The Weblog

This weblog contains 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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Champaign, OH:  Best Friend

People let me tell you ’bout my best friend…
(Best Friend-Harry Nilsson)

After my post, last night, I remembered that I left out a very important person in your lives…your furry friends. Don’t forget, this market offers nutritional dog treats for those friends!! Your pets are people, too, and some super yummy treats would help them through these dreary winter days…

And, jams/jellies, along with the zip of the mustards, and the sweet heat of the jalapeno offerings!!

We really do have it all!!

Mountain Man Mushrooms:  This market is preparing to open!

This market was added to the system on Monday January 09, 2017 02:16 AM. It should be open for business soon!

Athens Locally Grown:  ALG Market Open for January 12

Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website:
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook:
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

I’m devoting the newsletter these first few weeks of the year to documenting in detail just how ALG works. I’ll spend some time next week talking about how growers get allowed in the market, and what standards they have to meet. But this week, I’ll get into the details of how the market sustains itself financially. Many of you ask about that from time to time, and I’m happy to oblige.

First off, we’re legally a sole proprietorship, and the market is owned and operated by me. In years past, it was rolled into my farm, and reported on my Schedule F in addition to my regular tax forms. For now, while my gardens have dwindled, it’s an item on my Schedule A, like many other small home businesses. When the market started in 2002, it was named “Locally Grown Cooperative”, but it was never legally organized as a co-op. Dan & Kris Miller, the founders from Heirloom Organics farm in Watkinsville, were always sure to run things in a cooperative spirit, and since they handed the business to me in 2004 (I’ve sold as a grower since day one), I’ve tried to do the same thing. I’ve since renamed it to “Athens Locally Grown”, but you’ll still hear a number of people refer to us as “the co-op”.

We’re not a non-profit, either, but we’ve structured things so that over time the market can just barely cover its own expenses. Just like all of our member farms are sustainable growers, the market itself needs to be sustainable. So how do we cover its expenses? One small way is through the memberships you pay. The $25 a year you give to the market is enough to cover the costs of having customers: banking fees from depositing your checks, paper and ink for printing, web hosting fees, and that sort of thing. What’s left over goes to helping fund farm tours, food donations to like-minded area groups and events, etc. We currently have 261 paid members out of the 3694 active accounts on the website.

By far the bulk of our funding comes from the growers themselves. They generally pay a 10% commission on their sales through the site. This money covers the many coolers we use, the tables and shelves used to spread out and organize your orders, the truck we bought at the end of 2007, gasoline, the food allowance we offer our volunteers, rent and utilities at Ben’s Bikes, etc. During the slow parts of the year, the sales are usually not enough to cover our weekly costs, but in the busy times (late fall and early spring, for us) there is extra. If we plan things out well, it pretty much all evens out in the end.

Last year, the total sales and memberships combined through the market amounted to $186,433. This is a about the same as last year, and I’m ok with that. The continual rise of so many other markets in the area is the biggest reason for staying flat. We used to be the largest farmers market in this part of the state, but only because the others were so small. Now, not only are there several very large area farmers markets throughout the week, but there are many other locallygrown markets serving customers that used to drive to Athens. About 90% of those sales went straight to our growers, and the rest went to a food allowance for our volunteers ($200 a week), rent ($350/month), web hosting, and transportation. The “profit” gets counted as personal income or loss on my tax forms, and almost always comes out even.

The growers get paid out of the shared cashbox for their previous week’s sales when they drop off their items, during the hour before we open the market. Then, you arrive and pay into the cashbox for your order. We used to then rush to the bank to deposit the money to cover the checks we just wrote to the growers, but now the growers get paid the following week (money you pay via credit cards takes up to a week to reach our account). As explained elsewhere on the website, you are really ordering directly from and paying the growers yourself, but our shared cashbox system makes things convenient for you and them. (Imagine if you ordered from ten growers having to write ten checks when you picked up your items!) This shared cashbox system has so far satisfied the tax man, but it does mean that if you place an order and then never arrive to pick it up, we’re left holding the bag. For that reason, you are responsible for paying for orders not picked up, and that amount is automatically added on to your next order for your convenience. On the books right now (going back to 2007) is about $4219 of produce ordered but never picked up and so far never paid for at all (or picked up but paid for with bad checks). That might seem like a lot (and it is), but considering that the market’s sales total, that’s not so bad. In fact, it’s about a sixth of the US retail industry’s “shrinkage” rate, and almost all of it is owed by only ten people. Only $200 came from this last year. On the flip side, $3812 has been pre-paid into the cash box by people who pay online via credit card or who write large checks in person, and then draw down on that balance over time.

There were 5119 orders placed last year, so that averages to $36.42 spent per order. There are many people who asctually place several small orders each week that we combine when we fill them, so really the average is quite a bit higher than that. There are no good studies on this number, but I’ve seen a few surveys conducted by the USDA indicate that the average customer spends $25 per trip to a farmers market. We continue to far exceed that average, which I think says a lot about the advantages ALG offers over the traditional market. And to your dedication to supporting our growers.

So, in probably far too much detail, that’s how we operate financially. Our market might be more expensive to run than a traditional “booths and tables” farmers market, but that price buys a system that’s simple, time-saving, flexible, and in my opinion, just better. There’s no money in the bank, but the market is paying for itself and that’s my primary financial goal. 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 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: 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!

FarmFresh . LocallyGrown Market:  This market is preparing to open!

This market was added to the system on Sunday January 08, 2017 09:07 PM. It should be open for business soon!

Champaign, OH:  Urge For Going

I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
and all trees are shivering in a naked row
I get the urge for going but I never seem to go
I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown…
(Urge For Going-Joni Mitchell)

Well, we certainly have had quite the frozen spell. So cold that you just can’t quite get warm, can’t seem to thaw once you get inside, seem to need just the right comfort to nourish your soul…

This little market of love can do that for you. On this very cold Sunday evening, what better way to comfort your soul, your need for cold weather remedy in this frozen winter blue kind of haze, than to curl up and order from our market?

Start a menu plan for the week that involves slow cooking, deep soul cooking, and even a bit of body pampering…

Soups, stews, slow roasted dishes all begin with meats, dried herbs, spices, garlic…even honey and maple syrups.

Eggs make great dishes, on their own, in baked goods, or in sauces…

Coffee, teas…perfect for sipping the warmth back into your frozen self.

Lettuces, greens, even a few fresh herbs…

Breads, baked treats, pies, cookies…the perfect sweetness to perk you up, or to round out a dinner.

Candles, soap, essential oils…perfect for mind, body, spirit.

Whatever it takes to get you through these frozen days, whatever lets your mind drift off to the warmer days of sunshine and summertime, just order it. Stock your pantry, stock your fridge, stock your soul…

Cosmic Pam

Cumberland, TN:  CSFM open

Hello again, folks!

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.
Steve Colvin
CSFM Market Manager

The Wednesday Market:  It's Ordering Time Again

Good afternoon.

The Wednesday Market is open for orders. Please place your order by 10 p.m. Monday. Orders are ready for pickup between 3 and 6 p.m. on Wednesday. See the website for details on this week’s product offerings. Here is the link:

We hope you have a safe and warm Sunday, and we’ll see you at the Market.



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!

While you’re on, checkout some of the newest products from Maison Terre. There is now a whole line of wizardly wonders that would delight any Harry Potter fan, from Boggart Blaster insect repellent to Butter Beer Syrup. They’ve also added an assortment of dried herbs and oils.

Happy Sunday! Stay warm!

Claire Hodgson
Program & Market Manager

Russellville Community Market:  RCM Opening Bell

Happy New Year RCM community! Welcome to 2017.

If you missed our email message about the future of RCM, please see our Facebook page for the latest.

But for now, we are open for orders!

Like us on Facebook for up to date news and exciting RCM announcements. Check out our page for great info on local foods issues and upcoming events too! RCM Facebook

Peruse the “Featured Items” section as well as the “What’s New” section at the top of the market page for all the latest products available.

To ensure your order is placed, make sure you click the *“Place My Order” *button once you have completed your shopping. *Remember, you have until 10:00pm Tuesday evening to place your orders.*

Happy Shopping! See you on Thursday!

Russellville Community Market

Conway, AR:  Opening Bell: Beef, Eggs, Pork, Mushrooms!

Happy New Year!
Thanks to all the dedicated Members and Growers who safely made it to the market Friday! I was encouraged that over half of those picking up on Friday said how much they appreciated that we didn’t cancel. And a few even said that when they saw the snow that morning, their first thought was, “Will CLG be open?” Well, that was my first thought too!

Reminder: 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 440 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:

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!

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:
Phone or text: Steve – 501-339-1039
Email: Steve –