Monday, August 20, 2012

NETWORK tour, potluck and meeting - September 10th - 5 pm


It's been a good long while since our last FARMER NETWORK get-together (April 24th as a matter of fact - nearly 4 months ago).  I'm pretty sure you've all been plenty busy. We kind of substituted a summer get-together for the big GEORGIA MOUNTAINS FARM TOUR. Now that things are slowing slightly we thought it'd be nice to all get-together again.

MELON HEAD FARMS in Clarkesville has generously offered to host the next get-together on Monday, September 10th starting at 5pm

Melon Head is a super fun farm that has made a big impression on all their customers this year. Specializing in (surprise, surprise) melons, they grow on just over a half acre, focusing on beans, heirloom tomatoes, and perennial crops such as asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb.

We'll follow our usual get-together schedule with a farm tour from 5-6pm. Then a potluck dinner from 6-7pm. Then we'll have a Network meeting after that from 7-8pm. There's a ton of things we could talk about. Here's an agenda suggestion.

  • GA MTN FARM TOUR follow up - (feedback, income received, ways to improve, tie in with future projects)
  • Co-op Marketing to ATLANTA - options to discuss (internet market vs. live market, do we have enough, what's our target audience)
  • SHARED EQUIPMENT -  brainstorming on a cooperatively owned piece of equipment (list all options, prioritize, perhaps try and see some in action)
  • BULK ORDERS advance preparations - we'll talk about how to plan ahead for bulk orders (ie. 7 springs, etc.), ordering earlier, and adding vendors and items (worm castings from Dahlonega via Sandy Asbill will be included and we'll try and have a price list)
  • VALUE ADDED PRODUCER GRANTS - the GMFN may be eligible as a agricultural producer group and our products do meet definitions of value-added (Is aggregated and marketed as a locally-produced agricultural food product.) . Deadline is October 15th. What might we be interested in doing? Could possible pay to help develop an Atlanta marketing and distribution program.

If you have other suggestions of things you'd like to see us discuss don't be shy, let us know. We'll definitely try and address it, and if it's a big topic maybe include it as a main topic at future meetings.

Here's the details for the meeting one more time:

Monday, September 10th 
Starting at 5pm
500 Brando Trail Clarkesville , GA. 30523

By the way if you still haven't seen or used them yet we have two regular communication tools on the web. The first is our BLOG page.
This is the main page we've used to advertise events, and to post follow ups after each Network meeting so that folks who were unable to attend can stay caught up. It serves as our historical memory of what we've done. Pretty useful. In fact, I'd never have remembered most of what we've done without it.

The other is a FACEBOOK page.
Also useful, especially for posting photos from our NETWORK visits to farms, and feedback and encouragement from others. We've had a surprising number of people LIKE the page who've we've never heard of so people are supportive. If you LIKE the page you'll get automatic updates, and if your farm has a FACEBOOK of its own I'll be sure to have GMFN like you back.

Looking forward to seeing you all on September 10th,

Justin Ellis
Soque Lover Gardens
706-499-2261 (cell)
Organizer for
Georgia Mountains Farmers Network