Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fw: Georgia Mountains Farmers NETWORK update! - November 23rd

Hey Local Food Growers,

Before heading into the holidays we wanted to make a few announcements about some possible bulk orders to collaborate on and upcoming get-togethers.

1) Onion transplant orders from Walker Farms – deadline December 2nd
2) Next Get-Together at Wilbros Compost in Toccoa, GA – Tuesday, January 21 – 4pm
3) Bulk Orders from Seven Springs – due January 21 for shipment January 31
4) FARM TOUR wrap up with budget results
5) Plans to open checking account in January and to seek Group Product Liability  and Event Insurance
6) Invite to Christmas Party – Beer Tasting – December 13th

1) Onion transplant orders from Walker Farms – deadline December 2nd
If you're looking for organic onion transplants Walker Farms is one of the best sources in Georgia. Both I and Belflower Gardens grew these last year with great success. To order we have to have at least 1,000 onions for any one deliver date. For example I'd like to order 300 yellow granex for delivery Jan6-16. I'd need to find some of you who would need the other 700 to put in the order. All orders are $75 per 1,000 including shipping.

Attached are the details and if you're planting lots of onions feel free to put in your own order. However, if you just need several hundred, send:

Your name
Phone #
Variety wanted
Date wanted

We'll compile these and order any that we have enough orders for. 

The deadline for ordering will be a week for this Monday on December 2nd by 5pm.

2) Next Get-Together at Wilbros Compost in Toccoa, GA – Tuesday, January 21 – 4pm
High Quality compost is one of the main ingredients in managing a productive sustainable and organic farms. There have been many questions over the last year regarding sources of compost and what the production practices of different composters have in order to make an informed decision. Wilbros in Toccoa, GA has been a source for many of the farms in the network. They've also been in the press quite a bit, not always in a positive light. They have offered to host our farmers network for our next meeting and let us judge for ourselves. 

We'll follow a slightly different format for this meeting with a tour of the facility first at 4pm followed by a Network business meeting afterward in their meeting room. Then those who can will travel into Toccoa for a shared meal (location to be determined).

Let us know if you think you can attend this meeting by RSVPing us at

In the meantime feel free to take a look at more info about Wilbros at

3) Bulk Orders from Seven Springs – due January 21 for shipment January 31
Last year we didn't complete a shared order to Seven Springs due to lack of interest. If we're able to order at least $1,000 this year we'll receive a bulk discount that'll make it well worth it for us to collaborate on this once again. I know quite a few of you who would like some supplies and this later ordering date should give everyone enough time to get their orders together.

You'll notice they've improved their catalog quite a bit including photos of every item to insure you're selecting the right things. To order submit to me via e-mail only no later than January 21st. Orders must have the following information below written exactly or we will decline the order (it takes a while to get these order together so please make it easier for us by following this format).

ITEMS (to select items you should cut and paste the item from the Catalog exactly and make sure the same item doesn't come in two forms like liquid or granular)

Your order should look EXACTLY like this:          

Alan Mashburn   

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

GRAND TOTAL before shipping  $47.00

Then just e-mail that to me at

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. Shipping costs last year ran exactly 8 cents a lb. That's $4.00 for a 50lb bag. I assume they'll be similar this year. Some items received a bulk order discount, but we won't know about those until the orders are placed.

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 may be at Sid Blalock's Burton Mountain Farm near Batesville again. We'll need to double check with him to see if he's willing to do that again. Feel free to give Sid a small thank you gift for helping us by using his BOBCAT to unload the pallets and storing everything under cover until it can be picked up.

4) FARM TOUR wrap up with budget results
It took a while but we finally have the final budget details from our Farm Tour back in June. It looks like after all our expenses the Network raised about $1,300. We'll be forming a new steering committee for the Network to discuss how to utilize these funds (beyond saving them for next year's TOUR).

The final numbers are attached to this e-mail so take a look!

5) Plans to open checking account in January and to seek Group Product Liability  and Event Insurance
We'll be trying to have a steering committee meeting sometime in January (either before or after the Wilbros. Get-together) to discuss long-term plans for the Network and governance. That probably means incorporating so that we can also purchase a group insurance policy. We hope to have some rapid progress on that before the end of January.

So far Chuck and Michele Taylor, Dustin Mentzer and Linda Johnson have volunteered to help on this steering committee. If anybody else would like to help as well just let us know.

6) Invite to Christmas Party – Beer Tasting – December 13th
Last but not least I'd like to invite EVERYONE of you to an end of year Beer Tasting Party at my house. This event is held for the Soque River Watershed Association but it's really just an excuse to hang out with all our friends doing cool things for the Georgia Mountains. That obviously includes all you farmers right at the top of the list so please make our little party a lot more fun by having several dozen real-life farmers represented at a very fun party. Surprise, surprise it's a POTLUCK. It's also a beer tasting so to participate all you have to do is bring at least TWO 12oz bottles of the same beer or one 22 ounce beer to enter in the tasting (you're encouraged to bring more of course). Last year we had 35 different beers to taste. Sounds like fun doesn't it.

Starts at 6pm
Address is 237 Wilson Street Clarkesville
Bring a small dish, bring some beers, and bring a friend.
Need more info just let me know.

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