The Weblog

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.



 
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Locally Grown Availability for April 23rd, 2014


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I hope all of you had as glorious a week as I had. Today was just beautiful, a great day to enjoy the spring and for me work in the soil around the house transplanting some just emerging plants. That reminds me, one of the many growers I want to highlight this week is Hollman Hollow Farm. How fortunate we are to have a farm that specializes in native plants and herbs. They have 39 listed this week including jewelweed, hostas, sedums, poppy and trliium. It’s been fun to watch them come through as customers order and I’m impressed with their vigor and the diversity. All natives makes it a great choice for our type of market that is trying to be sustainable.

Here’s the other things that made me happy this week. Chocolate marshmellow eggs from Sylvan Falls Mill. I hate I forgot to remind folks to buy these as they come only a few weeks of the year. They are an incredibly tasty treat with organic chocolate that is superb.

I also cut my first asparagus spear this week. It was just one and I brought it home and cut it into 1/2 inch pieces and sauteed in butter until they were brown. Then I ate every single piece with my fingers right out of the pan. So good!

Then Wednesday I got my fresh huge beautiful beets from Burton Mountains Farms and just had to eat them right away. I roasted them (the special way) sauteed the greens just right, and garnished with sour cream mixed with lime juice and chopped cilantro. Trust me it was excellent. To wash that down I baked some cheddar corn muffins two ways, with blue corn and yellow corn from Sylvan Falls Mills. Here’s what both of these treats looked like.

If this looks good and you want to try it the recipes are posted on our FACEBOOK page. I highly encourage all of you to post your own cooking success stories to our FACEBOOK page and I’ll make sure it’s shared so everyone can see it. You should also use our RECIPES section of the website. I did add the cornbread recipe there for those who don’t use facebook.

Ok, what else. Chuck wrote a very good snippet about our Egg Laying practices on Friday that I wanted to follow up on. We may or may not have mentioned to everyone that last fall Locally Grown changed (and by changed I mean improved) it’s guidelines for eggs. We decided that all eggs not only had to come from hens that are raised on fresh grass and moved regularly (ie. pastured), but that they also be fed only organic grains. For the first 3 years of the market we did allow eggs that were fed non-organic corn, which these days means it’s genetically modified corn (or GMO for short – the “o” is for organism). We’d always had some confusion about why some eggs were one price, and others another price. This confusion is now removed since all eggs from now on will be from hens that live outside on fresh grass and eat organic corn (and sometimes soy free too). That means that eggs in our market will be more expensive as the price of organic feed is exactly twice that of GMO feed, not to mention that hens on fresh pasture have to be moved frequently and generally managed more carefully than hens kept in a permanent pen. These are very lucky chickens to live so well and eat such a good diet (all the bugs and grass they can eat). And I’m very lucky to get to eat these delicious eggs, because God knows I could never go back to eating grocery store eggs after all this time. They are so inferior I don’t know where to begin. So I’ll tell this story.

Shortly after moving back to Habersham County in ‘09 I was driving down 441 when I saw two chickens sitting right on the dashed line in the middle of the road with trucks whizzing by at 65 miles an hour. I just couldn’t ignore their miserable plight and stopped to rescue them.

They were the most pitiful things I had ever seen, and not because they were scared for their lives (even though they were). It was because they were covered in excrement and their eyes were all red and crazy looking like they were under incredible stress. I’ve spent lots of time in chicken houses before and the best way to describe how it affects the psychology of the chicken is to call them concentration camp victims. With 10,000 other birds competing for space it’s nothing but stress from birth to death. The houses are enclosed so there’s no natural sunlight. The first and only time they see the sun is when they are back on the truck on the way to the slaughterhouse, only there’s cage after cage of chickens above or below them all pooping on one another.

What was interesting about my rescued bird (the other one had broken his leg and didn’t survive the night) was his transformation over the coming weeks. I built him a pen and watched with great interest as he saw his very first insect, and blade of grass and he got to experience freedom and stretch his wings and legs and run. He became a happy animal.

I named him Highway and we became fast friends (even though I fully intended to eat him once he was plump and happy). I ended up giving him away as like many I find it difficult to eat my friends but he taught me a great lesson. We should eat responsibly as often as we can. An animals happiness and/or suffering is the result of our decisions.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression. I still eat fried chicken from Zaxby’s, Chic Fil A and a whole lot of other places I shouldn’t. It’s hard to be a purist in this world. But I appreciate that there are farmers here locally that bother to raise a chicken the right way. It’s worth a lot, and is absolutely worth every penny that they charge for their products and probably a lot more. I can assure you no one is getting rich, It just requires a lot more time, money, and management to raise food the right way. And .50 an egg is more than fair to me.

So this week I also made those deviled eggs with avocado and bacon that I mentioned last week and they were yum!

Like I said it’s been a good week full of good meals, good moments and happy thoughts for the future.

We’re still looking for a volunteer to help us at the Clarkesville Market once in a while. If you know of a good kind soul that would really enjoy being around good food and folks every once in a while (and getting a very small food stipend as our thanks) let us know. Staring June 6th, I (meaning Justin) will be helping the Gainesville market get started and Teri willl be the new Clarkesville Market Manager. She’s been with us since the very beginning and we’re very excited that she’s willing to get even more involved during this very exciting growth year.

Pickup is extended to 7pm starting this week. Make sure your account has your cell number so we can remind you if you forget (late pickups not allowed).

We greatly appreciate all of you wonderful Local Food Eaters and we hope you have a great week!

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availability list for April 18


Good Evening Locavores
I will start the market off this week with some words about the eggs in your market.
Just as vegetables with genetically modified organisms are not allowed in this market, meat and poultry are not allowed to be fed GMO grains.
To the best of our knowledge the soy and corn in all of the standard commercial feeds are gmo grains and so these feeds are not allowed. For the most part that leaves only certified organic feeds and feeds certified to be gmo free for use by growers in this market.
These feeds cost double the prices of standard commercial feed. Obviously this increases the cost of producing meat and eggs. We also require that laying hens must be pastured on grass rather than in a bare dirt pen or on shavings.
When a grower acquires baby chicks he must feed and care for them for 20 weeks or so before they are mature enough to lay eggs. Once the hens begin laying eggs their production usually is not as high as commercial hens due to the fact that they are not housed with artificial heat and light.
In order to supply eggs, the grower must make a commitment to spending money for feed and providing labor to care for the birds daily for five months before getting the first egg.
Consider this when you shop for eggs in this market and apreciate them for their high quality and enhanced health
benefits. If you have not tried the eggs this would be a great time to treat yourself to them.
Have a great weekend and enjoy healthy local food.

Locally Grown Availability for April 16th, 2014


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Good things are afoot. As we’ve mentioned here several times recently, Locally Grown is expanding to Gainseville this year, and we’ve finally set a date for when that’s going to happen….Friday, June 6th with our first delivery on Wednesday, June 11th, almost exactly two months from now. As we rapidly prepare for this exciting change we wanted to take the time to explain some things that are going on behind the scenes to insure that it all goes smoothly.

One thing all of you who have been customers of Locally Grown for many years will be glad to hear is that we are actively recruiting new farms and food producers to join the market. This is evidenced quite well this week with two great new additions to the market. The first is JumpinGoat Coffee located in Helen, GA since 2010. We’ve been wanting to add a locally roasted coffee maker for a long time and we’re very excited to finally be making the leap this week. Jumpin Goat has been a great success story in the region. We’ll talk more about their different coffees and their story in the very near future. We also want to welcome our first Dahlonega area farm, KP farms who are bolstering the number of eggs available through Locally Grown. Those who have shopped here for awhile know, sometimes you gotta be really quick to get a carton of eggs around here. Hopefully by adding another great egg producer in KP Farms to join our other great egg producer O’hana Farms we can increase everyone’s chances of getting eggs, even after we add more customers in Gainesville.

We plan to continue to add new farms and food producers over the next several months in order to expand the diversity and the quantity of food available through Locally Grown at the same time that we are expanding the customer base for Locally Grown. As we strive for this perfect balance between supply and demand, it’ll be interesting to see how we all adjust. Those hard to get items may get a little bit harder to get in the short term, but another of our goals is to do a lot more assessment of our top market items and work with growers to find out who is willing to help meet those market demands. For instance, based on the last couple of weeks orders it’s obvious that if we had lots and lots more fresh beets and carrots that you guys would be willing to eat them. From my own experience, if I get fresh carrots one out of every three weeks that I try and order them then I really cherish them. But, I’d also probably eat them every week if they were there.

Expanding our market to Gainesville should have a highly beneficial effect on the entire market over time, not just add competition to your efforts to order carrots every week. Many farms can only expand their farms as they are certain that there are markets in which to sell products. For the last two years farmers in our Georgia Mountains Farmers Network voted Cooperative Marketing as our number 1 priority, and added that Retail Sales were the types of markets they were looking for. What does this mean exactly? Well, remember that many farms set up a table at a weekend market every week because that is where they can capture the best price for their foods. Selling the same quantity to a grocery store or other wholesale outlet would often cut the price by as much as half. The problem is that it’s difficult, costly or just plain impossible for a farmer to be at multiple farmers markets at the same time. That’s why some of our local farmers actually travel out of our rural area and into more urban areas because they are growing such a large quantity that they must be insured they can sell it all, and at a good price. Locally Grown is a very convenient cooperative because it essentially allows farmers to setup a virtual farmers market in multiple places at once (Clarkesville, Clayton and soon Gainesville) and reach customers at all three with a few clicks of the button. Then in one delivery each farmer can reach many, many customers. The market managers help to consolidate the distribution labor from all the farms into a few people in a few hours. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.

As this collaborative grows, and our customer base along with it, so does the appeal to other farms to join. In fact, there are a few larger farms that will likely join Locally Grown after we add Gainesville, for the same reason that some farms drive their produce to the big city. They have a lot to sell, and they need to sell a lot in one place to make it pay for itself. So as you can see, growing the market will actually increase the amount of food being offered by Locally Grown and we’re very excited about expanding the network of farms participating. Getting to know other farmers has been one of the most exciting elements for those of us on the front end of the market. During the drop offs is when we talk about new practices, exchange ideas, trade secrets, and brainstorm how to grow and sell more local food.

During these changes this year we’ll need your help too. Beginning next week we’ll revert to our summertime hours for pickups from 5-7pm (rather than our shortened 6:30pm pickup in the winter). Since we’ll all be working harder than usual in recruiting farmers, training new volunteers and managers for Gainseville, promoting the market, and working with growers to grow more food, we’ll be wanting to make sure that our market duties are as efficient as possible. In the past we’ve sometimes allowed folks to pickup items after market hours. As you can imagine, having to schedule an extra time for such pickups can be taxing to our already busy schedules. In order to be fair to everyone we’ll stay true to what we’ve always posted about pickups, that if you don’t make the pickup hours we’ll donate your food and charge your account. Since the only reward to our dedicated market volunteers is a small stipend that works out to about $2.50 an hour (or less), at the end of the market we’ll let them take anything that has been left and the remainder will be donated.

Since it’s never fun to realize you missed pickup, we do encourage everyone to make sure that your account lists your up to date cell phone number as we always call customers who haven’t come to pickup yet in the last 20-30 minutes of market to remind you. If something comes up, we encourage you to have a good friend who can pickup for you. For significant emergencies we can make special exceptions, but for everything else this’ll be our standard policy.

Ok, before we go there’s two things we want to share. First is a copy of our new FLIER to help us kickoff the new and 5th season of the Locally Grown market. The kickoff is next Friday, April 18th and we’ll be getting press releases off today to remind folks that Locally Grown is here. Please tell your friends, post a flier, forward an e-mail.


Click here for a PDF link

Second, it’s EASTER and you should buy all our eggs this week to celebrate. Here’s a cool version of deviled eggs that I plan to make this week myself.

Avocado Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:
9 hard boiled eggs
1 1/2 avocados peeled and pitted
2 tbs of ranch dressing (homemade or store bought)
1 tbs of sour cream (some people prefer the mayo of a traditional recipe)
2-3 scallions chopped
The juice of one lime
Pinch of salt
4 slices of cooked extra crispy bacon
Paprika

Directions:
Place eggs in one or two pots of cold water, bring to boil for one minute.
Peal and slice eggs length wise.
Remove yolks and place in them in a bowl or food processor.
Set egg whites aside.
Add your remaining ingredients except the bacon… set that aside.
Pulse the filling until it is smooth add more ranch dressing or sour cream if it is too dry.
Use spoon to place filling into egg whites and top with bacon crumbles and paprika.

If anyone else comes up with a better deviled egg recipe, please send it to us, or post it on our recipe or facebook page, and send us a photo too. We know a lot of you are doing some great cooking out there and we want to hear about it.

Thanks for supporting Northeast Georgia Farms and
EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown Availability for April 16th, 2014


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Good things are afoot. As we’ve mentioned here several times recently, Locally Grown is expanding to Gainseville this year, and we’ve finally set a date for when that’s going to happen….Friday, June 6th with our first delivery on Wednesday, June 11th, almost exactly two months from now. As we rapidly prepare for this exciting change we wanted to take the time to explain some things that are going on behind the scenes to insure that it all goes smoothly.

One thing all of you who have been customers of Locally Grown for many years will be glad to hear is that we are actively recruiting new farms and food producers to join the market. This is evidenced quite well this week with two great new additions to the market. The first is JumpinGoat Coffee located in Helen, GA since 2010. We’ve been wanting to add a locally roasted coffee maker for a long time and we’re very excited to finally be making the leap this week. Jumpin Goat has been a great success story in the region. We’ll talk more about their different coffees and their story in the very near future. We also want to welcome our first Dahlonega area farm, KP farms who are bolstering the number of eggs available through Locally Grown. Those who have shopped here for awhile know, sometimes you gotta be really quick to get a carton of eggs around here. Hopefully by adding another great egg producer in KP Farms to join our other great egg producer O’hana Farms we can increase everyone’s chances of getting eggs, even after we add more customers in Gainesville.

We plan to continue to add new farms and food producers over the next several months in order to expand the diversity and the quantity of food available through Locally Grown at the same time that we are expanding the customer base for Locally Grown. As we strive for this perfect balance between supply and demand, it’ll be interesting to see how we all adjust. Those hard to get items may get a little bit harder to get in the short term, but another of our goals is to do a lot more assessment of our top market items and work with growers to find out who is willing to help meet those market demands. For instance, based on the last couple of weeks orders it’s obvious that if we had lots and lots more fresh beets and carrots that you guys would be willing to eat them. From my own experience, if I get fresh carrots one out of every three weeks that I try and order them then I really cherish them. But, I’d also probably eat them every week if they were there.

Expanding our market to Gainesville should have a highly beneficial effect on the entire market over time, not just add competition to your efforts to order carrots every week. Many farms can only expand their farms as they are certain that there are markets in which to sell products. For the last two years farmers in our Georgia Mountains Farmers Network voted Cooperative Marketing as our number 1 priority, and added that Retail Sales were the types of markets they were looking for. What does this mean exactly? Well, remember that many farms set up a table at a weekend market every week because that is where they can capture the best price for their foods. Selling the same quantity to a grocery store or other wholesale outlet would often cut the price by as much as half. The problem is that it’s difficult, costly or just plain impossible for a farmer to be at multiple farmers markets at the same time. That’s why some of our local farmers actually travel out of our rural area and into more urban areas because they are growing such a large quantity that they must be insured they can sell it all, and at a good price. Locally Grown is a very convenient cooperative because it essentially allows farmers to setup a virtual farmers market in multiple places at once (Clarkesville, Clayton and soon Gainesville) and reach customers at all three with a few clicks of the button. Then in one delivery each farmer can reach many, many customers. The market managers help to consolidate the distribution labor from all the farms into a few people in a few hours. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.

As this collaborative grows, and our customer base along with it, so does the appeal to other farms to join. In fact, there are a few larger farms that will likely join Locally Grown after we add Gainesville, for the same reason that some farms drive their produce to the big city. They have a lot to sell, and they need to sell a lot in one place to make it pay for itself. So as you can see, growing the market will actually increase the amount of food being offered by Locally Grown and we’re very excited about expanding the network of farms participating. Getting to know other farmers has been one of the most exciting elements for those of us on the front end of the market. During the drop offs is when we talk about new practices, exchange ideas, trade secrets, and brainstorm how to grow and sell more local food.

During these changes this year we’ll need your help too. Beginning next week we’ll revert to our summertime hours for pickups from 5-7pm (rather than our shortened 6:30pm pickup in the winter). Since we’ll all be working harder than usual in recruiting farmers, training new volunteers and managers for Gainseville, promoting the market, and working with growers to grow more food, we’ll be wanting to make sure that our market duties are as efficient as possible. In the past we’ve sometimes allowed folks to pickup items after market hours. As you can imagine, having to schedule an extra time for such pickups can be taxing to our already busy schedules. In order to be fair to everyone we’ll stay true to what we’ve always posted about pickups, that if you don’t make the pickup hours we’ll donate your food and charge your account. Since the only reward to our dedicated market volunteers is a small stipend that works out to about $2.50 an hour (or less), at the end of the market we’ll let them take anything that has been left and the remainder will be donated.

Since it’s never fun to realize you missed pickup, we do encourage everyone to make sure that your account lists your up to date cell phone number as we always call customers who haven’t come to pickup yet in the last 20-30 minutes of market to remind you. If something comes up, we encourage you to have a good friend who can pickup for you. For significant emergencies we can make special exceptions, but for everything else this’ll be our standard policy.

Ok, before we go there’s two things we want to share. First is a copy of our new FLIER to help us kickoff the new and 5th season of the Locally Grown market. The kickoff is next Friday, April 18th and we’ll be getting press releases off today to remind folks that Locally Grown is here. Please tell your friends, post a flier, forward an e-mail.


Click here for a PDF link

Second, it’s EASTER and you should buy all our eggs this week to celebrate. Here’s a cool version of deviled eggs that I plan to make this week myself.

Avocado Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:
9 hard boiled eggs
1 1/2 avocados peeled and pitted
2 tbs of ranch dressing (homemade or store bought)
1 tbs of sour cream (some people prefer the mayo of a traditional recipe)
2-3 scallions chopped
The juice of one lime
Pinch of salt
4 slices of cooked extra crispy bacon
Paprika

Directions:
Place eggs in one or two pots of cold water, bring to boil for one minute.
Peal and slice eggs length wise.
Remove yolks and place in them in a bowl or food processor.
Set egg whites aside.
Add your remaining ingredients except the bacon… set that aside.
Pulse the filling until it is smooth add more ranch dressing or sour cream if it is too dry.
Use spoon to place filling into egg whites and top with bacon crumbles and paprika.

If anyone else comes up with a better deviled egg recipe, please send it to us, or post it on our recipe or facebook page, and send us a photo too. We know a lot of you are doing some great cooking out there and we want to hear about it.

Thanks for supporting Northeast Georgia Farms and
EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

NortheastGeorgia Locallygrown availability list for April 9.


Good Evening Locavores
We want to welcome two new producers to the market this week.
Jumping Goats coffee of Sautee Nacoochee has six excellent choices of listed.
KP Farm of Dahlonega has joined with egg from their organic fed free ranged
hens.
Don’t forget the chocolate easter eggs from Sylvan Falls Mill.
At the recent farmers network meeting and tour at Mill Gap Farm some of the farmers met Allan Maury Streiff. Allan is the architect and owner of Authentic Soil Rejuvenation and a master at brewing and using actively aerated compost tea.
Due to interest by several farmers Allan will be doing a one day workshop on active aerated compost tea (aact).
The workshop will be from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sunday April 27. Location is the Auditorium/cafeteria at the Clayton City Hall Complex. 837 Highway 76 W Clayton Ga. 30525
Cost is $75.00 per person and $35.00 for their spouse.
The workshop teaches how to build your own brewer and how to brew and use the tea. Aact is a great product for the farm, but also for homeowners to use on lawns,shrubs,and gardens.
Contact Chuck at 706-490-4243 for info.
Have a great weekend and enjoy fresh local food.

Locally Grown Availability for April 9th, 2014


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Almost all the local food farmers in the North Georgia mountains got together last week for a small celebration of sorts. Starting two years and 3 months ago local farmers began having get-togethers at each others farms and discussing how we might all collaborate with one another. We called the group the Georgia Mountains Farmers Network (GMFN) and since then we’ve had 10 total get-togethers, hosted two weekend FARM TOURS, coordinated several bulk orders, and recently incorporated the group, formed a board of directors, adopted Locally Grown as a program, and wrote several grants to help us do things like expand the Locally Grown market to Gainesville

I mention all this because it really demonstrates the importance of building a community as part of the effort to eat local food. This community of farmers has exchanged a ton of information with one another, helped made contacts across a much broader region than we might have otherwise interacted easily, and created a ton of new opportunities, everything from purchasing shared equipment, to co-marketing our whole region as a hotspot for local food production.

I’d say right now we are on the very earliest edges of a local food movement, but many of these early efforts will insure that “farmers have a voice” in how local food and farming is developed in the years ahead. That’s important, as our conventional food system has pretty well eliminated the relationships between food, farms, farmers, and communities.

To celebrate these humble efforts the GMFN shared a meal together at Jamie Allred’s new restaurant in Clayton called FORTIFY. For the last couple of years or more, Jamie has been the single biggest buyer of local food in our whole region, creating the Featured Farmer Thursdays at Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant and now at his very own restaurant. It was quite a thrill to all sit together and enjoy a meal with corn meal from Sylvan Falls Mill, tatsoi from Mill Gap Farm, beef from Chattooga Belle Farms, microgreens from Trillium Farms, and a long list of items from farmers all sitting right there in the room together. There were 50 seats taken, and I’d dare to say this was likely the biggest gathering of local food farmers we’ve had in our region to date.

FORTIFY is now open for business, and it will be a business that supports local food farmers for a long time to come, and makes us local food eaters very very happy. Head on over and try it out! But you may want to make reservations as we expect they’ll be very popular for the next many weeks. Here’s a link

http://www.chefjamieallred.com/fortify-1.html

Even though the GMFN is a network of farmers, we’re also a community group that wants to make local foods a growing part of our North Georgia identity. To do that we need as much help from customers, educators, businesses, volunteers, and others who’d like to see the same thing. Last year we had over 30 volunteers for our Georgia Mountains Farm Tour. A few years ago a bunch of UGA students came up for the weekend and visited 4 farms, two each day. After an hour or more tour and talk they put in an hour or more of work on the farm. That was a mightily appreciated day for those participating farms, as you can accomplish a lot with 6-8 hands on a project, especially in late June when the weeds are trying to win.

In other words, there are a dozen ways for folks to participate in this rising tide. The Green Way and Old School Gardens in Clarkesville and Clayton is a great way to develop your own gardening talents. I just spent 3 hours yesterday transplanting asparagus crowns and raspberries and I find such efforts to be the most relaxing and fulfilling kind of work there is. I enjoy the rough dark callouses on my hands after they’ve been in the dirt or on the shovel for a a few days.

In addition to gardening, cooking, eating at local food restaurants there are the following options: write a little story for the local paper about your experience with local food, farms, cooking, gardening; pick your favorite farm and offer to organize a “crop mob” otherwise known as a volunteer work day for them sometime this summer. Even if it’s only 5 people with reasonably strong backs for about 2 hours, I guarantee most farms will love you forever. Post photos of all your local food meals to your facebook and steer people to Locally Grown or our other local markets. Educate people on local food, where to find it and how to prepare it. I bet many of you have ideas of other ways you can get involved that I can’t even imagine. If you’re artistic, help us design a new logo, or do a cool little sketch of some of our farm characters or some aspect of their farm. Develop a cool map of our area showing all the local food hotspots. Find 5 or 10 businesses that would sponsor this years FARM TOUR. Help us design farm tour SIGNS for each location that will stand out and won’t cost us too much money. We’d love to have you involved because each contribution adds character and charm to our efforts. Who knows it may even make the food taste better.

Speaking of that, we’ve got a lot of delicious food this week. We’re almost back up to 200 items listed this week. And more diversity is coming.

SO…..EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Well that’s some good ramblings for the week on local food.

Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availability list for April 9


The market is now open for orders. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy fresh local food.

Locally Grown Availability for April 2nd, 2014


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Spring is a busy time of year for local food farmers, and this year is no exception. Everyone I’ve talked to lately has that buoyant energy that comes in the spring where plans are being set, and new growth is coming on vigorously. The highlight of my day was pulling weeds. Garlic planted back in October and asparagus beds that haven’t been touched probably since then either needed some attention. The sun, the warmth and rain combined has officially brought on our first flush of wild strong growth. Those who have been fortunate to be outside have seen it. The grass is growing tall.

The big news this week was BEETS. Three different farms have them, but the cute little ones with greens on top look like they’ve already sold out. I’ll be faster next week. There should be more and more coming.

We’ll be launching the official opening of the LOCALLY GROWN 2014 season the weekend of EASTER (April 20th) for the pickup that Wednesday the 23rd. For those of you who shop year-round that doesn’t mean much but we do like to send out a few press releases to remind folks that we’re here. In a few more weeks we ought to have enough produce to invite a few more folks to enjoy the party.

If all goes well we’ll launch the Gainseville Market about a month or so after that, either late May or early June. We have been recruiting new farms and food producers to join the market around this time so it should be a quite exciting event.

Another exciting event is a farmer network meeting that’ll be happening on Monday. Our Georgia Mountains Farmers Network is now just over 2 years old but it’s made a lot of progress in a short time. Monday’s meeting will be our 10th official get-together and we’re celebrating incorporating into an official organization by sharing a meal at Jamie Allred’s new restaurant in Clayton, FORTIFY. You can bet I’ll be describing that meal this time next week and I’m certain it’ll be fantastic. The Locally Grown market is now officially a program of the Georgia Mountains Farmers Network, since our #1 priority for the network from our inception has been marketing collaborations, especially those that increase retail sales to urban markets. That’s where our Gainseville expansion idea came from.

Last but not least, we are beginning to plan our 3rd annual FARM TOUR. This is the best opportunity of the year to go out and see many of the farms that you buy from here on Locally Grown. We’re locking in the dates of June 28-29, which is just 3 months from now. One of the most important ingredients to this being a great event is volunteers. We had over 30 volunteers at last years TOUR and we’l need at least that many again. Not only will you get a free t-shirt for donating about 4-5 hours of your time, you’ll also get to attend the TOUR the other day for free. And you’ll probably make some of the best friends of your life and have a fun time in the process. That’s a win-win. If you’re interested in volunteering it’s not too early to put your name on our list. Send an e-mail to Maggie Van Cantfort at gmfnfarmtour@gmail.com
or
gmfnfarmtour@gmail.com

Ok, that’ll do it for tonight.

Thanks for supporting local food and farms and EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Locallygrown availability list for April 2


Good Evening Locavores
The dreary sky today has brought needed moisture for local gardens. Maybe this will be the week that the new spring plantings finally will pop. Moisture and warmer sunny days predicted for next week are just what the farmers have been needing.
This evening,Chef Ryan Spruhan and his ‘girls’ met and greeted customers at Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant. His staff served complimentary wine and hor d’ouvres to start the evening. Amy said the shrimp was perfect and the following meal, prepared with locally grown ingredients, was excellent and enjoyed by a full house.
Thanks, Chef Ryan for carrying on a tradition at LRH for delicious food and great company.
Have a great week and enjoy local food.

Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availability list for March 26


Hi Locavores,
The market is now open for orders. A couple of spring like days will apparently be followed by several mornings at or below freezing early next week. This cold weather is continuing to prevent much seed germination outside. Several of your local farmers are growing in hoophouses to provide you with fresh produce this early in the spring. Thanks for supporting local farmers and their extra efforts to bring you fresh vegetables.