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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Good evening local food lovers. Northeast Georgia Locallygrown is open for ordering. Have a great Memorial Day and enjoy local food.

Weblog Entry


Good evening local food lovers.
Northeast Georgia Locallygrown is open for ordering. Have a great Memorial Day and enjoy local food.

Locally Grown - Availability for May 22, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I’m gonna keep it short and sweet tonight. I love spring and here’s why. This week I enjoyed two different types of lettuce, radishes, asparagus, strawberries, pasture raised chicken, broccoli microgreens, and green garlic. This week I hope to pick up some snow peas if you guys haven’t already bought them all. There’s so many options that you can only get while the weather is still cool. Another 3 weeks and I should have some beautiful heads of cabbage of my own.

Don’t just dream of delicious local food, EAT IT!

And one really quick request. We’re looking for quite a few volunteers for our Georgia Mountains Farm Tour coming up in less than 4 weeks. If you volunteer for 4 hours helping one of the farms you’ll get a free pass to attend the other day of the tour and a free t-shirt. Check out details of the FARM TOUR here
http://georgiamfn.blogspot.com/
And e-mail Maggie if you’d like to volunteer.
m.vancantfort@gmail.com

Thanks and
EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

LocallyGrown is open


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Just a quick reminder that Locally Grown market is now open for ordering.

Locally Grown - Availability for May 15, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

We’re off to an amazing start with our expanded Locally Grown shopping hours that we kicked off on Friday. Just a reminder that from now on market will open Friday nights at 9pm and close as it always has on Monday nights at 9pm. That’s two whole extra shopping days. It looks like its already popular as 21 of you have already placed orders.

Luckily it’s not too late. There’s still tons of items available, 281 in fact. And the selection is better than it’s ever been. We want to welcome several new farms to the market (and several more on the way). Here’s a quick list of new growers and their items.

BERRY PASTURES – It’s a real treat to have PASTURE CHICKENS raised right here in the mountains. I’m buying one this week and look forward to talking about next week. Many of you may already know Cameron Smith who has been at LoganBerry Farms for the last several years. This is his new personal farm project. Go take a look at his photos on the Growers page if you want to see exactly how your chicken was raised.

HAPPY HOLLOW FARM – I love unusual and unique items and I also love BEER so of course I’m pumped about Happy Hollow’s fascinating array of herbs, native plants and HOPS! I never thought I’d see Hops on here. Teri Parker had just asked me recently if I’d heard of cooking with Hops, and I hadn’t, but I hop, I mean hope to become a regional expert very soon. Check out their other interesting array of products including trillium wildflowers. And here’s a quick tip. You can select items just for one farm by scrolling down to SHOW SPECIFIC GROWERS under Display Options. It’s a really useful way to make sure you don’t miss things.

And you’ll want to come back soon as in a few weeks we’ll have OYSTER MUSHROOMS for the first time from Orchard Valley Farms (Julius Miller). I’ll be the first in line to try these when they come out.

As I perused the market this week one item I noticed we have in abundance that took me ages to figure out how to fall in love with is CHARD. Here is the recipe that made me fall in love with Chard. And one quick tip. If your Chard is longer than 10 inches, think about cutting (or simply pulling) the rib out.

CHARD GRATIN
This is an Alice Waters recipe, my go to gal for eating veggies.

Oven 375
Wash and stem 2lbs chard
Parboil for 1.5 minutes
Drain, squeeze and chop into 3/4 inch pieces
Peel garlic and chop

Melt butter and add chard
As it wilts add garlic
Cook 7-8 minutes

Warm 2 cups milk in saucepan
Sprinkle 2tbsp flour over chard and stir
Cook 1 minute then add milk slowly 1/4 cup at a time until chard absorbs milk

Season with salt, pepper and optional nutmeg
Place chard in buttered gratin dish
Should be about 1 inch think
Cover with bread crumbs
Bake 35 minutes

This is a great way to get your kids to enjoy some vegetables, and more nutritious than your average cheesy casserole. You’ll be surprised how rich it’ll taste without cheese or cream.

Ok, I’d better leave it there for tonight. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about Locally Grown. We’ve had quite a few new customers in the last week and its a real thrill to introduce new people to the market. We hope you’ll slowly shift as much of your grocery shopping as you can away from the grocery store and towards local farms producing much more nutritious and delicious foods.

It’s a great way too…..

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for May 15th, 2012


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Whether you are brand new to Locally Grown or have been with us from the beginning, we want to welcome you to the first week of our extended ordering hours!

For the last 3 years we’ve had a rather short ordering window from Sunday at 9pm until Monday at 9pm (just 24 hours) for customers to peruse the market looking for local food goodies. We hope that by adding two more days to that timeframe (Friday – Monday) we may make it easier for some of you to check out the market all weekend.

Pickup is still on Wednesday from 5-7pm. Please be sure and mark your calendars to pick up your order and be sure to give us your cell phone on your account so we can reach you if it looks like you forgot. If you don’t make it by 7 pm we do have to bill your account as farmers pack orders specifically for you and leave it at the market in good faith that you’ll come and pay for it. It’s a great system, very convenient, and allows you to buy food from farms across at least a 5 county area of Northeast Georgia.

That’s the great thing about our market. Over 20 farms and just about every food group is represented.

Friday messages will typically be shorter, just to let you know the market is on, then we’ll do our usual Sunday night thing where we ooh and aah over all the great offerings. And I usually will give a tip or two on some great ways to eat some local food.

So have it and don’t forget to ……

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for May 8th, 2012


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I want to start out tonight by making some good plugs for some great springtime products. As many of you know there are quite a few items that you can only get for a very short season and I wanted to remind you what those are for the SPRING:

ASPARAGUS – there’s only about 3 more weeks left
BEETS – we often have these through early summer sometimes
Spring GARLIC / Garlic Scallions – milder taste / very springtimey
PEAS
RADISH
RHUBARB
SPINACH – we have 4 growers posting this product this week.
STRAWBERRIES – make sure you scroll to the end and order a quart from Mountain Earth Farms

Wow, that’s a fun list. Of course there are many other items that like cooler weather like Swiss Chard, Arugula, Collards, almost all the greens so don’t forget those.

One last big plug this week. If you would like to visit many of the farms that sell through Locally Grown this summer your chance is coming in just over a month. The second annual GEORGIA MOUNTAINS FARM TOUR will be on Saturday and Sunday June 15 and 16. PASSES are on sale now and you can reserve yours right here through Locally Grown. Just look for it amongst the products and add it to your shopping cart.

Grab some friends and tour around north Georgia’s farms for just $30 for the entire carload. Choose from 16 farms. Bring a cooler and stock up on delicious, fresh, local, sustainable food.

You can also visit the TOUR WEBSITE
http://georgiamfn.blogspot.com/
or if you don’t plan to make a purchase through Locally Grown you can PURCHASE PASSES HERE
https://donationpay.org/soqueriver/farmtour2013.php

and we’ll mail you the brochure.

It’s the best way to see what’s going on with Local Farms in the north Georgia Mountains and meet some of the farms who grow your food.

One last reminder before we sign off. Next week will be our 2013 Locally Grown kickoff and to shake things up a bit we’ll be starting our new Market opening time next Friday May 10th at 9pm. We’ll send you a short e-mail reminder that night, then you’ll get your usual Sunday e-mail like this one. But you’ll have two whole extra days to shop! We hope this makes it easier for more people to check out all our great offerings every week. And you can always place your first order on Friday then come back Sunday and see if anything new has been added and order a couple more.

It’s a great week to invite a friend to check out Locally Grown so please forward our message to a friend.

Thanks and ….

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for May 1st, 2012


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I’m gonna be super quick tonight because dinner is on it’s way and I’m hungry. I do want to plug a few things this week that I know you’ll enjoy. First off is Belflower Gardens has Sugar Snap Peas called Sugar Ann this week that I’m certain are gonna be delicious. If you are interesting in eating with the seasons then don’t forget you only get peas in the spring and summer will be here soon so better enjoy them now.

Another spring crop coming soon will be strawberries and if you’re interested in growing your own you should buy some plants from Melon Head this week.

Speaking of plants, of the 253 items we have listed this week, 68 of them are plants for your garden. There’s just no excuse to go buy cruddy Bonnie’s plants from the hardware store when you can get the very best plants for your garden grown by local farmers. I highly encourage you let all your gardening friends know. Or buy one for them as a gift.

Last but not least, Asparagus is back this week, and this time from 3 different growers. I enjoyed some on the grill earlier this week. I’ll share a little secret. every time I harvest asparagus I always eat at least one spear raw right after plucking it. It’s one of my favorite raw foods.

One small reminder. We’re back on our regular 7pm schedule now. We’ll also start opening the market up two whole days earlier (on Fridays) starting in under two weeks. So get prepared to do your shopping all weekend long coming real soon.

Ok, dinner is here so I’m off to…..

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun.

Locally Grown - Availability for April 24th, 2012


Hey Local Food Lovers,

This is a killer week for Locally Grown. Let me start off with a few plugs and then I’ll share some personal food experiences and a recipe.

It’s ASPARAGUS season! We’re thrilled to have LoganBerry Farm join us this week with their beautiful delicious asparagus spears. Show Sharon and her whole crew how appreciate we are by buying two bundles and share one with a friend. I guarantee they’ll feel special. Asparagus season is short, just a few weeks. So don’t wait as it may not be here next time. I’ve been picking my own asparagus (planted from crowns) and watching my four baby plants that I planted from seed as they embark on their first year of significant growth. You’re not supposed to pick them for their first two years, but considering this is their second year, I’m grabbing a spear here and there just to remind them who they are and what they’re for.

But wait before I get distracted, it’s PLANTING SEASON, in fact it’s TOMATO planting season. Moonshadow Farms is known around these parts as growing some of the best and most diverse heirloom tomato starts for people who like to keep an organic garden. Buy half a dozen for yourself and give two or three to a friend. I’ve grown them many years and enjoyed some of the best tomatoes of my life. I’ve even sold quite a few, canned some, and pretty much fallen in love with her incredible choices. She keeps all her own seed to, so these are plants that have been selected because they do well in our area, and produce the biggest, sweetest fruits. And Linda’s an awesome person too. That’s one of the cool things about buying local is you’re not just getting a great product, you’re supporting some really great people with some real talents.

Also this week, PEA SHOOTS from Mill Gap Farm, Brussel Sprout Greens from Burton Mountain Farm, and so much more.

Ok, here’s what I did with my Asparagus this week. It’s a recipe my Mom used to make, so it’s got a special place in my heart.

Chilled Marinated Asparagus
Ingredients
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Directions
In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, oil, lemon juice and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Refrigerate until cool.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, bring 1/2 in. of water to a boil. Add asparagus. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Place asparagus in a large resealable plastic bag; add marinade. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Drain and discard marinade. Place asparagus on a serving plate; sprinkle with pecans. Yield: 8 servings.

Before we go we want to make two quick announcements. We’ll be having our BIG 2013 kickoff on May 15th, which means we’ll have FEATURED FARMERS at both pickup locations, lots of advertisements in the press, and lots and lots of food! Please spread the word.

We’re also planning to make a small change to the market. Rather than open up ordering on Sunday night at 9pm the way we’ve done for three years, we’re planning to open it two days earlier on Friday nights at 9pm. It’ll be kind of a soft opening, with just a simple e-mail that says the market is now on. Then on Sunday you’ll get one of these exuberant messages we like to send as a reminder of what’s available and what’s going on with local food.

We wanted to give you two weeks to prepare, but that’s the plan. Hopefully you’ll enjoy having two additional days to shop for local food.

That’s it for this week!

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for April 17th, 2012


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I almost forgot to post a message tonight, and I’m afraid this one will have to be brief. That’s a bit odd, since I’ve been writing all about Locally Grown for my graduate thesis for about two weeks now. I hope to share some of this with you later in the summer, when I’ll have a bit more time.

I will add that every spare moment I’ve had out in the sunshine (or rain) have been pure bliss the last week or so. I was able to plant some beets and Napa cabbage today, pick asparagus, weed onions, check on blooming strawberries, admire the leaves poking out on the raspberries, and check on the mulch around blueberries, persimmons, figs and paw paws. Yesterday I completed the final plantings of asian persimmon trees (that’s 60 total fruit trees planted over the last two months). I also planted quite a few dill and just a couple of cilantro. Spring is still my absolute favorite time in the garden. And if you’re the same then you are in luck because Leah Lake Farms has a gazillion plant starts posted this week. So do yourself a favor and spread some compost in the garden and get to planting. The spring season is short…..and sweet.

Hope you enjoy this weeks offerings!

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun