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



 
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Availability for September 10


To Contact Us

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

Recipes

Baba Ghanouj

This is a traditional Middle Eastern recipe for baba ghanouj, a thick but light spread that is delicious as a dip for pita bread or vegetables or as a filling in a sandwich. Its distinct, nutty flavor comes from tahini, a
sesame paste that is widely available in specialty stores and many supermarkets. From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4–1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1–1 1/2 large lemons)
1/3 cup tahini
1–2 cloves garlic, minced (1/2–1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
2. Rub 1 tablespoon of the oil over both whole eggplants and place them on a baking sheet. Roast, turning once or twice, until very soft, 30 to 45 minutes depending on size. Let cool.
3. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts 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 will burn very quickly once toasted.) Immediately transfer the nuts to a dish to cool.
4. Cut the eggplants in half and scoop out the flesh. Purée the eggplant flesh in a food processor or finely chop it on a cutting board. Transfer to a bowl.
5. Add the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, salt, cayenne, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix until well combined.
6. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro or parsley and toasted pine nuts.

Market News

First off, let me thank you all for spreading yourselves out last week. We went from filling half the orders in the first 45 minutes to steady traffic throughout the entire three and a half hour window. You all couldn’t have done it any better if you’d signed up for specific five minute intervals, and Thursday ran more smoothly than it had in years. Thank you!

This past week, one of our members found a contest being sponsored by NBC and American Express, where they are trying to recognize an inspiring small business by giving it $100,000 in grants and support. It’s called “Shine a Light”, and here’s what they have to say:

Everyday small business are leading our country and their local communities to a new and better way of working and thinking. Through good times and bad, their resilience and entrepreneurial spirit can serve as an inspiration to us all. That’s why American Express, in partnership with NBC Universal, is inviting you to “shine a light” on a small business that you find inspiring. Has this business adopted an innovative approach to surviving tough times? Does it believe in a customer-first mentality? Does it give back to the community? We want to hear the story – in your words. Three Finalists will be selected by judges and one Winner will be selected from the three Finalists through user voting.

After a business gets nominated, it needs fifty people to register with the site and endorse the nomination. So, Athens Locally Grown was nominated, and just through word of mouth over the last few days, we’ve already received the fifty endorsements needed to get us in front of the judges. You can see the nomination here. And even though we’ve received the minimum number, I think it’d really help our odds and impress the judges if we had a lot more. It turns out the leader right now has 878, and the tenth place has only 328. This email is going out to about 2000 people, and if only a third of you also gave your endorsement, we’d be in a solid second. That’s feasible, isn’t it? And a lot of times contests like this just seem like another lottery with long odds, but I really think we’ve got a great shot at this one. They seem to be looking for groups just like us! If you’d like to endorse our nomination, you’ll first need to create an account here, and then click on the “Endorse Now” button on our nomination. The whole process should take less than five minutes. Nominations close on Saturday the 13th, so we have only this week to make an impression. I think we can do this!

Finally, every year I get questions about classes for beginning gardeners or for those who want to better expand their existing garden. Well, this Fall the Athens Area Master Gardener Association, Clarke County Cooperative Extension and Athens Tech are teaming up to provide a series of classes on vegetable gardening. There are 9 classes total with a different topic each night. Classes are Thursday nights beginning September 17th through November 12th and will be from 6:00-7:30pm at the Athens Tech campus. Each class is $15 each or you can register for the series at a reduced rate of $99. Topics include: Soils and Amending, Composting and Mulching, Starting seeds and transplants and seed saving, Spring gardening, Harvesting and Irrigation, Small Fruits, Winter gardening, Insects, diseases and weeds, and Preserving the harvest. To schedule classes, simply call Athens Technical College at 706-369-5763, or register online at athenstech.edu.

Without further ado, it’s time to get on to the food. There are a number of great heirloom varieties of peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, winter squash, sweet potatoes, and other things available this week, so you’ve got a great opportunity to experiment a little bit and try something that’s both rare and delicious.

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 last Farmer for a Day event just happened this past Saturday over at the Johnston Family Farm where we saw their dairy (and sampled some of that delicious chocolate milk, right off the tap). We still have one more event on the schedule at my place: our annual Hunter’s Moon Feast on October 3rd. Spaces are limited, so be sure to make your free 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. Several of our growers also sell at the Hocshton
farmers market, also on Saturday mornings. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

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

Market Open for September 3


Just this once I’m going to skip the product listing and fancy formatting, just to better the odds the following announcements make it through everyone’s junk mail filters.

First, the last several weeks, my weekly email has been classified as “spam” by Google, and so for pretty much everyone using Gmail (and possibly a few other services that use Google’s filters), my email hasn’t been making it into their inbox. To keep that from happening, create a filter on my email address, “eric@locallygrown.net”, that sends it to the inbox or otherwise keeps it out of your junk mail system. Also, if you’re in doubt, you can find a copy of the email on the website itself (minus the full product listing) on the Weblog page. And, whether you get the email or not, the website is always open before I go to bed Sunday night.

Second, we open the market for pickups on Thursday at 4:30pm, and we’re there until 8pm. Items that run short are filled in the order the orders are placed, not in the order you arrive to pick them up, so you don’t gain anything by arriving early. We’re starting to get a sizable line at 4pm, and what’s worse, there have been several people who have been impatient with us when we can’t fill their orders right then, despite us not even being open yet. If the growers arrive early and we’re able to start filling orders early, we will, but otherwise, no.

Last week we filled about half of all the orders for the week (and we had a record number of orders) by 5:15, and the entire rest of the night, there was no line whatsoever. If you’re able to arrive after 5:30, please consider doing so. You’ll avoid the rush and make the process smoother for everyone involved.

Finally, the state probation office, located right behind the market building, is beginning to page a new parking lot. It’s unfortunately part of the process of putting the building up for sale. It’s also going to tie up the area behind the building with heavy equipment and piles of dirt. If you’ve been coming in the back gate, you’re probably going to have to come in the front. Also, our growers are going to have to unload in the front, making things even tighter for those early in the afternoon. Hopefully it won’t be too bad, but considering they were going to use the entire facility for staging until Amanda Tedrow, ACC’s wonderful Ag Extension Agent, interceded on our behalf. Thanks, Amanda!

And now, on to the food…

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!