Seems like every year about this time, the whole town suddenly realizes that summer is almost over and the new school year is almost upon us. I’ve got two girls in school, but even if I didn’t this community is based far more on the academic year than the calendar one. Even though we might have the hottest few days of the summer ahead of us, it’s time to start thinking about cool season school uniforms, waiting outside for the busses, and trying to keep packed lunches hot.
The new school year brings new people to town, and new ALG customers. Welcome, all of you! We’ve already seen quite a few new faces these past few weeks. If you ever have any questions about how our market operates, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email or talk with me during Thursday pickups. The new year also changes existing household routines, so it’s easy to forget it’s Thursday and you’ve got an order waiting for you at Ben’s Bikes. I do make phone calls to everyone who hasn’t arrived by 7:30, and every week catch at least one person who has completely forgotten. I also get a lot of home phone answering machines, though, so now’s a good time to make sure you’ve got a mobile number on your account if you have one. You can change your contact info and several other account details on the Your Account page of the website.
One nice thing about living so close to the mountains is when things get really unbearably hot down here, we can just head an hour up the road to somewhere a little bit cooler. There’s another great excuse to head up to Clayton, GA this Saturday, when the Clayton Farmers Market and the NEGA Food Bank hosts their annual garlic festival. We’re blessed here with a huge array of garlic varieties offered by our growers, and if you can catch Kim Janosik of Sundance Farm without a line at his Saturday market booth, he can talk to you about all their nuances for a wonderfully long time. There’s so much variety of flavor, color, texture, heat, and sweetness, so much more than you’d guess by looking at all the white identical heads of garlic at the grocery stores and on cooking shows. The sweetness of garlic can especially catch people by surprise. Last year, I was asked to judge the festival’s garlic pie contest, and I was excited to see how people adapted, say, a chocolate cream pie to include garlic. Well, they were all savory pies, and while tasty, not at all what I was hoping for. I’ve always believed you should be the change you want to see in the world, so this year I declined to judge and am instead entering a sweet dessert pie. The festival should be a lot of fun, and includes tastings, garlic-inspired foods, the pie contest, kid’s activities, music, and more. It runs from 9 to noon on the square in Clayton, and I’m looking forward to being there.
Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!
Other Area Farmers Markets
The Athens Farmers Market is open on Saturdays at Bishop Park and Wednesday afternoons downtown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is up and running, Saturdays from 9am to 1pm, and you can find out more here: http://www.athenslandtrust.org/west-broad-farmers-market/. The Oconee County Farms Market is open on Saturdays in Watkinsville. Their website is www.oconeefarmersmarket.org. The Comer Farmers’ Market is open on Saturday mornings from 9am to noon. Check www.facebook.com/comerfm for more information. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on Saturdays from 9-12. Folks to the east can check out the Hartwell Farmers Market, which starts bright and early on Saturday morning from 7am to noon, and Tuesday afternoons from noon to 4pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com. If you know of any other area markets operating, please let me know.
All of these other markets are separate from ALG (including the Athens Farmers Market) but many growers sell at multiple markets. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!