Wednesday, September 26, 2012

FARMERS NETWORK - Promoting Locally Grown at TASTE OF CLARKESVILLE this SATURDAY

Hey Local Growers,

 

For the last several years we've set up a booth at the TASTE OF CLARKESVILLE event to promote the Northeast Georgia Locally Grown farmers market. Since the audience consists of food lovers, we've had a lot of success connecting with new customers and even some growers (this is where we met Melon Head Farms for the first time).

 

Since the SRWA office is right behind our booth we've been able to bring a computer down so that folks can see exactly how the system works right there live, and even open an account and place an order if they like. This year we thought it'd be fun for folks to actually meet some of the growers that sell to the market, and perhaps see just a few of the items we sell.

 

If you'd like to join us for anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, we'd love any growers with Locally Grown (or even if you don't sell to Locally Grown) to come and hang out and meet local food lovers with us. The event is from 11am - 3pm. If you'd lik to sell a few items, go right ahead. We'll be talking up our local food scene, handing out cards and other promotional materials, and getting names and e-mails.

 

The event is free and quite fun. Beer, wine and food tastings are available with purchases of one dollar tickets. Here's the flier.

 

 

We'll also boast a new banner with the NE GA Locally Grown logo that we'll be able to use for future events and promotions. It'll look like this.

 

 

If you'd like to attend, even if just for a quick visit, let us know by sending an e-mail. It'd be fun to see a small gathering of us there. I think it'd make an impression on the community.

 

THANKS,

 

Justin Ellis

Soque Lover Gardens

706-499-2261 (cell)

&

Organizer for

Georgia Mountains Farmers Network

http://georgiamfn.blogspot.com/

(supported by Certified Naturally Grown)

 

 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Farmers Network meeting this MONDAY - Melon Head Farms - 5pm

Hey Growers,

 

Looking forward to seeing all of you on MONDAY, at Melon Head Farms for a farm tour, social pot-luck, and NETWORK meeting. Here's a quick run-down in preparation for our get-together.

 

Farm Tour starts at 5pm

MELON HEAD FARMS

500 Brando Trail Clarkesville , GA. 30523

Directions-  

Take 197 N of Clarkesville (L after Copper Pot restaurant). In 0.6 miles slight L onto Alec Mtn Road (after BP on left). In 1.5 miles left onto Brando Trail.

 

 

On the tour you'll get to see a cold frame built onto their house and heated using solar energy and captured in black rainbarrels, a wide range of perrenial crops, their tractor and tillage equipment, hear about irrigation and other plans, and of course the melon patch.

 

After the tour around 6pm we'll have a POTLUCK dinner. Please e-mail to this list what you're bringing so we don't duplicate too much. This is always one of the most fun aspects of our get-togethers so thanks for contributing. (I'm planning on bringing Bindi Masala which is an Indian okra dish). Also remember to bring A FOLDING CHAIR, a plate, and cup and utensils. This really cuts down on our waste (and costs for paper goods). We'll have our usual wash tubs for cleaning everything before hauling it home. We will have extras for those who forget.

 

Then our NETWORK meeting has quite an agenda:

·         GA MTN FARM TOUR follow up - if you have time take a look at the participant feedback we received from our online survey. We had 13 people respond which gives some good ideas of how to improve this event for next year. Please think about and offer your own suggestions of how to improve this event.  I'm also attaching the final budget. You'll notice we profited about $600 which will all go to the GA Mountains Farmers Network (that's you guys) for whatever tasks we feel are most valuable (towards next years event, etc, etc). Lastly is our attendees list if you're curious how many people attended (we sold 48 tickets, and had well over 100 attend, probably closer to 150).

·         Co-op Marketing to ATLANTA - This is probably the biggest CO-OP opportunity for us to discuss. We had some good discussion at our last few meetings and we've started to narrow down options (no one is that interested in wholesale markets, etc.). Several of us have been brainstorming here. We'll share our ideas, and please bring your own.

·         SHARED EQUIPMENT -  we've been brainstorming on a cooperatively owned piece of equipment for awhile. This meeting we'll list all options, prioritize, perhaps try and see some in action.

·         BULK ORDERS advance preparations - This went well last year, but should happen earlier and possibly expand to other types of orders. We'll discuss deadlines and dates, and vendors (7 springs, worm castings from Dahlonega, minerals, potatoes, others).

·         GRANTS - the GMFN may want to start looking at potential grants both individually and as a group. USDA VALUE ADDED PRODUCER GRANTS  are available (as a group) as are SARE Producer Grants (individual), and SARE Community Innovation Grants (group). Any grant should arise from the priorities we've identified, but could possible pay to help develop an Atlanta marketing and distribution program. Other ideas?

·         FOOD BANK VALUE ADDED FACILITY - The Food Bank of NE Georgia is interested in building a flash freezing facility in Rabun county that could be used by local farmers. What type of input should we offer as they move forward in their own grant solicitations for this facility.

·         ADDING LISTSERV to COMMUNICATION TOOLS - The website has been a good tool, but one limitation is the opportunity for two way communication. A YAHOO listserv has been established and if folks are willing could be the easiest way for two way communication by all members in the NETWORK.

 

That should just about do it. If you have other issues you'd like to add to our agenda, or to consider at future meetings, please let us know and we'll definitely work it in.

 

Thanks for participating and we look forward to seeing everybody on MONDAY! Don't forget to e-mail to all your POTLUCK dish.

 

Thanks!

 

Justin Ellis

Soque Lover Gardens

706-499-2261 (cell)

&

Organizer for

Georgia Mountains Farmers Network

http://georgiamfn.blogspot.com/

(supported by Certified Naturally Grown)

 

 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

GMFN UPDATE - Producer Grants to Further Sustainable Ag Now Available

Hey Local Food Growers,

 

Just a quick reminder about the Georgia Mountains Farmers Network meeting next Monday at Melon Head Farms staring at 5pm. I'll send a more detailed reminder in the next day or so. Meanwihle thought you might be interested in the following grant opportunity. I volunteered to do reviews of these last year so have read about 20 or so, and have a pretty good idea of what they like to fund. If you're interested in applying I'd be happy to share my limited knowledge with this grant program.

 

See you Monday,

 

Justin Ellis

Soque Lover Gardens

soque@windstream.net

 

 

SSARE Producer Grant application deadline is Nov. 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

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Producer Grants to Further Sustainable Ag Now Available

GRIFFIN, GeorgiaCalls for Proposals for the 2013 Producer Grants, intended for farmers/ranchers and farmer/rancher organizations throughout the Southern region, are now available from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) program.

Proposal submission deadline is November 15, 2012. Announcement of grants will take place in late February 2013.

Producer Grants are used to conduct projects that solve challenges farmers face and to develop information on what works and what doesn't so that other farmers and ranchers facing those same challenges can benefit from the results of the funded project. The grants are not designed to pay a farmer to farm. They are designed to take some of the financial risk away from trying a solution.

Projects may be funded for up to two years for a project maximum of $10,000 for an individual producer or $15,000 for a producer organization. Producer organizations should be comprised primarily of farmers/ranchers and must have a majority farmer representation on their governing board.

For detailed information on how to apply for a Producer Grant, download the current Call for Proposals. The Call for Proposals includes application information, program priorities, use of funds, proposal submission instructions, and contact information. Be sure to carefully follow the information in the Call for Proposals when submitting your proposal. Failure to follow the submission guidelines may result in your proposal being rejected.

Click here to learn more about Producer Grants.

Published by the Southern Region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Southern SARE operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Georgia, Fort Valley State University, and the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture to offer competitive grants to advance sustainable agriculture in America's Southern region.

Copyright © Southern SARE 2012, All rights reserved.

Southern SARE
1109 Experiment St., Stuckey Bldg.
University of Georgia
Griffin, GA 30223
770-412-4786

ssare@uga.edu

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