Georgia greens from The Local Farmstand in the Westside Urban Market on Howell Mill Road

What's in season: collard green florets, rainbow Swiss chard, Jenny Jack Sun Farm stoneground grits, and spinach

What's in season in Georgia: collard green florets, rainbow Swiss chard, Jenny Jack Sun Farm stoneground grits, and spinach

As I type this, I am leaning over my usual evening ritual – a spinach salad. But this time I’m crunching on a different spinach than usual – leaves that just came from the dirt of Newborn, Georgia. This morning, I took my first trip by The Local Farmstand in the Westside Urban Market (a journey I’ve been meaning to make for a while now). As I walked to the end of the platform and into the little glassed-in room overlooking Howell Mill, I discovered a young woman organizing and stepping over big blue bins while setting up shop. A friendly lady greeted me and suggested that I try the turnips, that they had just been picked that morning on her son’s farm and hand-delivered by her to this produce stand in Atlanta – as were the contents of all of the blue bins that were occupying a significant amount of floor space.

Turns out, Mrs. Donck owns the land on which her son Nicolas, his wife, and their two children operate as Crystal Organic Farm. And The Local Farmstand is a collaboration between the Doncks and Joe Reynolds of Love is Love Farm. The scene in the little glass room was dominated by greens, which are in season now in the south (for more on what’s in season when, check out this blog on local food in Atlanta). As Mrs. Donck and I talked about turnips and the fresh bundles of herbs, I picked out bags of spinach and Swiss chard as well as the collard green florets that Mrs. Donck said I would like (even if I don’t actually like collard greens).

As Mrs. Donck left to head back to Newborn, Debra (the young lady busily unpacking) and I started talking about the best ways to cook Swiss chard, the pet’s milk offered by the produce stand, and the stone-ground grits options provided by two local Georgia farms (I ended up going with the bag from Jenny Jack Sun Farm located in Pine Mountain, Georgia). As my quest continues to shop locally for food and organic produce, I will definitely be paying return visits to The Local Farmstand!

  • What: The Local Farmstand, a convenient produce stand for Midtown and westside residents who seek local Atlanta food.
  • Where: the Westside Urban Market on Howell Mill Road near 17th Street and Atlantic Station. Map it!
  • When: Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

For more on where to find local Atlanta food and organic produce, check out my food page which I recently updated! You can also find the food, flowers, and herbs of Jenny Jack Sun Farm and Love is Love Farm at the Peachtree Road Farmers’ Market from April to December!

P.S. The sauted Swiss chard that just finished in the wok is delicious…

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