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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Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availability list for Oct.23


Good evening Locavores
Tonight is the full moon, the Hunters Moon. Luckily you won’t have to hunt further than the availability list to find great food.
We want to remind everyone about the ordering procedure. I and many of you have at sometime failed to complete the process and found out at the pick up time that the order did not go through.
After you have finished adding selections to your shopping cart click on ‘proceed to check out’. That will show your order invoice, allow you to check it for accuracy and edit if necessary. If your invoice is correct you must then click on the box to ‘pay later and place this order’
If you forget to click place the order then it will not go through. Dissapointment and heartache will surely follow.
When your order is completed Locallygrown will send you an e-mail confirmation.If you do not get the e-mail confirmation then your order did not go through. Double check and be happy.
Enjoy the brilliant full moon and eat local.

Locally Grown - Availability for October 16th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

There a tons of items this week to choose from. It’s been really great to see folks returning week after week through late summer and into early fall. This has been the best transition between the seasons we’ve seen at Locally Grown with sales consistently higher than they have been in years past.

Big thanks to all those who are eating well week after week. Lately I’ve been eating a lot of pita pizzas topped with local ingredients. Been loving the peppers from Oakcrest farms, and mushrooms from Orchard Valley, then some onions and tomatoes of our own to fill it out.

YOU ARE invited to consider attending the Soque River Watershed Association’s FALL SOQUE CELEBRATION next Friday on October 18th at 6pm at Blackhawk Flyfishing on 197 north of Clarkesville. The event is just $15 and features dinner, wine, beer, music, silent auction, and fly fishing demo to see rainbow trophy trout.

If you’re not quite sure why you are being invited it’s because by shopping at Locally Grown you are helping to support a program of the Soque River Watershed Association as one of our programs to promote sustainable land-based businesses. There are some real benefits to the non-profit organization of local food efforts. For example, all the breads, jams, jellies and other baked goods are only allowed for sale at local markets as the result of a non-profit exemption. It also takes quite a bit of bookeeping to run a market such as ours and we’re able to take care of the IRS obligations through the non-profit. Most recently we also found out we’re approved to participate in the SNAP for food stamp program (once the government shutdown if over that is) so that food stamps can be spent at Locally Grown. All these benefits come from our affiliation with the SRWA non-profit.

As our way to say thanks we’d like to invite you to attend this great party. We’ll have BBQ chicken, slaw, potato salad, and for dessert we’re encouraging folks to bring a seasonal dessert as a Potluck. For more information check out our website at www.soque.org or here

Tickets can be purchased online or at the Clarkesville market location on Wednesday. Even if you can’t make the event, you can help support the SRWA by considering donating a silent auction item, becoming a member, or consider sponsoring an event like the FARM TOUR coming up again next Summer.

That’s it for tonight.

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeasr Georgia Locally Grown availability list for Oct.16, 2013


Good Evening Locavores,
This promises to be a magnificent fall weekend, perfect for visiting your local Saturday Farmers markets. Each week now we have to wonder when will be the first killing frost to finish off the summer vegetables.
Your local farmers get another frost free week to harvest late summer produce and plant winter crops.
Take advantage of these opportunities to finish stocking the freezer and pantry.
Have a great weekend and enjoy local food.

Locally Grown - Availability list for Oct. 9


Good Evening Locavores
The market is now open for orders. Have a great week-end and enjoy healthy local food.

Locally Grown - Availability for October 2nd, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I have to keep it short and sweet this week. But speaking of sweet, this weekend was the second of only 3 weekends that Stack Farms up in Tiger, GA opens their orchards for Asian Pear picking. We’ll have some for you to taste and buy at the Clarkesville location this week so bring a few extra bucks with you if you like pears. Those of you in Tiger we figured were close enough to cruise by yourselves. They will be open one more time, next Sunday from 12-4pm. If you don’t know how to find them just ask Chuck or I at market this week and we’ll give you the directions.

Another really great food event this weekend was the 4th annual Taste of Clarkesville. I won’t go into it too much, but I will say it’s a lot of fun to taste test every restaurant around while also imbibing some local wine from the wineries. There’s still plenty of room for more of a local foods flavor, and maybe next year we can all work together on that.

Until then have a great weak and don’t forget to….

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Georgia Locally Grown availability list


Good Evening Locavores,
Northeast Georgia Locally Grown is now open. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy fresh local food.

Locally Grown - Availability for September 25th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I’ve been wanting to talk about one product type on Locally Grown for weeks that is pretty new and very unique. Mushrooms.

Though we’ve had wild harvested mushrooms on Locally Grown since our very first year (2010), this year was a milestone in having a new grower that can produce mushrooms all the year round. The farm is called Orchard Valley Farm and Julius Miller is the guru that has made this all happen. Those of you who have lived around Clarkesville for awhile may know Julius as the guy who until very recently owned and ran Orchard Valley Signs. If you’ve ever driven down Clarkesville’s Main Street and thought wow, I really like how nice all the business signs are and they have just a hint of a similar quality. That would be Julius. I feel pretty certain he is one of the best sign makers you’ll ever meet. Or I should say was the best as last year he sold the business with two goals in mind. He wanted to start a youth camp for troubled youth as a way to give back, and he wanted to become a grower.

Julius is one of those people who likes to figure things out, and even before he zeroed in on mushrooms he was doing a lot of reading about different niche farm products and technology. He got fascinated with mushrooms because there aren’t many people who grow them, and it’s not the easiest thing to do. It was a challenge and a puzzle he could work to figure out.

I won’t pretend to understand his growing system well enough to explain it but I will share just a little bit of what he’s told me. Each different mushroom is unique, has its own unique likes and dislikes. It all starts with the growing medium. Shitakes as you may or may not know prefer hardwood as a medium, either a log or sawdust. Oyster mushrooms prefer straw. I’m not sure what Portobello mushrooms prefer.

A mushroom grower is more like a cheese maker than a farmer. Every little detail about how a cheese is made affects the flavor, and every little detail from moisture, to air flow, to growth medium, all effect how the mushrooms grow. It’s easy to make a mistake, get the wrong type of spores in the growth medium and boom….problems.

Julius a few weeks ago was telling me that Oyster mushrooms are his favorite because they are so fascinating….and by far the most difficult to grow. For one, they are completely different from the other mushrooms. Most mushrooms are just the fruit of the mycellium that is feeding on the organic matter of the dead wood or straw. In other words think of the mushroom cap as the tomato and meanwhile the big green plant is growing in the wood and straw. When you harvest the cap, that’s it, it is dead, just like you can’t put a tomato on the ground and it continue to grow, or form a whole new green plant. But the oyster mushroom can. When you cut an oyster mushroom it is still alive. In fact it will try and recolonize anything it thinks it can eat. Julius described how he placed some in a cardboard box and they started to send out mycellium into the box (the box of course was not nearly delicious and nutritious enough for it to live, but it was gonna give it a try).

I like that we have people in our community who not only provide a fresh food that is so incredibly good for us, while also tasting so so so much better than what you can find in the store. I also like that such people teach us about our world and the sources of our sustenance that we so rarely would be exposed to on our own. I’ve always loved mushrooms naturally, but now I feel I understand and respect them just a little more…..as I sautee them up in butter and gobble them up…..I’ll be respecting them the whole way down.

Thanks to Julius we have mushrooms. I hope you’ll try some and if you enjoy them, eat them frequently.

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Georgia Locally Grown availability list for Sept. 25


Good evening Locavores,
We hope everyone will have a great weekend.
The market is opening early tonight to all us to get to the Rabun County Fair. Tomorrow is a big day at the fair with a rodeo and music as well as many agricultural exhibits and vendors with arts crafts and farm products.
Proceeds from the fair are to benefit the 4-H organization and students.
Check out your local farmers markets then come to the Fair at the Rabun Arena 100 West Boggs Mountain Rd Tiger, Ga. Saturday 9am to 9pm.
Good eating.

Locally Grown - Availability for September 18th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Every week I get the privilege to describe some type of food, farm or market activity in the hopes that it might inspire some of you to come to market and spend a little of your hard-earned money on some of the hard-earned food that local people here in our particular neck of the woods are so kind to produce.

It’s an interesting exercise to reflect back over the meals I’ve eaten, people I’ve seen, conversations I’ve had, fields I’ve walked through, and anything at all that has to do with local food.

Some weeks are more eventful than others. I think the best stories I have to share are when I’ve actually been able to get out and around to some of the farms to see what they are up to, maybe even lend a hand for a few hours (as I hope to do tomorrow night as a matter of fact).

There’s always lots of stories about what I’m personally enjoying eating, and these are probably the easiest stories to share b/c surprise, surprise, I eat every week, and when I do I like to eat good food. My ideas about what is good food have changed so incredibly over the last 6 or 7 years (as that’s pretty much the length of time that I’ve been highly food and farm focused). Don’t get me wrong, I still eat plenty of grocery store food and I enjoy much of it. I try not to be a snob about food. But I very rarely buy any vegetables at the grocery anymore, because I know that I can meet all my vegetable needs with what is grown here locally and now its even available year-round.

Once you eat this way for this long, you cannot go back. I remember when I was in my early 20s one of the first organic farmers I ever met in Birmingham, AL had returned home after living in CA where he had grown accustomed to what I’m describing. Back then in the late ’90’s there were virtually no organic farms in Birmingham and he simply could not handle going back to eating super market non-organic vegetables. So he began growing them for himself. He had so much joy from his experience learning how to grow his own food that he just got bigger and bigger until he gave up his day job altogether and became a farmer.

I love that story for so many reasons. It’s simplicity to begin with, that he simply had learned to eat well and couldn’t stop. I think if I was forced to move to somewhere like that, I might follow a similar path, at least that I would grow the food I like to eat part.

For me, good food, farming, markets, and the friends, learning, activities and lifestyle that surrounds all of it is one of the best aspects of life. A few weeks ago I visited a farming friend who loaded me up with tons of jalapeno peppers that I sliced in half and filled with my own potatoes and chorizo made from a nearby farms ground pork (that was my first experience of making chorizo too). When I harvest my own sweet potatoes in another week or two I promised to give that farmer some of that crop to say thanks for this fabulous pepper meal that I enjoyed. This sounds like a tale from a by-gone era of neighbors and friends exchanging crops.

Well that’s probably enough romanticizing this local food movement for one night. I do want to invite interested folks to attend the Harvest Celebration at the Hilliard A Wilbanks Middle School in Demorest on Tuesday, October 8, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. This event is celebrating the farms and others who are making this the inaugural year for FARM TO SCHOOL programs in Northeast Georgia. This is a pretty amazing new development and I’ll tell you more before the date arrives but please put it on your calendar if you can as it is a free event for the public.

Don’t Forget to EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Georgia Locally Grown availability list for Sept. 18


Good evening Locavores,
Lately we have been seeing hints of fall in some falling leaves, slightly browning grass, and less humidity. This week-end will really be a big change into fall with cool temperatures for daily highs and cooler nights.
Stock up on the summer vegetables that will become more scarce soon. The coming cool nights slow okra and pepper production significantly.
Have a great week-end and enjoy fresh local food.