The Weblog

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

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Siloam Springs, AR:  Kids Day To Go Kits!

Kids Day To Go Kits are NOW available for pre-order! ;)

Miami County Locally Grown:  Part Two: Our End of the Road

When you purposefully choose to live further under the poverty line than the IRS believes possible (I don’t wish an audit on any of you!), making money is not your priority. That the food we grew and raised was fresher, cleaner, and more organic than anything you could purchase at the grocery store was true – it was also true that our consciences wouldn’t let us sell for their exhorbitant prices, especially to customers who’d become friends, when we couldn’t have afforded it even when we both had good paying jobs. As I’ve always said, we may be bad business people but who cares if we’re happy? And a major perk of making little is how little they can take in taxes for programs we don’t support! Woohoo!

We’ve set up at various area farmer’s markets including downtown Piqua, downtown Troy, and the virtual market in Urbana, and had a wonderfully fun CSA program where customers came to the farm to choose their produce and proteins for the week before I started as manager of our Miami County virtual market. We continue with our 100% grassfed raw milk herdshare which I think is misleading, because any grass farmer will tell you alfalfa and clover is so much higher in protein than simply grass, and we can get a high butterfat content in our milk and beautiful marbling in our meat “just” from our good grass because we are committed to caring for the soil providing the cows’ food.

We continue to add various pieces to our diet, whether sorghum syrup as a sweetener after multiple disasters with bees (no one will ever tell me our neighboring farmers’ spray did not cause us to lose hives three different years), to popcorn, sunflower seeds, jerky, dried fruit, and peanuts as snacks, as well as yogurt, buttermilk, cheese and butter after we started milking in 2016, plus whole wheat flour, spelt flour, cornmeal, oats, potatoes, and dried beans as our staples.

As of last year, Lee and I have now taken down nine different barns and buildings, some timber-frame, some more modern, either to rebuild in their entirety on our farm or simply (ha) to use for pieces and parts in fixing our existing structures. The shop is the most sentimental to me since it was a unique first date, but the 24’x45’ building that has been our CSA, herdshare, and meat customer pickup room in the front, and chicken coop/milking parlor in the back, is dearest to my heart because it was 100% salvaged materials – not just the lumber as is our usual, but even the sheet metal roof, tar paper, windows, tek screws… there are so many times I laugh to think of what is “normal” to our children and how off their sense of reality is, when our then three year old watched my husband jack up our old garage using large timbers, knock the foundation out from under it, set it on our flatbed trailer, and drive it across the yard to park it in it’s new home next to our old Shop as his new and improved Blacksmith Shop. He creates himself so much work simply because the children have seen there’s nothing he can’t do. The sky is the limit, Daddy!

One goal with our animals, whether it be the chickens, pigs, cows or sheep, was similar to our gardening goal – breed our own replacements so we don’t have to purchase new feeder livestock or new seeds every year, because if we’re intending to live on as little as possible, we need to avoid spending money unnecessarily. We started small when we married, both in the livestock and gardening department, and have grown to saving over 64 varieties of fruit, herb, vegetable, and field crop seed as well as letting our broody hens raise replacement chicks, keeping two boars and several sows to raise pastured pigs, and the bull Little Boy Blue for a yearly crop of calves from our cows. Happy animals taste better – we want them to enjoy sunshine, fresh air, quality pasture, and as stress-free a life as possible, and we want to be sure the end of their life is going to be instantaneous… you can taste the difference when there’s no adrenaline rush, no fear being handled in a strange place by strange butchers who prod you with electric shocks… I don’t care how cost-prohibitive and back-breaking it may be – I’ll continue to raise and process my own meat.

Butchering is still and will always remain one of our favorite farm jobs – it’s how we met, we truly enjoy its variety and necessity, and although our hand-crank grinders get a mite tedious (or just show me yet again how much stronger he is than me!), we’ve worked hard to perfect our ideal recipes when it comes to curing and smoking the meat in a way that will both preserve it for a long time and taste delicious. We use our sorghum syrup to cure the bacons, hams, corned beef, and dried beef, and save our apple and maple wood prunings for smoking the meat. We can hang it in the smokehouse until we want to use it or I can a lot of ground and chunked so we have ready-to-go fast food available, and food stored which doesn’t add to a freezer or fridge costs.

I saw a study put out by Ohio State University detailing how difficult it is to farm with children – trying to get your work done and make enough money to live. I always want to smile when people tell us they can’t afford something. Can’t? Or are unwilling to do without something else to be able to afford it, so in effect choose not to? I told Lee they should’ve asked us. He said it’s better they didn’t as we’re not the norm. Bah! If part of our reason for living this way is to provide a healthy lifestyle and future for our children, how could we not make them a part of everything we do? They need to understand where their food comes from, so they’re not like my former students who didn’t know that cellophane-wrapped burger on Styrofoam came from a bovine. Or who’d never tasted a truly ripe fruit or vegetable they’d picked – no comparison to a store or restaurant. I don’t want them to be like the professional who worked in an office all day before his wife sent him to pickup her Market order, and when I commented “Sure has been wet, huh?” he looked up at me curiously and said, “Has it been raining?” I thought, raining so much so our potatoes rotted in the ground, our high tunnel greenhouse flooded for the first time, and the farmer behind lost most of his corn crop when it swept away with the flooding into our pastures. I want them to be aware of the changing of the seasons, and the life in the gardens and field, and know how they can adversely or positively affect everything around them. Lee and I are just weird that way.

The problem with building up an old farmstead while farming full time is that it takes a lot of time just to grow everything both your young family and your animals eat. And there’s only so much money and time left every season to squeeze in the infrastructure projects you’ve been planning. Rebuilding the bank walls of the barn, replacing the hay mow timbers and floors, building stalls, pens, and fence, clearing fencerows and perpetually beating back invasives, replacing electric, plumbing, insulation, floors and windows in the house, and heaven forbid the basic and unexpected maintenance any of you with older homes understand – it’s been a productive road we’ve been on since we married in 2010.

But we’ve said since we’ve met, if we like each other, and our home, and prefer to be home together than anywhere else, we’ve got all the time in the world, and it’ll never be the same as going to an off-the-farm job for more money. We choose to live, on one hand, simply – even in such terms as no microwave, computer, dryer, dishwasher, tv, toilet paper, with cloth diapers, etc. On the other hand I’d say it’s a more complicated lifestyle than most, and we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it. Our children don’t want for anything, have never known hunger, are spoiled when it comes to good food and homecooked good eating as a family three times a day, or the fun of family cooking, reading, playing, and general togetherness. That’s the way we like it. And when we searched for a farm name, and hit upon End of the Road because First Street in Fletcher literally becomes our driveway and we ARE the end of the road, we knew it also fit because this was our end of the road, where we always intended to happily live out our days. Or so we thought. God knew He had other plans.


Miami County Locally Grown:  Part One: End of the Road Farm vendor feature

“Honey – we’re farmers!”

I’ve had a ball writing feature stories on my vendors since Market opened in August 2016, and in that time I’ve shared plenty of anecdotes and misadventures of our own farm family. I finally decided it was time to share an extended, true vendor feature on our own End of the Road Farm in Fletcher for the first time!

While my Dayton students and I were expanding each other’s vocabulary, them with all things historic and agriculture, me with all things ghetto and colorfully unrepeatable in polite circles, Lee was patiently expanding his farming, historic knowledge and skills with things as varied as masonry, old-fashioned carpentry, blacksmithing, and draft-horse farming, while working to rebuild the abandoned, dilapidated homestead he’d purchased four months prior (he joked when we met that the house and outbuildings on his farm were in such a sad state of disrepair they devalued the property enough for him to be able to afford our 21 acres)! He was a welder by trade, and had studied with master blacksmiths and been the blacksmith at Fort Boonesborough in Kentucky before moving up to Ohio to farm with horses at Carriage Hill Metropark, what was an 1880s living history site in Huber, with the almost 70 year old farmer who would become his (our) best friend.

Enter the infamous Butchering Weekend at Carriage Hill – I had just begun volunteering there, thinking it’d both be fun and give me something to take back to my students, most of whom had never been out of Dayton. My job that weekend was to render, in large kettles outdoors, lard from the pig the men were butchering – stirring, stoking the fire, keeping it from burning, explaining what we were all doing to the public – not rocket science, but a load of tedious fun.

All of a sudden, I turned around and the youngest of the butchers, covered in blood, carrying a big chunk of something and grinning slyly, asked if he could deep-fry his ribs in my kettle? Even better, when he took the wooden ladle from me to stir as we talked, he finally declared them ready, scooped them out, sliced them in half with his pocket knife, and we shared our first meal – I couldn’t have guess that 13 years later we’d still cook meals together (not always that rustic), be married going on 12 years, have five children, and he’d still be as romantic as that first time.

It was immediately evident he was simple in worldly terms – since he didn’t own a phone, he borrowed a co-worker’s the following week to call, and I swear it sounded over the high wind blowing behind him like he asked me if I’d like to go to a bar. I may not be a teetotaler, but to anyone else I’d have said no, not my idea of a first date. When I agreed and he gave me directions to his house, and told me to be there at 6:30 the next morning (Saturday), of course I needed clarification – found out he’d said BARN, not bar, and we were going to spend our first date working on taking down the barn he was hauling back to his farm to put back up as his two story mechanic/blacksmith/carpentry shop. I could never say I didn’t know what I was getting myself into on Day One. And no wonder when he took me to meet his family less than three months later, his grandpa hugged me and said he’d hoped but didn’t dream a woman existed for his grandson.

Now if you’ve never been to Celina in early February with a high wind on a clear, 14 degree day without a tree in sight, try to imagine the old farmer who wanted the barn off his property stopping by, asking Lee when his crew would show up. When Lee straight-faced looked at me and said, “She’s right here,” I can only say love makes you crazy and keeps you from laughing at poor old men who you’ve innocently confused and shocked. I also knew Lee wasn’t kidding when he’d said he was broke yet would take care of lunch – we took a break, climbed into his truck, and instead of driving to pick something up like I expected, he whips out the brown bag lunch he had thoughtfully (I am biting my cheek and tongue) prepared – an apple and a peanut butter sandwich sans jelly apiece, and two Vanilla Wafers each. And oh, he was on a serious budget so no turning on the truck for a little warmth on break (I would soon learn how long it takes an old diesel to actually warm up).

We agreed on several things immediately – we loved reading, history, and gardening (probably in that order), enjoyed working together, didn’t see a point in dating if we couldn’t envision a future together, wanted as many children as God gave, intended to homeschool, and wanted to live as self-sufficiently and simply as possible on a small farm. Our only point of contention, him being Reformed Baptist and me Traditional Catholic, seemed workable. We both thought it a successful first date.

He talked about marriage right off, and looking back I laugh at him testing me, never hoping I’d enjoy slinging chains, stealing his tractor jobs, and helping turn the old farmstead into a home as much as he did. Isn’t he lucky?

The real test came when he found a combine for sale, necessary if we were going to provide our own grain in large quantities – she was an old Allis Chalmers 60, pull-type combine from 1947, in Indiana for $300. We got there early morning, fell in love, and waved at the two old men staring incredulously as we pulled out, intent on pulling it back to his house 115 miles away. They told us we wouldn’t make it. We were young and foolish enough to believe we could, as is the case with most of what we’ve done in our marriage. Well we only stopped every 30 minutes to grease the old bearings and hung dangerously out of our lane as we were over 14ft wide.

Being the two least technological people in the world, we had literally mapped out our travels on paper, of course never assuming how unreliable our maps would become – so much so we got lost in Oxford (poor college kids would never be the same), unable to turn around (whew!) and kept plowing (literally) on. When we thankfully got out of town, he looked at me and said, “If we survive this day we’re definitely meant to be, and should get married tomorrow.”

That was before I was intently studying the map and giving him directions yet again – “Ok, you’re going to come to such and such a bridge, cross it, pass such and such road, and keep going straight until we get to such and such town.” I could feel the truck idling yet was pouring over the map for the next direction to give. “Um, Dear?” “I’m telling you, just keep going straight yet.” “I don’t think that’s right, Jennifer.” “Will you trust me? I’m looking right at the map.” “Well look up a minute.” “What? Oh.” And I was staring at a dead end that ran into a cornfield. “See, just go straight, it has to be better than Oxford!”

Needless to say, we survived. Fastforward past our perfect little wedding with just our parents and my brothers, a glorious honeymoon at Biltmore (our first and only vacation to date), our first child being weeks premature and all those scary NICU weeks, and our commitment to each other and our growing family that we’d add a new staple to our diet each year from our farm, until we were raising 100% of our food. Lee quit his job at Carriage Hill to farm with little Lucy in the backpack while I taught at Wayne – our plan was for me to keep teaching and carrying the insurance at least until she was ready for first grade, while Lee built up our farm and business.

When Lee, Lucy and I visited a beautiful farm tour in Bellefontaine of full-time farmers nearing retirement age who would become dear friends in the future, the wife candidly talked of how little they made farming – it was hard, yes they loved it, but they made it work grossing $11,000 a year because they had no children. She said, “You could never live this lifestyle farming full time with children.” Yes, my competitive, won’t-take-no-for-an-answer side came out because I whispered to Lee, “Oh yes we can!” And we did.

On my first day back from six weeks of maternity leave with our son, Baby #2, I got home and said to Lee, “So I walked into the teacher’s lounge at lunch to find the RIF list and saw that I’ve been cut. Yes, I’m Terminated. Yes that’s how I found out. No, no one let me know. Yes, all the students knew all morning and I wondered why they were acting so weird (on their best behavior). Yes, we’ll lose our insurance this summer. No, Darling, there’s no explanation why I was “cut” and not the people lower on the seniority list than me. No, the union is not willing to step in, and do we actually want to fight this so I can continue working away from home at a place we both hate? No! God is giving us more than a nudge and we’re going to listen. Honey, we’re Farmers!”


Siloam Springs, AR:  Online Market is Open!

Join us for our final Kids Day of 2021 and our last Outdoor Market Saturday of the season, this Saturday, October 9th!

Kids Day To Go Kits are now available, be sure to pre-order one per child in your family!

When you arrive on Saturday your kiddoes will receive their pre-ordered Kids Day To Go Kit + $2 in Pop Tokens to spend.

Once you’ve picked up your pre-ordered To Go Kits your family will receive one entry into our drawing for a “Color Your Own Farmers Market Stand – Playhouse”!

Whether you’re joining us for Kids Day at the Market, for all the wonderful vendors and farmers, or both – we hope you’ll join us for our final Saturday for the Outdoor Market season! And we hope you’ll continue to order those same farm fresh items via our Online Market all winter long! Starting October 16th we’ll be online only, but we’re excited to continue being your one stop shop for eggs, beef, pork, chicken, baked goodies, all natural salves and soaps, and so much more!

See you Saturday and happy shopping!

Lathemtown Farm Fresh Market:  This Week at the Market

We continue to have lots growing in the fall garden and this rain is just in time!
Take a look at the new honey we’ve added this week – Christine’s. It’s that time of year where a cup of tea and honey really hit the spot!
We do not have eggs in the market this week – they have slowed down to a halt! Hoping they pick back up soon so we can offer them again.
There are still plenty of white pumpkins from our fields in the farmstand – get yours to decorate!

Have a great week and thank you for your supporting our vision to bring healthy food to our neighbors!

Farmher Chef Amy

Yalaha, FL:  Time to open up the Market again

We are starting to get lettuce and kale again and have a few other things available. I’ve adjusted the regular ordering window a little bit to account for when we are packing up the Restaurant orders.

I may still be able to take orders after Thursday Morning but can’t guarantee availability of things as I may have already packed them for the Restaurants.
Ordering window is Monday Afternoon through Thursday Morning and pick up will be Friday-Sunday by appointment until we expand more, Please indicate when you would like to pick up when you place your order.

Remember to tell me when you want to pick up! (and if I don’t reply to confirm within a day, bump my e-mail or text me 407-342-8515. Though I have cleaned up my e-mail so hopefully I won’t Miss Anyone.)

Sign in to order.

You have to sign in to see the add to cart button. Then set the number and click the add to cart button on the items you want to buy (it is the little picture right next to the quantity box.) Remember you need to check out before your order will be placed.
Remember to let me know when you want to pick up on Sat or maybe even Friday late afternoon or on Sunday. (If I don’t send you an e-mail confirmation of your order and pick up time, please make sure you checked out and completed your order.)

Miami County Locally Grown:  Things I never thought my students would teach me

I had a serious brain block when trying to write a weblog for opening the Market today. Then I stumbled upon a draft of one I never sent back last March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, when we first had to go to all-curbside service, if we wanted to stay open, and I was a nervous wreck. So I thought, it may be a little dated, but I’m not sure it’s any less timely. Kindness and family are always important, right? So here goes ????

Ok so those of you have known me these past four (now five!) years certainly noticed how reserved and shy I am about meeting new people :-). Yeah right!! It about killed me to refrain from standing and chatting with you all at your cars!! My goodness I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed your regular Tuesday friendliness until I had to be a take-out delivery girl!! Hi and bye, it’s not my style. I know, some of you are frowning and agreeing – it’s ok and I apologize even if I can’t help grinning.

I hope we can get back to normal sooner rather than later so I can meet all you new folks in a more civilized way, and catch up with the rest of you regulars who always have such good ideas and interesting stories to share… Joe with his liver diet, Chris with her pumpkin chili and mustard cravings, Melissa and her lasagna love affair… or if you’re like Leonore, Judy and Marlene, put up with my tales of our family farming misadventures, or JoAnn who helps me plan that future trip to Disney! Or maybe Tom who sternly looks at me over his glasses like my old, er, former principal when he found out I’ve never taken my kids to Brukner. Ok, I really meant it – I had gotten used to my Tuesday Market fix ;-)

And yet what’s the real dream come true for me? Staying home with my husband and children on our farm. I just couldn’t imagine myself happier if I never had to leave again.

I had this talk with another mother… Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have some extra time at home, with nowhere to be, no clock to watch, just plenty of quality time waiting for you? I’m probably more into projects than the children sometimes! How do we kill an afternoon? Let’s make playdough. Have a paint party. Raid the closets and dressup box to put on a play of beloved stories and nursery rhymes. Read Sarah Plain and Tall aloud in an afternoon. Bake, and cook, together, and taste EVERYTHING. Go on a scavenger hunt in the yard. Have a singalong while we clean the garden beds and discover new buds popping up. Take over for Darling Husband and spread manure (it’d be your dream too if you’d been used to our old tractors and then got a taste of power steering with the new one. I’m in love, and yes he’s lucky I ever let him drive).

And yet each day that I’ve pondered all the ways we can choose to spend a glorious day here at home, I’ve also been heartbroken remembering my former Dayton students who were devastated at Spring, Christmas, and Summer Breaks when they’d have to spend extended time at home, because home was not a safe, welcoming place. I’ve been a full time Mom/Wife/Farmer/Homemaker for 7 years, yet I can picture those many students as if they were in front of me all over again, begging me to take them home with me, or to let them stay at school a little longer, or just silently sitting at the desk refusing to get on the RTA. Would you want to be the person who physically forced them to go? After I’d met some of their parents, I couldn’t do it. And I hug my own children and pray for extra patience when they’re on my last nerve, picturing those children, wondering what in the world this additional time at home would be for them.

Over 13 years ago before Lee and I met, I was a second year history teacher in Dayton, at a school for at-risk middle schoolers ages 12-17. Many had been kicked out of Dayton Public and we were their alternative to juvie; less of a culture shock than it would have been had I not done my student teaching at Colonel White High School, in West Dayton. Coming from a surburbarn white collar family with four younger brothers who ate a homecooked meal every night, prayed together every day, and whose mother would make a turkey dinner on any given weekday, my experiences as a young teacher were surreal. I went through a LOT of Holy Water.

I was bit, kicked, punched, clawed – being the tallest and youngest middle school teacher among our all-female staff, I ended up breaking up more than my share of battles. I was the only thing standing between a gang who’d suddenly materialized while I rewarded my homeroom with extra playground time (the first and only time) and the boy they intended to send back to the ER. Nothing I studied at Wright State prepared me for what became everyday occurrences. I can still feel my eight little 7th graders everyone picked on who simultaneously tried to hide behind me. And I’m sure you’ve all been at some time in an unexpected situation, one you couldn’t have dreamed prior how you’d have handled it.

If that had been a “What would you do in this moment?” essay in college, I wouldn’t have pictured myself getting up in the leaders’ face with my little mass of bodies behind me, angrily saying “Hit me” and meaning it.

It was hard enough for the little boy they were after to get on the RTA every day and make it home unscathed. Or for the boy who at 13 was built stronger and bigger than most grown men I’ve met to stop crying at Spring Break and go home – school was his escape from his unimaginable home. What would he do being stuck there for a whole week? And what have the children like him done since the pandemic hit? I saw the ramifications of social services being called; in my experience, never a positive outcome for the child.

There’s no way to look presentable to your peers when you’re 14 and living in a van with your mother and two younger sisters. No one told me a teacherly duty would be to talk to her like it was normal to change clothes, do her hair, and brush her teeth at school with things I provided, to start her day with a friendly face and positive energy.

When I can’t sleep or shut off my overworking mind, I write. And as editing is not my favorite pastime, I usually just eventually stop writing when someone else in the house is up. My thought this morning as I looked at the beautiful stars was, among other things, what am I grateful for? A more pleasant work environment at the Market than I’ve ever experienced. You’re kind. You’re generous. You’re easy to work with and for. And when you comment on my own pleasantness, I think every time of my former students. I have a daily choice to be nice. I’m far from perfect but I know I need to try.

I think of the little boy who’s favorite thing to tell me anytime I corrected him was “You’re just racist!”
“And what exactly makes me a racist?”
“You’re white!” (and here’s sarcastic me trying not to laugh and say, “Hey, you’re right! Snot.”)
“So if I’m racist, how am I treating you badly?”
“Making me do this stupid work!”
“I want you to succeed in school and life. YOU are the racist.”
His eyes bugged out of his head and I thought he was about to slug me. One thing I learned in Dayton – the advantage of working in that environment was you could tell the truth and there was no one to reprimand you, and the principal was simply grateful if you kept them from bloodying each other.
“I can’t be racist! I’m black!” he shouted at me. I said, “You look at me and all you see is white. I look at you and all I see is my student. Who’s getting judged and discriminated?” His mother told me she had barely met any white women. I honestly thought, where in the heck am I, and how small is their world? Or mine?

I had a reputation for having a good rapport with the difficult students. My secret formula, looking back? 1. I learned their names quickly, and used them, not just to correct them. THAT threw them off, especially since I didn’t know there were so many “white” ways to pronounce vowels in Shanice, Tajee, Davion, etc. 2. I wasn’t intimidated, nor tried to be intimidating. 3. I was honest to them even when it was ugly. 4. I wasn’t honest with parents and case workers.

The first and only time I was honest with a Dayton parent, the father, who’d come to the school from the shop where he worked to check on his son, learned his boy, who was an old 15 year old 7th grader and built like a college linebacker, was disruptive and disrespectful in my class. No sooner were the words out of my mouth than the father punched the boy in the face hard enough to knock him into the wall and down to the floor. The boy instantly scrambled up, keeping eye contact and not making a sound til the Dad asked, “You won’t give her another problem, will you?” “No sir!” And shortly after, he dropped out, joined the gang his parents feared, and came back as the leader to attempt to assault my little homeroom boy on the playground. And he’d been one of the only students I had with a somewhat stable home, two working parents, and enough to eat. You can bet I remembered this when in later years I made the worst career move of my life and taught at Wayne in Huber, where my entitled, mouthy suburban children with no problems ruled the school because their parents and teachers allowed it. How dare I have high expectations for them, expect 18 year olds to, gasp, take weekly spelling tests in History so they could learn to spell American and Government correctly in American Government class, not change the star athlete’s failing grade so he could play, just because Coach asked me to… No surprise to me at least that I was fired. And I was happier in Dayton.

So I stretched the truth after that first Dayton experience giving honesty to a parent – the face of the child standing behind the parent or case worker would go from wide-eyed fear (one particularly nasty girl stood there and wet herself in anticipation of how I’d describe her behavior) to shock as I always found something positive to say, even when the Mom would look at me skeptically and question whether I was talking about her kid. They taught me an unforgettable lesson – you just don’t know how a trivial gesture or smile or comment from you can affect a person’s outlook, day, attitude, etc.

After a while you’d think I’d learn to stop asking questions, but I’m pretty dense. I questioned one exceptionally quiet, brooding girl – “Why do you just stare at me and never say anything? I hear you talk to the other teachers?”
“I don’t know what to do with you.”
I’d heard a lot from my students but that was a new one. “Excuse me?”
“I think you’re fake.”
“What! Why?!”
“No one actually cares that much.”
“I do.”
After a long moment of staring she said, “I know. And I still don’t know what to do with you.”
“Well Honey, no one else does either, so join the club.”
“Miss Pierce, C’mon! You know we don’t go to the same clubs, Whitey.” And she tried to keep a straight face before we both burst out laughing.

That little girl taught me not everyone has had many or any people be kind to them in their life, but every opportunity I had, I wanted to be just that. Kind, because I now knew it was more powerful than I had realized.

I don’t have any answers. I don’t feel like I know anything. My nerves are shot after just being inundated with more Market orders than I ever dreamed of, and a new untested system for pickup that could have been a disaster. Yet because this little local scene attracts the very best people I’ve ever had the privilege to meet, everything worked out beautifully. Until I drove home imagining those faces that haunt me.

Maybe the only answer I’ve found is just to be nice when I don’t want to make the effort. I tell myself that cranky guy SHOULD be a grump because I talk too much, am obnoxious, and often forget his eggs or porkchops. The cold, sullen lady doesn’t like me because I look like her mother, who sold the Christmas presents she got at school from her young, naïve homeroom teacher for drug money. What if everyone who I come in contact with is hard to deal with because they grew up with the kind of home life of some of my favorite students? They have every reason to be difficult. And I have every reason to be kind, to everyone, because you just never know, do you?

Champaign, OH:  Must Be The Season...

When I look out my window
Many sights to see…
(Donovan-Season Of The Witch)

Well, hey there…we slipped into October, just like that. And, with October being one of my favorite months, I say, come on in. Grab a seat. Enjoy the colors. Take in the golden hue that begins to take effect. Get groovy with Halloween, if that’s your bag, and let it all just wash over you.

It’s Monday, and your market manager has started her annual October playlist, including one of my favorites, Season Of The Witch…go ahead, just try to get this groovy get down Halloween-esque song out of your head.

I am decorating my house, I’m anticipating out of town friends coming in, and I am planning all kinds of shenanigans for them…

But, first, let’s get this market all ordered up, and ready for Thursday’s pick up!! It’s a bit cloudy, this morning, and while I am enjoying the last of my coffee, listening to October tunes, and planning the week, I am also working in my market order.

We have so much to offer…so much to usher in this golden month of loveliness…

You’ve got to pick up every stitch… must be the season of the witch…

Cosmic Pam

Independence,VA:  Market closes TONIGHT at 8 pm!

Good morning!

Be sure to place your Online Market order by tonight at 8 pm! Your order will be ready for pickup this Wednesday between 4-6 pm at the Grayson Landcare office (104 Courthouse St.).

Thanks again and happy shopping!

To Shop: Independence Farmers Market.

Schedule Your Pickup Time (OPTIONAL): Calendly.
After you click “Confirm” on your time, be sure to enter your information and click, “Schedule an Event”. You will get a confirmation e-mail. If you do not receive a confirmation, you are not scheduled and need to try again.

Thank you all so much for supporting the Market!


Athens Locally Grown:  ALG Market Open for October 7

Athens Locally Grown

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

Market News

Fall is my favorite time to garden in Athens, even though many people shut their gardens down as the first frost approaches. It still feels like summer outside, but now is the time to get in there and start planting broccoli, collards, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, Brussels sprouts, and more. In years past we had a better selection of seedlings than you can find at most garden centers this time of year, but this year they were by and large a casualty of having to switch our market over to contactless pickups. We will have a few items listed for you in the coming weeks, but nothing like the days when Wolfskin Growers was able to sell through our market. You might be able to reach her directly if you miss that selection as much as I do, here:

Fall weather does seem to have finally taken hold, and while that means many of our summer crops will soon be saying their goodbyes (though not all, thanks to the many greenhouses our growers use) it also means the autumn crops will be in their element. We should be awash in leafy greens real soon, and I love that.

I’ll be taking the week off, but the market will be in the more than capable hands of our wonderful volunteers. Lately, I’ve been sending them sent home before you even arrive, and I know they miss getting to see and talk with you all each week.

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 at our market’s home on Tallassee Road!

We are still getting new customers every week (and we love seeing new faces!) so for all of you you can find a detailed run-down of how Thursdays go on our website here:

Other Area Farmers Markets

If ALG doesn’t have everything you need, please support our growers at the other markets that are now back up and running, or at their own locations. The Comerian takes online orders for Saturday pickup at the bakery here: The Athens Farmers Market is holding their Saturday market once again in Bishop Park and Wednesdays at Creature Comforts.They’re still operating under pandemic rules, so you’ll want to read up on all the changes on their website, The West Broad Farmers Market is back, holding a drive through market just like us (and using my software too, so it’ll be nice and familiar). You can join them at The Saturday market in Comer has also returned. They’re small, but sometimes an early Saturday drive to Comer is just what the soul needs. And of course Collective Harvest is going strong over at

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!