The Weblog

This page contains news, event information, and other items added by the market managers.

Subscribe to an RSS Feed

Happy Yum-morial Day!

Happy Yum-morial Day

A Memor-able Day/week for CAFÉ! We have hopped web platforms abruptly and now employ Local Food Marketplace for our online market operations. Credit the skill and ease with which this transition has taken place to Elian. (Dis)credit delays and glitches to me for repeatedly crying Wait! and then not catching up. We have been running for two days and, so far, very well.

COME SEE! If you have not yet joined us, it is very easy, as Elian explains in this tutorial video:

You will find most of our familiar products as well as some new ones with bigger and brighter photographs. Check it out! Make an order and tell us what you think.

Volunteer for CFSA Farm Tour:

The date has almost come and I keep forgetting to remind you that the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s 7th annual Upstate Farm Tour is next weekend! Several CAFÉ farms (and some future ones?) are on the tour. But what you also need to know is that *THE TOUR NEEDS VOLUNTEERS. *

If you volunteer you get to spend one afternoon at one farm, and then have a free pass to all the others on the second day. It is a lot of fun and a great way to learn more and meet more of the people involved in local food here in the Upstate. Volunteer here:

CAFÉ farms featured on the tour: Gibson Farms, Happy Critters Ranch, Split Creek Farm, Friends Farm & Catering, The Happy Berry, Clemson University Student Organic Farm, Bio-Way Farm, Mushroom Mountain

Once again, let us know what you think of the new site
May you have many more memorable memorial meals! Lance

Volunteer today?

We need 2-3 people to help in Clemson today all or part of the 2:24-5 shift. If you can help, please just reply back to this message. No need to respond if you can’t.

Thanks for supporting your local farmers!
~ Elian & Lance

Why did we choose this time of year?


Why did we choose this time of year?

To make big shifts in the way we do things? I am super busy in all aspects of my life! Crops are changing! Weather changing too! Does that make it a good or bad time? The simple fact of the matter is that this time of year is nigh, is now, which is always the best time to do things, if they are to get done. In fact, it has been my own personal busy-ness that has slowed the transition process this long, or I’d have asked the same questions sooner.

Now that I have once again convinced myself of the wisdom and timeliness of the move, I say to you, CAFÉ members, “Let’s go forward together to Local Food Marketplace (LFM) and create the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious, affordable food market ever!”

Later this week you will be asked to re-join CAFÉ on the LFM platform. If you should happen to get left behind, there will be many chances to climb back aboard. We will still be able to send messages to you through, and you may still reach us in your familiar ways.

We have made a test of the system this weekend and have some untested processes still ahead, but we are determined to make the switch this coming Friday. If you would like to check out the site under construction, go to

So stay tuned, and consider taking one last scroll through the locallygrown Market Pages before it closes for good at noon today.

May the (going) FORTH (together) be with you!

Volunteers Needed Today

We are in need of someone to pickup from Split Creek today as well as two volunteers at 2:45 in Clemson. Reply back if you are available or need more details.

~ Elian

Weblog Entry



Summary – At market opening we have 30 growers offering 579 products, but check again tomorrow and Sunday as other farms may sneak on and more products and quantities may be added. This is especially true for growers who attend the Greenville Farmers Market this morning, like Gibson Farms and The Happy Berry.

Summer crops – Early summer crops are appearing on the CAFÉ Market page in small amounts. Some, especially those from C&D Farm, show no availability at all. That is because I asked growers to show all their products they wanted transferred to the new website. Some of these will be for sale in a week or two when we get there.

New Website – We are running a test of the new website as you order (on the old one) this weekend. We hope to “go live” with it as soon as next week.

Maybe May will be May


Maybe May will be May…


As a child growing up in southern Michigan I took pride in the seasonal fact that my birthday (around the same date) came just at the time that the last of the native trees were fully leafed out. That is just about the state of Spring unfoldment here right now, which seems to me (in my brief experience) to be about a month behind schedule. This phenomenon has had consequences for growers, and I congratulate them for the fine quality and consistent production maintained throughout some inclement weather in the last two ordering cycles. It has been an extremely challenging year for some very early crops like asparagus and strawberries, where just as they were at the very early harvest stage or starting to rise, the season got suspended by cold. And the heavy rains we are having make strawberry harvesting difficult and yields low. I eagerly await the (promised in long range forecasts) coming warming trend to see if these crops can recover.

On the other hand, I have personally enjoyed the sustained late winter – early spring transition. Some of Earth’s most vital forces go into the first vigorous flush of Spring growth. The green crops being harvested right now are simultaneously at their peak of quality AND abundance, a fact that defies our conventional economic mindset. In terms of its Earth vitality, however, a bunch of kale produced this week will have greater value now than it might later in summer, should heat and drought depress supply, even though it could fetch a much higher price on the market.


CSA programs that offer subscribers pre-chosen and boxed weekly portions of what is in season, often provide recipes and suggestions for “What do you do with all that kale, or all that zucchini?” Rather than bemoan the monotony of it, I suggest that it may be well worth finding ways. These crops are in such abundance precisely because they are in their prime condition for harvest. One of the old-fashioned wisdoms of putting food up is to capture each crop in its peak condition of both flavor and nutrition.

On CAFÉ at this moment we have 33 Growers offering 594 products. You may have tried kale, but have you tried all varieties (at least five, plus mixtures, are offered) of kale? Have you tried it from all of our growers (at least five are now selling kale)? Each are growing in diferent conditions with plants at different stages of maturity.

To encourage experimentation with better utilization of local abundance CAFÉ is offering a special Locavore challenge for this week’s potluck: Present a novel/creative way to increase your consumption (either raw, cooked, processed) of a currently abundant crop and we will award you a $10 CAFÉ credit. Abundant is hereby defined as an in-season vegetable that has not yet sold out (Hurry, Market closes today at noon!) Besides kale, some candidate crops are arugula, beets, cabbage, lettuce, mustard, onions, swiss chard, – and here’s something I have never tried – C&D Farms has just re-emerged as an active CAFÉ Grower over the weekend with a crop called goji, or gou gou, an heirloom Chinese green with highly touted benefits.


As the Spring growth has been retarded by cold, our transition to our new website has been delayed by obstacles on our “real job”) calendars that have prevented us from reconfiguring and re-entering enough of the necessary data from one site to the other. Toward this end we have been well by volunteers Meg Smith and Gary Thompson. By Mothers Day we should have a definite timetable for this exciting transition.

Thanks to all who braved late winterish weather to attend the Farmers Markets and Green Living Tour over the past weekend!

Market open until noon. Avoid hail, eat more kale! Lance

Rinse well and Eat well



Because it is FRESH and LOCAL and most of us had 2-3 inches (double that for N GA) of rain over the weekend. Even with mulching expect some splash residue on products this week.


If supermarket produce is our basis for comparison we may turn the question around and ask why “conventionally grown” food is so cheap. “Conventional wisdom” credits economy of scale, but there is another reason: subsidies. To learn more about this and how our small growers might get recognized in the next Farm Bill come to The Arts Center tonight at 7:00 PM for a special presentation on the matter by Jared Cates of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Find out where your ag tax dollars are going (and not going).


Glad you asked! On Thursday of this week we will have the grand opening of the Six Mile Farmers Market, followed by May’s First Friday Market at Patrick Square. The Clemson (Pat Sq) Market will open on a weekly basis thereafter. CAFÉ keeps a table at the Pat Sq market distributing informstion and selling items from many of our growers. Come out and visit!

I have not fully researched the opening dates of the other local markets (Anderson, Easley, Pendleton, Pickens, Seneca, etc.). I am hearing of new ones all the time (Heritage?). Are they competing for the same farmers? Let the farmers decide. We are glad to see the growing demand create farmers out of more of you out there whose land is eager to produce.

CAFE has been approached by some of these new growers, and over the past weekend we began listing some products from *Jason Davis of Calyx Hydro Farm *in Walhalla which specializes in hydroponic greens and summer vegetables.

Please refer other new farmers that you meet to CAFÉ. We have not been able to get out and find them all. CAFE can be a good incubator market for new growers; a place to try new products, packaging, pricing, etc.

Please see our Calendar or that of Tricounty Transition for details on these markets and other upcoming events:

Market open until noon. Rinse well and eat well. Lance

Leah Lake: A Labyrinth of Lettuces?


Leah Lake lettuce: More variety than my seed catalog!

Dear CAFÉ-vores. As I was scrolling alphabetically through the lettuces tonight I (so make sure you keep the bag closed). I looked forward to a time (soon I hope) when I can enlist your help in choosing. For as I looked at picture after picture of luscious and lusciouser-looking lettuces I felt lost! How does one choose; every one I’ve tried has been tender and delicious!

Recently I have been making labyrinths. The first was made in my garden last Fall and lined with lettuce. Every time I walk it I have a bird’s-eye view of lettuce plants, giving me an iconic association of lettuce with labyrinth – the plants themselves are labyrinthine. But beautiful as mine are, I have only two varieties. The CAFÉ pages present a lovlier labyrinth of lettuces!

For the time being, let us know your favorites via email. Your feedback makes CAFÉ better.

Now, take a deep breath and join me in returning to the Leah Lake Labyrinth of Lettuces.

Market open until noon Monday. Choose well and eat well. Lance

April turns


April turns

Dear members.

For the last 2 market cycles I have been mostly on the road and in the air, and it is good to be back! Of course I mourn the fact that I missed 9 full days of full-throttle Spring, which can never be recaptured. Aside from family and friends one of the things I missed most while I was away were my foods! Spending time in both Boston and LA, two cities I think of as being in the forefront of sustainable ag and local sourcing, no one I talked to knew of a market as well developed as CAFÉ. So, in an effort to make up for my absence I am about to make my third order of this cycle (keep thinking of more yummy things I missed)!

Now I want to begin to prepare you for some new developments at CAFÉ. Soon we will be switching our market webpage to a new software platform. We will no longer be a We are confident that you will like the new site better because it will offer more options, better service, feedback opportunities, and more. However, it will be a major change and so there will need to be adjustments made by all. Elian and I are beginning training sessions for the new system and will make the transition as soon as possible, hopefully before our growers reach their full expansion of production for the season. We will be giving you more information about this soon.

As you plan your week, consider the following event if you are free Wednesday after lunchtime:

JoAnn Brewer from the Clemson Cooperative Extension will present a free program on Fruit and Vegetable Gardening in a Small Space at 1 p.m. April 17 at the Village Branch Library, 124 N. Katherine St., Pickens. Call 864-898-5747.

And don’t forget to attend all or part of Thrive: A Conscious Health Experience, this coming Saturday between 10 and 4. See Weekly Updates or this link for more info on Thrive:

Forget to order, or, like me, ordered but forgot something? The CAFÉ Market is open until noon.

Eat well to stay well! Lance

April FooDs Day!


April Foods Day!

As you flip your calendar and look out upon the perfect spring day we have been blessed with, get ready for a food event-packed month, starting with the second early-season First Friday Farmers Market at Patrick Square this coming Friday, April 5., and you still have a couple of hours to order on CAFÉ today:

Information about Friday’s Market:

David Stevenson, Guitar Professor at Clemson University, will perform live from 4 pm – 6 pm. David will be performing classical guitar pieces as well as pop and rock arrangements and he will have two CD’s of his original pieces for solo guitar available for purchase.

April Featured Vendor: Friends at the Farm and Catering – Townville, SC
Val Lowe and Katie Tillman
will bring their cooking trailer for cooking demonstrations. Shoppers can also enjoy food sampling and purchase specialty food items and pottery.

2013 Market Partners are the City of Clemson, Patrick Square, and the Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce.

Come enjoy First Friday at the Clemson Farmers Market and get your weekend off to a great start! For vendor information, Market schedule, and directions visit


Appalachian Organics – Pickens
Organic gardening products
Black Fence Farm – Anderson
Heirloom vegetables, fruit, and herbs
Carolina Parakeet – Anderson
Loose Teas
Country Craft Gourds – Hendersonville
Unique handmade gourd crafts
Crafts, Needles and Threads – Pendleton
Crafts, hand-sewn items, and jewelry
Crescent Moon Farm – Westminster
Goat’s milk, cheese, and soap
Douglas’ Japanese Maples – Easley
Trees and plants
Friends Farm and Catering *– Townville
Produce, specialty food items, and pottery
Goodlife Garden – Liberty
Produce, herbs, and eggs
Green Hills Jewelry and Crafts – Anderson
Handcrafted jewelry, candles, and embroidered bags & wallhangings
Hanging by a Thread – Seneca
Hand-crocheted items
Henson’s Farm – Marietta
Plants and Jerusalem artichokes
*Loose Stone Farm – Central / Clemson Area Food Exchange

Produce, herbs, and nature-based arts & crafts as well as the potential full range of products on the CAFÉ market (often coffee and milled goods)
Mockingbird Mountain Jams and Salsas – Salem
Jams, salsas, and handmade crafts
Relay for Life of Pendleton/Clemson – Clemson
Handmade arts & crafts
SAFE – Salem
Handmade jewelry
Sweet Song Bird Houses and Bible Bug Creations – Anderson
Guitar bird houses, Bible Bug prints cards, and bookmarks
Upcycled Stuff – Greer
Bird and butterfly feeders, garden art, small home accessories, jewelry,
and pet beds & toys
The Happy Berry, Six Mile
Blueberries, Blackberries, Jams & Preserves, Eggs, Plants
The Village Baker, Pendleton
Artisan Breads, Desserts, Cookies, Pastries
Walker Century Farms – Anderson
Grass-fed finished beef and pastured pork products

Eat well and stay well! Lance