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 2nd, 2013

Hey Local Food Lovers,

We’re back this week! Hope you enjoyed the break, but you’re probably like me and ready to get back into your local food eating habits after the holidays. It’s hard to believe that come Wednesday it’ll be a new year. A New Year always brings with it new opportunities and we are eager to dive into 2013 with gusto. As the farmers and other food producers that participate in Locally Grown prepare for next years bounty of food one thing that is incredibly useful to us all is your feedback.

One thing that would be incredibly useful is knowing which foods you’d like to see more of here at Locally Grown. We’ve created a survey that should take no more than a minute or two that will help farmers determine what crops they should plant this coming year, and it may just insure that you get to see more of the foods that you like as well.

Or click here

We’re trying to get in all the results by Sunday, January 20th. That way folks will have time to get their seed orders in for spring planting. It’ll be here before you know it.

That’s it for tonight. I think Brooks Franklin of Leah Lake Farms will back at the Clarkesville pick up on Wednesday so you can look forward to meeting your farmer this week!

Thanks again to all of you who supported us in 2012! It was a fantastic year and we appreciate your passion to…..


Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for December 19th, 2012

Hey Local Food Lovers,

It’s hard to believe but we’re already just one week from Christmas. The last couple of weeks of Locally Grown have been nice because we not only have seen some new customers, and some we haven’t seen around in a while, but we’ve had a lot of farmers hanging around the market for folks to meet. Last week Sid Blalock of Burton Mountain Farms was helping Teri to run market at the Clarkesville location, and we also had a special visit from Linda Johnson of Sylvan Falls Mill who let folks taste her delicious Christmas cakes and pastries.

Not only is this the last market before Christmas, it’s the last market of 2012. As you might have guessed we’ll be taking Christmas week off, so the next market won’t be until January 2nd (with ordering that Sunday the 30th of course). We’d really love to end the year with a bang. Last time we checked we were very close to having sold $40,000 for the year. If you guys really go nuts this week we just might make it.

Since we’re exactly 10 days before Christmas I’m gonna give you my top 10 market items you should buy this week.

1) EGGS – holy cow they are back – better go ahead and order 2 or 3 dozen to get through the holidays.
2) Moravian Ginger Cookies – from Mill Gap Farm- you should buy these as stocking stuffers they are so, so good.
3) Cornmeal – A great gift for a taste of the southern charm.
4) Jams and Jellies – A wide selection of Fig, Tomato, Muscadine, Scuppernog, Basil
5) Gift Certificate – help turn someone on to Locally Grown by giving them a gift certificate for fresh food in 2013. Gibson Farms also has a certificate.
6) Buche de Noel Cakes – Sylvan Falls makes an incredible holiday cake and with organic and freshly ground ingredients.
7) Bath Salts – It’s the holidays and its time to relax. Give a gift to yourself or someone you love with these homemade and aromatic bath salts.
8) Microgreens – arugula, brocolli, radish, sunnies, wheatgrass….all miniature and make for incredible salads that are unique, delicate, elegant and flavorful.
9) Dried Peppers – We love to spice up dishes all winter long, and a bunch of peppers in a mason jar is a great artistic piece in any kitchen, so can also be gifted to those spicy loved ones….you know you have one.
10) Fresh Bread – if you’re headed to see family you know it’s quite impressive to show up with a baquette under your arm. So grab some extra carbs to get you through the next two weeks.

You’ll notice I emphasized mainly the processed foods that are a little more shelf stable than our fresh greens, but lately my favorite meals have been those that included turnip and mustard greens cooked in chicken broth, some of those spicy dried chilies and onion. It’s just sooo good!

We hope you have a marvelous Christmas and we thank you again for supporting Locally Grown this year. As soon as we come back in January we’ll be asking for your opinions of what you’d like to buy in 2013 so put your EATING CAPS ON! And thanks to all who published a recipe, told a friend, handed off a business card, or other unique ways that you all have been an integral part of Locally Grown this year. We love our customers! You’re who make this market happen and we appreciate you.

Merry Christmas!

Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Special Update - Christmas Party BEER TASTING / POTLUCK

Hey Local Food Lovers,

I wanted to send you a very special 2nd message this week that I failed to mention this last time.

As many of you know the Soque River Watershed Association in Clarkesville is the non-profit sponsor for the Locally Grown market. It’s one of our programs to support sustainable land-based businesses.

Each year for the past 3 years we’ve had an end of year Christmas Party at my house to say thanks to everyone who has in any way been involved in our organization or programs. If you’ve been eating Local Food, or even just reading our message here occasionally then you are one of those people.

ALL OF YOU ARE INVITED to the SRWA Christmas Party and BEER TASTING POTLUCK this Friday December 14th. Sounds fun doesn’t it. To participate just bring a craft beer (defined as a beer made by a brewer that is small, independent, and makes yummy beer) at least one large 24 oz bottle, or two 12oz bottles and a potluck dish (veggies, meats, snacks or sweets). We’ll do blind taste tests of beers to see which one’s you like and help you navigate the wonderful world of craft beer. Anyone who gets this post is invited (and feel free to invite good beer-loving friends). Of course we highly encourage you to consider joining the SRWA (online at or at the party). Encouraged but not required. It’s a great way to support your local river loving group, and have some good beers, food, and laughs.

Party is at Justin and Ching-Yu (and Cheetos and Whiskey’s) house at 237 Wilson Street, Clarkeville, GA. That’s right across from Grace Calvary Church. In fact you’ll want to park in their parking lot. Starts at 6pm.

ps- If you’re wondering how to get your hands on good craft beer, here’s a few suggestions. Betty’s in Helen, Hillside Beverage in Gainseville, Beverage Superstore in Suwanee, 5 points bottle shop in Athens. Very limited selections are of course at Ingles but try and surprise us.

Hope many of you can make it. This will be the first opportunity we’ve had to hang out with lots of you outside of the market so please come on… may get to meet one or many of your FARMERS! And have a beer with them!

Thanks and Happy Holidays,

Justin in Habersham

Locally Grown - Availability for December 12, 2012

Hey Local Food Lovers,

I want to start out this week by plugging a few items, then I’ll get into some other fun news and updates.

We’re listing Split Creek Goat Cheeses and other dairy products this week. Every year for the past several years I have gifted friends and family some of Split Creeks feta in oil as Christmas presents and every year they beg for more. If you’d like to give a unique gift I really encourage you to think about giving cheese….and then tell them you think they ought to just open it right there and share some with you. The salad toppings mix even looks like an awesome gift. Or, you can never go wrong with their assorted fudges. (Those of you ordered from Split Creek last week your orders are still coming so no need to order twice.)

Here’s another idea. I’ve also given as presents Sylvan Falls Mills cornmeal, whole wheat, spelt, or rye. They come in these cute cotton bags with a local artists drawing of the grist mill that ground the grain. Yes, you may not have known that all of Sylvan Falls Mills grains are not only CERTIFIED ORGANIC, they’re also ground fresh using energy from falling water. How’s that for sustainability. It’s a super gift that says, “we are so lucky to live in the mountains and have all these awesome places nearby, and I just wanted to share some of that with you!”

My neighbors the Sandven’s gave me an iron skillet as a house warming gift when I moved in (3 years ago) and it included this Perfect Cornbread recipe that has never failed once. So think about getting some serious southern charm for your loved ones….via a sack of flour and cornmeal….ha..ha..ha! You can tuck this recipe in with the gift.

Perfect Cornbread

1 cup sifted all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar (or sub honey)
4 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 eggs
1 cup milk
¼ cup melted butter

Oven at 425

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
Add eggs, milk and butter
Beat until smooth do not overbeat
Heat cast iron pan in oven until hot
Lightly grease and pour in batter
Cook for 20-25

Last but not least, I really encourage folks to support our honey producers. Good Wild Earth Gardens has 3 sizes to choose from 8oz, 1 pint (16oz), and 1 quart (32oz). I’ve given dozens of jars of honey and its a great gift. And be sure and keep one for yourself. (They also have dried mushrooms if you’ve got a foodie relative I guarantee they’ll be pumped to have chanterelles all winter)

Ok onto the news. We had a great Locally Grown FARMERS POTLUCK last week. We brainstormed many, many, many ways we want to tweek and improve locally grown in the year to come, and many of these ideas may involve you.

To keep this e-mail from being too long I just want to touch on a handful of the items that we’d really like your INPUT on. Here’s the two most important:

  • VOLUNTEER needs – we are currently looking for one or more people to assist on market days every other week at the Clarkesville location from 4:30-6:30. There is a small food stipend. We are also interested in looking into accepting food stamps (EBT) making fresh local food more readily available to those who would like it. This will require some research and possibly some fundraising and we’re looking for at least two people to work together to find out how challenging or easy it may be. We’d also really love to have some help in marketing Locally Grown throughout the mountains. One of the most common things we encounter is people still have no idea we exist. We hope to change that this year. If you’re interested in marketing, logos, artwork, working with FACEBOOK, we could use your help.
  • Expanding to GAINESVILLE – we are considering adding a 3rd pickup site in the Gainseville area this spring. This will require considerable planning and maybe a little luck and we’d like to have you involved from the beginning. For one, we’d likely add several farms in addition to increasing production at the farms already involved in LG. Our first idea is to coordinate a drop point at the GAINSEVILLE HOSPITAL. We have some contacts and leads, but we’d like to have as many allies as possible, especially those with an interest in food and farms. If you know someone you think we should contact or would like to help with this let us know.
  • Survey of Products you want more of coming up last week of December through mid January. We’ve been promising a survey for awhile but we also wanted to be sure we knew what we wanted to ask. One of the main questions is what do you want to buy? Don’t answer now, but be prepared to take a short survey once it’s completed later this month.

I think that’s enough for now. As you can see, there’s a lot on our minds as we wrap up the year. We’ve learned a lot and formed quite a tight knit community over the just 3 years that Locally Grown has been around. We look forward to having our best year coming up.

Thanks for supporting us, and make LOCAL FOODS part of your GIFT GIVING in 2013!


Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for December , 2012

Hey Local Food Lovers,

I hate to rob you of a well thought out message to get your taste buds tingling, but I’m exhausted and a homemade pizza just came out of the oven, so this week is gonna be as brief as they come.

One other reason we’re distracted this week is we have multiple farm get-togethers this week, Locally Grown having their farmer potluck tomorrow, Clarkesville Farmers Market meeting on Tuesday night and Simply Homegrown meeting on Thursday night. Whew! Busy.

We’ll be plotting out some interesting new ideas for 2013 at our meeting so stay tuned for that.

And those of you who love the Split Creek goat cheeses we’ll be bringing those back for next week’s order so get ready to stock up.

Until then remember to EAT WELL,

Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for Novemer 28th, 2012

Hey Local Food Lovers,

I hope everyone had a marvelous Thanksgiving! We were able to take a special trip to Charleston, SC for the holiday and attend their Saturday farmers market. What a fantastic event! There were hundreds of people there, probably a dozen or more farms, another 10 food, coffee and juice vendors, and then 20 or more other arts or processed foods booths. There was a stage with music, and people had dogs (and even cats) on leashes roaming the park. It was a glorious day and I couldn’t help but wish we had a similarly grand market here. Then I remembered…. our farmers markets in the mountains are awesome and getting more awesome all the time!

Just a few weeks ago Simply Homegrown had a Doggie Dress Up day in celebration of Halloween. Here at Locally Grown we are similarly working to make market days more fun and exciting. Just last week every market customer got to taste the latest fruit to bloom on the land, the wondrous Asian Persimmon. I was amazed how quickly folks took to them, and we sold every last one, even though we’d only intended to have folks take one home.

This week is an even bigger treat. At the Clarkesville Pick-Up location, on an every other week schedule we’ll have a FEATURED FARMER actually working the market. They’ll be gathering your items for you like we always do, and I’m sure have time to tell you a bit about what’s going on at the farm as well. We’re really looking forward to having their help over the winter. I think this week will start with Brooks Franklin from Leah Lake Farms. If you’ve eaten lettuce or other greens from Locally Grown this year you’ve very likely eaten Brook’s products. This week alone he has 48 products listed. WOW! Seriously 48 products. That’s almost 30% of all the products listed this week. So we encourage you to come to market this week and MEET YOUR FARMER. I know he’s excited about meeting his customers as well and may ask you some questions too.

I also wanted to mention this week that we’re excited to have a returning farm. Productive Organics is an aquaponic farm in Hall County. They define aquaponic farming as “the merger of fish and vegetables, we feed the fish the fish feed the plants through nitrates that nourish plants, the plants cleans the water for the fish and the cycle start all over.” They are listing buttercrunch lettuces this week from their aquaponic greenhouses. We’re excited to see this new style of farming coming together and hope you may enjoy some as well.

We’d like to hear your ideas as well. Our farms will be getting together in just over a week to brainstorm for next year. We’ll be wanting your feedback sometime after that on everything from crops you’d like to see more of, to other market related improvements we could make. We’ll be asking you fill out a short survey at some point soon, but don’t hesitate to share your ideas while they are fresh. Because Fresh is Best!

We hope you enjoy your fresh veggies this week and …


Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for Novemer 21st, 2012

Hey Local Food Lovers,

As you may have noticed there’s been no announcement about going to an every other week schedule as we have in past years. That’s because we have quite a few farmers with greenhouses now, and if all goes well we should have greens and other veggies 12 months a year from now on. That’s a big and noteworthy change to our local food system here in Northeast Georgia, and an exciting one as well. Thanks to two or three of participating farmers offering to help on Wednesdays with the pickups, we plan to try out staying on a weekly schedule a bit farther into the winter. Maybe even all winter if enough folks continue eating.

It’s also interesting to note that beginning around August a lot of our customer base kind of disappears until next spring. I don’t want to conjecture too much, but I think it has a lot to do with what we’re accustomed to eating. Everyone knows what to do with a tomato, okra, cucumbers, watermelon, and maybe even eggplants (though the numbers start dwindling with eggplant). But the cold season crops are just not commonly thought of as food for a whole lot of people. I know that sounds crazy but it’s true. I’d dare say the majority of people in north Georgia, and probably the nation rarely if at all eat kale, turnips, beets, collards, arugula, asian greens, radishes, etc. etc. And that’s totally o.k. The last thing I would ever want to do is make someone feel bad because they don’t know what a jerusalem artichoke is or how to eat it. That’s still fairly new knowledge to me frankly. But I do wonder how we can share these foods with more people and let folks know what seasonal eating is all about.

Yesterday my wife (Ching Yu) and I drove up to Stack Farms in Tiger to pick about 20 or so Asian Persimmons. I had never in my life had or heard of an Asian Persimmon until about 2 years ago. Now late October and early November is permanently associated with Asian Persimmon harvesting time. I think I like them better than apples. There’s several reasons for this. First persimmons are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow without the need of any pesticides whatsoever. I don’t know why this is, but since organic fruit trees are so rare, it makes Asian Persimmon a highly desirable fruit for organic growers. Second, persimmons have two stages, an early stage where they are hard and crisp like an apple, and then a juicy, almost gooey stage once they are fully ripe. This makes it almost seem like two different fruits in one. Third, if picked before ripe and refrigerated, they will keep for many weeks, so that means fruit well into the winter. Fourth, there is no core, you can eat the whole thing, skin and all. There’s just a small leafy stem at the top. Nothing to throw away! Fifth, they are from Asia. This may be of special interest to me since my wife is Taiwanese, but I love the multicultural world of food. Food has become one of the best ways to connect with people across extremely diverse cultures and geographies. The exchange of foods is what makes our modern times a spectacular age to live in.

So I probably should have picked a whole lot more of these now that I’ve said all this. I think for fun we’ll have a persimmon taste testing this week and if you like them we can always go back and get more. The Stacks trees were totally loaded up with them. We won’t pressure you, but if you have a taste and like them, take one home. It may take a few exposures before you’re hooked for life, but that’s o.k.

And that’s our goal for all these other sorta unusual foods on Locally Grown. Nothing makes us happier than someone trying kale for the first time.

Speaking of first time items. Sid Blalock is finally selling his WATERCRESS on Locally Grown. Not even I have tried this tasty treat before, so I can’t even describe it yet. But it’s already in my basket. If you’re curious too, give it a try, if you like it please write about your experience and send it to us, or post it to our FACEBOOK page. As you well know a well described food experience can get people’s mouths watering.

Until then….

Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for Novemer 14th, 2012

Hey Local Food Lovers,

Looks like it’ll be another short message tonight. There’s still a lot going on in the farming world I could tell you about, but this time of year tends to involve a lot of planning that may or may not be interesting to you. For instance, our group of growers has been coordinating orders of supplies for the last several years to cut down on costs, and make it easier for everyone. We’ll be gearing up for that soon, and each year our order gets bigger and bigger. I guess that’s a sign that the farming scene is continuing to grow.

I also know of a lot of folks working on projects right now. For instance, two area farms are engaged in aquaponics and I hope to fill you in on their progress soon. If you’re wondering what aquaponics is, it’s the combination of raising fish and then recycling the nutrient rich water to feed greenhouse vegetables. Another farm is trying to get in a well so they can construct a new greenhouse. Then there’s a bunch of folks with fairly new greenhouses that they are using now.

On the marketing front, we’re considering allowing the market to continue year round rather than go to an every other week schedule as we have the last two years. We’ll probably wait and see how things go through early December, but for now we’re planning to continue a little longer. We’ll need folks to continue to be hungry for fresh local food all winter long for it to work, so please, don’t forget to continue to inform your friends and neighbors about Locally Grown. We just reordered our business cards so if you’d like to pass a bunch out just ask and we’ll spread them around.

Here’s what our business card looks like:

Oh, I just thought of one more thing to plug. If you haven’t taken a look in a while please visit our RECIPE page. One of our customers, Patricia Howell added a really cool recipe for using MIl Gap Farm’s Jerusalem Artichokes to make Hummus. If you make this dish or any dish from our RECIPES page and take a photo to send us we’ll post it in one of our SUNDAY messages. In fact, any dish you are especially proud of that features food you bought at Locally Grown, please send it to us. We’ll show it off, and help give people great ideas of ways to cook all this terrific food. We’d really enjoy you’re involvement as we know you guys are some swell cooks. It’s the next best thing to getting invited over for dinner!

That’s it for this week. Enjoy all the cool offerings and don’t forget to ….


Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for Novemer 7th, 2012

Hey Local Food Lovers,

I’ll keep it real short tonight. We’ve been enjoying the tastes of the season lately, especially lots of cilantro which does great this time of year as long as the frost doesn’t get it. Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs and there’s really no shortage of foods that it makes delicious. Fresh herbs always kick ordinary meatballs into overdrive and I discovered earlier this year that if you’re a cilantro fan, you’ll love it that way. We have three growers featuring it this week so spread the joy.

I also really encourage folks to share their productive feedback with growers. We just recently added the e-mails of every grower to their grower descriptions. Since it’s rare that growers and customers get to see each other at this market, if you ever have something that you particularly enjoy, or that you have a simple suggestion for improving, don’t be shy. We (us market managers that is) enjoy sharing and exchanging information but sometimes direct communication can convey so much more than we can. Growers would love to hear from you. They are constantly asking us for feedback and we try and pass along as much as we can.

Just a reminder that the market will definitely be shortening it’s pickup time to 6:30pm for the remainder of the winter. As you probably noticed today, the time change definitely took our extra daylight so this will help us stay out of the cold and dark a bit. Thanks for understanding.

There’s more winter greens this week with collards, kale and turnip greens prolific. I know lots of you love your winter greens. And if you haven’t fallen in love, here’s a fun tip. Try Turnip Green Pesto. Make it just like basil pesto but blanche the turnip greens before throwing them in the mixer. We fell in love with these last year, and what better way to eat your greens.


Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun

Locally Grown - Availability for October 31, 2012

Hey Local Food Lovers,

It’s a SPOOKTACULAR week here at Locally Grown. I have several very important announcements so please be sure and read the whole message to get them….but first. Since market day falls right on Halloween this Wednesday I wanted to encourage those of you who like to indulge a sweet tooth now and then to forget about those cheap bags of candy and try some of Carolyn Brewer’s fudge. She has four different varieties including: Double Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Pecans, and Peanut Butter. It’s fantastico. Do it for Halloween! If Fudge is a bit too sweet, try Sylvan Falls Mills Biscotti, or Chocolate Layer Cake. There’s also April Alexander’s Cheescakes in Apple Cinnamon, Champagne Pear or Plain varieties.

We have one little CHANGE at Locally Grown this week. We’re enacting our SHORTER PICK UP TIMES starting this week. With the night time coming earlier and the cold definitely coming as well we like to shorten the pickup to 5:00 until 6:30pm. In fact, that’s our regular pickup hours and we extend them until 7pm during the summer and early fall. We’ll be a little lenient this week but please try and come by 6:30 to keep us out of the cold and dark.

We have a small handful of great new items I want to mention this week. Mill Gap Farms has two of them: FRESH GINGER and JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES. We just went to the Mill Gap Farm FEATURED FARMER last Thursday night at Lake Rabun Hotel Restaurant and were able to eat some of both of these items and they were terrific. I want to make your mouth water just a bit by describing a couple of dishes on the menu that night. Actually these are the descriptions right from the menu.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup – creamy soup made with Mill Gap Farm sunchokes and garnished with Mill Gap Farm sorrel.

*Shaved Turnip, Sunchoke, Arugula, & Kale Salad * – marinated Mill Gap Farm Hakurei turnips and sunchokes with Mill Gap Farm arugula and kale, with a balsamic-roasted garlic dressing, and York Hill Farm goat feta, and thin sliced Osage Farm tomatoes.

*Vegetarian Sushi Roll *- nori and sushi rice filled with Mill Gap Farm Daikon radish, Mill Gap Farm Shishito pepper, and Mill Gap Farm carrots, served with a Mill Gap Farm arugula-snow pea salad, and a Mill Gap Farm ginger-roasted carrot puree.

Pork Stir Fry – thinly sliced all natural pork, stir fried with Mill Gap Farm Buthi squash vine tips, Buthi squash, pardon peppers, lemon grass, and ginger, served over organic brown rice.

I bet you wish you’d gone. If you haven’t yet treated yourself to a FEATURED FARMER DINNER at Lake Rabun Hotel you better get your butt in gear because I think this week may be the last one of the season. This week features Turning Creek Artisans and Trillium Farms. It’ll be next Spring before it comes back.

I just have to say that there really is nothing better than having dinner with your farming friends on the night their food is featured at one of the best restaurants in the State of Georgia. That’s not an exaggeration, Open Table named Lake Rabun Hotel & Restaurant one of the Top Ten Restaurants in Georgia. As good as fresh food tastes all of the time, very few can combine such eclectic seasonal items in as phenomenal a way as chef Jamie Allred.

Last but not least, Melon Head Farms has a smattering of sweet potatoes offered. Nothing brings in the colder days of fall like some hot sweet taters. Show ’em your excited by buying them out.

Thanks for supporting our local farms. It’s greatly appreciated.


Justin in Habersham
Chuck in Rabun