Sunday, December 4, 2016

Our next get together is Monday December 12th at 5pm

Join us for a special meeting just for restaurant chefs and farmers. Whether you have sold to restaurants for years or are interested in getting on the menu of some of the best farm-to-table restaurants in the region, come share your experiences and hear what works or what doesn't. Some things that might be helpful to bring are: seed catalogs, specific questions, business cards, and price lists.
  • How much product do chefs need and want?
  • Do chefs need a specific size for certain varieties?
  • What's the best availability/payment system?
  • When and how is the best way exchange product
  • Forecast of new varieties to try next year
  • How to build lasting relationships with chefs
This is our last get together for 2016, so let's all celebrate the rain, talk about the drought, and share a meal as we look forward to a new year!

Potluck and focus on local restaurant sales for small farmers
Monday December 12th at 5pm (that's in one week!)
Harvest Habersham Restaurant | website
1362 Washington St, Clarkesville, GA 30523
Call or email Andrew if you need written directions | 770.530.3287
None! (bring a dish and cash for bar drinks)

THIS IS A POTLUCK, so please bring a dish to share (estimated 10-25 people). We are giving Chef Chris a break from cooking this day, so he can participate! Place settings will be provided. We typically don't have a problem with food variety for these potlucks, but feel free to let me know the type of dish you are bringing. I am planning to bring some kind of chili.

Tea and coffee  provided at no charge, compliment of our hosts Chris and Laura of Harvest Habersham. Adult beverages will be available for purchase, cash only please.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING! Email, call, or text with your name and how many people you are bringing BY 7PM SATURDAY. The more the merrier, but they must be a farmer or chef.

This get together is ONLY OPEN TO FARMERS AND CHEFS. "Farmer" means you currently produce and sell meat, mushrooms, fruits and vegetables, honey, dairy, eggs, or grains. Contact Andrew if you want to join, but don't fit the description. Spouses of farmers welcome. Invite other farmers and chefs you know (as long as they RSVP). Call me if I need to figure out child care or any other questions. LET ME KNOW if want to know which chefs will be there, or have a chef you want me to contact!

See you there,
Georgia Mountains Farmers Network

Contact and RSVP:
Andrew 770.530.3287
You can text, call, or email if you are coming (it would be great if Laura knew how many to expect)!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Georgia Mountains Farmers Network

Hi Friends,

Last meetings and member farm tours are posted
A huge thanks to Bramberi Farm for hosting our last get-together. If you joined us, or if you missed it, be sure to check out the mentioned resources and topics here. The last few meetings are posted to our website with audio and minute markers for topics discussed at The audio for meeting #11 is having technical difficulties (actually I'm looking for a different hosting solution for audio), and I will get that fixed soon. When I do fix it, you should listen to the wonderful tour with Shawn Jadrnicek!

Enter to be featured farmer in regional cookbook series
Northeast Georgia Locally Grown is looking to feature local farmers in a seasonal cookbook series. This will be a year long project expected to be released to the public starting Fall of 2017. Please fill out this short form to be considered. Georgia Mountains Farmers Network adopted this year 'round farmers market as a way for farmers to sell directly to local customers on Wednesdays. It's pretty great because we collectively market your products and you harvest and drop off only what you've sold. Enter to be featured in the cookbook here:

2016 Farm Tour Report!
Below are the numbers for our public event: 2016 Georgia Mountains Farm Tour! We are thrilled by the great turnout, and thank you to everyone involved with the event and our sponsors. I will be sharing farmer and guest survey responses with those famers who participated, and look forward to hosting an incrementally better Farm Tour in the future. We plan to skip a year and resume this awesome public event in 2018. 

Thanks for your interest in a more robust and collaborative local food scene in Northeast Georgia!

Andrew Linker

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

GMFN meeting #13:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Disease and Insect Control - Bramberi Farm

Listen to the audio:
minute 4:22 - rust on berries
minute 5:54 - Japanese beetle and June bugs
minute 12:00 - lygus / tarnished plant bug
minute 13:12 - hoop house film and opacity
minute 16:51 - spider mites in June
minute 17:20 - hydroponic and soil-less media vertical strawberries

Wireworms - Chuck had positive experience planting a overcrop of flax to take care of wireworms that winter over in corn, fescue, and can effect potato crops. Symptoms of wireworm were described as wilting and dying plants of multiple families within two weeks. The stalks of the plants were cut open to find evidence of click beetle larvae.

Rust- Ann and Joern tried serenade, actinovate, and compost tea without much avail. Milky spore and nematodes were mentioned and discussed to fight rust. Clark from Lumpkin Co. extension mentioned the rust from surrounding pine trees should be a different species.

Nematodes: Chuck mentioned that the application of beneficial nematodes are crucial to their survival. Key things to note are that nematodes will drown easily. Use of a hose-end sprayer system may be the best way to apply and you need a lot! Sandy also noted there may be nematode eggs in worm castings.

Moles/Voles- Hildreth mentioned they may eat castor bean plant roots and die. Caution to be used with the toxicity of Castor Bean Plant.

Tarnished Plant Bug (Lygus) - Symptoms: irregularly-shaped, catfaced berries. The insects damage fruit by puncturing and then sucking the contents of individual seeds; which stops development of the berry in the area surrounding the feeding site. Ann mentioned they eat the stamina of the flowers. She said that Mycotrol, sticky traps and resistant varieties helped at their farm.

Hoop house plastic- Joern mentioned 55% opacity was not letting enough light in for berries. They are thinking of trying SolarIce Film (claiming 9 degrees cooler). Martine mentioned looking into SunMaster Films, a local company.

Spider mites- Ann mentioned they were able to control spider mites with ladybugs and beneficial mites

Worm Castings and compost tea- Sandy discussed achieving healthy plants and soil from using worm castings and compost tea. Also mentioning the book Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels.


Ann and Joern Siegies

Mr. Sandy Asbill
Sangrit Enterprises
Blairsville, Georgia 30512-9998

GMFN meeting #12:

Monday, May 2, 2016

Food Safety on the Farm. Presentation, best practices, and mock audit hosted by Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, Beth Oleson of Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association and Chuck Mashburn of Mill Gap Farm.

Listen to the audio:
minute 3:25 - FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act)
minute 5:22 - Produce Safety Rule (FSMA)
minute 9:41 - Defining a farm, sales thresholds (FSMA)
minute 24:13 - Kinds of GAP audits (Good Agricultural Practices)
minute 37:58 - Mock audit / walk-through of a small-scale farm (Mill Gap Farm)


Beth Oleson
Director of Education and Food Safety l
(O) (706) 845-8200 l (Toll Free) 1-877-994-3842 l (F) (706) 883-8215

Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association
PO Box 2945 l 251 S.L. White Blvd l LaGrange, GA 30241

Other resources:
See Files, Forms, and Checklists from GFVGA-

< Back to Meetings 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

  • Saturday June 25 and Sunday June 26, 2016
  • Choose from over a dozen family farms to tour
  • Tour hours are from 1pm-6pm Saturday and Sunday
  • Cost is $35 per carload for this two-day event
  • Bring coolers to buy straight from the farms
  • Enjoy locally sourced meals from suggested food stops
  • Like/share our Facebook event!
Buy a pass during the event (designated stops for purchasing brochure):

  • 11-1pm Copper Pot Gardens 150 Pristine Drive, Clarkesville, GA 30523  
  • 1-6pm Wauka Meadows Sustainable Farm 5727 Cleveland Hwy Clermont, GA 30527
  • 1-6pm LoganBerry Heritage Farm 2660 Adair Mill Rd, Cleveland, GA 30528
  • 11:30-1pm Red Barn Cafe 2592 Old 441 South, Tiger, GA 30576
  • 1-6pm Mill Gap Farm 63 Mill Gap Lane, Tiger, GA 30576
Your brochure is your weekend pass
One weekend pass is good for a carload of up to eight people!
All Meals are suggested and purchased separately

Saturday Lunch: 
(1)Copper Pot Gardens (cash only)
150 Pristine Drive, Clarkesville, GA 30523

Saturday Dinner: 
(10)Harvest Habersham (reservations required 706-754-0056)
1362 Washington Street, Clarkesville, GA 30523
    Sunday Lunch: 
    (11)Red Barn Cafe at Tiger Mtn Vineyards (reservations suggested 706-782-4777)
    2592 Old 441 S, Tiger, GA 30576

    Sunday Dinner: 
    (19)Fortify Kitchen and Bar (reservations required 706-782-0050)
    69 N Main St, Clayton, GA 30525

    PLAN YOUR TOUR 1-6pm - click here to see brochure online
    Bring cash and coolers for purchasing farm products

    Saturday Farms:
    (2)Valley Farm at Toccoa Falls College
    107 Kincaid Dr, Toccoa Falls, GA 30598 | view on map | see description

    (3)Dances with Bees
    680 Rocky Ridge Trail, Cornelia, GA 30531 | view on map | see description

    (4)Roberts Family Blueberry Farm
    5517 Clarks Bridge Rd, Clermont, GA 30527 | view on map | see description

    (5)Wauka Meadows Sustainable Farm
    5727 Cleveland Hwy Clermont, GA 30527 | view on map | see description

    (6)Glo-Crest Dairy
    5909 Bowen Bridge Rd, Clermont, GA 30527 | view on map | see description

    (7)Bramberi Farm & Gardens
    19 Pierces Pond Rd, Murrayville, GA 30564 | view on map | see description

    (8)LoganBerry Heritage Farm
    2660 Adair Mill Rd, Cleveland, GA 30528 | view on map | see description

    (9)Grove Place Farm
    1526 GA-255, Sautee Nacoochee, GA 30571 | view on map | see description
    Sunday Farms: 
    (12)The Stack Farm 
    1077 Bethel Rd, Tiger, GA 30576 | view on map | see description

    (13)Mill Gap Farm
    63 Mill Gap Lane, Tiger, GA 30576 | view on map | see description

    (14)Timpson Creek Farm
    6028 US-76, Clayton, GA 30525 | view on map | see description

    (15)Wolffork Valley Farm
    2330 Wolffork Rd Rabun Gap, GA 30568 | view on map | see description

    (16)Sylvan Falls Mill B&B
    156 Taylors Chapel Rd, Rabun Gap, GA 30568 | view on map | see description

    (17)Chattooga Belle Farm
    454 Damascus Church Rd, Long Creek, SC 29658 | view on mapsee description

    (18)Blue Ridge Honey Company
    6306 U.S. 441, Lakemont, GA 30552 | view on map | see description
    View in a new tab:
    Some areas do not have good cell reception!

    • (Full) Glen-Ella Spring: Receive 35% Farm Tour discount with no minimum stay for Queen Rooms at the premier Glen-Ella Spring! Special Farm Tour discount for Saturday June 25 only honored by phone reservation: 706-754-7295
    • (Full) Sylvan Falls Mill Bed and Breakfast:
    • We have all the volunteers we need this year! THANKS

    Q: Are all farms open both days?
    A: No, farms are only open to the public on the day they are listed  (Saturday or Sunday). Please respect the 1-6pm tour times and double check that you are visiting the farms on the correct day. 

    Q: Where do I start!?
    A: All farms are open between 1-6pm on their scheduled days and the tour is self-guided; you get to choose where and when you want to go! We suggest planning to visit 3 to 4 farms per day. That being said, the designated meal stop for Saturday Lunch is at Copper Pot Gardens and Sunday is at the Red Barn Cafe at Tiger Mountain Vineyard, so many will decide to start their journey there. Note that meal stops are BEFORE and AFTER the 1-6pm tour hours to not cut into the Tour hours! 

    Q: Do you offer one day passes?
    A: Unfortunately not, but we think a carload of people visiting farms on only one day is still worth more than the cost of a weekend pass

    Q: Can I bring my dog?
    A: No pets allowed on farms. Thanks for understanding!

    Q: Will there be food for us to sample at these farms?  
    A: Farm products (i.e. fruits, honey, veggies) will be available for sale at most if not all farms. Some Farms may choose to have samples available.

    Q: How much do meals cost?
    Restaurants requiring reservations are considered "Farm-to-Table," meaning they source from the local farms and prices are dependent on the availability of local foods that week.

    Q: What is included in weekend pass:
    A: Access to personalized tours from small-scale, diversified, diversified farmers; a six page brochure providing planning tips, navigation tools, contact info, and what you can see, do, hear, eat, and purchase at each stop on both days, and a discounts on lodging and wine. This tour also brings a sense of community through meeting like-minded folks seeking authentic experiences surrounding local food, and connects people/businesses to farmers they may have never known existed. We hope you'll join us and support the cause for creating a more vibrant local food scene through the foundation of sustainable farming in this region!

    Q: Who can I contact to answer all my questions!?
    A: Organizer: Andrew 503-758-8488

    Special thanks to Tour guests donating at the $100 level:
    Bruce Selfon, Rhonda Mealor, and Daniel Sammons

    Monday, March 21, 2016

    GMFN meeting #11:

    GMFN meeting #11:
    Sunday, March 20, 2016 at Calhoun Fields in Clemson, SC. Shawn Jadrnicek was our host for the field day.

    Listen to the tour audio:

    • minute 13:55 - propagation
    • minute 24:13 - using compost piles and solar ponds for heat
    • minute 33:45 - aquaponics / fresh water prawns
    • minute 43:28 - passive and solar vents/valve openers
    • minute 46:35 - compost heat extraction through centrifugal filtering
    • minute 48:54 - compost gases and CO2 in greenhouse
    • minute 52:10 - mulch, cover crops, weed control
    • minute 1:12:38 - useful tools worth their cost
    • minute 1:17:40 - drainage, slopes, and retention
    • minute 1:24:20 - irrigation

    Shawn just published an amazing book that goes into way more detail on every thing you heard and more: (first ask your local bookstores)

    Other resources:

    Saturday, February 14, 2015

    Georgia Mountains Farmers Network UPDATE - February 14th, 2015

    Looking for information on our annual Farm Tour !? 
    Visit the FARM TOUR page

    Georgia Mountains Farmers Network UPDATE 
    February 14th, 2015

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    1) GMFN Annual Meeting – Monday, March 16th – Harvest Habersham
    2) Northeast Georgia Locally Grown - UPDATES 
    a) NGLG January 24th meeting RECAP
    b) Sign up to be a FEATURED FARMER for Northeast Georgia Locally Grown's 2015 season
    c) Survey to NGLG customers starting this week
    d) Help Promote GAINESVILLE market with a few SILENT AUCTION GIFTS
    3) Georgia Mountains Farm Tour –  IT"S ON  June 27-28, 2015 –get on the tour! 

    1) GMFN Annual Meeting (aka FARMER FEAST) – Monday, March 16th – Harvest Habersham
    Hey North Georgia FARMERS!

    Long-time no see. Believe it or not, it has been almost a year since we had our last GMFN formal meeting (at Mill Gap and FORTIFY). Well it's about time that we did that again. And considering the popularity of last year's FARMER FEAST where we all gathered and let one of the best chefs in the area cook us a lip smacking good meal using your own fresh foods, we've decided to do it again! (*good ideas donated by O'hana Farms)

    This year's FARMER FEAST is gonna be at Harvest Habersham in Clarkesville. Chris and Laura have created another incredible Farm-to-Table restaurant here in the mountains and if you haven't had a meal there yet (and I know that many of you who sell to Harvest Habersham have yet to eat there) here is your chance. It'll be FAMILY STYLE which means you'll get a taste of a lot of different things, and a great chance to socialize with other farmers.

    This year's GMFN Farmer Feast will be at Harvest Habersham in Clarkesville 
    at 6pm – Monday, March 16th

    Each full-time farmer and farm that has attended a GMFN meeting (this is our 11th meeting) will get priority reservations.
    Just like last year, the first 25 farms to RSVP will get one GRATIS dinner (I think that means FREE). If you'd like to bring a spouse or other farm hand (often same thing) then you can purchase a second dinner for $20. Worked so well last year why not do it again. Georgia Mountains Farmers Network is gonna use some of the funds we've collected from the annual FARM TOUR (see below) to help pay for dinner. 

    PRE-DINNER TOUR or TALK (5:ish)
    We've yet to identify a nearby farm for our usual FARM TOUR, followed by a MEAL, followed by a business MEETing format.  If, you have any ideas on an advance tour let us know. If we opt not to do a TOUR we may invite STEVE WHITEMAN of Trillium Farms to give a talk before dinner on "How to earn a Living Wage as a Small Scale Farmer". That title sure catches your attention doesn't it.

    Send Reservations for dinner SOON! We may have to cap it at 50 people. Space is limited
    E-mail me if you plan to come, and the names of anyone you'd like to bring (need a headcount).  RSVP by March 2nd, latest and sooner is better.

    As we always do, after dinner we'll have a GMFN BUSINESS MEETING. We'll talk about:
    • Locally Grown Expansion / Marketing Plans
    • Upcoming GMFN Farm Tour – June 27-28 
    • Food Hub / Extension Business Training Courses
    • Other announcements (if you have something you'd like us to discuss let us know)

    2) Northeast Georgia Locally Grown - UPDATES 

    2a) NGLG January 24th meeting RECAP
    We had an excellent annual Northeast Georgia Locally Grown meeting and potluck several weeks ago. We talked about everything from our rate of growth from our inception in 2010 until now (annual sales of $25k to $78k), our large and growing volunteer crew, our marketing grant, ways to make the market more efficient, and our need for more products and growers to meet demand in 2015. We're expecting gross sales of $100k, and shooting for $120k in 2015. That's pretty significant growth, and we're adding infrastructure and volunteers to accommodate this growth.

    You can get a summary of the meeting by looking at the power point here. 

    There is some useful CUSTOMER SURVEY DATA from 2013 in this slideshow you may want to check out. 

    If you really want the FULL DETAILS of what happened at the meeting you can listen to this MP3 recording

    Also if you never quite got around to taking the NGLG FARMER SURVEY it's not too late and will help us incorporate your ideas into our 2015 season. Go for it!

    Thanks to all who attended and shared a great meal with great company. It was a good way to prepare for what's gonna be our biggest year ever!

    2b) Sign up to be a FEATURED FARMER for Northeast Georgia Locally Grown's 2015 season
    One of the biggest features of our 2015 marketing push in Gainesville will be our FEATURED FARMERS and VENDORS every month. The plan is to have TWO farmers and ONE non-farm vendor featured each month. We're pretty excited about this. The farms will get quite a bit of coverage, including photos of your farms, bios, and your favorite recipes. Should boost sales considerably. To sign you farm up check out the openings below and send ANDREW an e-mail

    Month Gainesville Site Clarkesville Site Tiger Site Still needed
    FARMER or Vendor FARMER or Vendor FARMER or Vendor
    April April 8 - O'hana April 8 - Melon Head April 22 - Hollman Hollow Farms FULL
    May May 6 - Leah Lake OPEN May 6-  Melon Head FARM & VENDOR
    June  June 3- Mountain Earth June 3- Leah Lake OPEN FARM & VENDOR
    July July 8- MIll Gap July 15- KP farms OPEN VENDOR
    August August 5 - Melon Head August 5 -Leslie's Garden Dream August 12- Leslie's Garden Dream* OPEN FARM
    October OPEN October 7- Mnt Sweet Honey OPEN
    November November 11 - Sylvan Falls Mill November - November - 2 FARMS
    December December-  December - December - WIDE OPEN
    January 6, 2016- Sylvan Falls Mill
    Each month will feature 2 farms and one non-farm vendor
    Bolded means FEATURED - need 3 each month
    You can pick any Wednesday in the month you are featured

    c) Survey to NGLG customers starting this week
    Review and give us ideas of how to SURVEY NGLG customers. This SURVEY will go to over 800 NGLG account holders. Help us ask the questions you want to know. We'll share the results with ALL!
    Check it out! You can take it too!

    Questions include: Which fruits and vegetables would you like to see in 2014? And More….
    Results of this survey from 2 years ago can be found in our powerpoint from the meeting.

    d) Help Promote GAINESVILLE market with a few SILENT AUCTION GIFTS
    1,000s of good folks in Hall County will be attending several fundraisers this early spring AND… A lot of people who support non-profits are also people who eat LOCAL FOOD too. SO, we've come up with the idea that 4-5 nice looking baskets with shelf safe products from NGLG farms and vendors (and our new brochures and cards) would make great promotion tools as SILENT AUCTION GIFTS. If you'd be willing to donate (or sell to us for costs) a few items to help promote your goods and the whole market please let us know. Could be a very powerful way to make an impression on people. 

    We hope to find some VOLUNTEERS who might help make the baskets look real nice!  
    Let us know if you have suggestions for Volunteers of all kinds.

    3) Georgia Mountains Farm Tour –  IT"S ON  June 27-28, 2015 –get on the tour! 

    Planning for the 4th Annual Georgia Mountains Farm Tour is underway. The date is set (June 27 and 28)! Five farms are signed up already! This is the big event for our network and has helped promote our region as having a helluva cool LOCAL FOOD thang going on.

    Andrew Linker (the guy who shot the AMAZING videos of the tour the last two years) is our FARM TOUR ORGANIZER for 2015. Let him know if you want to be on the tour! Send him an e-mail at Or call him at 503.758.8488. Please let us know by the first week of March so we can start organizing the brochure!

    Check out last year's tour page as a reminder of how it works.

    We also invested in a new website domain to make it easier to find tour information.
    Right now it just links to our blog but tour info should be posted by mid March.

    Thanks to you all for growing LOCAL FOOD! Hope to see everyone at Harvest Habersham in March!

    Justin Ellis
    Organizer for 
    Georgia Mountains Farmers Network