “Elberton Blue” listed this week by Nature’s Harmony. They began producing cheese last fall, but since raw milk cheese needs to be aged for a lengthy period before being legally offered for sale, this is their first week listing cheese with us. I was lucky enough to get a sneak bite a couple weeks ago, and trust me – it’s very good stuff. Of course, quantities are very limited, since this is their very first week.

One question I’ve been getting a lot recently is “where are all the chickens?” Here we are, in the middle of the biggest chicken producing region in the world, and we have no chicken offered for sale through Athens Locally Grown? Well, we do have several chicken producers, actually. However, like everything else, chicken is a seasonal product. We’ve been conditioned to expect chicken year-round (like strawberries), but that’s only because the industry has moved entirely to indoor climate-controlled crowded chicken barns. The chicken farmers who list through Athens Locally Grown all produce pastured chickens only, which means they’re outside all the time (with appropriate shelter). Our winters are too hard on young chicks, so they start hatching or buying in chicks in early spring, right about now. Then, starting in June and lasting through fall, chicken should be regularly available through ALG.

This week, we have 765 products listed on the website. 150 of those are live plants, so if you’re looking to get plants for your own garden, we’re the first place to look. The spring greens and other veggies are starting to come in strong, and we even have the very first (and very limited) supply of asparagus. It’s really exciting to watch the availability list grow each week. I added an RSS feed of new products, so those of you who use RSS readers can use the link at the bottom left of the Market page to watch the new products come in. GRowers list on Thursday through Sunday evening, so you can get several days notice before we open the market Sunday night.

The Athens Permaculture group has gotten of the ground. They’re holding a potluck meeting tomorrow, Monday evening, at 6:30 at Ben’s Bikes is you’d like to join in. They’ll be giving a presentation on “Permaculture 101” so this would be a great meeting to attend and meet like-minded Athens gardeners. They’ve also been hard at work breaking ground and planting the first fruit trees and other things at a new community garden, in the kudzu-covered area just behind Ben’s Bikes. There are several initiatives on or near the property that dovetail right in with what we’re doing there with Athens Locally Grown, which is great to see. It’s going to be an exciting spring there.

One last thing. The folks over at Microsoft’s Hotmail have recently begun blocking mail from Athens Locally Grown. They’ve admitted this to me, but couldn’t say why they were doing it. They’ve had me jumping through hoops this week to prove to them that we don’t send junk mail, and they seem to believe me, but they couldn’t say when they might stop blocking our emails. They may have released the block already, but I have no way of knowing. If you have a hotmail address and get this, could you let me know? If you’re reading this on the website and wondering why you haven’t been getting the emails, well, this is why. There’s a reason, I’m afraid, why Hotmail has a reputation for being a terrible mail provider and why other free services, such as Google’s GMail have gotten so popular.

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

Farmer for a Day: MAY 15, Saturday, at Darby Farms (Walton County)

Certified Naturally Grown. Darby Farms is a family owned pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and informational outreach in Walton County. We produce: pastured poultry (eggs, chicken, turkeys, ducks and guinea fowl) and will soon be offering pastured pork. We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture. Experience the satisfaction of knowing your food and your farmer and building community. We are your clean meat connection. This farm is approximately 27 miles from Athens and it’ll take about 40 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also all closed for the season too. All but Athens Locally Grown, that is.

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 April 1


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Beet Slices in Creamy Mustard Sauce

For this recipe, tender cooked beets are sliced and warmed in a creamy and delicious mustard sauce. If you cook the beets ahead of time, this becomes a low-fuss, high-impact side dish you can prepare and serve almost instantly. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds beets, scrubbed, trimmed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped shallot or red onion
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Place beets in a small roasting pan with 1/2 cup water. Cover with foil and bake until beets are easily pierced with a sharp knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on size. Allow beets to cool slightly, then run under cold water and slip off their skins. Slice the beets in half; cut each half into 1/4-inch wedges.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot or red onion; cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Whisk in the stock, milk, and mustard. Cook and stir the mixture until slightly thickened. Add the beets, continuing to cook and stir until they are warmed through, about 10 minutes.
4. Remove the skillet from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley.

Market News

Last week was really a test of our “new” space at Ben’s Bikes. The sales total rivaled that of the heart of summer last year, and blew away all previous records for Spring. And to make the test real, it even rained on us much of the evening. And the results were… it all seemed to work. There were a few difficulties. For instance, four different growers left things behind they meant to bring. Having even one do that is a rare thing, and having four really had our volunteers scrambling. Thank you all for your patience, and if anyone was charged for something they didn’t get, lease let me know.

Everything fit inside, including you all, so I think we’ve got the inside space as efficient as we can make it. I’ll focus attention now on the outside, making it a great place for us all. The gravel was a start – it’s nice not to have to jump the mud puddles anymore. The next thing I’d like to do is give us some cover, to give us more space to work. I’ve found an inexpensive solution that will let us put about 720 square feet under cover just outside the two doors we use. You can see pictures similar to what I have in mind here. It looks like we can get all the materials we need for a bit over $1000, and should be able to put it up in an afternoon. Once that’s in place, on nice days we can have you all, our order filling tables, and the cashier outside under the canopy, and spread out the produce even more inside. That’s one idea anyway. We’d put the space to use for sure.

I’ll buy the needed materials out of the operating budget for the market. If you’d like to contribute to the fund, you’re more than welcome to. We’re not organized as a 501©3, so I can’t offer you a tax deduction, but it would make things easier. Just let our cashier know when you pay for your order, and she’ll put the contribution aside for this purpose. And when it comes time to put the thing up, I’ll call for volunteers to help out there too. Shouldn’t be hard, but many hands and all that.

And speaking of many hands, we set the schedule for our annual “Farmer for a Day” program of tours and farm workdays last week. If you’d like to make reservations for any of these events, you’ll find them listed under the “Event Reservations” category on the website. Here’s how they work in a nutshell: we arrive at a farm at 10am on the Saturday or Sunday, work together on projects the grower has waiting for us (no experience or tools necessary) until noon, have a provided lunch on the farm, and then take a tour of the whole operation led by the grower. It’s a great way to see first hand how your food is produced and give the grower a hand with projects that would otherwise have taken them days or weeks to do on their own. There is no charge and even the lunch is free, but space is limited. So, please make reservations if you’d like to come!

Here’s the schedule (also available on the website):

MAY 15, Saturday
Darby Farms (Walton County) Daniel Dover

JUNE 13, Sunday
Sundance Farm (Madison County) Ed and Kim Janosik

JULY 11, Sunday
Veribest Farm (Oglethorpe County) Todd Lister and Dale Wechsler

AUGUST 7, Saturday
Flatwoods Farm (Elbert County) Tim Heil

SEPTEMBER 4, Saturday
Burnell Farm (Hart County) Tammy and William Burnell

OCTOBER 23, Saturday
Boann’s Banks (Franklin County) Eric and Chris Wagoner

Look at the listing for each event for full details. Many thanks go out to our volunteer Marc Tissenbaum for organizing these events for us!

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

Farmer for a Day: MAY 15, Saturday, at Darby Farms (Walton County)

Certified Naturally Grown. Darby Farms is a family owned pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and informational outreach in Walton County. We produce: pastured poultry (eggs, chicken, turkeys, ducks and guinea fowl) and will soon be offering pastured pork. We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture. Experience the satisfaction of knowing your food and your farmer and building community. We are your clean meat connection. This farm is approximately 27 miles from Athens and it’ll take about 40 minutes to get there. Space is limited, so please make reservations by adding them to your order. You’ll find it under the “Events Reservations” category on the website.

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also all closed for the season too. All but Athens Locally Grown, that is.

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 March 25


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Savory-Sweet Rutabaga Pudding

Somewhere between a fluffy ricotta dessert and mashed potatoes, this delectable rutabaga pudding has all the qualities needed to become a standard in your culinary repertoire. This dish will surprise you in many ways: in taste, in texture, in ease of preparing, and in the compliments it will bring to your table. It pairs exceptionally well with lamb. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables.

Serves 6 to 8

1 large rutabaga (about 2 pounds), peeled, cut into 2-inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
butter for greasing the baking dish
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins, plumped in hot water for 15 minutes and drained (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rutabaga and 1 teaspoon salt, partially cover, and cook until the rutabaga is very soft, 30 to 45 minutes. (You will need to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.)
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with butter.
3. Beat the eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl. Stir in the cream, bread crumbs, maple syrup, and nutmeg.
4. Drain the rutabaga, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Mash the rutabaga thoroughly with a potato masher or run it through a food mill. If the mixture seems dry, add a little of the reserved rutabaga water as you mash. Add the egg mixture, raisins, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grindings of pepper; stir to combine.
5. Transfer the rutabaga pudding to the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top and dot with butter.
6. Bake until lightly golden on top, about 45 minutes. Serve hot.

Market News

As I type this, there are 669 products listed at Athens Locally Grown. I’m sure that’s a record for us for this time of year. If you take a spin through the new products carousel, you’ll find a whole bunch of products listed by a brand new producer, AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery. They produce a surprising variety of Greek yogurts and fresh mozzarella cheese using daily deliveries of milk from another one of our growers, Johnston Family Farm. The yogurt was a smash hit in the breakfast line during the Georgia Organics conference, and I think it’s going to be a hit here at Athens Locally Grown. It’s really, really good stuff.

AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery and CalyRoad Creamery (more on them later) are two examples of what I see as a clear sign that our local food system has reached another level of maturity. Not only do we have growers supporting themselves by selling what they have grown, but now we have a number of people who are supporting themselves selling products made with ingredients from the growers. You always here about the “multiplication effect” when discussing the value of local economies, and I can’t think of a better example than this. We have mills grinding locally grown grain, creameries transforming local milk, and bakers using local ingredients. Having these other outlets for their items lets our growers produce more with confidence, and encourages new growers to begin production. It’s a win-win for everyone, and brings us that much closer to being a community that can support itself.

And getting back to CalyRoad Creamery, this past week saw the annual “Flavor of Georgia” contest held in Georgia. Food producers from across the state submitted samples for judging, and in the dairy category CalyRoad’s Camembert cheese took the top prize. They have about a dozen listed on the site this week, if Camembert is your thing. I know that’s not a lot, but keep in mind they’re a brand new creamery. We’ll be seeing a lot more as time goes on.

Enjoy the first week of Spring, and please enjoy the fruits of all of our growers’ and producers’ labors! I’m very happy to see so much locally grown & produced food listed week after week. 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 other area markets are also all closed for the season too. All but Athens Locally Grown, that is.

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 March 18


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Dandelion Columbo

This recipe was given to us by naturalist, author, and Chefs Collaborative supporter “Wildman” Steve Brill from his latest book, “The Wild Vegetarian Cookbook”. Brill leads public wild food and ecology tours throughout the greater New York area every weekend, and works with school classes and children’s groups during the week. He’s the author of several books but is best known for having been arrested and handcuffed by undercover park rangers for eating a dandelion in Central Park. He told us, “Like the curries of India, Columbo is a traditional blend of herbs. Originating in Sri Lanka and Senegal, it migrated to the French Antilles Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. A Haitian friend described it to me, I applied it to wild dandelions in America, and I’m offering it to you. Simple!” From Recipes from America’s Small Farms by Joanne Lamb Hayes and Lori Stein.

Serves 6

6 cups dandelion leaves
1 medium cauliflower, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 small hot peppers, seeds removed, or 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup silken tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons light miso
2 tablespoons rum (optional)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon dried mustard

Sauté the dandelions, cauliflower, garlic, and hot peppers in the peanut oil for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree the coconut milk, tofu, 1/4 cup water, miso, rum, coriander, turmeric, and mustard in a blender.

Mix the puree into the sauteed ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook another 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.

Market News

It’s the last week of winter, finally. Not that I mind winter (I am a Yankee by birth, after all), but I really miss warm dry days. Seems like it’s been much longer than usual since we’ve had a nice string of those, and I have so much I want to get done in the garden.

It is time to get out and start playing in the dirt. If you have any space at all, even a few square feet, consider putting in a veggie garden this year. Buying your ingredients from local farmers is great and everything, but nothing really connects you with your food like walking out your door, picking things you like to eat, and then walking back into your kitchen to prepare them. And don’t worry about betraying your local farmers, because studies have shown that people who garden buy more at their local farmers markets, not less. It’s that connection with your food I just mentioned. The stronger that becomes, the more you seek out. It’s a virtuous cycle, one that benefits you, your community, and your world.

You’ll see that some of our growers are offering seedlings ready to go into your garden. Now is the time to plant leafy green, cabbage & other brassicas like broccoli, and root veggies (these usually from seed). All of these can be started from seed, but putting out transplants can make a healthier, stronger plant and get you a harvest a few weeks sooner. Unless you have a small greenhouse or other protected space, resist the urge to put out warm weather plants, especially tomatoes, no matter how nice the weather may get in the next few weeks. The average last frost date for Athens is mid-April, and even then it’s usually best to wait at least a week or two before setting out the summer plants. One grower is giving you a chance to buy your tomato plants now, and they’ll keep them safe for you until it’s time to plant. If you get any now, from one of our other growers or elsewhere, keep them nice and warm for another month or more before planting. Me, I have to wait even longer. I’ve got a weird micro-climate here at my farm that gives me a reliable frost right about May 10th each year.

The spring flowers are starting to come in, and I see a number of beautiful daffodil bouquets listed on the website. They look so beautiful, and I thought there must be a good culinary use for them too. Many fragrant flowers can also be eaten, but as I searched for daffodil recipes I kept drawing a blank. Turns out, they’re poisonous. Not terribly so, though some people can have bad reactions to them. I guess some things can only delight some of our senses.

That’s about all for this week. Be sure to look through the full listing in this email or on the website when placing your order. New products do show up in the New Products carousel, but the products returning from last year and previous springs do not count and will not show up there, even if they’ve not been listed for 50 weeks. There are some great returning products from your favorite growers throughout the listings, almost 600 in total!

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 other area markets are also all closed for the season too. All but Athens Locally Grown, that is.

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!