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 is OPEN


Hey Local Food Lovers,

Just a quick reminder to let you know that Locally Grown is now open. Hope you enjoy this week’s offerings.

Justin

Locally Grown - Availability for June 19th, 2013l


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I know it’s very late to be sending out the Locally Grown announcement, but this may very well be one of the busiest times of my life (I sure hope so) and I decided to turn my brain off last night until I could write a decent summary of this weekend’s amazing FARM TOUR!

I’m so thankful to the nearly 200 or more people who came out over the weekend to see what has been accomplished with Local Foods over the last 4 years or so. I can’t think of another weekend of the year that we should feel prouder of the incredible effort of so many farmers all throughout our region. Not only does this event celebrate the individual efforts of each farm, it also demonstrates the benefits of our collective efforts. Farmers throughout a 6-8 county area have only been getting together and collaborating en masse for the last couple of years and it’s really paying off. In fact, the farm tour may arguably be on its way to becoming one of the best known, best attended local food events certainly in the region if not in the state. We all commented that based on the success of the first two years we expect it to continue to grow each year.

Ok, enough about the big picture. I want to talk about the incredible experience that I had over the weekend. The other tour organizer Maggie and a very talented video photographer Andrew drove around both days to experience the tour for ourselves and catch up with our many friends who were featured.

Saturday we started at Steve Whiteman’s Trillium Farms. As soon as we arrived I was able to start off by purchasing a delicious muffin made by Kristen Costley while we waited for the tour to start. I wrote about Steve and his farming innovations extensively for my dissertation (just completed on Friday) and there’s no question that he’s one of the most innovative farmers in our region. In addition to the cob furnace, basement growing, and constructed greenhouses that he uses to grow microgreens it was amazing to see his advancements in greenhouse design and construction. His version of a Haygrove tunnel is to be admired for its understanding of how heat and air and moisture move and how they influence plant growth. Steve understands plants and nature, and natural cycles better than most of us ever will because he’s interacting with them everyday of his life. And it’s too our benefit. His microgreens are amongst the best foods I’ve ever eaten. If you haven’t tried them you need to go find him at the Clarkesville Farmers Market on Saturdays at the Old Clarkesville Mill (as he doesn’t sell on Locally Grown).

Next stop was LoganBerry Farms. Sharon Mauney has one of the most dramatically beautiful farms you will ever see. And she’s brilliant at showing you how to eat the foods that she grows with taste tests and recipes that help those of us challenged with what to do with a garlic scape amongst others. She started the day by explaining her compost tea brewer which is one of the central ways that she increases soil fertility, controls for disease and increases plant vigor. It’s an amazing practice and one that I expect will become common by many sustainable farmers in the years ahead. Next we piled on a tractor bed for a hay ride around the farm. Sharon works to make every area of her farm function holistically and you can see that in her attention to the in-between areas (between her crops that is) where she plants trees, and retains or releases water where it can have the greatest benefit. Before leaving we all topped off our water bottles with her incredible herb infused ice water that she puts out for all her guests. An incredibly hospitable, genteel, southern hostess with the work ethic of ten old-time farmers put together. An impressive lady and an impressive farm.

Our final stop on Saturday was to Scott Hancock’s Nacoochee Valley Farm right on the Chattahoochee River and taking advantage of the incredible bottomland soils. Scott is one of the few farms in the whole region that is re-building the nearly lost art of horse farming. With over 20 different horse drawn farm implements, Scott can demonstrate how we can get off our our reliance on fossil fuels while caring for the land. He’s one of the largest producers of pastured poultry EGGS in the region, and has an honor system stand that is open most of the year. Scott knows how to build things better, using the best materials, and the least energy. Rather than our reliance on creosote soaked wood for our houses, barns, etc., he has Amish friends that harvest Black Locust and other woods that will last just as long with no harmful effects to the soil, crops or animals. He uses wind power to pump his water, and horse power to work his land.

Sunday we started at the Old School Garden, which I have to admit beats the socks off our own Clarkesville Green Way Garden in the creativity department. Each garden has adorned their plots with things like wicker chairs, benches, umbrellas, little fake birds nestled in the bean posts, decorative plates, windmills, and other artistic items that give each plot a unique personality.

Next we were on to Sylvan Falls Mill which I can’t believe I haven’t visited since 2009. It was a long overdue visit and you won’t find a more beautiful grist mill in the Southeast….especially that grinds all organic grains and bakes them right on the site into delicious scones, breads, cakes, sticky buns, and more. The sound of water and the water wheel, and the white corn or flour that has floated onto each crevice of the mill room is just beautiful to behold. They also have an electric car charging station. It’s a sustainability mecca.

Next we headed to Chattooga Belle just over the border in SC. This may be the most stunning VISTA I’ve ever seen on a farm in our area. Blue Ridge mountains as far as you can see in both directions with fruit trees and vines all around you and grass fed beef just off in the distance. The look and feel of the place was spectacular, and the wine tasting was terrific.

Even though the day was over by then we still headed over to Gibson Farms to hang out with Leland. That was a great way to end the weekend as we all plopped down on the grass and talked about how far the local food movement has come in an incredibly short period of time.

The Local Food Movement is going to continue to grow and personally there’s nothing else on this bright blue/green ball of a planet that I’m more excited about. I’m even more excited about how it’s growing in our little region. Because of events like this our local farmers and our region as a whole is making a name for itself as an emerging Local Food System that is making a difference.

Huge thanks to all the farms that participated in this grand event (I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did) and for everyone who attended or talked it up. We’ll have a really amazing video for you soon, so even if you missed the event, you’ll have something that’ll make you want to attend next year.

If you weren’t able to make the event but you’d really like to support the farmers and the FARMERS network you can still purchase a really cool FARM TOUR t-shirt. All proceeds go towards helping the Network purchase a group insurance policy that will allow them to sell to the School System. I’ll try and post the shirts as an item on Locally Grown or you can just ask for them at Market on Wednesday.

And of course the best way to support and celebrate this local food movement throughout the year is to BUY LOCAL and ……..

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for June 19th, 2013l


Hey Local Food Lovers,

The market is open. Hope you enjoy this week’s offerings. By the way both Chuck (and Amy) and I are down in Athen’s tonight celebrating completion of my dissertation completion that was all about Local Foods (even featuring Locally Grown). In fact we hung out with the found of the Locally Grown software Eric Wagoner. Fun Times.

And if you are still looking for something to do this weekend you should really, REALLY attend the GEORGIA MOUNTAINS FARM TOUR this weekend. It’s not too late.

Just show up at any of the farms on the tour. Print out the brochure here.

http://georgiamfn.blogspot.com/

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - availability for June 12


Good evening Local Food Lovers. The market is now open to place your orders for Wednesday. Have a great weekend and enjoy local food.

Locally Grown - market open / volunteer for FARM TOUR


Hey Local Food Lovers,

We’re only a few days away from the PREMIERE local food and farm event in our region, the SECOND ANNUAL GEORGIA MOUNTAINS FARM TOUR. If you’ve been curious what the farms that sell through Locally Grown are like, this is the best chance of the year to meet your farmer. It’s also a great way to support a new network of farmers that is collaborating to try and increase local foods throughout the region. With the proceeds of the event we’ll be looking into purchasing group liability insurance that will allow farmers to sell to directly to our Local School Systems.

You can find out more about the FARM TOUR (and our farmers network) at this website.

http://georgiamfn.blogspot.com/

There’s so much good food, it’s impossible to describe it all. And the new earlier ordering schedule is working incredibly well. I’d say at least 2/3rds of you are ordering well before Sunday night.

I want to welcome Keep It Simple Bakery and Christy Bowen to the market this week. She’s making an impressive first week showing with 20 Gluten Free items. I’ve noticed that quite a few of you are giving them a try this week. Granola, pie crusts, waffles. She’s making it very easy for folks who must avoid gluten. Ironically I rice noodles rather than flour noodles tonight with my Gibson Farms beef meatballs (with Melon Head cilantro in them-that’s my little secret). I’ve been thinking of taking a gluten break myself just to see how it goes.

Before I go, we are still seeking 4 VOLUNTEERS to help just one of the two days of the FARM TOUR event so if paying for the tour just isn’t in your budget, or you’d really like to get to know a farm well and contribute to the cause this is a great opportunity. All volunteers for at least 4 hours can attend the other day of the tour for free AND will receive a very cool Georgia Mountains Farm Tour t-shirt. Please let me know at soque@windstream.net if you’d like to help.

That’s it for tonight.

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - last days to buy FARM TOUR pass for $30


Hey Local Food Lovers,

I have a very last minute reminder and a small request. I’ll start with the request.

If anyone has any old / aged looking wood, we are trying to paint SIGNS for the Georgia Mountains Farm Tour at a volunteer day tomorrow (Thursday at 5:30 pm at Grace Calvary carport). If you would like to donate wood or paint feel free to bring it to market today, or you could bring it tomorrow to Grace Calvary as well.

2×8s would be best but any wood that has an aged look may work.

TODAY is the last day you can buy FARM TOUR passes from Locally Grown for $30. The price will go up on Friday to $35. If you still haven’t ordered your brochure please buy it today at market (we’ll have some extras) if you can. We will have them available next week as well but you’ll pay an extra $5 bucks.

That’s it!

Thanks for the help!

If you’d still like to volunteer for the FARM TOUR e-mail Maggie at m.vancantfort@gmail.com

All other questions about the tour check out
http://georgiamfn.blogspot.com/
or e-mail me at
soque@windstream.net

Thanks,
Justin

Locally Grown - Availability for June 5, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

This may be the latest and shortest message ever, but tonight I better not allow myself to get swept away in the local food talk of the week.

Just hope you all buy lots of yummy stuff and we look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availability list


Hey Local Food Lovers,
Look for you favorite foods in the market this week.
Also remember that tomorrow, June 1,is the 2nd annual Soque River Festival, from 9am – 3am. Fun for the entire family featuring local food, live music, and kids events. For more information and to register to paddle, check www.soque.org

Locally Grown - Availability for May 29, 2013


Hey Local Food Lovers,

This will have to be a short message tonight so I’m just gonna hit two highlights.

Our GEORGIA MOUNTAINS FARM TOUR is coming up in just under three weeks. I think we’re still looking for about 4 or 5 volunteers for Sunday to help out at some of the farms in Rabun County. If you’re interested let us know as you’ll get to attend Saturday for free and get an awesome tour T-shirt. We’re asking folks to help with at least a four hour shift from about 12:30 until as late as you’re able to stay (ends at 6pm). It’s a great way to give back to the farming community and be a part of our local food community. Just send an e-mail to Maggie at m.vancantfort@gmail.com.

To purchase a weekend pass to the TOUR just add it to your shopping cart. That will remind us to bring a brochure for you to market this week. Just write a separate check to SRWA.

Details on the Tour are at http://georgiamfn.blogspot.com/

The other little tidbit this week is all the awesome food I’ve been eating. My favorite thing about Locally Grown is how the food you find here changes all the time. It keeps life interesting. Here were my treats of the week.

Roasted that pastured chicken I mentioned last week. Delicious! Took the carcass and made chicken stock tonight after browning some onions.

The oyster mushrooms are incredible. Took the first half and browned them on high heat in butter with a splash of apple cider vinegar. That brown crust and the fresh delicateness! Incredible. What a great new addition to the market. Took the other half and put them on a handmade pizza. Gourmet all around. I’ll be trying the Shitakes this week.

I made homemade tacos with Gibson Farms beef, and took Mighty Micros pea shoots and chopped them up and put them on top with a squirt of lime.

Had Leah Lake kale my usual way. You can find that recipe under the recipes section.

Ate bunches of Oakcrest Farms beautiful radishes. A very refreshing snack.

What am I forgetting. Oh yes, this one will hurt as I noticed they are sold out. Belflower’s snow peas. Wow. They are so sweet it’s like eating candy. Seriously!

There’s so much to plug this week but I’ll make it simple. Buy every order of Chuck’s garlic scapes you can. It’s another one of those short season items and if you’re planning on doing any grilling do yourself a favor and toss ’em in oil and grill ’em until they just start to brown and then scarf ’em down. A favorite treat!

Hope you have a hum-dinger of a week and…..

EAT WELL,
Justin in Habersham
and
Chuck in Rabun

Weblog Entry


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