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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Conway, AR:  Tamales! Tuesday Reminder - Market Closes Tonight after 10pm.


Hello friends!
Maria will be joining us this Friday with a specialty extras table that includes jams, jellies, and Barbecue pulled pork!

!selamaT
Pork, chicken or jalapeño & cheese.
Five for $7.
At market this Friday, January 10th.
Text me your order.
501–339–1039

Just a reminder: There’s still time to place your order for pickup this Friday, January 10th.

The market closes TONIGHT after 10pm, maybe even midnight! Come early on Friday for the best selection from the Extras table. See you Friday!

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

https://conway.locallygrown.net/market

How to contact us:

DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. Instead…

Phone or text: Steve – 501-339-1039

Email: Steve – kirp1968@sbcglobal.net

GFM :  Open for Business


OPEN FOR BUSINESS

CLOSES THURSDAY AT 3 PM

PLACE YOUR ORDERS NOW

Yalaha, FL:  Local Produce for 2020


Order now through 5 pm Thursday January 9th for Sat January 11th Pickup, or tell me when you want to pick up, we usually have some flexibility.

Remember to tell me when you want to pick up! (and if I don’t reply to confirm within a day, bump my e-mail or text me 407-342-8515. Though I have cleaned up my e-mail so hopefully I won’t have a problem again.)

Sign in to order. https://yalaha.locallygrown.net/market

You have to sign in to see the add to cart button. Then set the number and click the add to cart button on the items you want to buy (it is the little picture right next to the quantity box.) Remember you need to check out before your order will be placed.
Remember to let me know when you want to pick up on Sat or maybe even Friday late afternoon or on Sunday. (If I don’t send you an e-mail confirmation of your order and pick up time, please make sure you checked out and completed your order.)

Siloam Springs, AR:  Online Market Is Open!


www.siloamsprings.locallygrown.net

Can you believe we are already 6 days into the New Year? I’ve had a refreshing two weeks off and look forward to being back to work tomorrow.

More greens were added so be sure to get your greens!

Thank you for shopping with us! Have a great week and see you Saturday.

Winnsboro, TX:  Market is Open!


Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays, and are eager for a fresh & healthy start to the new decade! The market schedule will remain the same, so enjoy shopping today & tomorrow, with pick-up on Thursday.

As always, thanks for shopping local!

Athens Locally Grown:  ALG Market Open for January 9


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. Years ago, 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 $20 a year you give to the market is enough to cover the costs of having customers: banking fees from maintaining accounts, paper and ink for printing, web hosting fees, and that sort of thing. What’s left over goes to helping fund farm events, food donations to like-minded area groups and events, etc. We currently have a couple hundred paid members and several thousand active accounts receiving these mailings.

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 currently use to store things in, 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 I 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 well over $100,000. 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), and web hosting. 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 $4000 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, 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. On the flip side, almost exactly that same amount 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.

The average order each week runs to just over $40. 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

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the season. They’ll return in the Spring, and you can catch the news on their website. 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 from 1-4. 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!

Dawson Local Harvest:  The Dawson Market is OPEN!


Great all-natural Produce, whole-grain Baked Goods, Pastured Beef and Chicken, Fresh Local Eggs, and more waiting for you at Dawson Local Harvest Market!

The Market is OPEN!

Fresh Harvest, LLC:  Fresh Harvest for January 5th




Market News

Hello!
I hope that everyone enjoyed the holidays and having time with their family and friends. That was the case for me although I found myself turning into quite the slug. It’s back to work with a purpose now. I hope that your New Year’s resolution is to try to eat more locally grown food. We’ll do our best to give you that opportunity this year. Surprisingly, we have a pretty good selection this week with lots of carrots, lettuces, mushrooms and greens. I’m not sure what the winter schedule will be including next week, but I will keep you updated. It depends on the quantity of veggies our growers have available each week and whether a blizzard is in the forecast.

Bear Creek and Wedge Oak have a great variety of meats. Bloomy Rind has 10 delectable items listed.

Cookies, breads, eggs, granola, honey, and coffee are plentiful.

You have until Tuesday night to place your order.
Thanks for your support, and I will see you on Wednesday!

If you need to text me, my number is 615-838-0428.

John

Recipes

Heritage Farm :  Venison or wild game anyone??


We are researching the idea of doing a wild game co-op. I know a lot of you have asked in the past about buying venison. It is illegal to sell venison in the state of Georgia but I may have found a way to get some to some of you that want it.

It would basically be a sharing type deal where you sponsor a portion of the costs of my hunting land and we share our venison and wild game harvests with you at no cost.

I’m going to ask the DNR about the legality of it but I guess I wanted to get some feed back from you all and see if anyone is interested in approaching a co-op like this?

Please reply to this email if you would be interested in sharing our harvests.

Thanks!

Greg Hutchins
Heritage Farm

Conway, AR:  Opening Bell: Coffee, Spinach, Honey, Pork!


Good afternoon!

!selamaT
Pork, chicken or jalapeño & cheese.
Five for $7.
At market this Friday, January 10th.
Text me your order.
501–339–1039

So there you are: you are at a flea market and you find an interesting looking lamp. You consider for a moment if it’s a magical lamp, and if it were, what would be your first wish. If you are like me, and that’s a scary thing to ponder, you would wish for some of Maria’s delicious barbecue pork. Your wish has come true! Maria will be set up at the market this Friday with all of her jams and jellies and pickles, and some hot barbecue pulled pork that you can take home for a quick supper. Isn’t life grand!

I just listed several sets of organic green garlic. You can use it like green onions in stirfry and meatloaf etc. You can use the whole plant since they are young and tender. And since we are talking about a stirfry, add some delicious oak ground shiitake mushrooms to your order this week. You’ll thank me. :-)

Drewry Orchard still has some of their delicious sweet potatoes. Get a bag or a box.

Remember to feed our feathered friends during the colder months when fewer bugs are available. We will have suet cakes for birds on the extras table every Friday for only $1.

We’ve been having a lot of excellent items on the extra table lately. Earlier shoppers get the best selection. We are normally ready for customers to start arriving around 3 PM if you happen to be out and in the area. Just text me to see if we’re ready.

Be sure to SEARCH for your favorite items using the search field. Four instance, type in the word “sale” and see what pops up. We have almost 500 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:

https://conway.locallygrown.net/market

Please check your email a few minutes after you place your order to make sure you get an order confirmation. Thanks!
Steve