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 February 27th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I’m gonna keep it short and sweet tonight. First off, I want to let folks know that Wild Georgia Seafood is back with shrimp this week after being gone for a month, so if you’re looking for a some shrimp kabob this week, these puppies are good.

There’s also 3 varieties of microgreens: sunflowers, broccoli and wheatgrass. I haven’t tried each of these yet, but I love microgreens. I had a microgreen salad for lunch and it’s hard for me to go back to lettuce now.

There’s actually almost as many varieties of processed foods as there are vegetables this week. In fact I should mention two fairly new farms to the market, The Happy Berry (who’s actually been with us for a couple of months) and Chattooga Belle Farm. Both of these farms are just across the border in South Carolina and both specialize in lots and lots of fruit trees, which explains why they have so many different types of jam. The Happy Berry also lists some pastured eggs that have been very popular the last several weeks. Those of you who shop at the Mill Gap location should ask Chuck about these farms as he’s visited both. I haven’t had the opportunity yet, but hope to during this years fruiting season…..

Which reminds me, the highlight of my week last week was planting a bunch of asian persimmons and blueberries at a local school. We’ll be planting more at the Clarkesville Greenway sometime this week as well as paw paws, and in a few more weeks, figs. Planting fruit trees is one of the best things you can do around your home, and its not quite too late. If you’re in the Habersham area, you can buy bareroot blueberry bushes from Sidney Roland for $2 each. He usually sells them in groups of ten. We planted about 40 of them at the community garden and they are doing great. If you’re interested give him a call at (706) 754-6700. You can mention that Justin referred you, and if you get to meet him, get him to tell you his story about the first time he ever kissed a girl. It’s a great story.

One last thing. If you know any farmers at all interested in growing to sell this coming season please encourage them to attend the FARM 2 SCHOOL farmers forum this Thursday at Wilbanks Middle School at 7pm. School nutritionist Paige Holland will discuss what they are looking for, and other details. For more info call Justin at 706-754-9382. Spread the word. We need as many farmers as possible to make sure this is a grandly successful effort to feed local school kids local food!

Ok, i promised a short one. Don’t forget to…..

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for February 20th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

You wouldn’t know this but our local farming community is scurrying around like crazy preparing for this years big growing season. I thought I’d spend some time in this message talking about some of the things to expect in 2013 to get you excited and maybe even get you involved.

But first I want to brag on my Valentine’s Day dinner. My wife had to work until late that night so I knew she’d be getting home just before 8pm, too late to go out for dinner. The day before Amy Mashburn had gifted me some excellent jerusalem artichokes (and I had a few more in my fridge too). If I had to guess, most of you out there have scrolled over jerusalem artichokes on the list and had no idea what they are or how to eat them. Well I’m gonna give you a tip. This is the very first dish I ever made with these alien looking root vegetables. But before I get to that let’s talk about this amazing food for a minute.

Despite it’s name the Jerusalem artichoke (also known as a sunchoke) has no relationship to Jerusalem and isn’t related to the artichoke. The plant is In fact a type of sunflower (helianthus) and it’s native to North America, found in the gardens of native americans in modern day Massachusetts way back in 1605 by a french explore named Champlain. The roots became popular with Europeans and the italian word for sunflower is girasole which I guess with the right accent sounds a bit like jerusalem. Champlain thought the tubers tasted like artichokes and said so in his writings and even though I disagree with him, hoila, 400 years later were stuck with this rather unlikely and difficult to market name.


I’m gonna attempt to insert a photo of a blooming J. art here.

What makes these boogers special is they contain 10% protein, are low in starch, contain no oil, but are high in a carbohydrate called inulin that breaks down into fructose. For this reason J.arts as I’ll call them are a healthy choice for diabetics.

But do they taste good. Well try this recipe and judge for yourself. And if you’d like to quick reference this or any other recipe I post, I’ve started posting them to FACEBOOK for quick reference. Here it is my Valentine’s Day Dinner surprise.

Lemon Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes

Ingredients:
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 2 fresh lemons
• 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided use
• 4 chicken thighs
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
• 1/2 pound Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), peeled
• 10 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
• 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
• Hot, cooked rice

Preparation:
Finely grate 1 teaspoon of zest from the lemon and set aside.

Juice both of the lemons (discarding pulp) and set aside.

Place a large, deep, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Place skin-side down in the hot pan and quickly brown them, turning only once. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, remaining olive oil, chicken broth, and saffron to the skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Add Jerusalem artichokes and garlic cloves. Return chicken to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes, until chicken and sunchokes are tender.

Stir in cream and thyme leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning, if need be. Return to a simmer and cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice and sprinkle with pinenuts to garnish.

I varied this a bit of course substituting saffron rice since I didn’t have the spice, using chicken legs rather than thighs, skipping the pine nuts, and substituting beef broth. Turned out amazing! Please, please someone cook this up and submit a photo to us. I forgot to take a picture, but we’d love to start promoting great recipes with photos to get everyones mouth watering.

Well that took so long I think I may skip all the other grand things I thought I’d talk about. J.Arts stole the show tonight. Buy some and see for yourself.

I will briefly mention that in 2013 more than past years we could benefit from the volunteer support of the community. Here’s a few examples that I’ll elaborate in future editions.

We’ll be hosting another Georgia Mountains Farm Tour to 18 farms across all north georgia in June and we’ll need help both promoting this and helping farmers on the day of the event.

Occasionally helping on market days. At the Clarkesville location we are interested in having a small number of people who can help during pickup hours from 5-6:30 (or 7 in the summer). If you think you might be interested let me know and we’ll put your name on a list.

One last thing. Joni Kennedy of Melon Head Farms will be helping at the Clarkesville Pickup this week. We hope you’ll enjoy getting to meet and talk with one of your farmers. She’s also graciously offered to host a customer/farmer potluck at her farm sometime in Spring. Ask her about that, and maybe we’ll nail down that date soon. That was tip from a customer in our survey last month.

Oh yeah. Split Creek Goat dairy products will come back in March. We’re on a quarterly schedule (4x per year) so you’ll have to really order big when it comes. We’ll let you know. (*volunteers to do more frequent runs would also be considered).

Whew! Ok, that’s it this time. Really. I told you we were scurrying. I only touched on about 10%!

Eat Well,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for February 13th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Wow! This past week was my very first experience with Hakurei Turnips from Mill Gap Farm and I’m in love. I like turnips anyway, but these are so unique. The last two years I’ve grown purple top turnips and discovered that I loved the tops as much as the roots, especially as a pesto (go figure). Since I totally failed to plant turnips this year and we’re deep into turnip season, I finally got around to trying this unusual, some might say gourmet turnip.

I prepared these pearl sized ones in a simple and traditional way. In a large skillet I added the turnips (2 orders worth) and enough water to come up halfway, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 stick of butter, and some salt, and then brought the water up to a soft boil. Rather than cut the greens off I just left them on, and partially covered to steam the greens. You are supposed to reduce the liquid until syrupy and remove the turnips if needed so you don’t overcook them. Then add the greens back to the syrupy buttery liquid to rewarm. Hoila!

My wife liked these so much that two nights later she took the leftover ones and …..put them on our pizza! I have to admit they were delicious but I kidded her pretty hard saying that we’re probably the first two people who have ever eaten a turnip pizza!

That’s the thing I love about this whole local food movement. It’s unpredictable and allows each and every one of us to be creative in the kitchen and in the dirt. I’m gonna be a bit busy this year for my usual gardening habit so I’ve started cultivating herbs and other things in my windowsill to keep my gardening fever at bay. I recently transplanted a butterfly bush cutting and it’s bigger everyday and I love it.

Having been involved in environmental conservation my entire adult life it occurs to me more and more that the best single thing we could do as a society is re-establish a deeper relationship with our food. What I mean by that is learn what’s in season, and learn to enjoy things that are in season. Learn to can during the days of plenty, to enjoy during these colder days of want. Supporting local farms doesn’t just support sustainable land based businesses (meaning people who derive some income from treating the land with a nurturing hand), it supports your brain’s interaction with the natural world.

I think that most people who simply began to eat local food every week of the year, would also begin to do other things. I think they would start to dabble in growing food. I think they would start composting their kitchen scraps. I think they would begin to get interested in plants, and the animals and insects that visit or depend on those plants. I think they would start to share food with their friends and family members. I think they would begin to have farmers as friends, and would likely go to visit their farms, and likely lend a hand with their farms if they can. I think that the earth would feel like a good friend, as the simple result of eating local food every week.

Eating local food is the single best thing! It’s my single best thing anyway. You have to eat right so I figure you might as well…..

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

PS – I also highly recommend Sylvan Falls Sticky Buns. I opened the bag the second I laid hands on it, and boy are they yummy!

Locally Grown - Availability for February 6th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I thought I’d pick right back up where I left off last week with giving a little history about the Locally Grown market and how things work. This week I want to go into a little more detail on the financial side.

Even though Locally Grown is managed as a non-profit project of the Soque River Watershed Association (with Chuck and Amy Mashburn managing the Tiger pick-up and Justin Ellis managing the Clarkesville pickup) each time you use the website, your orders are placed directly with the farms whose products you select. What that means is that Locally Grown does not purchase food and then sell it to you. Each customer is making a series of individual purchases directly from farms, then on Wednesdays those farms leave their products for you at the designated pick up. Even though you may never see each other, they know your names from week to week as they see them on an order form and on the labels.

Because Locally Grown does shuttle food between Tiger and Clarkesville, man the market from about 2:30 until 6:30 (or 7pm in the summer), print out all the paperwork, take deposits to the bank, and a handful of other weekly administrative tasks we do collect a small percentage of each sale made. Currently that amount is 12% of sales. There is a 3% of all sales fee paid to use the Locally Grown software designed by Eric Wagoner who started the Athens Locally Grown. The remaining 9% is split between the Clarkesville and the Tiger pickup locations. So if you buy a $4.00 bag of kale the farmer will receive $3.52. We’ll collect .48 cents of which .12 cents goes for the software licensing fee and the remaining .36 cents is split between Clarkesville and Tiger after expenses.

In 2013 Locally Grown sold $37,250 worth of products, and collected $3,352 from our 9%. We had $1,930 in expenses that included things like business cards, coolers, banners, shuttle costs ($20 per trip), small volunteer stipend, bank fees, bounced checks (we always have a few of these from customers that don’t come back), and a few miscellaneous expenses like non-delivered food, etc. That left $1,422 net which was split between Clarkesville and Tiger markets making it $711 each. We spend on average at least 5 hours a week on Locally Grown activities (4 hours at market and at least another hour doing other things). That’s 260 hours in a year minimum which breaks down to about $2.73 an hour. That’s just counting Chuck and I’s time, and doesn’t include Amy, Ching-Yu, all the time that Teri Parker and Jean Holmes donates, and most recently the farmers that have been helping out.

But what about the membership fees? Good question. This year we collected $1,590 in annual membership fees compared to $1,050 in fees from last year and $1,170 the year before. So far we have been pooling all of this money in a reserve fund with the expectation that we may need to purchase a refrigerated truck, or hire someone to help with deliveries if we ever expand the market. $3,810 (give or take) is a decent start as we start to look at possible expansion plans this year and hopefully might be used to match a grant or other funding source.

All of these funds are managed in an account under the Soque River Watershed Association name (that’s why we have you write SRWA on your checks) so no taxes are due, though farmers do have to pay taxes on their income from the market individually. We may be required in the near future to submit tax forms to growers with records of their annual sales but haven’t started that yet.

As you can see, its run kind of like a very small business partnership between Chuck and I, though one that is more fun than profit driven. I’ll say this in case you are worried. I think that Chuck and I, and I think I can safely speak for Amy, Teri, Jean, Ching-Yu and many other volunteers find Locally Grown to be one of the brightest spots in our week, but more importantly in our community. Let’s face it , if it weren’t for this humble market I wouldn’t know most of the growers that I know, and I certainly wouldn’t be eating fresh local greens in the winter, with fresh local bread, fresh eggs, and all the other items I now can enjoy every single week of the year.

It’s also quite exhilarating to be able to tell people that in less than three years we’ve sold over $100,000 worth of food. That’s significant.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Before I wrap things up, if you haven’t yet picked up a copy of Friday’s Northeast Georgian you should because Ronnie Mathis of Mountain Earth Farms is on the cover in color with his greens above the fold! The story is about the brand new FARM 2 SCHOOL program that Habersham County is launching this year and it’s pretty exciting. If you want to know more about it I’m gonna make you visit our FACEBOOK page to read the story (we’re trying to boost our LIKES) click here

There’s a PDF of the whole article there. Or better yet go buy a paper. Support Local NEWS, but only after you support LOCAL FOOD!

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for January 30th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Well this being the last week of January in this new year, it’s a great time to give a quick history of the Locally Grown Market. I know lots of you have been with us from the start, but for those who haven’t, there’s probably a detail or two about how Locally Grown works that you might not have known about.

Back in early 2010 several farms in Rabun County started talking about creating their own version of the Athens Locally Grown market here in the mountains. Eric Wagoner, a grower and software engineer in Athens began developing the Athens Locally Grown site in 2004 and immediately focused on creating a computer interface that would not only easily allow farmers to sell to customers online, but the system would be universally available to anyone else who wanted to start their very own internet farmers market.

I was living in Athens in 2005 and began shopping at the Athens Locally Grown market very slowly, and then after a 2006 bicycle ride to 50 farms across the country, I was hooked on local and began going every week. Meanwhile shortly after that Chuck Mashburn with Mill Gap Farm and Sylvan Mills Farm began listing their products through Athens Locally Grown and driving their products down all the way from Rabun County to Athens. They liked how the market worked and were learning its structure from the farmers perspective.

When I moved from Athens back to Clarkesville in 2009 I started looking for local food everywhere. Like I said, I’d developed a habit I just couldn’t live without. Aside from the Simply Homegrown market, and the So called Farmers Market in Satuee, local food was somewhat hard to come across, especially during the slow season, and as I met growers and customers I would frequently mention how the Athens Locally Grown market worked and why I thought it had some benefits.

Chuck was talking it up too, and he knew that his farm and many others had products they weren’t able to sell at weekend markets alone, and recognized that a midweek market would be popular with growers and customers. But it needed to be able to expand across a broader region than just Rabun County. For one there weren’t that many farms or customers in Rabun County alone.

Clarkesville at the time had no farmers market, but we did have a handful of farms in the area, and several more in neighboring White County. Chuck came up with the idea of kicking off a Locally Grown with two pickup locations (a feature that he knew was built into the Locally Grown software). That’s when he coaxed me to be the market manager for a Clarkesville site, and he would manage the Clayton site (this was before it was moved down the road to his farm in Tiger).

With the two of us on board, all we needed now was a bunch of growers willing to learn about how it worked and sign up. We had a meeting at Chuck’s house on March 15, 2010. At the meeting was David and Katrina Lent (and Daniel and Ariana) from Coleman River Farms, Brooks Franklin (who wasn’t even a farmer yet), Mike and Linda from Sylvan Falls Mill, Joe Gatins from La Gracia Farms, Chuck and Amy from Mill Gap Farm, Steve Whiteman from Trillium Farms, and Skip Komisar from Artisan Additions. Shortly afterward we started to create the site and had farmers sign up. I can remember spending an hour or so with a few of the first farms showing them how to go through all the steps of uploading photos, describing items, pricing, and then once the orders are in how to print out labels and where to bring the food. I had to go through it all too in order to explain it.

In the beginning Chuck and I were doing this on such an experimental basis that we just opened up a new checking account in his name to manage it. In pretty short order we realized the best way to manage the market was similar to how many if not most other farmers markets in the country are organized, as a non-profit. Since the organization I work for, the Soque River Watershed Association has as one of its primary missions to promote sustainable land based businesses, our board of directors agreed that the market was a good project towards that goal (and fit well with our community garden that was also started in 2010).

On April 24, 2010 we were up and running and if I recall correctly we sold over $300 that very first week. The first Clarkesville Location was at Polly Parker’s the Market Cafe (which is now Sweetbreads). Each week I’d drag all the coolers off the porch at the SRWA which was right around the corner and set them up on the side porch and eagerly await as the farmers brought in their orders.

I remember that very first week Belflower Gardens had signed up and made sales and I’d never even met Buddy and Suzanne before. They’ve now become close friends and collaborators. Ronnie from Mountain Earth Farms also was there from the beginning. I have an interesting aside about Ronnie. He called me right after reading about our organic community garden in the paper and offered to help us till the garden with his tractor and subsoiler. That’s a pretty good representation of how excited a lot of us were to be meeting for the first time. Many growers across Northeast Georgia had not met one another until now. Linda Lovell with Moonshadow Farms also made sales of starter tomato plants that very first week.

Well, from there things just started rolling. By the 3rd week we had 68 people signed up. Teri Parker made her first purchase on May 19th. She offered to volunteer and has been with us ever since as our most dedicated volunteer who we couldn’t live without at the Clarkesville Market location.

It’s a lot of fun to reminisce on our humble beginnings. Hope you’ve enjoyed it too. Next week I’ll get a little more into the details on how we manage the market, and how the financial part works.

Until then, of course you should………

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for January 30th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Well this being the last week of January in this new year, it’s a great time to give a quick history of the Locally Grown Market. I know lots of you have been with us from the start, but for those who haven’t, there’s probably a detail or two about how Locally Grown works that you might not have known about.

Back in early 2010 several farms in Rabun County started talking about creating their own version of the Athens Locally Grown market here in the mountains. Eric Wagoner, a grower and software engineer in Athens began developing the Athens Locally Grown site in 2004 and immediately focused on creating a computer interface that would not only easily allow farmers to sell to customers online, but the system would be universally available to anyone else who wanted to start their very own internet farmers market.

I was living in Athens in 2005 and began shopping at the Athens Locally Grown market very slowly, and then after a 2006 bicycle ride to 50 farms across the country, I was hooked on local and began going every week. Meanwhile shortly after that Chuck Mashburn with Mill Gap Farm and Sylvan Mills Farm began listing their products through Athens Locally Grown and driving their products down all the way from Rabun County to Athens. They liked how the market worked and were learning its structure from the farmers perspective.

When I moved from Athens back to Clarkesville in 2009 I started looking for local food everywhere. Like I said, I’d developed a habit I just couldn’t live without. Aside from the Simply Homegrown market, and the So called Farmers Market in Satuee, local food was somewhat hard to come across, especially during the slow season, and as I met growers and customers I would frequently mention how the Athens Locally Grown market worked and why I thought it had some benefits.

Chuck was talking it up too, and he knew that his farm and many others had products they weren’t able to sell at weekend markets alone, and recognized that a midweek market would be popular with growers and customers. But it needed to be able to expand across a broader region than just Rabun County. For one there weren’t that many farms or customers in Rabun County alone.

Clarkesville at the time had no farmers market, but we did have a handful of farms in the area, and several more in neighboring White County. Chuck came up with the idea of kicking off a Locally Grown with two pickup locations (a feature that he knew was built into the Locally Grown software). That’s when he coaxed me to be the market manager for a Clarkesville site, and he would manage the Clayton site (this was before it was moved down the road to his farm in Tiger).

With the two of us on board, all we needed now was a bunch of growers willing to learn about how it worked and sign up. We had a meeting at Chuck’s house on March 15, 2010. At the meeting was David and Katrina Lent (and Daniel and Ariana) from Coleman River Farms, Brooks Franklin (who wasn’t even a farmer yet), Mike and Linda from Sylvan Falls Mill, Joe Gatins from La Gracia Farms, Chuck and Amy from Mill Gap Farm, Steve Whiteman from Trillium Farms, and Skip Komisar from Artisan Additions. Shortly afterward we started to create the site and had farmers sign up. I can remember spending an hour or so with a few of the first farms showing them how to go through all the steps of uploading photos, describing items, pricing, and then once the orders are in how to print out labels and where to bring the food. I had to go through it all too in order to explain it.

In the beginning Chuck and I were doing this on such an experimental basis that we just opened up a new checking account in his name to manage it. In pretty short order we realized the best way to manage the market was similar to how many if not most other farmers markets in the country are organized, as a non-profit. Since the organization I work for, the Soque River Watershed Association has as one of its primary missions to promote sustainable land based businesses, our board of directors agreed that the market was a good project towards that goal (and fit well with our community garden that was also started in 2010).

On April 24, 2010 we were up and running and if I recall correctly we sold over $300 that very first week. The first Clarkesville Location was at Polly Parker’s the Market Cafe (which is now Sweetbreads). Each week I’d drag all the coolers off the porch at the SRWA which was right around the corner and set them up on the side porch and eagerly await as the farmers brought in their orders.

I remember that very first week Belflower Gardens had signed up and made sales and I’d never even met Buddy and Suzanne before. They’ve now become close friends and collaborators. Ronnie from Mountain Earth Farms also was there from the beginning. I have an interesting aside about Ronnie. He called me right after reading about our organic community garden in the paper and offered to help us till the garden with his tractor and subsoiler. That’s a pretty good representation of how excited a lot of us were to be meeting for the first time. Many growers across Northeast Georgia had not met one another until now. Linda Lovell with Moonshadow Farms also made sales of starter tomato plants that very first week.

Well, from there things just started rolling. By the 3rd week we had 68 people signed up. Teri Parker made her first purchase on May 19th. She offered to volunteer and has been with us ever since as our most dedicated volunteer who we couldn’t live without at the Clarkesville Market location.

It’s a lot of fun to reminisce on our humble beginnings. Hope you’ve enjoyed it too. Next week I’ll get a little more into the details on how we manage the market, and how the financial part works.

Until then, of course you should………

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for January 23rd, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Happy MLK Day Eve! If you don’t have anything planned for the National Day of Service here’s a couple of recommendations. In addition to buying some local food and supporting some local farms by shopping here of course, it’s also incredibly rewarding to plan a little growing of your own this spring.

I just spent a couple of minutes pruning my amaryllis bulb from last year and placing it in the crisper for the next 6 weeks so that I can replant it and watch it bloom again. The other small project I’m working on soon is planting dozens of small herb containers of thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram and others that I can share with friends and family later in the spring. All it takes is soil, seeds, water, light and a little planning.

Huge thanks to everyone who took our SURVEY over the last 3 weeks. Here are the results to the question WHICH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN 2013?

The following numbers are the % of individuals who responded YES next to the corresponding vegetables.

Asparagus 87%
Beans (green) 81%
Beans (edamame) 38%
Beans (lima) 45%
Beets 64%
Broccoli 85%
Brussels sprouts 55%
Cabbage 51%
Chinese cabbage 30%
Cantaloupe 68%
Honeydew 45%
Carrots 60%
Cauliflower 51%
Celery 45%
Pak Choi 21%
Collards 38%
Corn (sweet) 64%
Popcorn 17%
Cucumbers (slicing) 60%
Cucumbers (pickling) 17%
Eggplant 45%
Garlic 57%
Ginger 51%
Kale 53%
Kohlrabi 13%
Leeks 49%
Lettuce 74%
Herbs 43%
Mustard greens 23%
Okra 51%
Onions (bulb) 45%
Onions (green) 62%
Peanuts 21%
Peas (green) 49%
Peas (snap) 49%
Peas (snow) 60%
Peas (black eyed) 40%
Parsnip 15%
Pepper (sweet) 60%
Pepper (hot) 23%
Potatoes (white) 49%
Potatoes (sweet) 70%
Pumpkin 28%
Radicchio 23%
Radish (red) 30%
Radish (specialty) 15%
Shallots 34%
Spinach 62%
Swiss chard 40%
Squash (yellow) 64%
Squash (patty pan) 30%
Squash (butternut) 51%
Squash (specialty) 23%
Squash (blossoms) 13%
Sorrel 9%
Zucchini 62%
Gourds 4%
Sunflowers 28%
Tomato (heirloom) 91%
Tomato (slicing) 55%
Tomato (grape) 49%
Tomato (cherry) 53%
Tomatillo 28%
Turnips 23%
Rutabaga 15%
Watercress 23%
Watermelon (personal size) 51%
Watermelon (large) 19%

I expect that this information will be incredibly useful to our growers as they plan ahead for the upcoming growing season. You also provided some very helpful written comments that we’ll be going through and will respond to in the next week or two. There are some great suggestions and we hope to incorporate some of your recommendations into this year’s season.

We’ve mentioned before that we want to give those of you who may be a bit new to Locally Grown the history of the market to date (we’ll be 3 years old in April). Since that will take a bit of my brain muscle to recall all the details we’ll tell that tale starting next week. Until then don’t forget to ….

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for January 16th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

This still being a relatively new year I thought it would be fun to list all the foods that were either new to me this past year (that I can remember), or that I greatly enhanced my ability to cook well. I haven’t thought this through yet so I have no idea where it may lead, it just seemed like fun. Here goes:

Bahn mi – This is the name for a type of vietnamese sandwich made with a baguette, usually with a pork filling (though I’ve used all sorts of fillings), fresh cilantro, thinly sliced cucumber, sometimes pate, but what kicks it into overdrive for me is the pickled carrots and daikon radish that got me started making these. I’d grown Daikon radishes but had only a few ideas of what to do with them. Once I discovered that they went into Bahn mi I was stoked to make it myself. I hope to keep a jar or two of pickled carrots/daikon from now on. It’s that good. And these sandwiches will change what you think a good sandwich is, and they are quite nutritious as well.

Bhindi masala – you may recall me writing about a spicy okra dish that I made in late summer once I’d gotten to the point I couldn’t eat any more of it fried. This dish is basically about 5 spices cooked very slowly with okra and onions and tomatoes and it has a surprisingly meaty texture. I’d have to say it now tops my list of favorite ways to eat okra.

Savory sweet potatoes – I grew a variety of sweet potatoes this year that is more savory than sweet and found this great recipe for a casserole that combined milk, thyme, and gruyere cheese with onions, garlic, and some chicken stock. I get tired of the sweetness of sweet potatoes but this was something I could eat again and again.

Asian persimmons on fish – now I’d had an asian persimmon before but this was the year I fell in love with them. Not only did I discover they are my favorite fruit to add to a smoothie (and easy too since they have no seeds), but if thrown on the grill with a little butter they are an incredible side dish with fresh fish. I love combinations like this where the juices of the fish are soaked into the fruit as you eat.

Watercress – I’d been hearing about the popularity of watercress for a long time, but this was the first year I actually got to taste it (thanks to Burton Mountain Farms). For those of you who don’t know it actually grows in water, so it takes a special type of farm to grow it. With garlic, oil and a little chicken bouillon it became one of our favorite greens to eat with rice.

One thing you may notice from these select few items, is most of these are pretty unusual items. Lots of international foods too. I dare say that eating in America is enjoying a renaissance like no other, and thanks primarily to the fact that farmers are willing to grow more varieties than they ever have before, and customers are buying them. When I look through the Locally Grown listing, I look for things I’ve never tried. Duck eggs, biscotti, mizuna, jerusalem artichokes, kohlrabi, daikon radish are all foods that I’d never tried until the last few years, and I discovered them right here.

So here’s to new food discoveries in 2013! I hope that you find at least 5 new food to try, or try in a new way. And that’s where you can actively participate. Growers may have the secrets of growing interesting and delicious foods, but many of you have some secrets on preparing and enjoying fresh local food. I would love to see each of you submit to us just one INCREDIBLE meal that you enjoy this year that uses local foods as the ingredients. You can post it in our recipe section, post it on facebook or if you’re really feeling lazy, just e-mail it to us and we may get around to using it somehow. But better than that, submit a letter to editor about it. Share your eating pleasure with your community. You’ll enjoy it, and it’ll make a difference in how someone thinks about food.

And to insure that you get to enjoy all the strange unusual foods you might like to see on Locally Grown (and equally important the more common every week things you like to eat as well), please take these last few days to complete our SURVEY and tell us what kind of foods you want to eat. I guarantee many farms will take your feedback seriously and may just try that unusual variety of potato because one person asked about it.

You can find the survey here

We’ll probably wrap up the survey results this Wednesday night after market so if you haven’t taken it yet, please do.

Ok, better go to bed! I’ll be dreaming of Bahn Mi tonight I can tell. Yum!!!

EAT WELL,
Justin Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for January 9th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

We want to say thanks to everyone who has already helped provide us some feedback going into the 2013 growing season by taking our quick survey. We’ve had 28 people complete it so far which is quite a few of you. The more feedback we get the better prepared we’ll be going forward. For one, it’ll let our growers know the types of foods you’d like to see more of here on the website. We had quite a few farmers ask us what they thought were the best crops to grow, and our guesswork can never replace your direct feedback.

It only takes a minute or two fill out this quick survey on the web and its totally anonymous so any all other types of feedback is encouraged.

Just click here or paste the following link in your browser.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5CWLM8P

Even if you haven’t shopped here in a while, let us know what you think, especially if you think you’d like to give Locally Grown another try.

Let’s see, what else do I want to mention quickly. Even though it’s a slower time of year, there’s a lot going on that you might be curious about. Melon Head Farms just completed construction of their new greenhouse yesterday adding yet another farm that is capable of year round growing now. That’s why we’re open every week this winter, because there are plenty of greens all winter long. I enjoyed my favorite long-stewed kale recipe for lunch today. Even though we still only have a few recipes up, check out the ones we do have, and please add one of your own. Anyone that adds a recipe and also posts it to our FACEBOOK page will get a free sticker that says EAT WELL BUY LOCAL with a pretty sharp and happy carrot man in the center. There’s not many of those stickers out there yet, so think of it as your LOCAL FOOD EATER badge of honor.

I also had a Daikon Radish for dinner that I freshly dug out of the garden this afternoon. That’s about the only harvestable vegetable I’m growing this winter, but its always fun when folks walking the Greenway see me digging up stuff and yell, “WHAT IS THAT?” If you’ve never seen a Daikon they can grow to the size of Baguette. We cut them up and add them to stews as a more nutritious potato substitute and they are so yummy. Sorry we’re not listing any this week for you to try, but hint, hint to our growers, this is a winter hearty vegetable that we all should become more familiar with.

If you have some unusual vegetable varieties not listed in our survey please let us know. There’s nothing more fun than discovering a new nutritious food for the first time.

One last plug, only partially related. The SRWA that sponsors the market is having a bareroot tree sale this Friday at the Mauldin House parking lot (across from the Clarkesville Library) from 3-6pm. We’ll be selling maple, persimmon, river birch and white oak for $1 each. Pre-ordering is over, but if you want to just drop by and see what we have left, we should have plenty and possibly some leftover pines. We’re planting close to 3,000 trees the end of this week.

Thanks to everyone for supporting Local Food and Farms and don’t forget to….

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for January 2nd, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

We’re back this week! Hope you enjoyed the break, but you’re probably like me and ready to get back into your local food eating habits after the holidays. It’s hard to believe that come Wednesday it’ll be a new year. A New Year always brings with it new opportunities and we are eager to dive into 2013 with gusto. As the farmers and other food producers that participate in Locally Grown prepare for next years bounty of food one thing that is incredibly useful to us all is your feedback.

One thing that would be incredibly useful is knowing which foods you’d like to see more of here at Locally Grown. We’ve created a survey that should take no more than a minute or two that will help farmers determine what crops they should plant this coming year, and it may just insure that you get to see more of the foods that you like as well.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5CWLM8P

Or click here

We’re trying to get in all the results by Sunday, January 20th. That way folks will have time to get their seed orders in for spring planting. It’ll be here before you know it.

That’s it for tonight. I think Brooks Franklin of Leah Lake Farms will back at the Clarkesville pick up on Wednesday so you can look forward to meeting your farmer this week!

Thanks again to all of you who supported us in 2012! It was a fantastic year and we appreciate your passion to…..

EAT WELL!

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun