Subscribe to an RSS Feed
Order before 7:30AM tomorrow morning for pickup Saturday, February 4th. Log on to http://littlerock.locallygrown.net to place your order!
Some of you may be receiving a message about the website’s security certificate when going trying to access the site. This is due to recent security improvements Eric made and probably related to saving the site as a Favorites.
The security of the site and your account information has not been compromised in any way.
To avoid this message, be sure that you’re accessing the site at http://littlerock.locallygrown.net (no www). You may need to update the bookmark on your browser.
If you have not seen any messages, then no changes are necessary.
Hope this clears up any confusion with these messages. As always, please let us know if you have any problems or concerns. We’re here to help!
Greetings local food lovers,
*Just a reminder that the market will be opening this Thursday, February 2nd at 5 PM! *
We just got back from the Colorado Farm to School Conference in Brighton and are full of ideas about how to make Local Farms First better and more convenient for you.
We look forward to providing you with fresh, local foods in 2012!
Thanks for supporting local family farmers!
Market Facilitator LocalFarmsFirst.com – a 501c3 non-profit
click here to start shopping on the website
I think that many of you are missing a wonderful vegetable that you may not be familiar with…SWISS CHARD. I made an easy meal last night using baking potatoes, swiss chard, onion, garlic, some left over ham cut into thin strips and ready made Mexican cheese dip.
Bake your potato. Saute/steam half an onion and a clove of garlic in about a half cup of water till tender, Cut away the stems of the chard and save them for another meal. I saved those to cook tonight like celery. I don’t know why I like to seperate them, but I do. Call me wierd. You can put them all together but you need to cook the stems a little first before adding the leaves. In that case, cook the chopped stems with the onion.
I thinly cut the chard into ribbons and added them to the onion. Saute just a few minutes until tender. Remember chard is a kissing cousin to spinach so don’t over do it. Toss in the leftover ham just to warm it. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add just a sprinkle of red pepper and cinnamon.
Split the potato and add a large spoon of the veggies, top with 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cheese dip. A meat, a veggie and a starch, all in one. Easy-breezy. YUM
!!! You vegerarians just forget the ham, you will still love it!
Get out of the way…..yep, there’s gonna be a fight!
Eat well, live long, be happpy!
Whoops, it appears that we neglected to list Jennifer Frye’s contact number – 304.646.8766 !!!!
New this week:
- Random Hill’s Farm French Garden Sprouts!
- Delicious Carrot Cake from Simply Made Treats
- 5 .lb tub NH Butter!
- Car Fresheners from Northwood Naturals/Elen’s Candles
- Red Russian Kale from Work Song Farm
FRESH PRESSED Apple Cider is available from Cargill Farms.
Please note: Ben offers a full refund if your Contoocook Creamery Milk is not satisfactory. Be sure and ask him for details. Contoocook Creamery is coming out with several new and exciting items in the coming weeks we hope you are enjoying the local dairy products.
Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Dear Friends of the Market,
The producers of Monroe Farm Market are pleased and proud to announce that we have hired a new market manager, Jennifer Frye.
Jennifer comes to us with both professional and personal experience in business management and online marketing, with a strong agricultural background. She lives in Sinks Grove (all three of our market managers have come from Sinks Grove) with her family on a mini farm. Along with their 5 children, they raise their own meat and grow their own vegetables.
We welcome Jennifer and hope that you will welcome her too. Please note the new contact number.
Our next delivery will be on February 9th. Until then, we will be busy on our farms growing good things for you and your families.
Thank you for your continued support, The Producers of MFM
Reminder: The Market is open until 7:00!
Welcome to all of our new members! The word is definitely spreading about Farm2Work and our deliciously local food. Here are a few “housekeeping” notes that you might find helpful:
1) After you place your order on this site, your confirmation email will include a link to our SecurePay websites. The two sites do not “talk” so you do have to enter the amount of your purchase.
2) If your schedule changes each week, you are welcome to change your pickup location each week, as well. You can pick up your order at The Kitchen Co. in West Little Rock, downtown at Trinity Cathedral Episcopal Church, or, at Eggshells in the Heights! You can change your pickup location every week if you would like…whatever is most convenient for you!
3) If you have special instructions for us (i.e. please leave with a co-worker next door), please be sure to let us know in your “Comments” section upon checkout.
We are small enough to be really flexible with your orders, so, help us make it easy for you! As always, please do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns.
Available vegetables this week: Arugula, Cabbage, Kale, and Green Onions, Red Giant Mustard Greens, Iceberg, Romaine, and Gourmet Lettuces, Mizspoona,Purple Hull Peas, Pie Pumpkins, Purple Rapa Pop = Sweet & Sour Wild Mustard for salads or pots. Purple Top Turnips, Spinach, Butternut Squash, and Sweet Potatoes, Turnip Bottoms, and Turnip Greens
You can also order: Grassfed Beef, Buffalo Meat, Pork, Tea, Rice, Nuts, Mushrooms, Honey, Jams & Jellies, Herbs & Spices, Fruits, Eggs & Cheese, Baked Goods, Bulk Herbs & Spices, and Baking Mixes.
Finally, thank you for your business! The idea SEEMS so simple: to connect the Arkansas growers with the Arkansas businesses…where the people are located. Find a way to take the market to the people. Again, it seems so simple… then the administrative, financial, customer service, advertising (which we have not even started in earnest, yet!) all has to fit in there, as well. Again, what an amazing adventure!
Go here to place your order:
Make it a great day!
First off this week, I’ve got a big announcement. I’ve been putting a lot of hours into the website lately to make it even easier for you to pay for your orders. We’ve had the means for a long time to accept account payments via PayPal, and then let you draw down over time, but that was really a cumbersome process for everyone involved, and then there’s the fact that PayPal itself is kind of a loose cannon, and not at all someone I really trusted with money. They just happened to be the best of a bad bunch.
Well, now there’s someone much better. Much like Square has made it simple to take credit card payments in person (those tiny swipers we use at the payment table), a newish company called Stripe has made it easy to take payments online. Not only were their systems simple to hook into ours on the back end, but they’ve eliminated all of the extra fees and special accounts one used to need to take credit and debit cards. Starting today, you can now tie a credit or debit card to your Athens Locally Grown account. You only have to enter it once (on a totally secure page, of course), and from then on you’ll be able to essentially tell us to charge it to your card. Right now, you can use that card to put money into your account, and any orders you place will draw down from that balance. In the near future (hopefully next week), you’ll be able to even more simply click a “Put it on my card” button when you check out, and then on Thursday night (after you pick up your order and we know exactly what you did and didn’t get) you’ll be charged for exactly what you received.
If you’d like to start using this, head over to the Your Account page of the site, where you’ll see a new “Payment Options” section. You can put your card on file now, and then immediately use it to pay into your ALG account, or just keep it there until I get the pay-per-order parts all hooked up.
I never see your card numbers, of course, and everything’s encrypted and secured as safe as can be. We can now take all Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club cards on the website. All this security and convenience does cost us, though, so we will add on a 3% “Online Payment Convenience Fee” that will get added on to your payment, if you choose to use that route. But then again, you’ll get to totally skip the payment line when you pick up on Thursdays, too.
This is the first step in making payments easier for all of us. After I get the pay-per-order system working, I plan on integrating with another fairly new company called Dwolla, who aims to make online payments as simple as cash. They’ll let you hook a bank account directly up to your ALG account, and draft payments that way like you were writing a check, cutting the credit card companies out of the picture entirely. The already have smartphone apps, so if that idea interests you, you can already pay us in person through your phone. Finally, I may put back in a direct hook for PayPal if there’s a demand for it, but they’re my least favorite option (did you hear about the antique violin they made a buyer destroy a couple weeks ago?).
Now, in the past few 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 in that 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 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 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 items clearly broke 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 purchased 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 has been CNG certified for nine years (though I dropped my certification last year 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 monthly 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’m currently wrestling with some of those edge cases. There are two seafood vendors bringing fresh seafood from the Georgia coast that want in. I can’t yet personally vouch for the fishing practices of the boats, though, so I’ve not yet said yes. There is a small sustainable dairy that would like to sell, but they’re just a bit too far away for my liking. However, they could provide some products that you can’t currently get. And there are several prepared food vendors that sell at some of the Atlanta farmers markets that would like to come to Athens and sell. They too offer products you cant get in Athens, but I’m cautious about opening those floodgates too wide. What do you think? I’m always interested in your feedback, and if you think I’m being too cautious and should just let some of these farther-away vendors in, by all means, let me know. I know of naturally grown, Georgia grown sugar cane and olives. Organic straight-from-the-farmer Florida citrus could be had, too. Let me know!
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.
Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!
Other Area Farmers Markets
The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also all closed for the season too. All but Athens Locally Grown, that is.
Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!
We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!
Locally Grown Availability for February 1, 2012
Hey Local Food Lovers,
I know we’ve kept our messages brief this whole month, and I’m afraid that trend must continue tonight. But there is some important info, like this is Split Creek Farms goat cheese and other dairy products week. If you got a hankering for some delicious goat milk from very nearby in SC, now’s the time to order.
We had a just fantastic meeting of close to two dozen local food growers at Sid Blalock’s farm on Wednesday, and as much as I’d like to go into great detail about how excited we are about starting a GROWERS NETWORK, that conversation will have to be saved for a future occasion. But you can count on an update soon.
In the meantime
BE WELL AND EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun
Porterdale locally grown -available for pickup Feb. 4th
Scott will be managing the pickup this weekend again, I am almost finished with my permaculture design certificate class.
This week we added the Williams Family Farm to the lineup. Linda and Woody live in Newborn and (among other things!) raise a flock of happy laying hens. The chickens roam on a grassy hillside and are fed organic grains. We are so happy to have an egg vendor at the market now, welcome Williams Family Farm!
In Porterdale Farmers’ Market news (the in-person market), we have set a few important dates: March 10th at 11am we will be having a vendors meeting at the depot. Please feel free to pass along my information to anyone who may be interested in participating. March 24th will be our opening date and we will be open through the end of October. Both markets (in-person and on-line) will run simultaneously during this time.
Thank you all for being a part of this market, and please forward this to anyone who may be interested. Anyone can sign in, get the emails, and see what is available each week with no obligation.
Remember – ordering is open until Wednesday at 9pm and the pickup is from 10-11 on Saturday at the depot in Porterdale.