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The Donation Station

The CFI Donation Station addresses Athens County’s most immediate food security issue-access to healthy fresh foods for all. We receive both food and monetary donations each week at the Athens Farmers Market from market customers and vendors and local community gardeners. The monetary donations are used to purchase fresh foods from the market vendors. Additional funds allow us to purchase food from the Chesterhill Produce Auction.

All of the food collected is distributed weekly to local food pantries and social service agencies. In 2012, over 44,300 pounds of produce and local food products were distributed!

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Crumbs Bakery

Crumbs Bakery is a staple of the Athens, Ohio community, offering a wide range of breads, pastries, and other baked goods. They take pride in traditional baking craftsmanship and strive to make only the most high quality and wholesome products. They value all-natural and organic food production, responsible sourcing, and community building. At Crumbs they rise early in the day to handcraft a wide assortment of breaks and treats for local vendors and faraway fans. Their specialties include Artisan breads, cookies, pastries, pasta, bagels, crackers, granola, muffins, croutons, and custom made cupcakes. From their popular Birdseed Bread to their decadent Chocolate Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crumbs provides taste with a conscience…great to the last Crumb. Crumbs has been in business since the 1970’s and still continues to serve Athens as a proud partner of the 30 Mile Meal always providing the community with locally sourced and fresh items daily

Check out Frog Ranch bottling their salsa at the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) kitchen. Frog Ranch Foods proudly offers a line of wholesome, high quality, great tasting All-Natural Salsas and Pickles. Selling at a rate of one jar per minute, Frog Ranch products are available in grocery and specialty food stores throughout the greater Midwest, including Kroger, Meijer, Outpst Natural Foods, Copps, Rainbow, Sendik’s, Jungle Jim’s, Pick-N-Save and online. The best part about Frog ranch is that it is as local as it can get when it comes to the Athens 30 Mile Meal because it is made right in the heart of Athens! Grab some Frog Ranch salsa off the store shelves today and enjoy the taste of truly local food!

The Farmacy

The Famacy located on Stimson in Athens, Ohio is about as local as local can get! They are a “small, independent, but full-service, natural foods grocery store. They feature a wide selection of ethnic, vegetarian, organic, and special dietary-needs foods.” The Farmacy was one of the first establishments in Athens to focus on the locavore movement and truly gives the community options when it comes to sourcing locally in ones own kitchen. They provide ingredients in bulk in order to use in ones everyday cooking. The Farmacy locally sources anything from herbs & spices, gourmet coffees, dairy products, fruits vegetables along with serving many customers on a day to day basic in their natural foods deli. Green Edge Gardens, Shade River Farms, Snowville Creamery, Herbal Sage Tea Company are only a select few of the many farmers, CSA’s and food producers that the Farmacy locally sources from. The Farmacy is proud to have served the Athens community since 1971 and their main mission is continue the Loacavore movement and continue giving the community a place where they have no other option other than sourcing locally giving back to their own community.

The Grateful Ched

The Grateful Ched is a food cart based in Athens Ohio that sources almost everything they serve within a 30 mile radius of Athens. They source their cheese from Laurel Valley Creamery, bread and buns baked fresh from Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery and all of their produce is sourced from the Athens farmers Market and the Chesterhill Produce Auction. The Grateful Ched relies entirely on local products in order to give their customers a complete farm to plate experience with a main goal of bringing awareness to the community about the local food movement that Athens offers within a 30 mile radius. Look for the The Grateful Ched at the Athens farmers market or the next outdoor festival venue you attend in order to experience one of the only food carts in Athens that does serve a menu with complete locally sourced items.

The Village Bakery

The Village Bakery and Café is not only your typical bakery, but also an undercover market for many locally produced food items right inside of the restaurant itself. They offer menu items such as soups, salads, sandwiches, baked goods and more. The Village Bakery and café is fortunate to be a part of a developing complex sustainable food system and source from many local distributors such as Starline Organics, Green Edge Gardens, Shade River Farm, Harmony Hollow, Snowville Creamery, Laurel Valley Creamery, Sassafras Farms, King Family Farms, and Ridge Runner Coffee whom roasts their coffee about 500 feet away from the establishment itself; you can’t get more local than that! The list goes on and on making The Village Bakery and Café one of the most locally sourced restaurants within the Athens area.” As a restaurant, we feel privileged to feed our community in a manner that not only nourishes our neighbors, but that also has a net positive effect on our global village.

Locally Made, Naturally Sweet

Sticky Pete’s: Locally Made, Naturally Sweet
By Myra Morrison
Laura McManus—Berry’s log home sits on 200 acres of hilly, wooded land. The home was built by her late husband John, who Laura describes as a renaissance man. “John was very handy, he was just a renaissance man- he knew how to do everything—can tomatoes, cook Chinese food.” Laura brought her own set of skills to the table. For years she had worked on boats in the Virgin Islands, she knew about using tools, and she was accustomed to the nature of seasonal work. Since both Laura and John worked seasonal occupations, their work in the winter was slow, and they started utilizing their 30 acres of maple trees to make maple syrup. It began on a small scale, for friends and family, but soon they began to expand the operation. “Between the two of us, we were both fairly fearless about doing it,” Laura said.
In 1996 they started up Sticky Pete’s, named after their dog whose image appears on the syrup labels. They purchased sugaring equipment: large holding tanks for the sap, tubing to run the sap to the tanks, a reverse osmosis machine, and a large boiler which cooks down hundreds of gallons sap at a time— equipment which they had put together and use with no operating instructions. Their knowledge came through hands on experience, attending Q&A sessions, and touring sugar houses. The first year they began with 750 taps, adding more each year.
When her husband passed away 11 years ago, syrup season was just beginning, and there was a lot of work still to be done to prepare for sap harvesting. Laura was questioning whether she could continue the business; however, the community wasn’t about to let her stop. “This is another beauty of Athens— the way people look after each other,” Laura said. That year, Laura looked out to see a crew of friends and neighbors gathered in her driveway, they had come to help her get her woods in order for the syrup season. One neighbor, Dennis, had helped with sugaring the year before and was familiar with the equipment. He is still Laura’s sugaring assistant. Now Laura is up to 2,000 taps –pretty near maximum capacity for her equipment and two-person work force.
The maple syrup business is highly involved, labor intensive, and time consuming during season. Rather than using buckets, which would require frequent emptying, Laura uses a system of tubes to transport the sap to her boiler. Tubes run from the taps, to the mainline, which runs into a large holding tank in the woods. From there it can be released into secondary holding tanks, and transported into the boiler. The system is not pressurized, and instead is engineered to utilize gravity to move the sap. In the mornings during season, Laura starts by checking her lines, looking for damage caused by critters—particularly squirrels, who like to chew on the tubes. During her walk, she checks for fallen trees, then sets to work fixing any equipment that she finds malfunctioning.
The maple grove, located in the center of the woods, is comprised of varieties of maple trees, silver, black, red, and sugar maple. As the name suggests, the sugar maple contains the highest sugar content, however Laura utilizes all varieties of the maple trees for her maple syrup business. It takes around 55-60 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Since the maples are surrounded by Laura’s 200 acre forest, she knows her operation is 100% organic and won’t be contaminated through spray from nearby fields.
Maple syrup makers, like farmers, are impacted heavily by the weather and environment. “It seems that we’ve had more severe, intense windstorms,” Laura noted. These high winds can cause damage to trees and tap lines. Warm winters are also hard on the business which relies upon freezes and thaws to produce sap. In response to the changing weather patterns, Laura began last winter’s sugaring season a month earlier than usual, preparing in November, and tapping trees in January rather than waiting till February. Once the trees are tapped, there are 6-8 weeks of sap flow requiring full time attention. The decision to tap early paid off and last season was one of her bests. She also worries about the impact of potential fracking in the area. If her groundwater becomes contaminated, her product will be compromised. “If it is contaminated, how can I sell that product?” she asks. She is hopeful that the community will keep this from becoming a problem. “Thank God we have a really big voice saying ‘No, we don’t want it.’
Sticky Pete’s doesn’t have a website because it simply isn’t needed- Laura sells all the syrup that she produces and can only make a finite supply based on the sap collected during season. Her syrup can be found at the Village Bakery, Casa Nueva, Jackie O’s, The Uptown Grill, White’s Mill, Celebrate Local (Columbus), Easton Town Center Mall, and Tish’s Treasures in Nelsonville. She also frequents farmer’s markets, including the Athens Farmers Market. She is currently branching into a more diverse product line. “Instead of just syrup I’m doing maple crusted peanuts, maple candies, and granulated sugar.” She doesn’t have sugaring equipment for making candies, so she makes it in molds by hand. “its’ fun,” she states, “the avenue of cooking has always been something I gravitated towards.” The love of her work goes hand in hand with a love of continuous learning—an opportunity presented by the unpredictable nature of sap. “I can still learn every year.”