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 August 14, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

It’s good to be home. A coupe of nights ago we slow mesquite smoked a rump roast of grassfed beef covered with chopped rosemary, basil, oregano and garlic that came from Belflower Gardens, along with some fresh corn from Oakcrest Farms, with a side of cucumber and tomato salad with basil and balsamic vinegar (courtesy of Mountain Earth and Burton Mtn Farms) and some rosemary toast. I smiled at my wife during the meal and said “This is what American food is!”

As much as I absolutely loved eating Asian cuisine over the last nearly four weeks, I am so glad to be home and enjoying the unique tastes of home. A visit abroad gives you a great appreciation for the way other cultures eat….but it also really helps remind you what it special about our home cuisine….at least the type of cuisine I’ve come to appreciate over the last 5-10 years.

How to eat good food is as important as how to grow good food. Most of what I’ve learned about how to grow good food has come from hanging out and asking questions of farmers. When it comes to eating good food…..I have to admit I spend a lot of time with cookbooks and the internet. People tell me about a dish they like all the time, but without those details, the quantities and step by step instructions…it too often goes in one ear and out the other. Even though we’ve had a recipe section on the website here for over a year there’s still only 11 recipes on there….4 of which I posted! Perhaps there’s a more interesting way for our community of local eaters to exchange recipe ideas, but so far this and our facebook page are the best options.

Since I know for a fact that this rare roast recipe will blow your mind if you do it right i’m gonna post another one. We’ve already eaten half the roast but I’ll take a photo of it next time I pull it out because it looks as beautiful as it tastes.

I still promise to talk some more about our food adventures in Asia, but this week I’m feeling good about being home and enjoying it so much. This roast was a really nice part of that experience.

GARLIC AND HERB CRUSTED SLOW SMOKED PRIME RIB (other other roast)

1/4 cups of basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary (that’s one full cup of herbs) and 1/4 cup garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
tablespoon fresh ground pepper and kosher salt
12-14 lb roast

Directions:
Trim tough fat from the roast
Chop the garlic and herbs and press into the sides of the roast
Allow to stand at room temp for 45 minutes or store overnight in a freezer bag. Allow meat to stand at room temp before grilling.

Grill the roast over INDIRECT heat until internal temp is 135. (Wood chips go over the flame in tinfoil or container according to instructions)

Keep grills temp between 275-300 for 3.5 to 4 hours. When done remove and wrap in foil for 20-30 mintues. Roast will continue to cook with temp rising an additional 5-10 degrees.

After the meat rests you can carve using a sharp knife. The roast will be rare.

That’s it! My cousin made this last Christmas and I’ve made it 4 or 5 times since then and it’s just incredible.

The cucumber tomato salad is another summer favorite and equally easy. Just peel cucumber and chop with tomato to 1/4 inch size. Add fresh chopped basil and two-three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Other options are 1 tbl spoon of olive oil, onion, and fresh pepper. It’s delicious. You can add other herbs that you may like.

Ok, that’s probably good for tonight!

I hope a few of you may be in the mood to can or freeze some okra to enjoy the whole year round. You can get a whole peck for just $20 which is quite a deal. Share some with your friends and family. And if you like spicy food try it in Bhindi Masala which is my new favorite way to eat okra. That recipe is on the website as well.

Have a great week and EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for August 14, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

It’s good to be home. A coupe of nights ago we slow mesquite smoked a rump roast of grassfed beef covered with chopped rosemary, basil, oregano and garlic that came from Belflower Gardens, along with some fresh corn from Oakcrest Farms, with a side of cucumber and tomato salad with basil and balsamic vinegar (courtesy of Mountain Earth and Burton Mtn Farms) and some rosemary toast. I smiled at my wife during the meal and said “This is what American food is!”

As much as I absolutely loved eating Asian cuisine over the last nearly four weeks, I am so glad to be home and enjoying the unique tastes of home. A visit abroad gives you a great appreciation for the way other cultures eat….but it also really helps remind you what it special about our home cuisine….at least the type of cuisine I’ve come to appreciate over the last 5-10 years.

How to eat good food is as important as how to grow good food. Most of what I’ve learned about how to grow good food has come from hanging out and asking questions of farmers. When it comes to eating good food…..I have to admit I spend a lot of time with cookbooks and the internet. People tell me about a dish they like all the time, but without those details, the quantities and step by step instructions…it too often goes in one ear and out the other. Even though we’ve had a recipe section on the website here for over a year there’s still only 11 recipes on there….4 of which I posted! Perhaps there’s a more interesting way for our community of local eaters to exchange recipe ideas, but so far this and our facebook page are the best options.

Since I know for a fact that this rare roast recipe will blow your mind if you do it right i’m gonna post another one. We’ve already eaten half the roast but I’ll take a photo of it next time I pull it out because it looks as beautiful as it tastes.

I still promise to talk some more about our food adventures in Asia, but this week I’m feeling good about being home and enjoying it so much. This roast was a really nice part of that experience.

GARLIC AND HERB CRUSTED SLOW SMOKED PRIME RIB (other other roast)

1/4 cups of basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary (that’s one full cup of herbs) and 1/4 cup garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
tablespoon fresh ground pepper and kosher salt
12-14 lb roast

Directions:
Trim tough fat from the roast
Chop the garlic and herbs and press into the sides of the roast
Allow to stand at room temp for 45 minutes or store overnight in a freezer bag. Allow meat to stand at room temp before grilling.

Grill the roast over INDIRECT heat until internal temp is 135. (Wood chips go over the flame in tinfoil or container according to instructions)

Keep grills temp between 275-300 for 3.5 to 4 hours. When done remove and wrap in foil for 20-30 mintues. Roast will continue to cook with temp rising an additional 5-10 degrees.

After the meat rests you can carve using a sharp knife. The roast will be rare.

That’s it! My cousin made this last Christmas and I’ve made it 4 or 5 times since then and it’s just incredible.

The cucumber tomato salad is another summer favorite and equally easy. Just peel cucumber and chop with tomato to 1/4 inch size. Add fresh chopped basil and two-three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Other options are 1 tbl spoon of olive oil, onion, and fresh pepper. It’s delicious. You can add other herbs that you may like.

Ok, that’s probably good for tonight!

I hope a few of you may be in the mood to can or freeze some okra to enjoy the whole year round. You can get a whole peck for just $20 which is quite a deal. Share some with your friends and family. And if you like spicy food try it in Bhindi Masala which is my new favorite way to eat okra. That recipe is on the website as well.

Have a great week and EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for August 14, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

It’s good to be home. A coupe of nights ago we slow mesquite smoked a rump roast of grassfed beef covered with chopped rosemary, basil, oregano and garlic that came from Belflower Gardens, along with some fresh corn from Oakcrest Farms, with a side of cucumber and tomato salad with basil and balsamic vinegar (courtesy of Mountain Earth and Burton Mtn Farms) and some rosemary toast. I smiled at my wife during the meal and said “This is what American food is!”

As much as I absolutely loved eating Asian cuisine over the last nearly four weeks, I am so glad to be home and enjoying the unique tastes of home. A visit abroad gives you a great appreciation for the way other cultures eat….but it also really helps remind you what it special about our home cuisine….at least the type of cuisine I’ve come to appreciate over the last 5-10 years.

How to eat good food is as important as how to grow good food. Most of what I’ve learned about how to grow good food has come from hanging out and asking questions of farmers. When it comes to eating good food…..I have to admit I spend a lot of time with cookbooks and the internet. People tell me about a dish they like all the time, but without those details, the quantities and step by step instructions…it too often goes in one ear and out the other. Even though we’ve had a recipe section on the website here for over a year there’s still only 11 recipes on there….4 of which I posted! Perhaps there’s a more interesting way for our community of local eaters to exchange recipe ideas, but so far this and our facebook page are the best options.

Since I know for a fact that this rare roast recipe will blow your mind if you do it right i’m gonna post another one. We’ve already eaten half the roast but I’ll take a photo of it next time I pull it out because it looks as beautiful as it tastes.

I still promise to talk some more about our food adventures in Asia, but this week I’m feeling good about being home and enjoying it so much. This roast was a really nice part of that experience.

GARLIC AND HERB CRUSTED SLOW SMOKED PRIME RIB (other other roast)

1/4 cups of basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary (that’s one full cup of herbs) and 1/4 cup garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
tablespoon fresh ground pepper and kosher salt
12-14 lb roast

Directions:
Trim tough fat from the roast
Chop the garlic and herbs and press into the sides of the roast
Allow to stand at room temp for 45 minutes or store overnight in a freezer bag. Allow meat to stand at room temp before grilling.

Grill the roast over INDIRECT heat until internal temp is 135. (Wood chips go over the flame in tinfoil or container according to instructions)

Keep grills temp between 275-300 for 3.5 to 4 hours. When done remove and wrap in foil for 20-30 mintues. Roast will continue to cook with temp rising an additional 5-10 degrees.

After the meat rests you can carve using a sharp knife. The roast will be rare.

That’s it! My cousin made this last Christmas and I’ve made it 4 or 5 times since then and it’s just incredible.

The cucumber tomato salad is another summer favorite and equally easy. Just peel cucumber and chop with tomato to 1/4 inch size. Add fresh chopped basil and two-three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Other options are 1 tbl spoon of olive oil, onion, and fresh pepper. It’s delicious. You can add other herbs that you may like.

Ok, that’s probably good for tonight!

I hope a few of you may be in the mood to can or freeze some okra to enjoy the whole year round. You can get a whole peck for just $20 which is quite a deal. Share some with your friends and family. And if you like spicy food try it in Bhindi Masala which is my new favorite way to eat okra. That recipe is on the website as well.

Have a great week and EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Georgia Locally Grown availability list for August 9


Good evening all,
This week we welcome Justin and Ching- Yu back from their culinary tour of Asia. We hope they will share some great recipes with us.
Check the availability list now and don’t forget to check back again Sunday evening for late additions to the market. Remember you can make multiple orders if you like.
Have a great week-end.

Availability list for NortheastGeorgia.Locallygrown.net Aug. 2


Northeast Georgia Locally Grown is now open for orders. Have a great weekend and remember your local
Farmers Markets.

Locally Grown - Availability for July 31st, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

These are the final days of a pretty memorable visit to Thailand so out of respect for the limited time I have to enjoy where I am, I’m going to be brief in my message. And the internet connection here is pretty unreliable too so I should be quick.

Last week we went to an incredible Thai cooking school on an organic farm that I look forward to describing in detail. One reason that has been one of the highlights of the entire trip is that I can imagine north Georgia having a similar setup in which people travel to the mountains to learn how different crops grow and how to cook them. Confidence in cooking is one of the key ingredients to re-inventing a local food culture, and the respect that our teacher elicited for organic farming, for each different species of plant that is used, for the art of cooking, how to taste and adjust, and embracing a philosophy and way of life behind all of it were really beautiful. He also told lots of jokes! We started at 8:20 in the morning and finished at 3:30 and it was endlessly interesting the entire time. And hopefully now we know how to cook Thai food pretty comfortably.

I’m not sure what is listed this week, but I’m sure it’s tasty and delicious. I look forward to placing my own order this time next week and returning to all the wonderful aspects of home.

Until Then…. EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Availabilty list for Northeast Georgia Locally Grown


Northeast Georgia Locally Grown is now open for orders until 9:00 pm Monday evening. Pick up your orders between 5:00 and 7:00 Wednesday evening.

Locally Grown - Availability for July 24th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

So this message is coming to your from Chiang Mai Thailand. Before I describe the local foods I’ve been enjoying let me start by plugging all the incredible food that has landed on Locally Grown this week. It’s an 11 hour time difference here so the first thing I did upon waking up was scroll through this week’s offerings. I have to admit that even though I am greatly enjoying the food here, it made me a tad homesick to see what I’ll be missing.

The first thing I noticed that made me smile is we have so many new farms and food producers this year bringing a wider diversity of crops. That’s a trend I expect and hope will continue b/c as they say (and I embrace) diversity is the spice of life.

The things that caught my attention were: CORN! We’ve always had an underabundance of sweet corn so it’s great to see Oakcrest Farms with one of the best tastes of summer. Melon Head’s chinese noodle beans look great, and i love that they are mixing their greens and their reds for nice color on the plate. There are tons of cucumbers and garlic and quite a few flowers. There are also the seasons first peppers and…….just in case you didn’t notice….TOMATOES. That’s what I’m really jealous of. I guess I’ll have to wait until I return to have my first heirloom tomato sandwich.

Ok, I’ve only got a few minutes so let me tell you just a tiny bit about my food adventures. Street vendor food is a way of life in Thailand just as it was in Taiwan. Last night Chiang Mai had a night market that was attended by thousands. If I had to guess I’d say there were close to 100 different street food vendors scattered all over the city. For those who haven’t experienced this I’ll try and describe it. Usually vendors will be clustered in certain areas so that people can wander around and see what they would like. We can’t read a word of Thai so we have to look and watch what each vendor is making and then point when we see what we’d like. We’re slowly picking up a few words like “moo” for pork. Most vendors cook either cook over a grittle built into the cart, or more frequently a wok that they set up over a gas flame slightly away from the cart. Depending on how popular that cart is they may have a help who is handing them the cut up ingredients for each dish as the orders come in. The owner is always the one standing over the flame. It’s quite fun to watch them whip up your food right in front of you.

We don’t know all the names of the dishes we’ve had but here’s some quick descriptions:
Pad Thai – you’ve probably had this – it’s a peanut flavored noodle dish we’ve had served with chicken, or shrimp, pork and cabbage which is cooked in a pot rather than a wok and served with a spicy sauce, stuffed fried peppers with chicken (this was one of our favorites), chicken noodle soup (that had a mixture of regular and fried noodles), papaya salad (papaya, carrots in a spicy sauce), roasted chicken and pork (the pork is especially amazing because of a sweet sauce they drizzle over it). Then there are tons and tons of juice and smoothie stands where you can get fresh mango, passion fruit, papaya and a dozen other fruits. Best smoothies I’ve ever had I think. Mango mojito which is without the rum but with the mint is my favorite.

One of the coolest local foods is this thing called Roti which is dough that is fried on griddle with banana inside and then drizzled with condensed milk. That is a heavenly dessert!

I don’t think there is such a thing as organic street food, so it’s not perfect in that way, but the exposure to all these dishes is pretty amazing. We are going to a Thai cooking school next week that is on an organic farm, so maybe I’ll have some healthier things to describe last week.

Time to get on the motorbike and head into the mountains for a few days.

Hope you enjoy all the local food back home and …..
EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown Availability List for July 19


The market is now open!

Locally Grown - Availability for July 17th, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I’m posting this message from Taiwan where I just returned from an all you can eat steakhouse where I gorged myself on more meat, seafood, and ice cream than you can imagine. Food is central to life here and its probably one of my favorite things about Taiwan. It’s very much like the New Orleans motto where they Live to Eat rather than Eat to Live. It’s a little bit dangerous for me b/c I could gain a lot of weight if I’m not careful. That’s why I’m headed off on a 3 day bicycle ride tomorrow….so I can earn my right to eat as much as I want.

So you can get a feel for my challenge I’ll just describe today for example. We started the morning by looking for my all-time favorite food in Taiwan called fantwan, or sticky rice ball. This is primarily a street vendor dish made in the mornings that consists of a layer of sticky rice (the purple variety is my favorite as it has more fiber and flavor), pickled cabbage, pickled radish, fried donut type stuff for crunch, dried pork (its very common to have this type of pork that is like jerky but shredded very fine, almost fluffy), then it’s all rolled into a ball that sticks together.

For some reason my wife took us from the fantwan stand to another place for wonton soup and shalom boa which are these little steamed dumplings stuffed with pork. Now keep in mind it’s 9am and I’m having pork dumplings to help wash down my fontwan, with a little wonton soup to help. But wait, then we had a side of dry tofu and some soy milk. Just to be fair, we saved most of our fantwan for later in the day.

So off we went to explore some of Taipei’s oldest markets….by scooter. Scooter life is quite amazing and something I fell in love with last time I was here. Because there are so many people and so little space, there are many more scooters than cars for the simple reason that you can find a parking space so much easier for a scooter…and it’s cheaper and more convenient to get around. It’s not uncommon to see a mom with one baby strapped to her chest and a 5 year old on the back of a scooter zipping down the road faster than you.

Our first snack at the old market wasn’t that unusual. An ice cream cone. As you walk down the road there are dozens of foods and drinks that look delicious. Our next treat was fresh pressed sugar cane. I’d never had this before and I have to say, it’s amazing. It’s sweet to be sure, but it tastes like juice. It’s a dark green color, and my guess that unrefined it has some nutritious value, maybe from fiber, or even the still living chloroplast that you obviously don’t get from processed sugar. We should look it up. My guess is it’s good for you.

It was scorching hot so about 30 minutes later we were ready for something else to cool us down and there was a lady cutting open fresh cocunuts pouring the juice into bottles and putting the bottles in ice water to make it cool and delicious. It was!

Next we hopped back on the scooter and headed to a little village known for ceramics. Ching-Yu got an iced coffee but I wanted something better. It’s simply called shaved iced and it puts our snow cones to shame. Rather than just pour colored sugar water over ice this treat gives you the following options for toppings on your shaved ice: green jelly, tapioca balls, pudding, taro, then many different types of sweetened beans, then your option to have condensed milk or a sweetened syrup poured on top. This makes it all more like a lite ice cream than a snow cone. It’s the perfect snack on a hot day and other than a little extra sugar, it’s mainly good for you.

I could go on for pages re: food if I let myself, but that’s probably good for now.

Before I wrap up and plug a few items I’ll just mention that one thing that has really impressed me here is that everyone is incredibly thin despite these rich, delicious foods. Only thing I can figure is they are just so physically active. Each day involves lots of walking, riding bikes, or scooters, or taking trains or buses to get to work, school, markets, etc. People are moving, moving, moving non-stop. I’ll admit, it can be a bit exhausting at times, especially given the heat, but it keeps one fit. One of the most impressive things I’ve noticed and enjoyed since arriving here is every river has a trail next to it creating these extensive greenway networks that allow people to get all over the place via pedestrian means without traffic. Most people use these for recreation more than for commuting, but I’ve been very impressed with not only how many of them there are (miles upon miles – 50+), but how many people here are utilizing them. Taiwan, and especially Taipei is known in Asia as being one of the best cycling cities. Lucky for me as other than language lessons and eating, that’s been the other focus of my trip so far.

Ok, time to move on to what’s going on back in Georgia. I know it’s still been raining non-stop and your all about sick of it. We just had a Typhoon here in Taiwan and the price of vegetables is super high this year due to bad weather. Maybe our local growers should be charging more too since obviously there will be less of everything with the mildew and rot that is no doubt going on.

However, even with all these challenges I noticed there are tons and tons of cucumbers and beans this week. It’s pickling season and I really encourage folks to try their hand at making pickles if you haven’t before. Ching Yu started making pickles a few years ago and I don’t care if I never have another store bought pickle. They just don’t compare. If anyone has a great pickling recipe please post it to our recipes section or to our facebook page and maybe you’ll inspire somebody.

I said I was gonna plug Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant and I am, but not today. I’ve got to get up early and hit the bike. However, to insure you don’t miss any good eats opportunities I’ll continue to post their schedule here until I do get around to talking about Jamie Alred and all the good he does for our growers and our stomachs by cooking so dang good.

You can see the schedule of farmers for Featured FArmer Thursdays by visiting
http://www.soque.org/pdfs/Featured_Farmer_2013_flyer_one_page.pdf

or click here

Thanks for shopping local and

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun