The Weblog

This weblog contains LocallyGrown.net news and the weblog entries from all the markets currently using the system.

To visit the authoring market’s website, click on the market name located in the entry’s title.



 
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Princeton Farm Fresh:  The Market is Open


Sorry that I am a little late getting the market open this week. Holiday’s always throw me off. Ray is home and we are working hard to get Miss Hannah out the door and back to college this morning. These are sweet moments really, that I am allowed to have because I am not crazy busy with the farm at the moment. I will start seeding this week for our Spring crops, and I am still finalizing our plans for the year, but mostly just enjoying the down time before things get wild and crazy busy here on the farm.
See you on Thursday,
Angela

McColloms Market:  Reminder - FFFN Open for Orders Until Tonight


Hi All:

If you want to place an order this month but haven’t done so, you have until this evening.

Thanks a million.

Melinda

V.I Prime Produce locally Grown:  Market open


Good morning Prime Produce Market is now open and accepting orders.

Athens Locally Grown:  ALG Market Open for January 19


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

One note for the week, before I talk more about the gritty details behind ALG: Next week I’ll be in Lexington, Kentucky for the annual conference of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG). About 1300 growers from across the country will be gathering to share knowledge and bring new ideas back home with them. I’m on the conference staff, and they keep me hopping, but I always look forward to going. I’ll be leaving our Thursday market here in the hands of our many capable regular volunteers while I’m gone. However, Doug’s Salmon keeps his fish at my house in a freezer and I bring his sales in to market for him. Since I’ll be gone next week the fish will not be available to purchase, so if you’re a regular purchaser, you’ll want to get enough to last you two weeks now.

In the past two weeks I’ve talked about the legal organization and considerations behind our market and then the financial operation that keeps everything running. I’ll wrap up my yearly primer on Athens Locally Grown this week with a few words about our growers and other market vendors.

First and foremost, let me preface everything by saying the decision to let a new grower into the market is always made by me alone. I know many farmers markets often get some press regarding one vendor or another feeling left out of the market and complaining that the committee running that market was a little too closed. Well, my efforts to run ALG in a cooperative manner aside, the responsibility here comes back to me. There’s no committee, and no formal application process. I’ve had some potential vendors that I’ve rejected get upset with me and complain that ALG is a “closed” market, and they’re right. It is a closed market, and it’s not open to just anyone to sell through. That doesn’t mean we have arbitrary standards, of course, and actually I think I’ve set the bar pretty high. A good number of our growers also go above and beyond to only bring “the best of the best”, and that pushes the de facto standards even higher. Here’s a summary of what it takes to be able to sell through Athens Locally Grown:

  • All growers must use sustainable practices and never use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. I’ll come back to this later.
  • All growers can only sell what they themselves have grown, made, or otherwise produced
  • All growers must be from the greater Athens area. Right now, this means within about 75 miles
  • All growers must be willing to be part of our ALG community, and not think of us as just a dumping off point.
  • All animals raised for meat or eggs must be pastured or sustainably wild-caught
  • Handicrafts must be made primarily from items produced or gathered on the farm
  • Prepared foods must use organic ingredients if at all possible, and locally grown ingredients if at all possible
  • All proper licenses, when required by law, must be obtained

That about covers everything, I think. When I’ve turned down requests to sell through ALG (and I turn down several monthly), the grower has clearly not met one or more of those standards. There are a few edge cases that I take on a case by case basis. Coffee is one. 1000 Faces was our first coffee vendor, and they offered direct trade coffees (they purchase directly from the coffee growers with no distributor or middle man) and did all the roasting and packaging themselves and to order. That set the standard, and other coffee vendors (such as GranCoffee Roasting Co.) have to match it. Mills Farm was a founding ALG member, but they buy in organic grains for their mill. We now have Sylvan Falls Mill in Rabun Gap as a vendor, and they primarily buy their grains from local (to them) organic growers. From now on, all future millers wanting to sell through ALG will have to meet that standard. And so on.

Let me get back to that first requirement: “sustainable practices”. There’s no set definition of that, and there’s really a sliding scale. For example, I sometimes use a gasoline-powered rototiller, and our no-till growers and the no-hydrocarbon growers would frown upon that. There is a generally accepted definition of what is “conventional” agriculture, and that includes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and confined and grain-fed animals. Those are easy to exclude. At the other end, there is the USDA Organic Certification and Certified Naturally Grown certification. Few small diversified growers can meet the expense of USDA certification, but a good number of our growers are CNG certified. This program uses the USDA rules as a starting point, made a few things more strict, and uses a system of growers certifying other growers to keep things honest. My farm had been CNG certified for nine years (though I dropped my certification the last few years simply because my garden got really, really small), and many others area farms have followed since then. If a new grower does not have a certification, then I talk to them, get information about them, and visit their farm in person when necessary. A good number of our growers were ALG customers long before growing for market themselves, so I’ve gotten to know the people and the decision to let them in was easy.

In short: the growers have satisfied my standards, and I personally have approved them for inclusion in ALG. However, I want you to not just take my word for it. We have had farm tours during the warm seasons so you can go on-site yourself and see the farms in action. We have a semi-regular “meet the grower” table at the Thursday pickups so you can talk with the growers yourself face-to-face. We encourage them to take photos for their online photo album, to describe their practices, and to take care with their product listings. We want to facilitate communication between you and them, so when you place an order, they see your name and email address in case they need to clarify a request or offer a substitution, and likewise for most of our growers you can see their contact info when you view their grower profile (while logged into the site) so you can get clarification from them when needed.

I often wrestle with some of those edge cases. Doug’s Wild Alaska Salmon was one such case. The salmon and halibut they sell was caught in Alaska, but Doug and his family live here (well, just over the line in South Carolina). They own their own small boats, and catch the fish themselves. Their practices are certified sustainable by a reputable organization up there, and their products are high quality. They’ve worked out the logistics of getting fish to you every week (by keeping a supply at my house in a freezer they own). I have in the past talked with sugar cane growers from South Georgia, dairies from across the state, fisherman from Savannah, olive growers from Savannah, citrus producers from Florida, and other people making items we just can’t get from growers located right here. Often, the logistics of getting their items from there to here on a regular and timely basis is what breaks down, but I hope that over time we’ll be able to expand the items at our market without compromising our community of growers located right here.

Hopefully that explains how our growers get into ALG, what standards they have to meet, and so on. It’s a very important topic, perhaps the most important one for our market, but much of it goes on behind the scenes. I know you’ve put your trust in me, and I take that very seriously, If you’d like to talk with me in person about this or any other aspects of ALG, I’d love to do so. Just pull me aside when you come by to pick up your order.

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 has closed for the season. They’ll return in April, and you can catch the news on their website. 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 winter hours from 1-4. 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!

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!

Dawson Local Harvest:  Cheese Dip Helps Falcons Win!!


Dawson Local Harvest for January 20th

Cheese Dip Helps Falcons Win!!

How else Do You Explain the Falcons win to make it to the NFC Championship Game? Yeah, I know some people say it’s because they have a really good football team, but I’m sure the victory has more to do with our record sales of MY DAILY BREAD’s Cheese Dip. Of course, now that they are in the Championship Game we all need to help them along with more Cheese Dip. So Do Your Part, Order Cheese Dip for your Football party, and then it’s Go Falcons!

THE MARKET IS NOW OPEN!

REMEMBER! You can now order until Tuesday night at 9pm. Pick up your order at Leilani’s Gardens Friday afternoons from 4 to 7pm.

You’ll find the DAWSON LOCAL HARVEST at http://dawsonville.locallygrown.net

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! We guarantee your satisfaction with all products in the DAWSON LOCAL HARVEST.

Have a happy and healthy week!

Alan Vining
Market Manager

Conway, AR:  Opening Bell: Beef, Honey, Carrots, Jellies!


Good afternoon!

Reminder: This will be our last market in January so stock up this week. Meat, eggs, honey, greens, etc. We will NOT have market pickup on Friday, January 27th.

You may have noticed a NEW ITEM: Goat Cheese from White River Creamery. It’s not available just yet, but soon. Stay tuned for the official announcement in a few weeks.

Most items are listed by 6pm Sunday, but check back again before the market closes Tuesday night to see if any other items are ready to be harvested for you! Eat fresh! Eat local! Eat for better health!

Check out almost 500 wonderful items listed right now. See you on Friday!

And save your eggshells throughout the week for the laying hens! :-)

The market is now OPEN for orders. Click here to start shopping:

www.conway.locallygrown.net

Please check your email a few minutes after you place your order to make sure you get an order confirmation. Thank you for being a valuable part of CLG!
Have a great week!
Steve

ONLINE PAYMENT OPTION. When you are done shopping, just hit the “proceed to checkout” button in your cart. You will then see the option to “Pay Now” with credit card near the bottom. Just follow the prompts to add your card. Be sure to read the screen until you see “Thank you for your order” on the top. If you need help, please call 339-7958. A 3% online payment convenience fee will be added when your card is charged.
How to contact us:
DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. Instead…
Phone or text: Steve – 501-339-1039
Email: Steve – kirp1968@sbcglobal.net

Cumberland, TN:  CSFM open


The Cumberland Sustainable Farmers Market is now open for this weeks ordering.
We will be at the Depot at 3:30 this Thursday for you to pick up your online order.
Please make arrangements to pick up your online order between 3:30 and 4:30.
Also be aware of the fact that during stormy weather, we will NOT be setting up out in the front parking lot, but will instead be under the covered pavilion at the end of the Depot.
And, as always, Thank you for supporting your local area farmers.
Sincerely,
Steve Colvin
CSFM Market Manager

The Wednesday Market:  Here Is Your Reminder to Order!


Good afternoon.

The Wednesday Market is open for orders. Please place your order by 10 p.m. Monday. Orders are ready for pick up between 3 and 6 p.m. Wednesday. Check the website for this week’s product offerings. Here is the link:
https://wednesdaymarket.locallygrown.net/market

What a difference a week makes! Last Sunday we were in the middle of a deep freeze, and yesterday we had a record breaking high temperature of 75 degrees! That’s the thing about Georgia – if you don’t like the weather, wait around for a day or so, and it will change. Thankfully, my husband’s little patch of cabbages and broccoli survived the freeze, and we are looking forward to harvesting something green soon.

We hope you all have a good day, and we’ll see you at the Market.

Thanks,

Beverly

Miami County Locally Grown:  Ordering closes at 8pm TONIGHT!


Why not take advantage of another warm forecast for Tuesday’s pick-up??

And yes, we’ve got fresh local GREENS – in January!

Get your order in by 8pm tonight! :-)

ALFN Local Food Club:  Market Is Open!


Good morning folks!

The market is open! Don’t forget that new members who order for the first time in January get a free T-shirt.

See you guys this weekend!

Claire Hodgson
Program & Market Manager