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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Compost and Carrots

Good Evening,

This week I helped put up the last few boards for the three-stage compost at the Brenau Campus Garden, and played in the leaves (aka-raking for hours). It is a great reminder to encourage those at home to start or maintain a way to keep food scraps out of landfills! Instead of letting the precious organic matter go to concentrated waste sites, we can rebuild the soil around us. Mix the brown stuff (leaves) with the green stuff (food scraps)… and give it proper air, water, and time. Or! Since we aren’t one of the 200+ cities recycling food waste (or mandatory composting laws), check with a neighbor who gardens or a community garden close by, as they might love to turn your egg shells, veggie rinds, and leaf stalks from waste to rich soil. Read more about the State Of Composting In The U.S. here.

Let the cycle continue locally.
Don’t forget to order some carrots this week! Market open ’til 9pm tomorrow >>

Andrew in Hall
Chuck in Rabun
Teri in Habersham

Market is open for orders!

Good Evening Locavores,

Northeast Georgia Locally Grown is open for orders!
Go to the market now >>

Neko and Mavis, two golden doodle puppies, on what they like about Locally Grown

Neko and Mavis, two golden doodle puppies,
on what they like about Locally Grown

We sure do love us some sweet potatoes from Mountain Earth Farms. We have good luck finding them in the pantry when our people have their backs turned. Also the sweet carrots from Leah Lake or Baker Springs farm that we get every once in a while.

But most of all we like the biscuits that come from our favorite Dog Treat Lady who makes them in different flavors. [Editor’s note: That would be Leslie of Leslie’s Garden Dream] Usually, our pack leader gets us the bacon and cheese ones, but last week she got us a peanut butter and banana flavor. Sweet! She says they’re called Elvis treats. Don’t know nothin’ about this Elvis, and we ain’t no hound dogs, but that Dog Treat Lady sure is a friend of ours.

We say thanks to all of you who grow and make the stuff our people eat and share with us. And thanks to all of you who volunteer your time to get it to our people who bring it home to us. You work hard, and you should remember to play hard, too. And sleep some, too. That’s puppy wisdom.

Lately, we’ve been hearing a new phrase, “Thanksgiving dinner.” Sure hope we get some leftovers from the table. Mmmm, gravy. Already dog-dreaming about it.

Pawsing to give thanks,
Neko & Mavis >>
[With typing assistance from Susan W. — Much appreciated. N&M]

Go to the market >>

Plus a day!

My apologies, it’s not Monday yet! The market doesn’t close until 9pm tomorrow, so you have plenty of time to order your local goodies for this Wednesday! 441 products to choose from right now >>

Pies and Greens

Don’t miss out on Keep it Simple’s gluten free ready pie crust, pie crust mix, or possibly whole pies for Thanksgiving! (NGLG will be open for pickup Wednesday Nov 25th)

In regard to the beautiful greens in the picture above, and a shout-out to Leah Lake Farms for their year-round production of wonderful leafy greens, here are a few of them ranked and rated (I love the comments on number 10):

“Greens are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health,” says Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, a culinary educator and the author. That’s because leafy vegetables are brimming with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer. Even so, Americans are not eating as many vegetables each day as dietary experts recommend.

To encourage you to put more leafy vegetables on your plate, WebMD asked Nussinow to rank the country’s most widely-eaten greens from most nutritious to least. Here’s our top 10 list:

1. Kale: This nutrition powerhouse “offers everything you want in a leafy green,” says Nussinow, who gave it her first-place ranking. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A C, and K, has a good amount of calcium for a vegetable, and also supplies folate and potassium. Kale’s ruffle-edged leaves may range in color from cream to purple to black depending on the variety.

Before cooking with kale, collards, turnips, and chard, Nussinow recommends swishing the greens in a water-filled sink, draining the sink, then repeating this rinse until the leaves are dirt-free. Her favorite cooking method for these four greens is to rub the leaves in olive oil or tahini (sesame paste) and cook them for five minutes with garlic, olive oil, and broth.

2. Collards: Used in Southern-style cooking, collard greens are similar in nutrition to kale. But they have a heartier and chewier texture and a stronger cabbage-like taste. “Collards are an under-appreciated vegetable and most people don’t know about them,” suggests Nussinow. She says they’re also popular with the raw food movement because the wide leaves are used as a wrapper instead of tortillas or bread. Down South, collards are typically slow cooked with either a ham hock or smoked turkey leg. A half cup has 25 calories.

3. Turnip greens: “If you buy turnips with the tops on, you get two vegetables in one,” Nussinow tells WebMD. Turnip leaves are another Southern favorite traditionally made with pork. More tender than other greens and needing less cooking, this sharp-flavored leaf is low in calories yet loaded with vitamins A,C, and K as well as calcium.

4. Swiss chard: With red stems, stalks, and veins on its leaves, Swiss chard has a beet-like taste and soft texture that’s perfect for sauteeing. Both Swiss chard and spinach contain oxalates, which are slightly reduced by cooking and can bind to calcium, a concern for people prone to kidney stones. Chard contains 15 calories in one-half cup and is a good source of vitamins A and C. Nussinow likes to make a sweet-and-sour chard by adding raisins and vinegar to the cooked greens.

5. Spinach: Popeye’s favorite vegetable has 20 calories per serving, plus it’s packed with vitamins A and C, as well as folate. And because heat reduces the green’s oxalate content, freeing up its dietary calcium, “cooked spinach gives you more nutrition than raw,” says Nussinow. Spinach leaves can be cooked quickly in the water that remains on them after rinsing, or they can be eaten raw in salads. Bags of frozen chopped spinach are more convenient to use than block kinds, and this mild-flavored vegetable can be added to soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles.

6. Mustard greens: Another Southern green with a similar nutrition profile to turnip leaves and collards, mustard greens have scalloped edges and come in red and green varieties. They have a peppery taste and give off a mustardy smell during cooking. Their spiciness can be toned down by adding an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, toward the end of cooking, suggests Nussinow. Cooked mustard greens have 10 calories in one-half cup.

7. Broccoli: With 25 calories a serving, broccoli is rich in vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and folate. Americans eat about 6 pounds of it a year. Its stalks and florets add both crunch and color to stir-fries. While some kids may call this veggie “trees,” they often like it best raw or steamed with a yogurt-based dip. Nussinow mixes fresh broccoli into her pasta during the last three minutes of cooking so both are ready at the same time.

8. Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce: A familiar sight in salad bowls, these lettuces are high in vitamin A and offer some folate. Leaf lettuces have a softer texture than romaine, a crunchy variety used in Caesar salads. Fans of Iceberg lettuce may go for romaine, a crispy green that’s better for you. Nussinow points out “the darker the lettuce leaf, the more nutrition it has,” making red leaf slightly healthier than green. If you don’t drown lettuce in a creamy dressing, one cup contains 10 calories.

9. Cabbage: Although paler in color than other leafy greens, this cruciferous vegetable is a great source of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C. Nussinow considers this versatile green “the workhorse of the kitchen.” Available in red and green varieties, cabbage can be cooked, added raw to salads or stir fries, shredded into a slaw, or made into sauerkraut. It’s also a staple of St. Patrick’s Day boiled suppers and can give off a strong smell when cooking. One-half cup cooked has 15 calories.

10. Iceberg Lettuce: This bland-tasting head lettuce is mostly water. But it’s the country’s most popular leafy green and each of us eats about 17 pounds of iceberg a year. While tops in consumption, it’s last on our list for its health benefits. “It’s not devoid of all nutrition, but it’s pretty close,” Nussinow tells WebMD. Although we’re eating less iceberg than we did two decades ago, it’s still a common ingredient on hamburgers and in taco salads. “It can be a starter green,” says Nussinow, to draw people into a broader array of salad greens. source
Shop local leafy greens now >>

Market Open!

Good Evening Locavores,

Northeast Georgia Locally Grown is now open for orders!

Reminder: You will still be able to order and pickup orders the Wednesday before Thanksgiving this year!

Stay dry,

Andrew in Hall
Chuck in Rabun
Teri in Habersham

Don't Fret!

Hi Locavores!

I hope you enjoyed the extra hour of sleep… or the hour less of daylight… or at least contemplating how relative the construct of time really is.

For those of you who found yourself missing the great variety of leafy greens while shopping last week, don’t fret; Leah Lake Farms is back this week… just in time to compensate for all the candy you’ve eaten!
Shop Lettuces now >>

Honey Time

Jay describes how he collects bees that have swarmed into houses, and how he believes adapted bees are the best approach to healthy colonies. He allows the colonies that do well to raise a new queen and breeds the new bee queens himself. Of course, they each have their own personalities and some can be downright mean on occasion. But the beauty shines forth through their mathematical approach to how, when, and where the bees select the nectar surrounding them. As a beekeeper, Jay is constantly in touch with which plants have displayed their pedals to the world around him. He described the approach to understanding where the bees are getting their nectar from and how it translates to the color, viscosity, and taste of the honey. Although I didn’t get to see the sheen he described when the bees feed from the different blooms, it was easy to imagine. He has a great desire to raise his bees using the most natural ways possible, and is proud to be Certified Naturally Grown. Dances with Bees has apiaries in Norcross and tucked away along the Chattahoochee River in Habersham County. Jay has been keeping bees for a while now, but just recently has set out to make it a full time venture.

This is where Jay collides with you! Of course he makes the trek down to a very selective market around Atlanta and sells through a few other markets, but wouldn’t it be great if he can truly feel the support of his local community!?

Thus has a new addition! Jay with “Dances with Bees” has now been approved and is ready to supply this market with Honey on a weekly basis! Thanks for letting me introduce you to Jay. Now you know who produces your honey and where it comes from. Be sure to check out his grower description page and their website for more information.

As we near the holidays, keep a look out for bath and beauty products and candles that his wife Patti supplies using beeswax and honey. Click to browse honey products

Northeast Georgia Locallygrown availabity list

Good Evening Locavores
The market is now open for orders. Good shopping and plan some hearty comfort food for this chilly fall weekend.

Eat Well!

Good Evening,

There are Raspberries, Eggs, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Beans, Beets, Carrots, Eggplant, Garlic, Okra, Peppers, and Butternut Squash to name a few items available for this week’s market!

Eat Well, Buy Local
The market closes at 9pm tomorrow (Monday)

Andrew in Hall,
Teri in Habersham,
and Chuck in Rabun