Sunday, February 19, 2012

This is an experimental first BLOG POST

Hey Folks,

I've been trying to figure out a good communication system for our FARMERS NETWORK and thought I would just start trying to use a few tools out there and see what folks thought about them.

This is all brand new to me but thought it might be helpful if we set up a location to communicate valuable information. This first trial is a BLOG format. The advantages of this one are that it gives us a website for free that we can post things to like calendar announcements, etc. It allows you to subscribe, so anyone that wants to join can add themselves. Though I'll have to make the initial posts (like an event, info on ordering, etc.) all of you can then submit comments, and all those comments will get e-mailed back out to the whole list as well (I think anyway - we should try that out). The final thing I'm experimenting with that I really like so far is the Google calendars feature. It allows us to post calendar events, update them, and even put in Google map directions to the location of an event. This really seems to have the potential for us keeping up with each others activities, and just learning opportunities. If you have any suggestions or expertise on any of this let me know as I'm starting from scratch.

So here's the first Calendar items. Below are dates, times, details, and even links to Maps for our TOUR to WOODLAND GARDENS coming up a week from tomorrow on Monday February 27, 4pm. Just click on that event and you'll see info and a way to get to the map.

I'll still do the e-mail announcements until we decide if this system works but you can reference this wherever you have internet connection. It's just (that stands for Georgia Mountains Farmers Network).


Justin Ellis
Soque Lover Gardens!
706-499-2261 (cell)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Seven Springs Order & Woodland Gardens Tour

Hey Local Growers,

The slower months of the year will be ending for us all very soon but before they do we wanted to follow up on two ideas:
  • GROUP ORDER from Seven Springs (possible deadline FEBRUARY 27th)
  • GREENHOUSE GROWING - Tour and Workshop - Woodland Gardens Athens, GA (same day FEBRUARY 27th)

It sounded like a lot of you were interested in a group order from Seven Springs Farm Supply up in Virginia. Many of us have bought from them before and they're definitely one of the prefered dealers for organic farm supplier for growers in Georgia. You can peruse their catalog by clicking this link . Since growing season is coming on fast now we need to go ahead and get this order in soon. The deadline for orders will be MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27th by 12 noon. Hopefully this will give everyone enough time.

Please submit orders to me via e-mail ( using the following system:
HarmonyTM Ag. Organic Fertilizer (5-4-3) 2x 50 lb bag $15.50 ea = $31.00
McEnroe Premium Lite Growing Mix 2x 22 qt. bag $ 8.00 ea = $16.00

TOTAL before shipping = $47.00

I'll e-mail you back to confirm receiving your order. Please help us keep up with orders easily by following this system (I'll basically cut and paste what you submit into a master order form) or I may e-mail you to correct errors. I recommend cutting and pasting the ITEM name from the website to insure you get the name just right (they don't use SKU#s).

There will be add'l shipping charges and possible handling fees (by 7springs) added to the order (though we may avoid the handling fees using the bulk order system). A 1 ton pallet costs $142 to deliver and holds roughly 44 bags (50lb each). That's about $3.25 shipping cost per bag if we fill a whole pallet. Last year we ordered about a pallet and a half.

Don't send us a check until we calculate these fees. We'll write a check to 7springs from the Locally Grown Market bank account. We'll collect check or cash at or before pickup. Checks will be to NE GA Locally Grown or SRWA (that's the market non-profit sponsor Soque River Watershed Assoc). PICKUP will be at Sid Blalock's Burton Mountain Farm near Batesville. Thanks Sid for offering to receive the orders. Pickup will likely be the first or second week in March. Everyone will need to pick up their order within a day or so of delivery, as we don't have an indoor place to store. If not picked up the day of delivery we'll put a tarp over it and hope it doesn't rain.

I think that's it. If you have any suggestions or questions let me know.

GREENHOUSE GROWING - Tour and Workshop
We probably won't organize many FARMER NETWORK farm tours out of the area, but I had two different people ask about a possible visit to Woodland Gardens in Athens which is highly regarded as one of the best organic farms in the state effectively using high tunnels and greenhouses. Since there's more than half a dozen growers in the area with new greenhouses, this seemed like a good idea.

I spoke with Celia Barrs the farm manager and she said that two weeks from today MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27th would be a good day for a visit. 4PM is the suggested start time (so we'll have plenty of daylight and we won't have to fight rush hour traffic on the drive in). Wanted to see how many of you thought you might be able to make this tour. The focus will be on how to plan cropping cycles in high tunnels, but I'm certain she'll cover all sorts of topics. She's a top notch expert. Can't say enough good things about the potential for us to learn a ton from this in-depth tour / workshop.

I'd like to get commitments from at least 8 of us to make it worthwhile for Celia to sacrafice an hour of time so e-mail me if you plan to attend. I'll e-mail a confirmation later this week with maps and other details.

Thanks for your interest in these two activities and hope to see you soon,

Justin Ellis
Soque Lover Gardens!
Certified Naturally Grown Network Organizer