Friday, January 25, 2013

Georgia Mountains Farmers Network UPDATE - January 25th, 2013

Georgia Mountains Farmers Network UPDATE
January 25, 2013

Hey Local Growers,

I'm very excited to announce that we have our next two FARMER GET-TOGETHERS and potlucks planned for February and again in March. As we'll all be getting busier after that we decided to maximize the time we have left this winter to meet, exchange ideas, eat some good food, and talk about what we can do together to keep making local food happen here in Northeast Georgia. Those of you who we might not have seen in a while, we hope you can make at least one of these two upcoming get-togethers.

GET - TOGETHER # 1
Tuesday, February 19th at Ladybug Farms in Rabun County

Farm Tour starts at 2pm (due to lack of electricity in the greenhouse we have to finish up before dark.)
Thanks to Terri Jagger for inviting us out to her place in just a few weeks. There is a lot of cool stuff to see on this farm but one that is highly UNIQUE and INNOVATIVE is a Rainwater gravity fed irrigation system - 6000 gallons of in ground storage; 14 foot drop in elevation; 300 foot run to upper field and up to 20 psi in the field. Also a Packing Shed and Washing Station, Drainage swails to minimize field runoff, Portable Electric Deer Fencing (she takes it down in the winter but can talk about it if there is interest), a brand new Passive Solar Seed Starting Greenhouse, an Unheated Greenhouse (this is where we'll have dinner and our network meeting so bring a chair and maybe a table too), Small fruit orchard planted with perennial cover crop and 2 hives of Bees. It's also an extraordinarily beautiful farm in a beautiful setting so we hope you can make it.



The tour will start around 2pm followed this time by our NETWORK meeting next at 3 or 3:30pm (short agenda below), then an early dinner sometime around 4:30pm. Don't forget it's a potluck. Bring something yummy and farmy to share and e-mail what you're bringing so we can get our tastebuds watering.

NETWORK MTG AGENDA (proposed)

  • GA MTNS FARM TOUR - this seems to be one activity that will continue to draw attention to our area farms. Tentative Dates - June 14-15
  • COOPERATIVE MARKETING - discuss Gainseville market progress / other ideas
  • REVIEW NETWORK PRIORITIES and new projects and opportunities - ie. - farm 2 school, food bank processing center, technical workshops (VOTE ON PRIORITIES for 2013)

POTLUCK PROVISIONS
Any food you like is welcome!
Please bring a chair, plate, utensils and beverage of your choice.
We'll have napkins, water, washbasins, and tables. You can clean your gear after you eat.

You can also invite others as long as they are FARMERS and let us know in advance. The more the merrier!


GET - TOGETHER # 2
Tuesday, March 26th at Leah Lake Farms in Rabun County

We'll have the details on this one later but mark your calendars because you won't want to miss
a visit to Brooks Franklin's fantastic farm.



Reminder
Northeast Georgia FARM 2 SCHOOL
Public Meeting
Tuesday, January 29th - 7pm
Everyone with an interest in local food should try and attend a Community Meeting next Tuesday January 29th, 7 p.m. at Hilliard A. Wilbanks Middle School to learn more about Habersham County's new FARM to SCHOOL PROGRAM. There will be taste tests of local foods by Chef Jamie Alred, and in-depth conversations between farmers, teachers, chefs, students, parents, home gardeners, local business and others interested in making more local food available throughout the Northeast Georgia Region. Hope to see you there!



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


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NE GA Farm to School Meeting - January 29th - 7pm

Everyone with an interest in local food should try and attend a Community Meeting next Tuesday January 29th, 7 p.m. at Hilliard A. Wilbanks Middle School to learn more about Habersham County's new FARM to SCHOOL PROGRAM. There will be taste tests of local foods by Chef Jamie Alred, and in-depth conversations between farmers, teachers, chefs, students, parents, home gardeners, local business and others interested in making more local food available throughout the Northeast Georgia Region. Hope to see you there!



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Georgia Mountains Farmers Network Updates- January 17th

Georgia Mountains Farmers Network Updates

January 17th, 2013

 

 

1) Farm-to-School Initiative Community Meeting Jan 29th.

2) Next FARM TOUR / POTLUCK - February 5(tues) or 7(thurs) or 19 or 21

3) Seven Springs Order - postponed to February? (only 4 orders received)

4) Greenhouse for sale

 

 

Hey Local Growers,

I'm gonna try and really pick up my communications for the remainder of the winter, and schedule a lot more Farm TOURS and get-togethers as long as you guys are game. Here's a couple of updates of things coming up. If you have other things I should forward to everyone please let me know and I'll try and share as much info as possible.

 

 

1) Farm-to-School Initiative Community Meeting Jan 29th

About a month ago I got word that Habersham County would be a pilot program for FARM TO SCHOOL. I sure hope some of you think it would be cool to sell to local schools occassionally because it looks like it's gonna happen! Here's a nice little description and invitation to a MEETING to get INPUT and exchange ideas. Hope everyone can come.

 

This year, lettuce grown on a farm in Northeast Georgia will make its way to the public school cafeterias in Habersham County. Likewise, crops such as strawberries, sweet potatoes, apples — even broccoli and blueberries — will be served to students of Habersham County schools. The lunch entrees are all part of farm-to-school programs. The Farm to School movement connects schools and local farms in an effort to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias, improve student nutrition, and increase farm and gardening educational opportunities.

In December, the Habersham County school district was selected to serve as a farm-to-school pilot program for Northeast Georgia and will receive support and resources from Northeast Georgia Food Bank and Georgia Organics. The grant will fund a broad range of activities including school gardens, taste test of local produce, training workshops for cafeteria staff and teachers and working with local farmers on solutions to some of local agriculture's biggest challenges - distribution and seasonality.

It takes a community to make Farm To School an integrated part of a school’s cafeteria and curriculum.  “We need inspired potential supporters to help us make this program a success,” says Paige Holland.  “We are reaching out to the community for their support and expertise.”  Community Meeting Tuesday January 29th, 7 p.m. at Hilliard A. Wilbanks Middle School welcomes farmers, teachers, chefs, students, parents, home gardeners, local business and others interested in learning more about Habersham’s farm to school program.

 

2) Next FARM TOUR / POTLUCK - February 5 or 7(thurs) or 19 or 21

We should definitely have another FARM TOUR / POTLUCK get-together soon and thought we'd throw out 4 dates for it. Now the trick is to find someone who would host it. If you would like to host the next farm tour please give me a call 706-499-2261 to discuss details. Getting to see each other socially and exchange information has been the best part of the network so far so we want to keep doing that as regular as we can.

 

Here's some of the many things we could/should discuss after the tour and dinner: 2013 GA MTNS FARM TOUR, Expansion of Locally Grown to Gainesville, Co-op effort? (equipment, marketing, etc.?), open to other ideas.

 

Let us know if you'd like to host the next one and we'll get it scheduled, or if you'd prefer one down the road go ahead and let us know and we'll make a calendar for the year.

 

 

3) Seven Springs Order - postponed to February? (only 4 orders received)

We'll discuss this at our next FARM get-together, but we postponed our 7 Springs order due to lack of orders. We only had 4 orders, and considering the cost to ship a pallet is $142 dollars, the shipping costs were too high. Maybe we were a little early in ordering, I know a few of you said you hadn't thought about it yet. If it's something we still want to do, we'll try again in February. Sorry to those who were wanting to do it early. We tried.

 

4) Greenhouse for sale

It's all Okra is selling their greenhouse including plants, heaters, extra plastic. The price is around $1,250 for everything (OBO). If anyone has any interest contact Carole at ckacker99@gmail.com

 

Justin Ellis

Executive Director

Soque River Watershed Association

www.soque.org

706-754-9382