One of the many advantages of living in Athens, GA is the importance placed on local products. Whether it's Five and Ten serving up food straight from their garden or a boutique selling Athens-based art, the Classic City likes to keep it local.

In accordance with that local promise, P.L.A.C.E. (Promoting Local Agriculture and Cultural Experiences) is launching a 2-week event throughout Athens this Saturday, July 11. The free kickoff will be at the Athens Farmers' Market from 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

In addition, many P.L.A.C.E. events during the next 2 weeks will be free and open to the public:

July 14th: Tour of Home Kitchen Gardens.

July 16th
: Book Club with Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” The event will be held at the Jittery Joe's Roaster on Broad Street at 6:30pm. Light refreshment will be provided.

July 25th
: 2009 Athens Local Food Awards at the Athens Farmers’ Market.

Other events, including a slow food pie contest, will only set you back $5 or $10. Check the full calendar listing here for complete details.

Several restaurants will be adding local food specials to their menu during the next 2 weeks. Casa Mia, DePalma's (Downtown), Doc Chey's, East/West Bistro, Farm 255, Five and Ten, Five Star Day (Downtown and Eastside), Ike and Jane, Last Resort, Lindsey's Culinary Market, Lumpkin Cafe, Mama's Boy, The National , and White Tiger Gourmet are all slated to serve up Athens fare.

So get out and enjoy the free upcoming P.L.A.C.E. events and consider using the money you are save to support the restaurants committed to keeping Athens homegrown!