The Weblog

This weblog contains LocallyGrown.net news and the weblog entries from all the markets currently using the system.

To visit the authoring market’s website, click on the market name located in the entry’s title.



 
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Champaign, OH:  Winter


And it sure been a cold, cold winter
And the wind ain’t been blowin’ from the south…
(Winter-The Rolling Stones)

Little local market of love customers…it’s a winter day, out there!!

I am just planning all of my meal plans for the week, while the wind blows, and the snow swirls. I like a week of planned out breakfasts, planned out dinners. If that part of my life is set, it allows me to continue at the pace I call my other life. My business life.

Summertime is all about winging it, throwing something on the grill, chopping up fresh vegetables, slicing up local fruits as they come into season, but winter…winter is a tricky bag.

I cook much differently in the winter. I like richer sauces, heartier textures, deeply colored vegetables.

I love to menu plan for the week, and, I love cooking/baking large, on the first day of the week, so that I have options, on hand, for the rest of the dishes of the week.

Summer is all about playtime. Winter is all about get me home, pronto, and when I arrive, I want a dinner plan, a glass of wine, candles lit, and the ability to ease into a comfort kind of dinner.

The best way to have the things on hand to accomplish this? Order much of it from our market. The ordering is easy, the pickup is a breeze, the food is all of amazing quality, and it’s local…

Go ahead…menu plan your week, and then place your orders…

It will make these winter days a bit easier…

XOXO,
Cosmic Pam

Athens Locally Grown:  ALG Market Open for January 11


Athens Locally Grown

How to contact us:
Our Website: athens.locallygrown.net
On Twitter: @athlocallygrown
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/athenslocallygrown
On Thursdays: Here’s a map.

Market News

I’m devoting the newsletter these first few weeks of the year to documenting in detail just how ALG works. I’ll spend some time next week talking about how growers get allowed in the market, and what standards they have to meet. But this week, I’ll get into the details of how the market sustains itself financially. Many of you ask about that from time to time, and I’m happy to oblige.

First off, we’re legally a sole proprietorship, and the market is owned and operated by me. In years past, it was rolled into my farm, and reported on my Schedule F in addition to my regular tax forms. For now, while my gardens have dwindled, it’s an item on my Schedule A, like many other small home businesses. When the market started in 2002, it was named “Locally Grown Cooperative”, but it was never legally organized as a co-op. Dan & Kris Miller, the founders from Heirloom Organics farm in Watkinsville, were always sure to run things in a cooperative spirit, and since they handed the business to me in 2004 (I’ve sold as a grower since day one), I’ve tried to do the same thing. I’ve since renamed it to “Athens Locally Grown”, but you’ll still hear a number of people refer to us as “the co-op”.

We’re not a non-profit, either, but we’ve structured things so that over time the market can just barely cover its own expenses. Just like all of our member farms are sustainable growers, the market itself needs to be sustainable. So how do we cover its expenses? One small way is through the memberships you pay. The $25 a year you give to the market is enough to cover the costs of having customers: banking fees from depositing your checks, paper and ink for printing, web hosting fees, and that sort of thing. What’s left over goes to helping fund farm tours, food donations to like-minded area groups and events, etc. We currently have 236 paid members out of the 3594 active accounts on the website.

By far the bulk of our funding comes from the growers themselves. They generally pay a 10% commission on their sales through the site. This money covers the many coolers we use, the tables and shelves used to spread out and organize your orders, the truck we bought at the end of 2007, gasoline, the food allowance we offer our volunteers, rent and utilities at Ben’s Bikes, etc. During the slow parts of the year, the sales are usually not enough to cover our weekly costs, but in the busy times (late fall and early spring, for us) there is extra. If we plan things out well, it pretty much all evens out in the end.

Last year, the total sales and memberships combined through the market amounted to $152,191. This is a slight decline from last year, and I’m ok with that. The continual rise of so many other markets in the area is the biggest reason for this. We used to be the largest farmers market in this part of the state, but only because the others were so small. Now, not only are there several very large Athens-area farmers markets throughout the week, but there are many other locallygrown markets serving customers that used to drive to Athens. About 90% of those sales went straight to our growers, and the rest went to a food allowance for our volunteers ($200 a week), rent ($350/month), web hosting, and transportation. The “profit” gets counted as personal income or loss on my tax forms, and almost always comes out even.

The growers get paid out of the shared cashbox for their previous week’s sales when they drop off their items, during the hour before we open the market. Then, you arrive and pay into the cashbox for your order. We used to then rush to the bank to deposit the money to cover the checks we just wrote to the growers, but now the growers get paid the following week (money you pay via credit cards takes up to a week to reach our account). As explained elsewhere on the website, you are really ordering directly from and paying the growers yourself, but our shared cashbox system makes things convenient for you and them. (Imagine if you ordered from ten growers having to write ten checks when you picked up your items!) This shared cashbox system has so far satisfied the tax man, but it does mean that if you place an order and then never arrive to pick it up, we’re left holding the bag. For that reason, you are responsible for paying for orders not picked up, and that amount is automatically added on to your next order for your convenience. On the books right now (going back to 2007) is about $3644 of produce ordered but never picked up and so far never paid for at all (or picked up but paid for with bad checks). That might seem like a lot (and it is), but considering that the market’s sales total, that’s not so bad. In fact, it’s about a sixth of the US retail industry’s “shrinkage” rate, and almost all of it is owed by only ten people. Only $65 came from this last year. On the flip side, $4631 has been pre-paid into the cash box by people who pay online via credit card or who write large checks in person, and then draw down on that balance over time.

There were 4323 orders placed last year, so that averages to $35.20 spent per order. There are many people who asctually place several small orders each week that we combine when we fill them, so really the average is quite a bit higher than that. There are no good studies on this number, but I’ve seen a few surveys conducted by the USDA indicate that the average customer spends $25 per trip to a farmers market. We continue to far exceed that average, which I think says a lot about the advantages ALG offers over the traditional market. And to your dedication to supporting our growers.

So, in probably far too much detail, that’s how we operate financially. Our market might be more expensive to run than a traditional “booths and tables” farmers market, but that price buys a system that’s simple, time-saving, flexible, and in my opinion, just better. There’s no money in the bank, but the market is paying for itself and that’s my primary financial goal. If you’d like to talk with me in person about this or any other aspects of ALG, I’d love to do so. Just pull me aside when you come by to pick up your order.

Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

Other Area Farmers Markets

Most other area markets are closed down for the season or have moved to winter hours. The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the season. They’ll return in April, and you can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market might still be up and running, Saturdays from 9am to 1pm, and you can find out more here: http://www.athenslandtrust.org/west-broad-farmers-market/. The Comer Farmers’ Market is open on Saturday mornings from 9am to noon. Check www.facebook.com/comerfm for more information. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on winter hours now on Saturdays from 1-4pm. Folks to the east can check out the Hartwell Farmers Market, which starts bright and early on Saturday morning from 7am to noon, and Tuesday afternoons from noon to 4pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com. If you know of any other area markets operating, please let me know.

All of these other markets are separate from ALG (including the Athens Farmers Market) but many growers sell at multiple markets. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!

GFM :  FARMERS MARKET POTLUCK LUNCHEON


FARMERS MARKET POTLUCK LUNCHEON

All Current Vendors,Customers, Farmers, Direct Sales, Artisans, Crafters, Food Trucks, and Anyone interested in becoming a VENDOR or just finding out more about the Events, we offer during season, or more about the market in general such as our FRE$H SAVINGS/SNAP PROGRAMS you are invited to attend this Potluck Luncheon.

Anyone interested in learning more about our online market and how to sell year-round, or becoming a Customer, is also invited. (you do not have to be a regular vendor to sell with our online market, however we would welcome you to join us) Please Bring a Dish to Share. GFM will provide silverware, coffee, tea, and paper products.

Please RSVP to Judy @ 423-552-3023 by January 12, if planning to attending (I need a count in order to provide enough drinks and Paper products) or to ask questions.

Please, if you have not already contacted me, please do so and let me know what you will be bringing to share.

When:Sun Jan 14, 2018 starting at 1:30pm – 3pm Eastern Time Where:All Creatures Country Club Training Center , 345 Kitchen Branch Rd, Greeneville, TN 37743, USA (map)

Winnsboro Locally Grown Texas:  Happy Monday! Market is Open Again


This week we are happy to announce that Embry Family Farm has fresh produce available again including arugula, spinach, kale, red butterhead lettuce, gallon bags of loose leaf lettuce, radishes,and beautiful turnips!

We also have yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, milk, and chocolate milk from Jersey Girls.

Check out the meat section for all kinds of cuts of pastured chicken and pork and grass fed beef. We even have beef and chicken bones for bone broth.

NEW pickup location: Depot on Main and Broadway – main entrance on the WEST end of the building. Last week I got my directions wrong and said East entrance – my mistake; it’s the west entrance. Time remains the same – 4 – 6 pm.

Thank you for your business!

Debra Aaron, Manager
903.629.3332 (home office land line)
312.307.0114 (iphone with no service at home office)

Cumberland, TN:  Sunday January 7, 2018


Welcome to The Cumberland Sustainable Farmers’ Market! The online market is now open for this week’s ordering cycle.

Dawson Local Harvest:  Happenings This Week at Dawson Harvest


Dawson Local Harvest for January 12th

Happenings This Week at Dawson Harvest

HI EVERYONE!

January, Brrrrrr! But what else do you expect for Winter? Fortunately we have lots to talk about this week.

COPPERHEAD HOMESTEAD has re-stocked, with grass-fed T-Bones and Ribeyes, Chuck and Rump Roasts, Beef Tips, Cube Steaks, Ground Beef, and lots more. Then BRAMBERI FARM has several cuts of pasture-fed Lamb with Lamb Chops, Rack of Lamb, Ground Lamb, plus Goat Liver. Finally, BACK IN TIME FARM has several different varieties of Chicken available now. See it all in the Meats, free-range pastured listings.

Want some great-tasting, at least kind of healthy Desserts? Check out MY DAILY BREAD’s Dessert Breads, like organic Apple Bread, Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Pumpkin Spice Bread, and Banana Walnut Bread. Decadent-tasting treats without too many calories!

THE MARKET IS NOW OPEN!

REMEMBER! You can now order until Tuesday night at 9 pm. Pick up your order at Leilani’s Gardens Friday afternoons from 4 to 6 pm.

You’ll find the DAWSON LOCAL HARVEST at http://dawsonville.locallygrown.net

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible! We guarantee your satisfaction with all products in the DAWSON LOCAL HARVEST.

Best thoughts for you and yours this season!

Alan Vining
Market Manager

Conway, AR:  Opening Bell: Goat Cheeses, Micro-Greens, Salad Mix, Broccoli!


Good afternoon (from Carissa)!
Hopefully everyone is having a good beginning to 2018. The New Year came in with a cold front and made farming so much more difficult on farmers, their crops and their livestock. As I look out the window at the gloomy, cold day, I long for Spring! There is a bright side though! Because of the milder winters we have had the past few years, insects have continued to be a problem for gardens. Hopefully with the really cold temps that we have had this past week, we will see a decrease in damaging insects in spring and summer! Natural pest control at its best! :) There are so many benefits to cold weather! Check back next week for another.

No lettuce from Rattle’s Garden this week. The cold weather stifled its growth last week and should recover next week.

Chickens are extremely fickle, but are far more intelligent than people give them credit for. And, they are such wonderful garden helpers!!! Egg laying in the winter is one area that chickens are very fickle. VERY cold weather will slow down laying because more of the chickens’ bodily resources have to go into keeping her warm rather than to producing eggs. Another reason for slow laying, even if the winter weather is warm, is daylight. If there is not enough light, some breeds may slow down laying in the wintertime. One thing’s for sure, they are doing their best!!! :)
Rutabagas coming soon!

We have the best Growers in Central Arkansas! Please learn more about them on Our Growers page.

The farmers and market managers appreciate your efforts to help spread the word about Conway Locally Grown. We would love to offer your friends a great local resource for fresh, local farm products too! Please pick up a few flyers at the next market to hand out to your friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
Thanks!
Carissa

Good afternoon (from Steve)!

Mark your calendars: We will not have a market on Friday, January 26th.

I will have some exciting news about a new Grower soon. Stay tuned!

Be sure to SEARCH for your favorite items using the search field. Over 650 items available now!

Most items are listed by 6pm Sunday, but check back again before the market closes Tuesday night to see if any other items are ready to be harvested for you! Eat fresh! Eat local! Eat for better health!

And save your eggshells throughout the week for the laying hens! :-)

The market is now OPEN for orders. Click here to start shopping:

www.conway.locallygrown.net

Please check your email a few minutes after you place your order to make sure you get an order confirmation. Thank you for being a valuable part of CLG!
Have a great week!
Steve

Green Fork Farmers Market:  Weekly product list


Dear Green Fork Farmers Market Customers:

Also available this week:

Vegetables—Kale, lettuce, pac choi, swiss chard, spinach, beets with greens, broccoli, carrots, and pumpkins.

Herbs and Spices—cilantro and hot chili powder.

Eggs—From pastured hens.

Meat—Pastured beef and chicken.

Olives and Olive Oil—Direct from the organic grower in California. Check out sales prices on selected varieties!

Salsa—Made with locally grown and organic ingredients.

Live plants—Fig trees, fig houseplants.

Crafts—Natural, handmade soy candles scented with pure essential oils (no toxic chemicals!)

Place your order now, then pick up and pay on Wednesday from 4-7 pm at Nightbird Books in Fayetteville.

We will also have a selection of locally grown and handmade goods available for sale from the table at the market on Wednesday.

We look forward to seeing you!

Green Fork Farmers Market

Spa City Local Farm Market Co-op:  Reminder


Just a reminder that if you want items from Arkansas Natural Produce, you’ll need to place your co-op order before Monday night.

Also, Bluebird Hill products will be offered only once a month, so be sure to stock up on those this market.

We’ll be needing volunteers for all markets in late January and February, so
do please click on the Volunteer Spot button at the top of the market page and
sign up to man a market. Your co-op needs you!

Thanks as always for your support of Spa City Co-op.

Fresh Harvest, LLC:  Fresh Harvest for A New Year!




Market News

Hello!

Welcome Back! We hope this New Year 2018 is off to a great start for you and yours! Thanks for starting off the year right by supporting small farms, organic agriculture, and small businesses!

We have survived some record cold temperatures. Farmers report the hoophouse crops managed to squeak through, a bit beat up but otherwise alive! It is amazing how resilient plants are.

The cold weather slows down plant growth quite a bit, however, so for that reason* we are switching to an EVERY OTHER WEEK schedule! * So that means stock up as you can on meat, eggs, and our storage vegetables! Even the greens are so fresh and well taken care of they have a very long fridge life. So make sure you order enough for 2 weeks!

Our next delivery date after this Wednesday will be Wednesday, January 24th

Thanks so much to all of you for your sock donations! They were delivered to The Nashville Rescue Mission, just in time for our deepcold spell. Over 150 pairs of socks in all! I am sure you can imagine how grateful many people were for the added warmth.

We are really excited for the year ahead, and hope to continue to serve you in the best way possible! We are always open to feedback and questions. It helps us to be better at what we do, so we appreciate you letting us know what you love or what some concerns may be!

You may have noticed this new weblog format – hopefully it makes it easier to read on your phones! Let us know!

Thanks for all your support – we look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

John and Tally

Recipes

Butternut Squash and Kale Torte

A “torte” sounds fancy, but really this is just a layered casserole of yumminess!

1 tbsp. olive oil
½ small butternut squash (about 1 lb)
1 medium red onion
1 small bunch kale
Kosher salt and pepper
1 medium Yukon gold potato (about 6 oz)
6 oz. thinly sliced provolone cheese (from the deli counter)
1 plum tomato
¼ c. grated Parmesan (1 oz)

Heat oven to 425°F. Oil a 9-in. springform pan. Arrange half the butternut squash in the bottom of the pan, in concentric circles. Top with half the onion, separating the rings. Top with half the kale, drizzle with half the oil and season with 1/4 tsp salt. Top with the potatoes and half the provolone cheese.
Top with remaining kale, drizzle with the remaining oil and season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Top with the remaining onion, tomatoes and provolone. Arrange the remaining squash on top and sprinkle with the Parmesan.
Cover with foil, place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake until the vegetables are tender and the top is beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes more.