The Weblog

We send out cool articles and farmer highlights using a different email program. You can see the archives of those emails here and through our facebook page! We use this “weblog” every Friday evening to let you know the market page is accepting orders (look for the little add to cart buttons next to products). Northeast Georgia Locally Grown was officially OPENED on Monday, April 26th, 2010 and we are so thankful that you are helping support fresh local foods each week.

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Locally Grown - Availability for January 16th, 2013

Hey Local Food Lovers,

This still being a relatively new year I thought it would be fun to list all the foods that were either new to me this past year (that I can remember), or that I greatly enhanced my ability to cook well. I haven’t thought this through yet so I have no idea where it may lead, it just seemed like fun. Here goes:

Bahn mi – This is the name for a type of vietnamese sandwich made with a baguette, usually with a pork filling (though I’ve used all sorts of fillings), fresh cilantro, thinly sliced cucumber, sometimes pate, but what kicks it into overdrive for me is the pickled carrots and daikon radish that got me started making these. I’d grown Daikon radishes but had only a few ideas of what to do with them. Once I discovered that they went into Bahn mi I was stoked to make it myself. I hope to keep a jar or two of pickled carrots/daikon from now on. It’s that good. And these sandwiches will change what you think a good sandwich is, and they are quite nutritious as well.

Bhindi masala – you may recall me writing about a spicy okra dish that I made in late summer once I’d gotten to the point I couldn’t eat any more of it fried. This dish is basically about 5 spices cooked very slowly with okra and onions and tomatoes and it has a surprisingly meaty texture. I’d have to say it now tops my list of favorite ways to eat okra.

Savory sweet potatoes – I grew a variety of sweet potatoes this year that is more savory than sweet and found this great recipe for a casserole that combined milk, thyme, and gruyere cheese with onions, garlic, and some chicken stock. I get tired of the sweetness of sweet potatoes but this was something I could eat again and again.

Asian persimmons on fish – now I’d had an asian persimmon before but this was the year I fell in love with them. Not only did I discover they are my favorite fruit to add to a smoothie (and easy too since they have no seeds), but if thrown on the grill with a little butter they are an incredible side dish with fresh fish. I love combinations like this where the juices of the fish are soaked into the fruit as you eat.

Watercress – I’d been hearing about the popularity of watercress for a long time, but this was the first year I actually got to taste it (thanks to Burton Mountain Farms). For those of you who don’t know it actually grows in water, so it takes a special type of farm to grow it. With garlic, oil and a little chicken bouillon it became one of our favorite greens to eat with rice.

One thing you may notice from these select few items, is most of these are pretty unusual items. Lots of international foods too. I dare say that eating in America is enjoying a renaissance like no other, and thanks primarily to the fact that farmers are willing to grow more varieties than they ever have before, and customers are buying them. When I look through the Locally Grown listing, I look for things I’ve never tried. Duck eggs, biscotti, mizuna, jerusalem artichokes, kohlrabi, daikon radish are all foods that I’d never tried until the last few years, and I discovered them right here.

So here’s to new food discoveries in 2013! I hope that you find at least 5 new food to try, or try in a new way. And that’s where you can actively participate. Growers may have the secrets of growing interesting and delicious foods, but many of you have some secrets on preparing and enjoying fresh local food. I would love to see each of you submit to us just one INCREDIBLE meal that you enjoy this year that uses local foods as the ingredients. You can post it in our recipe section, post it on facebook or if you’re really feeling lazy, just e-mail it to us and we may get around to using it somehow. But better than that, submit a letter to editor about it. Share your eating pleasure with your community. You’ll enjoy it, and it’ll make a difference in how someone thinks about food.

And to insure that you get to enjoy all the strange unusual foods you might like to see on Locally Grown (and equally important the more common every week things you like to eat as well), please take these last few days to complete our SURVEY and tell us what kind of foods you want to eat. I guarantee many farms will take your feedback seriously and may just try that unusual variety of potato because one person asked about it.

You can find the survey here

We’ll probably wrap up the survey results this Wednesday night after market so if you haven’t taken it yet, please do.

Ok, better go to bed! I’ll be dreaming of Bahn Mi tonight I can tell. Yum!!!

Justin Habersham
Chuck in Rabun