The Weblog

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



 
Subscribe to an RSS Feed

Availability for August 27


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Broiled Eggplant with Crunchy Parmesan Crust

This is such an easy way to make a crunchy-crusted eggplant appetizer that you may even feel guilty about the raves it receives. Recipe-tester Barbara suggests topping this dish with tomato sauce. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

oil for greasing the baking sheet
mayonnaise
eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

1. Preheat the broiler. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. Spread mayonnaise sparingly on both sides of each eggplant slice, then dip the slices in the grated Parmesan cheese, thoroughly coating both sides.
3. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the oiled baking sheet and place under the broiler until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the slices and broil until golden brown and crunchy on top and the eggplant is soft, about 3 minutes more.

Market News

Many of you have asked me about the documentary Food, Inc., recently released at theaters scattered throughout the country. It’s finally made its way to Athens, showing three times every day this week at Cine downtown. Tuesday evening, local organizations Ecofocus and P.L.A.C.E. present a special screening of Food, Inc. followed by a panel discussion with UGA professors Hilda Kurtz (Geography) and Shane Hamilton (History) (both fellow ALG members). Prior to the screening, audiences can enjoy a coffee & dessert reception sponsored by Farm255 and 1000Faces Coffee. The reception on Tuesday starts at 7pm with the screening to follow at 7:30pm. As Athens Locally Grown customers, you already know the importance of knowing where your food comes from, but hopefully you’ll get a chance to come out and see how Director Robert Kenner and Michael Pollan lay it all out.

The mornings are getting cool and the days are getting shorter, reminding us that fall will soon be here. The growers have been laying out seedlings for cabbage, kale, broccoli, and lettuce, and planting seeds for carrots, turnips, radishes, and other root veggies. If they can keep them nourished through the next four weeks or so of heat, we’ll all soon be treated to the fruits of their labor. Fall is an often overlooked gardening season, but it’s come to be my favorite. If you’ve got a garden, you may be tempted to rip it all out as summer comes to an end, but resist! Pretty much everything you can grow in the spring you can also grow in the fall, and much of the time here, they’ll grow even better this time of year.

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

Our next Farmer for a Day event is coming up on September 5th. Most of the slots are filled, but look in the “Events Reservations” category to claim the last few slots. We’ll be heading over to the Johnston Family Farm to see their dairy (and sample some of that delicious chocolate milk, right off the tap). We’ll then wind up the season at my place for our annual Hunter’s Moon Feast on October 3rd. Spaces for all are limited, so be sure to make your reservations along with your order!

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. 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 August 20


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Serve these for breakfast or as a side dish. Small, even tiny, pancakes, topped with spicy pineapple salsa or something creative of your choosing, make ideal hors d’oeuvres. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Makes about twenty 3 1/2- to 4-inch pancakes

6 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and grated
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. Combine the sweet potatoes and onion in a large bowl. Add the flour, eggs, and olive oil; mix well. Stir in the milk, salt, and pepper.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Test the heat by dropping a small amount of batter in the pan— if the oil immediately bubbles up around the batter, it has reached the proper temperature. Be careful not to let the oil overheat and smoke.
3. Using a ladle, 1/2 cup measuring cup, or large spoon, drop the pancake batter into the hot oil and then lightly press it into a pancake shape with a spatula. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes, then flip them and cook until brown on the other side, 5 minutes. Remove pancakes and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately or keep them warm in the oven.

Market News

I’m sure I’d wanted to write a nice long letter to you all this week, but I can’t for the life of me remember what I wanted to say. You see, my daughter had her first full week of kindergarten last week, and adjusting to the new household schedule has just been exhausting. I’d though the life of a farmer was tiring, but making sure the young’un gets on the bus at 6:55 seems to be more tiring still. I’ll adjust, I’m sure, but most nights I seem to wish that I had the same bedtime as her.

One thing I definitely wanted to mention is a yearly occurrence that always seems to catch people by surprise. I’m talking about the sudden drop in available produce in late August that just seems to come out of nowhere. You see, most years, the last two weeks of August are so hot and so humid that most of the traditional summer veggies just can’t bear fruit. They’ll flower as usual, but nothing happens after that. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash… it seems to affect everything. Some years it’s not so bad (last year was one of those), but other years it seems like suddenly there’s nothing but okra to be had. I think that most of our growers have diversified their offerings enough that even in the worst heat there will be plenty of things to go around, but here’s your head’s up: there may not be for a couple weeks. It’s only temporary, and everything always recovers in early September, and keeps producing up until frost (mid-October around here).

We still have two Farmer for a Day events coming up and our annual fall party in October, including a visit to Roots Farm next Saturday. Seats to all three events are limited, so you’ll need to make reservations. Take a look under the “Events Reservations” category and add them along with your order. All three events are free, so you’ll just need to add yourselves to the list.

I’ve been asked a few times recently about the fate of the old state farmers market we’re using for our pickup location. The state has declared it surplus and still intends to sell it at auction. LUckily for us, they are moving exceedingly slow, and we are allowed to use it up until it does get sold. The closed bid auction is a 90 day process, so we should get at least that much notice before we have to leave. I’ve been looking around for other options, and there are a few at this point, but to be honest… none are as good as what we’ve got now. Still, I’m confident we’ll be able to make something work out for most everyone when the time does come.

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

Our next Farmer for a Day event, a make-up day for our first tour, rained out at Roots Farm, is coming up on August 22nd. Most of the slots are filled, but look in the “Events Reservations” category to claim the last few slots. In September we’ll head over to the Johnston Family Farm to see their dairy (and sample some of that delicious chocolate milk, right off the tap), and then wind up the season at my place for our annual Hunter’s Moon Feast on October 3rd. Spaces for all are limited, so be sure to make your reservations along with your order!

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. 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 August 13


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Served hot or cold, this soup is packed with a savory-sweet roasted pepper flavor that might have you skipping the main course and opting for a second bowl of soup instead. It’s preferable to use home-made roasted red bell peppers in this soup. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small potato, quartered
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 to 11/2 teaspoons)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or thyme, or 1/2 tablespoon dried, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 large red bell peppers, roasted, skinned, chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
salt
freshly grated Parmesan cheese croutons (optional)

1. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, potato, garlic, bay leaf, and herbs; sauté until potato and onion begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the roasted peppers, paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook for 30 seconds.
2. Pour in stock or water and scrape up any of the flavorful caramelized pieces stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer; cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
3. Purée soup in a blender or food processor or run it through a food mill. Return it to the pot and heat until warmed through. Add the balsamic vinegar and a few grindings of fresh black pepper. Taste; add salt if desired.
4. Garnish each serving with some Parmesan, a little fresh herb, and croutons if desired.

Market News

It’s another record setting week at Athens Locally Grown, with 822 items available for you from 53 Athens-area sustainable growers. Thanks to your demand and the untold hours of hard work put in by our growers, we have a diversity of locally grown foods that rivals many large cities. It’s certainly broader than any one market in Atlanta. As many of you know, nearly 100 other communities throughout the country are following on our footsteps, with a handful of customers and a handful of local growers all working hard to get for their own neighborhoods what we’re so lucky to have here. You can see them all on a map, if you’re interested, over at www.locallygrown.net/markets. It’s pretty neat to see them all radiating out from Athens out to the rest of the country.

One of the keys to our success has been the low overhead the market operates. The growers generally keep 90% of the price you see, and the ease they have in bringing products to you lets them bring more things that you’d find at a typical farmers market. The 10% the market keeps goes toward a food allowance for our volunteers, and the tables, cots, coolers, the dairy truck, and the other physical things needed to make the market happen. We don’t advertise, because you all have been doing such a great job telling your friends about us. Don’t be shy about continuing that – I think you have a great thing to brag about!

The fall fruits are starting to come in, so be sure to take a spin down the fruit aisle. We’ve got a number of varieties of apples, lots of heirloom and unusual melons, and the completely unexpectedly wonderful ground cherries. If you were brave enough to try the samples we had at the cash box last week, those things that looked like little tomatillos, you know how great those are. There are also many types of peppers, from giant bells to tiny fiery chiles. And of course the tomato vines are overflowing with tomatoes of all sorts.

So, fill you shopping cart with the finest food our soil has to offer, and then tell your friends about us so they can do the same!

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and local food. Without your business, the growers wouldn’t be here to supply this diversity, and we’d all be a lot worse off. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

Our next Farmer for a Day event, a make-up day for our first tour, rained out at Roots Farm, is coming up on August 22nd. Most of the slots are filled, but look in the “Events Reservations” category to claim the last few slots. In September we’ll head over to the Johnston Family Farm to see their dairy (and sample some of that delicious chocolate milk, right off the tap), and then wind up the season at my place for our annual Hunter’s Moon Feast on October 3rd. Spaces for all are limited, so be sure to make your reservations along with your order!

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. 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!

Reminder: Athens Locally Grown Pickups Today


Every year when school starts back up, we always have a higher than usual number of no-shows, what with the relaxed schedules of summer switching over to the more hectic back-to-school schedules of fall. So, here’s an extra reminder that today is indeed Thursday, and we’ll be there with your orders.

Also, Nature’s Harmony Farm had a freezer fail overnight, and they’ll be bringing its contents in so you can use it as fresh dog food. It’s yours free for the taking if your pets would like some fresh meat, and they’ll be mostly small packs of liver, kidney, and similar items.

See you there!

Availability for August 6


I’m running a bit behind tonight, so please forgive my not having a recipe, photos, and the other niceties of my emails of late.

I would like to thank everyone who contacted your Representative this week regarding the food safety bill. The first vote Wednesday did fail, but a revised bill did get passed late Thursday. The revisions made it a bit more palatable (in that it doesn’t immediately make what we’re doing illegal), but it’s not as good as it ought to be. The Senate is taking up their version, and then the differences between the two will be hammered out in conference committee. So, there’s still plenty of time to better the bill. Or, as may happen, make it worse.

Without further delay, here’s our availability this week. Thanks for all the support you give Athens Locally Grown, our growers, and locally grown food! We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old state farmers market on Broad Street.

HR 2749 Action Alert


I rarely send political messages, but there’s a bill that went to the floor of the house today that will directly affect Athens Locally Grown, to the point of possibly making us stop what we do. -eric

PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE!
URGE THEM TO SUPPORT THE
KAPTUR-FARR FOOD SAFETY PROPOSAL

There is no question: our food system needs to be safer. But Congress is currently debating food safety legislation (Food Safety Enhancement Act – H.R. 2749) that could hinder beginning, sustainable, and organic farmers’ access to markets, require expensive fees, and lead to the dismantling of important conservation practices and wildlife habitat.

HR 2749 is scheduled to go to the floor of the House TODAY under a suspension vote, which means limited debate and no amendments, but a requirement for a two-thirds majority for passage. With negotiations still underway, however, it seems reasonably likely that a vote could be pushed to Thursday.

Representatives Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Sam Farr (CA-17), Maurice Hinchey (NY-22), Jesse Jackson Jr. (IL-2), Peter Welch (VT-at large), Chellie Pingree (ME-1) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) last week submitted a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee with specific proposed changes to HR 2749 that addresses many of the concerns raised by the sustainable and organic agriculture community. (Here’s a PDF scan of the original letter.)

At the same time, the House Agriculture Committee majority concluded negotiations with the sponsors of HR 2749 that secured one of the changes proposed in the Kaptur-Farr et al request – namely, a greater role for USDA in all the farm-related portions of the bill. That was helpful as far as it went, but it did not directly address other critical concerns.

It is important that you call your Representative TODAY and ask them to join the effort to protect small and mid-sized family farmers, the environment, and consumer choice by supporting the provisions in the Kaptur-Farr proposal to HR 2749.

PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IMMEDIATELY!

It’s easy to call. Please call or fax your Representative’s office and ask to speak with the aide that works on agriculture. If you don’t know your Representative’s name, please click here http://www.house.gov and enter your zip code in the top left-hand corner of the screen. Then call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Representative’s office: 202-224-3121.

The message is simple. “I am a constituent of Representative___________ and I am calling to ask him/her to support the Kaptur-Farr proposal to HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. I am also asking him/her to vote against HR 2749 unless the proposals included in the Kaptur-Farr letter are included in the final bill.”

Availability for July 30


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Potato, Onion, and Roquefort Soup

This soup is not quite for dieters—it will dazzle you with its rich, deep flavors. It’s very filling, so if you’re serving it as a first course, a small cup is plenty. If you’re not a fan of Roquefort cheese, you can substitute Gruyère. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
3 medium boiling potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock plus more if needed to thin the soup
1 cup half-and-half
1/3 cup cream
1/2 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese plus more to taste
salt
freshly ground white pepper

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook, stirring, until the onions are limp but not brown, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic; cook for 30 seconds more.
2. Add the potatoes and stir until well coated with butter; cook for 5 minutes, stirring them up a few times.
3. Add 2 cups stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Add the half-and-half and the cream; gently reheat the soup, but do not boil. Stir in 1/2 cup Roquefort cheese.
5. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor in batches and purée until smooth. Thin with additional stock if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional cheese if desired and serve hot or cold.

Market News

Two weeks ago, we set a record for the number of products listed on Athens Locally Grown. Incredibly, this week we have added nearly another fifty more. Just under 800 products are available to you this week, thanks to the efforts of fifty growers in Athens and the surrounding areas. When I think back to how we started only eight years ago, with six growers participating and the weekly sales all fitting in a couple ice chests, I’m astounded at the array of items in front of me now. I started growing veggies myself and founded my farm because I couldn’t get the heirloom varieties I was wanting to cook with, and now I garden because I enjoy it (when I can find the time) because it’s rare now that I can’t get what I’m looking for, and often I have my choice of growers.

ALG grows in cycles, it seems. At first we were growers with excess produce looking for buyers, and as word spread we quickly became customers trying to beat each other to what was available. We’ve swung back and forth several time over the years, and now it looks like the growers finally have the upper hand, or have at least pulled even with the supply. Now, some growers are always favored and run out first, and some individual items are still in short supply, but in general you’ll be able to find what you need for the week. Soon enough, our growing customer base will again outstrip supply, and next season the existing growers will plant more, new growers will begin selling, and the race will begin anew.

On average, only 2% of the food purchases in the United States is for food grown in the area where it was bought. And on average, less than ten cents for every food dollar goes back to the farm where the food was grown. With Athens Locally Grown, of course nearly all of the food is grown here (the coffee is shipped directly from tropical farms) and 90 cents of every dollar goes right back to the grower. We’re still no where near being able to supply all of Athens with even a significant portion of their food, but with every new grower and every new customer, we’re a little bit closer. Thank you, and tell your friends about us and the other farmers markets around town!

Finally, a repeat from last week: Google and several other email providers have recently classified my weekly email as “junk” and routed it to the junk mail trash heap. I must have started sounded extra spammy or something. Remember that my email is just a reminder that the website is open, and you can order on Monday or Tuesday whether or not you actually got my email. It’s always sent from eric@locallygrown.net, so you can add that address to your “not junk” filter, if you have such a thing. And, you can always read what I sent out right on the website itself, on the weblog page. You can even subscribe to an RSS feed, if you like to get your news that way.

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and local food. Without your business, the growers wouldn’t be here to supply this diversity, and we’d all be a lot worse off. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

Our fourth Farmer for a Day event is on Sunday, August 9th at Mills Farm in Athens. All of the slots have already been filled, but you can make reservations for our three other upcoming events by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category. Our make-up day for our first tour, rained out at Roots Farm, is coming up later in August, and then in September we’ll head over to the Johnston Family Farm to see their dairy (and sample some of that delicious chocolate milk, right off the tap), and then wind up the season at my place for our annual Hunter’s Moon Feast on October 3rd.

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. 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 July 23


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Cajun Corn and Kale Salad

This is simple summer cooking. The bright, clean flavors of this dish will put a smile on anyone’s face. If you don’t have a Cajun seasoning mix, you can make your own by combining 1/4 teaspoon salt and a big pinch of each of the following: cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper, dry mustard, crushed fennel seeds, and dried thyme. You can serve this dish over couscous or with chunks of boiled or steamed potato mixed in. If you use frozen corn, thaw it and use about 1 1/2 cups. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 4 to 6

2 quarts water
4 ears sweet corn
1 large bunch kale, stems removed (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons salt plus more to taste
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 small sweet onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun Spice Seasoning

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot; add the ears of corn. Turn off the heat and let the corn cook in the hot water for 5 minutes. Set the ears aside and reserve the cooking water. When the corn is cool, slice the kernels from the cobs.
2. Return the corn water to a boil and add the kale and 2 teaspoons salt; cook until kale is just tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Transfer the kale to a colander to drain and cool. When the kale is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands and then finely chop.
3. Toss the kale with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Season with salt to taste.

Market News

This is a big week for local food in Athens. Last week was a big week too, since it kicked off the annual “Taste Your Place” event organized by PLACE. If you don’t know about PLACE, you really ought to. It stands for Promoting Local Agriculture and Cultural Experience, and they are responsible for much of the recent exposure of our locally grown foods here in Athens. Led by Craig Paige, they have done many things, not the least of which was reorganizing the Saturday market and moving it from its old cramped spot at Big City Bread to Bishop Park. Last year they started “Taste Your Place”, a coordinated series of events throughout town spread out over two weeks. It wraps up this week with a Restaurant Tapas Tasting and Silent Auction on Thursday, July 23rd from 6pm to 9pm at Cine. All the Taste Your Place participating restaurants will each have an appetizer/tapas made with local ingredients for you to try. Tickets are $10 person. They will also have a wonderful selection of silent auction items for you to bid on.

On Saturday, at the farmers market at Bishop Park, the Athens Local Food Awards will be awarded at 10:00am. Voting is going on now, and you can place your vote on their website. Four awards are being given, for Excellence on the Farm, Excellence in Education, Excellence in Business, and Excellence in Advocacy. Last year, Athens Locally Grown and I won two of the awards, so you won’t find us on the ballot this year, but please go place your votes for the deserving individuals, organizations, and businesses that have been nominated. Voting is open until Wednesday at 9pm.

And during the entire week, fourteen participating restaurants are featuring menus and menu items made with locally grown ingredients: Casa Mia, DePalma’s (Downtown), Doc Chey’s, East/West Bistro, Farm 255, Five and Ten, Five Star Day (Downtown and Eastside), Ike and Jane, Last Resort, Lindsey’s Culinary Market, Lumpkin Cafe, Mama’s Boy, The National, and White Tiger Gourmet.

It’s another fully-stocked week for Athens Locally Grown it looks like. Nearly 700 products, including a number of new ones. Six new growers have joined in recent weeks, all of them long-time sustainable growers who are only just now joining us. Except for certain specific items, there is plenty of bounty to go around, so please don’t be afraid to tell your friends about Athens Locally Grown. More customers lead to more growers who in turn lead to more customers, and so on. It’s a self-feeding cycle, literally. The more food that gets grown here, the less our community has to rely on food shipped in from across the continent and around the world. We’re a long, long way from being able to fully feed ourselves, but together we’re taking many steps in the right direction.

One last thing: last week, Google and several other email providers classified my email as “junk” and routed it to the junk mail trash heap. I must have sounded extra spammy or something. Remember that my email is just a reminder that the website is open, and you can order on Monday or Tuesday whether or not you actually got my email. It’s always sent from eric@locallygrown.net, so you can add that address to your “not junk” filter, if you have such a thing. And, you can always read what I sent out right on the website itself, on the weblog page. You can even subscribe to an RSS feed, if you like to get your news that way.

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and local food. Without your business, the growers wouldn’t be here to supply this diversity, and we’d all be a lot worse off. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

P.L.A.C.E. is sponsoring the second annual “Taste Your Place” series of events this week throughout Athens. Several restaurants are serving special menus, educational events & cooking demonstrations are being held, and this year’s slate of Local Food Awards will be given to deserving people. You can learn more about this impressive event on their website.

Our fourth Farmer for a Day event is on Sunday, August 9th at Mills Farm in Athens. Most of the slots have already been filled, but you can make reservations for some of the last openings for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category. If you miss this one, our make-up day for our first tour, rained out at Roots Farm, is coming up later in the month.

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.

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 July 16


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

This variation on pesto is so delightful it’s amazing that it’s not more common. The roasted tomato flavor is superbly highlighted by the sweet aromatic basil—but a very ripe regular tomato will work well too. Don’t limit this pesto to just pasta; try it on pizzas and roasted potatoes, in an omelette, or over grilled vegetables. You can make an equally delicious variation by using cilantro instead of basil. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 2

2 pre-roasted tomatoes or 1 large
fresh tomato
2–3 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh whole basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and oil in a blender and process until just combined. Add a handful of basil and processagain briefly; continue adding the basil in small amounts until all is combined.
2. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Market News

About 25 of us had a great time on Saturday over at Dancing Sprout Farm, being farmers for a day. The weather was great, so we spread out in the morning and transplanted some strawberries, seeded a good number of veggie seedling trays, weeded and mulched a big bed, and even picked some corn that we fed to their chickens. We then had a nice lunch in their work barn, and after that Geoff Lewis told us all about what they’re doing and their plans for the future. Finally, we played with their friendly chickens some more before calling it a day.

If you’ve never joined us for a Farmer for a Day event, you’ve got two next month to choose from, both within Athens-Clarke County. They’re free, including lunch, and are a great way to connect with the land and people that grow your food. Spots are limited, so you will need to make reservations. Look on the website under the “Event Reservations” category for all the details.

We’ve reached that point in the summer where pretty much everything is available, all at once. The choices are almost overwhelming. I see 750 items available on the website right now, from heirloom tomatoes, squash of all sorts, melons, eggplant, exotic peppers, okra, field peas, an abundance of flower bouquets, basil and other herbs… you name it. It’s weeks like this that we dream of in January!

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and local food. Without your business, the growers wouldn’t be here to supply this diversity, and we’d all be a lot worse off. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

P.L.A.C.E. is sponsoring the second annual “Taste Your Place” series of events this week throughout Athens. Several restaurants are serving special menus, educational events & cooking demonstrations are being held, and this year’s slate of Local Food Awards will be given to deserving people. You can learn more about this impressive event on their website.

Our fourth Farmer for a Day event is on Sunday, August 9th at Mills Farm in Athens. Many of the slots have already been filled, but you can make reservations for some of the last openings for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

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.

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 July 9


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad with Mint

This salad is best with sweet heirloom tomatoes or the low-acid yellow tomatoes, but any very ripe tomato will do. It’s a superb accompaniment to any backyard barbeque. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 4

1/2 small cantaloupe, balled or cut in 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 small tomatoes, cut into thin wedges (about 1 cup)
1/2 cucumber, peeled, diced (about 1 cup)
1 large rib celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumber, and celery in a large salad bowl.
2. Whisk the yogurt, mint, sherry vinegar, honey, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
3. Pour the dressing over the melon salad and toss until will combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste; garnish with mint leaves.

Market News

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! The weather was perfect for being outdoors, enjoying one another’s company, and celebrating our food independence by cooking a locally grown feast. This is truly the peak of our growing season, and the harvests this year have been worth celebrating.

Another of my favorite items (I know… I have many favorites) makes an appearance this week, thanks to several farms. Heirloom watermelons, cantaloups, and other melon varieties are something special, and are things you’ll never find at any grocery store. Tasting a vine ripened heirloom melon next to a “regular” melon is much like tasting a vine-ripened heirloom tomato next to a “regular” grocery store tomato. The taste is incredible, complex and sweet, and much more intense than you may expect. But on the other hand, their vines are not nearly as productive, and their rinds tend to me thinner and more fragile. Again much like the modern tomato, the modern melon has been bred for prolific production and good shipping ability, and neither one is conducive to good flavor.

Some of the more rare and hard to grow melons can get a bit expensive, but once you try one it’ll be something you look forward to all year. This week I don’t see any of those expensive luxury melons, but trust me, I’m waiting to buy one when they do arrive. Even if that means my bagged lunches that week are a little plainer than usual.

I also wanted to point out a few “hidden features” of the website this week. I did build in a few things that can be handy sometimes, once you know they are there, but stay out of the way in the meantime.

First, on the “The Market” page, there are some options over on the left hand side, down below the categories. First, if you don’t ever use the “New Products” carousel and just want to get rid of it, you’ll see a link there to hide it. Below that is a link to show your order history. This will show your last ten orders in a section below the New Products and above the regular product listing. Having this section open is a great way to re-order things you liked from recent weeks. If the same items are available in the current week, you’ll see an “add to cart” link right next to them, so you can quickly re-order your favorites. Finally, the last thing on the left is a control to hide & show specific growers. If you’re a vegan and would rather not see the meat & dairy items, you can shut off those growers. If you have only a couple farms you want to order from and don’t want to see anything else, you can shut off all but your favorites.

Also, over on the “Your Account” page, there is some useful information. Of course you can change your account info there, such as your email address or phone number, but you can also see your full order history going back three years now, pull up PDF invoices from any week, and view any account balance adjustments we have made to your account, along with the reason why.

And speaking of account balance adjustments, if there is any reason at all why you may be dissatisfied with anything you receive from any grower at Athens Locally Grown, please let me know. I won’t hesitate to refund your account, and I’ll pass your report back to the grower. Also, if we’ve left anything off your order when we fill it on Thursday, let me know and I’ll refund that. Most everything at market has labels with your names on them, so we spot most problems by the end of the night (there are always a half dozen or so things that didn’t make it to the right person) and I’ll refund those, but some things like the dairy, meat, and bread usually don’t have labels, so when they’re still sitting there at 8pm, I don’t know who they were supposed to go to.

I think that’s enough for one night… time to open the market!

As always, thank you all for your continued support of our local growers and local food. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at the old market on Broad Street!

Coming Events

Our third Farmer for a Day event is on Saturday, July 11th at Dancing Sprout Farm in Athens. Most of the slots have already been filled, but you can make reservations for some of the last openings for this event by adding them to your order. Look in the “Event Reservations” category.

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.

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!