Stock Up: Fresh from the farm, or the neighborhood

Farm bundles from Garnish & Gather. Courtesy of Heidi Harris

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Farm bundles from Garnish & Gather. Courtesy of Heidi Harris

Here are three ways to connect with local farmers, and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Farm bundles from Garnish & Gather

Missed the farmers market this week? Atlanta meal kit company Garnish & Gather is making it easy to enjoy the freshest local produce, flowers and artisan foods, by delivering them right to your door. In addition to their meal kits, prepared foods and a la carte grocery selections, like local eggs, meats and cheeses, they now offer farm bundles in five categories — the farmer’s bundle, the chef’s bundle, the fruit picker’s bundle, the butcher’s bundle and the fishermen’s bundle. We sampled the mini chef’s bundle — four produce items (baby bok choy from Tucker Farms, purple bell peppers from Big Branch Valley Farm, beefsteak tomatoes from Signal Mountain Farm and peaches from Dickey Farms) and two artisan products (Clack’s Chapel cheddar from Rock House Creamery and mushroom ravioli from Pasta Mami). The regular chef’s bundle would have included two more local produce items, some herbs or another produce item, plus a beautiful flower bouquet from Diamond Hill Farm. Garnish & Gather updates its website each Tuesday, with what will be in that week’s bundles. Deliveries are made the following Sunday or Monday, or you can pick up your order from a dozen metro Atlanta locations.

$18 to $95 per bundle. Available at garnishandgather.com/bundles.

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Backyard Plum Tree Jam from Squirrel Brand. Courtesy of Eryn March

Credit: Eryn March

Backyard Plum Tree Jam from Squirrel Brand. Courtesy of Eryn March

Credit: Eryn March

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Backyard Plum Tree Jam from Squirrel Brand. Courtesy of Eryn March

Credit: Eryn March

Credit: Eryn March

Backyard Plum Tree Jam from Squirrel Brand

We loved learning about Eryn March of Squirrel Brand, an Atlanta maker of jams, jellies and preserves. Who could resist a jar of Backyard Plum Tree Jam? I know we couldn’t. Plum jam echoes the tart/sweet qualities of the fruit, and this versatile spread is as delicious on your breakfast toast as it is glazing something right off your grill. March harvests the plums from a tree that actually isn’t in her backyard, but it does grow in her neighborhood. She picks the fruit and makes the jam in stainless steel preserving pans, using just fruit, sugar and a bit of lemon juice. When this year’s supply of plum jam is gone, it’s gone until next year. Her wild mulberry jelly is made from fruit she picks in her Castleberry Hill neighborhood and in West End. Not everything is foraged in her neighborhood, but everything is seasonal, with flavors varying throughout the year.

$9 per 8-ounce jar. Available at the Grant Park Farmers Market every second Sunday through November, at the new Kroger Farmers Market, and for local pickup or shipping from squirrelbrandgoods.com.

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Smokin’ Blue barbecue sauce from the Local Farmers Brand and Seaside Grown. Courtesy of Erin Hixson Photography

Credit: Erin Hixson Photography

Smokin’ Blue barbecue sauce from the Local Farmers Brand and Seaside Grown. Courtesy of Erin Hixson Photography

Credit: Erin Hixson Photography

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Smokin’ Blue barbecue sauce from the Local Farmers Brand and Seaside Grown. Courtesy of Erin Hixson Photography

Credit: Erin Hixson Photography

Credit: Erin Hixson Photography

Smokin’ Blue barbecue sauce from the Local Farmers Brand

Almost two years ago, we were introduced to Seaside Grown, a 120-year-old commercial tomato farm on St. Helena Island, South Carolina. At the time, the farm focused on growing tomatoes for the fresh market and producing tomato-based products. Since then, they’ve added to the products they sell and have introduced the Local Farmers Brand, focused on supporting American farms. The new products include hot sauce, jams and three varieties of barbecue sauce. We tried the Smokin’ Blue barbecue sauce, described on the label as “smokey sweet blueberry.” It is, quite frankly, our favorite style of barbecue sauce, and this one did not disappoint. It was delicious. A QR code on the bottle sends you to a webpage listing the farmers whose produce was used in your sauce. The blueberries in our bottle came from H&A Farms in central Florida.

$7.99-$9.99 per 16-ounce bottle. Available at the Fresh Market and at seasidegrown.com.

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ExploreAtlanta farmers market guide for 2022 from the AJC