Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday March 31st, 2014 - GMFN farm tour and dinner

Hey GMFN Farmers,

This month's GMFN meeting requires an RSVP since we'll be eating dinner at Fortify after. There's still space so send an e-mail to if you'd like to attend. Dinner is a $20 pre-fixe dinner featuring food from all of our farms, reduced price for full-time farms and those who've attended a GMFN meeting before. If you have products you'd like to sell for the dinner please contact Jamie Allred (e-mail below). Plans are similar to most get-togethers with a few changes.

First we'll meet up at this Parking Lot in Clayton (check out the Google Map below - parking lot is marked PURPLE). We'll meet up for the carpool at exactly 3:45pm rather than at Mill Gap Farm (since parking is limited). We'll try and all pile in 5-6 vehicles for the <5 minute drive to Chuck and Amy Mashburn's farm (GREEN) which is right down the road.

Mill Gap Farm Tour will be from 4:00 to 5:30.
Then we'll hop back in our cars and head back to the parking lot (STILL PURPLE).
From there it's a short walk to FORTIFY RESTAURANT (RED).
Dinner will be begin around 6PM.
We'll have an hour long business meeting at 7PM. Here's the agenda.

  • Georgia Organics welcome
  • Northeast Georgia Food Bank on-going projects
  • GMFN is getting organized –update on board, bylaws
  • Locally Grown expanding to Gainesville in May - applied for USDA Grant 
  • Georgia Mountains Farm TOUR - tentatively set June 28-29

View Clayton Carpool to Mill Gap to Fortify in a larger map


We'll have another carpool leaving from Clarkesville at exactly 3:15pm if anyone would like to cut 30 minutes out of their drive. We'll meet at the dirt parking lot directly across the street from the Clarkesville Library located at 178 East Green Street, Clarkesville, GA 30523.

Other details that might be helpful:
Mill Gap Farm address is: 63 Mill Gap Lane, Tiger, GA
FORTIFY address is: 69 North Main Street, Clayton, GA

If you have produce, meats, etc. that you'd like to sell to Jamie for the dinner please send him a list of your available items and prices as soon as possible to

That way you can show off your stuff to the best chef around, and maybe help pay for your dinner!

If you have any other items you'd like for us to discuss at this or future GMFN meetings please let us know at

Thanks and look forward to seeing you next week.

Justin Ellis
Organizer for 
Georgia Mountains Farmers Network

Monday, March 3, 2014

Georgia Mountains Farmers Network UPDATE - March 2nd, 2014

Georgia Mountains Farmers Network UPDATE - March 2nd, 2014

1) Next Meeting – Monday, March 31st – MILL GAP and FORTIFY
2) GMFN and the new Board / adopts Locally Grown as a program / applies for USDA Grant / finds Partner to Expand to Gainesville 
3) Certified Naturally Grown sign up period & free stuff
4) Georgia Mountains Farm Tour – Possible Dates

1) Next Meeting – Monday, March 31st – MILL GAP and FORTIFY

This is gonna be a really good GMFN meeting here coming up next. First we'll meet at Chuck and Amy Mashburn's place in Tiger, GA. Chuck is already famous around these parts, but many of you probably still haven't seen Mill Gap in person. Chuck and Amy grow a lot of really interesting things you don't see commonly on other farms, and in March they'll probably be a lot to see under row cover and in the high tunnel.

There's limited parking so we may arrange some carpooling. 
Let us know if you're coming and what your bringing for the POTLUCK …….psyche!

This is the very first GMFN get-together that will NOT involve a potluck. That's because Georgia Organics is sponsoring our meeting and a very smart someone came up with the idea to have Jamie Allred introduce us to his new restaurant by having us over for a…..

PRE-FIXE DINNER at FORTIFY (5:30 to 6ish)
Every full-time farmer and farm that has attended a GMFN meeting (this is our 10th) will get priority reservations.
The first 25 farms will get one GRATIS dinner. If you'd like to bring a spouse or other farm hand (often same thing) then you can purchase a second dinner for $20. Is that cool or what? Thanks to Georgia Organics we're gonna eat our own food prepared by our regions best chef.

Never been to a GMFN meeting. This'd be a great one to come to. 

Send Reservations SOON! We may have to cap it if we get up to 50 or something.
Just e-mail me if you plan to come, and the names of anyone you'd like to bring (need a headcount).

RSVP by March 15th, latest and sooner is better.

As we always do, after dinner we'll have a GMFN BUSINESS MEETING. There's a lot going on that you can read details on below. Georgia Organics and the Northeast Georgia Food Bank will be our special guests.

1) Georgia Organics welcome
2) Northeast Georgia Food Bank on-going projects
3) GMFN is getting organized –update on board, bylaws
4) USDA Grant for Locally Grown (expanding to Gainesville)
5) The summer TOUR is coming

This meeting generously sponsored by 


2) GMFN and the new Board / adopts Locally Grown as a program / applies for USDA Grant / finds Partner to Expand to Gainesville 

The last couple months have been extremely busy for GMFN. After our very fascinating tour of the Wilbros Facility back in January we pulled the trigger on some things we've been talking about for a couple of years. Here's a quick summary.

1) GMFN became an officially incorporated organization (Bylaws Attached)
2) GMFN adopted Northeast Georgia Locally Grown as our primary program towards Cooperative Marketing
3) We applied for a USDA grant that would help us expand Locally Grown into the Gainesville Market

We'll give you a more detailed synopsis of each of these activities at the meeting but needless to say we're excited about developing a long-term relationship between Georgia Mountain Farmers and our nearest urban neighbors in Gainesville, and what we hope are a lot of customers for local sustainable food down there.

Just last Friday we locked in our Locational Partner for this expansion. I think everyone is gonna love the Northeast Georgia History Center. It's the kind of place you could only dream of for a long-term market location. It Rocks! Details on the expansion are in the attached PDF. 

3) Certified Naturally Grown sign up period – free stuff


Our good friends at Certified Naturally Grown (who helped us get our Network Started over the last two years) are currently accepting applications for new and renewing farms. We highly encourage you to consider a CNG certification. The costs are very low and we promise it will help you to network with other farmers, and insure your farm practices are the best they can be.

Members from the Georgia Farmers Network also get a joining bonus this year.

Bonus A) A free roll of 1,000 3/4" food-grade stickers or
Bonus B) A Farm Sign and a colorful Market Poster
See examples of marketing materials here.

To be eligible, just check out all their info and apply online  to CNG by March 15.

4) Georgia Mountains Farm Tour – Possible Dates
It's time to nail down our FARM TOUR dates for 2014. There's no way this won't be our best one yet, so let us know if you'd like to participate and what dates you are and are not available.

Our favorite DATE right now is June 28th!

Don't know what the farm tour is? Check out last year's brochure.

Thanks GUYS for being FARMERS!

Justin Ellis
Organizer for 
Georgia Mountains Farmers Network