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 TREE SALE opportunity


Hey Local Food Lovers,

This is a bit off topic but it seemed like a good way to provide everyone with some inexpensive ways to green your homes and businesses.

As many of you know the SRWA has been planting trees all over the region for the last several months. We completed one of our last big projects yesterday and ended up with a couple of hundred bareroot trees leftover. We’d like to make these available to you guys for a discounted price if any of you would like to purchase trees to plant yourselves.

We’re selling these trees for half what we sold them for last week at our tree sale. The trees are just $1 each as long as you buy a bundle of at least 5 of each tree.

Here’s how you can order. Forward this e-mail to soque@windstream.net
and type in the number of trees of each kind of tree you would like listed below

Please select increments of 5 for $5 each bundle
Green Ash
White oak
Persimmon
Tulip poplar
River Birch – only a few of these

We’ll deliver the trees to you on Wednesday with your Locally Grown order. They’ll be wrapped in a plastic bag with newspaper around the roots to keep them damp until planting.

Again to order Forward this e-mail to soque@windstream.net
If I could get all these orders by Wednesday morning we’ll be able to get them ready in time.

Thanks and hope some of you order some great trees at a great price.

Thanks,
Justin in Habersham

Locally Grown - Availability for January 29, 2014


Hey Local Food Lovers,

We received lots of positive feedback from everyone about our interest in expanding Locally Grown into the Gainesville region sometime this year. We also are discovering lots and lots of connections with that community through our network of farmers, shoppers and other friends that we didn’t know we had.

For those who may have friends in Gainesville that might be interested customers, or possibly even a potential host for the new market site we’ve written up a simple description about what Locally Grown is and how and why we hope to expand it into Gainesville.

You can read the PDF here

Feel free to print it out and give it to a friend, send a copy or simply forward this link. The more interest and support we can generate the more likely we’ll make it a reality.

Quite a few of you have friends at Grace Episcopal in Gainesville and have gotten in touch with them already. There’s a chance we may have a meeting with them in next week to see if that’s a potential site for the new market to locate.

We still haven’t gotten around to our survey yet, but it’s coming we promise. In the meantime we appreciate everyone continuing to order each week even deep into the winter. We also really appreciate all the kind folks who pick up their items just a little bit earlier on those super cold nights.

EAT WELL and BE WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availability list for Jan. 29


Good evening Locavores,
The market is now open for orders. You will see that all of BG Farms meats are listed this week. Please note that for this order, delivery of BG Farm products will be delayed until Feb. 5. Thanks for supporting your local producers through this difficult Winter.
Have a great weekend.

Locally Grown - Availability for January 22, 2014


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I just had the good fortune to spend this past weekend in Asheville, NC and of course while we were there we took in just a little bit of the local food scene. We visited the smaller of two farmers markets that goes all winter long and were impressed by how cozy and familiar it felt talking to each of the growers. The market wasn’t exclusive to organic, though most farms were. There were apples from a nearby orchard (those were not organic), whole grain sourdough breads as well rye, goat cheeses (I tried a fig and rosemary that was really yummy). Most fun of all was finding some purple sweet potatoes that I bought not to eat but to grow next season. Wish I had bought more now.

One thing I often think about when I visit other local food communities is that we’re not that different from any other place, and we’re growing fast. It’s easy to think that we’re a million miles behind in our production and consumption of local food. One thing that I really like here in our community is our collaboration across the region. That’s important when space and distance is our biggest challenge in the most food reaching the most consumers. We’re a rural area so being spread out just comes with the territory. The sweet potato farmer I met had actually driven an hour into town for market that morning.

That’s probably the thing that makes Locally Grown most special. Because either Chuck or I run a shuttle every week between Clarkesville and Tiger that makes it possible for each farmer to reach customers that would be 23 miles further away for each and every one of them if they had to make those deliveries themselves.

We actually did the math on this earlier this year to see what kind of savings our simple shuttle system saved. On average each farm drives 14 miles roundtrip for their Locally Grown delivery, but that would go up to 37 miles if they had to deliver to two locations. As you might imagine most farms just couldn’t make that work. Altogether this system saves 18,523 miles of farmer driving time each year. In gas savings alone that’s $2,904. In driving time that saved farmers 402 hours on the road. If you valued farmers time at $10 an hour that’s another $4,026 in savings.

It is the pooling of customers, farms, products and travel miles that create the efficiencies necessary to make the market worthwhile to all that are involved including you guys. If it was just the farms located within 14 miles of you I guarantee there would be a lot less food on the market each week.

All this said, now is probably a good time to announce our hopes to add a new drop off / pick up location to Locally Grown in the Gainesville area sometime this year. Each year we have had new farms starting up in our area and the need for a larger and larger customer base is inevitable. Rural areas are always where most of the farms will be and urban areas are always where most of the people will be. Somehow we have to bring those two together and Locally Grown seems to be a great distribution model for how this can be done.

We are currently talking with the leadership of Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville as a possible host for the market, (very similar to the relationship we have with Grace Calvary here in Clarkesville). If you have any friends and family connected with Grace in Gainesville, please let us know as a good word here and there will probably be very helpful as we get to know each other. This is our first idea, and if doesn’t work out we’ll be very interested to pursue other potential partners in Gainesville. They don’t have a year-round market there so that’ll be one major appealing aspect of us expanding there.

In terms of how this will affect how Locally Grown works now, we don’t think it will change a thing, thought it should be a huge benefit in the long run. We’re planning to invite farms in the Hall County area to start listing which will likely add brand new products and farms to buy from. It may be a tad more competitive for those hard to buy items, but we’re working out some ideas already on how to handle that which I’ll save for a later discussion.

This is all just in the earliest planning stages now, but that’s why we’re mentioning it. We consider each of you to be full participants in how Locally Grown evolves and we could use your input and your help. We are a pretty intimate group of growers and customers and the more we work together the better we think the market will become. Hopefully this will all help set the stage for collecting some good survey info from you very, very soon. We’re writing the questions now.

I think that about covers it for tonight. Thanks so much for the support you’ve given to us so far, and we hope you’ll continue for many meals and many years ahead. There’s lots of good stuff even here in the dead of winter so eat up and…..

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availability list for Jan.22.


Good Evening Locavores
Mother Nature is giving us another cold week. This will be hard on the vegetables that struggled through the last polar vortex. One siver lining from the cold is that it helps reduce the insect pests and disease pathogens overwintering on the farms.
This week the meat list from BG Farms is limited but will be available for pick up on Wednesday. Also all backorders from BG Farms will be on hand this week.
Stock up for some hot hearty meals this week and stay warm.

Locally Grown - Availability for January 15, 2014


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Hope everyone is enjoying the local food being back. It was a hard week on crops what with the 6 degree weather and all, but thankfully we have some hardworking farms that are willing to double and triple cover their crops with row covers to protect them from the winter blast. It’s like tucking your babies in at night. Everyone is enjoying not having to do that tonight though.

This week I want to prepare folks for a quick and easy survey that will go out later this week with a very short turnaround time. I thought I’d talk about it a bit so when it comes out you’ll be able to respond fast.

You’ll be happy to hear that Locally Grown is trying to grow this year. As we do we want to get your input on what you’d like to see more of. We’ll be getting your opinions on the types of products you’d like to see, especially during these cold months like this. Your answers will have an impact on what farmers will grow, when, how much and if and how it is processed into a value added product.

We thank you in advance for sharing your ideas, so keep on the lookout for that soon.

Meanwhile, keep doing what you’re doing. Sales were great our first week back, and are looking good so far this week too.

Here’s my one very simple tasty recipe recommendation:
Bake a sweet potato until soft
Split and put butter, chopped cilantro and lime juice
Eat and Enjoy!

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availability list for Jan. 15


Hello Locavores
Wow! What a week a week we had. Thanks to all for supporting your local producers through a week of record cold. Thanks also to the producers for supplying the market under such challenging conditions.
Sadly for Leah Lake Farm and everyone hungry for their great lettuces, the prolonged intense cold froze their lettuce at the roots. Brooks and crew are working to bring more greens back on line soon.
We hope you especially enjoyed your local products this week and keep eating healthy, local, food.

Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availability list for Jan. 8


Good Evening Locavores
We hope everyone has had a happy holiday season and that you are getting the New Year off to a great start.
One last reminder about the SRWA tree sale and planting project. Check the previous weblog for information about buying trees or helping out with the planting project.
The bitter cold coming early next week will limit the supply of available vegetables but, there are lots of local products to enjoy this week.
Stay warm, be safe, and eat local.

Locally Grown - Special Update - TREE SALE - Christmas Party BEER TASTING / POTLUCK


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Happy New Year! If you’re anything like me you are probably chomping at the bit by now to restock the fridge with some local foods. Fortunately I’ve been saving up a half a loaf of bread, some beets and some onions to get the family through to next Wednesday. It’s getting tough though.

Farmers will be posting their items for sale again starting tomorrow, so bring in the new year with something good!

Until then we do have one other slightly related project that may appeal to you. The SRWA is once again hosting a community TREE SALE with advance orders accepted through tomorrow evening, Friday the 3rd until 5pm. If you are looking to plant trees and /or a few shrubs and fruit trees we are offering this year, now is you chance. These are the best deals on trees you’ll be able to find.

Here’s the flier

Here’s the details

Here’s a full list of trees available

BAREROOT – $2.00 each
White oak
Persimmon
River birch
Green ash
Tulip poplar
Red Maple – SOLD OUT
Blueberry (bundles of 10 only) for $25

1 Gallon and 3 Gallon Containers – $6 and $8 each
River birch
Red maple
Tulip poplar
Sycamore
Green ash
Northern red oak
Southern red oak
Black gum
Amer. hornbean
Elderberry
Sweet gum
Black cherry
Pin oak
Button bush
Arrowwood viburnum
Winged elm
American elm
Red cedar
Shummard oak
White oak
Persimmon
Red mulberry

7 Gallon Container – $30 each
River birch
Sweet gum
Black gum
Sycamore
Tulip poplar
Red maple
Pin oak
Shumard oak
Red cedar
and one White oak

and click HERE to put in your ORDER

All trees will be available for pickup and week from tomorrow on Friday, January 10th from 3-6pm in Clarkesville at the Mauldin House which is across the street from the Library.

You can also see information about the TREE SALE and our other tree planting projects at the website http://www.soque.org.

If you are so inclined we’d love your help planting trees on Wednesday the 8th at 9am for a streamside farm planting, and again the next day on the 9th at Level Grove Elementary at 10:30am. To volunteer just send an e-mail to soque@windstream.net.

We’ll have the food “turned back on” tomorrow! Until then…..EAT WELL if you can!

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for December 18, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

This is it! The final market of 2013! It’s been a fantastic year for all of us and we’re super excited about some new opportunities in 2014. We’ll save those for the new year.

The market grew by 12% this year from $40,000 in sales in 2012 up to $46,500. We want to send a heartfelt thank you to each one of you who supported the market this year, even if it was just a few orders. Local farmers love growing food for local people and it really means a lot that so many of you support us week after week.

My wife just put in a double order this week since it’ll be a long long time before we can order again. Just a reminder that we’ll be closed the week after this for Christmas, and then the following week for January 1. So that means we’ll be back on January 8th. I hope we can make it without running out of good food. I recommended last week stocking up on some root veggies like sweet potatoes, potatoes, beets, turnips and jerusalem artichokes.

Here’s an idea on how to cook some of those root veggies. Buy a whole chicken, chop up some fresh rosemary and garlic and put it in a small bowl with three tablespoons of olive oil (reserve 1 tbsp of this), rub the chicken under the skin with the other 2 tbsp oil, let marinate about 3 hours. Turn on oven to 350. Put bird in for 20 minutes on a pan covered with aluminum foil. Cut up any or all of the vegetables listed above and toss in remaining olive oil and rosemary. Pull out chicken and add vegetables. Cook another 45-60 minutes.

Be sure and let the chicken cool before cutting it. If you cut a chicken right out of the oven all the juices will drain out. It’s really easy and really yummy!

There’s so much more I’d like to say but we’ll keep it simple and wish all of you a Happy Holidays! We’ll probably send out an e-mail while we’re gone just to say hi. Don’t forget to try some incredible seasonal sweets. Amy’s Flan is the bomb! I’ve had two already and one more on the way. Moravian cookies are also super cute and flavorful. That coffee cake still looks delicious. And there’s bunches more. Dog snacks for stocking stuffers.

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun