Welcome to Northeast Georgia Locally Grown’s weblog. Mainly this is a collection of e-mails that we send out each week to kick off the market, but also tells the tale of our little market. The market was officially OPENED and our first orders taken on Monday, April 26th, 2010 with our pick-up on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010. Though small at the beginning our market has grown pretty well, Selling $25,000 by December 31, 2010, and nearly $40,000 by our anniversary on April 28th, 2011. The site will be opened for shopping Friday evening at 9:00pm and remain open for shopping until 9:00pm Monday evening.
Locally Grown - Availability for September 18th, 2013
Hey Local Food Lovers,
Every week I get the privilege to describe some type of food, farm or market activity in the hopes that it might inspire some of you to come to market and spend a little of your hard-earned money on some of the hard-earned food that local people here in our particular neck of the woods are so kind to produce.
It’s an interesting exercise to reflect back over the meals I’ve eaten, people I’ve seen, conversations I’ve had, fields I’ve walked through, and anything at all that has to do with local food.
Some weeks are more eventful than others. I think the best stories I have to share are when I’ve actually been able to get out and around to some of the farms to see what they are up to, maybe even lend a hand for a few hours (as I hope to do tomorrow night as a matter of fact).
There’s always lots of stories about what I’m personally enjoying eating, and these are probably the easiest stories to share b/c surprise, surprise, I eat every week, and when I do I like to eat good food. My ideas about what is good food have changed so incredibly over the last 6 or 7 years (as that’s pretty much the length of time that I’ve been highly food and farm focused). Don’t get me wrong, I still eat plenty of grocery store food and I enjoy much of it. I try not to be a snob about food. But I very rarely buy any vegetables at the grocery anymore, because I know that I can meet all my vegetable needs with what is grown here locally and now its even available year-round.
Once you eat this way for this long, you cannot go back. I remember when I was in my early 20s one of the first organic farmers I ever met in Birmingham, AL had returned home after living in CA where he had grown accustomed to what I’m describing. Back then in the late ’90’s there were virtually no organic farms in Birmingham and he simply could not handle going back to eating super market non-organic vegetables. So he began growing them for himself. He had so much joy from his experience learning how to grow his own food that he just got bigger and bigger until he gave up his day job altogether and became a farmer.
I love that story for so many reasons. It’s simplicity to begin with, that he simply had learned to eat well and couldn’t stop. I think if I was forced to move to somewhere like that, I might follow a similar path, at least that I would grow the food I like to eat part.
For me, good food, farming, markets, and the friends, learning, activities and lifestyle that surrounds all of it is one of the best aspects of life. A few weeks ago I visited a farming friend who loaded me up with tons of jalapeno peppers that I sliced in half and filled with my own potatoes and chorizo made from a nearby farms ground pork (that was my first experience of making chorizo too). When I harvest my own sweet potatoes in another week or two I promised to give that farmer some of that crop to say thanks for this fabulous pepper meal that I enjoyed. This sounds like a tale from a by-gone era of neighbors and friends exchanging crops.
Well that’s probably enough romanticizing this local food movement for one night. I do want to invite interested folks to attend the Harvest Celebration at the Hilliard A Wilbanks Middle School in Demorest on Tuesday, October 8, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. This event is celebrating the farms and others who are making this the inaugural year for FARM TO SCHOOL programs in Northeast Georgia. This is a pretty amazing new development and I’ll tell you more before the date arrives but please put it on your calendar if you can as it is a free event for the public.
Don’t Forget to EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun