New Programs, Master Gardener Collaboration on Tap for Education Committee for 2018

The Feed Fannin Education Committee held two very successful classes in August and early September, continuing the Feed Fannin mission to inform, educate and train members of the public who want to learn to be more self-sufficient in growing, preserving and preparing their own food.

Over the summer, the committee also began to cultivate plans for an exciting collaboration between Feed Fannin and the North Georgia Master Gardeners.

On August 12, 15 people gathered to hear a very informative talk on “Organic Pest Management” given by Russell Honderd, who started and runs the King of Crops farm owned by Atlanta popsicle company King of Pops in Winston, Ga. Honderd, who cares for a mix of annual fruits and vegetables, perennial canes and bushes used to make the popular icy gourmet King of Pops treats, discussed the pros and cons of various organic treatments for pests, barriers, deterrents and traps, and also which insects and microbes are beneficial to growing plants.

Dr. David Busch presented a program on “Winter Gardens” that was attended by 25 people on Sept. 9 at the University of North Georgia Blue Ridge campus. Participants received some very interesting handouts on what to plant when for fall/winter gardens in the Southern Appalachians and planting in tune with the phases of the moon. Dr. Busch discussed which plants are hardy and which ones require more protection from the cold than others, as well as winter chores that will set the stage for spring gardens. He also described how to plant corn in February that will be ready to pick and eat in June.

The Education Committee’s last class of 2017 was held on Oct. 7. With the summer gardening season over, Feed Fannin founding member Zora Ugolini Herr led a workshop on “How to Build a Scarecrow” at the Ada Street Farm for anyone wanting to decorate their homes or businesses for the fall. Zora’s assortment of fabulous adult and juvenile scarecrows were displayed on the Feed Fannin float in this year’s Fourth of July Parade in Blue Ridge—she is very talented at making these creations.

Meanwhile, the committee is already hard at work planning at least six different classes for 2018. In February or March, Ginger Montgomery of Quinn’s Nursery will be back for another presentation sure to inspire participants to rev up their preparations for spring planting. Also on tap throughout the spring, summer and early fall are programs on everything from growing berries, herb gardening and gardening for older adults to more about winter gardening.

This past August, the Education Committee met with the North Georgia Master Gardeners to discuss joining forces to help educate local residents on gardening related matters. The Master Gardeners will be presenting two classes about using native plants for your home landscaping.

For several years, Feed Fannin has worked with the Master Gardeners to collect and save vegetable seeds to provide to local gardeners through a display at the Fannin County Public Library.

Feed Fannin offers these classes to the public for free, through we do ask for a small donation of money or canned food which we donate to the Family Connection Food Pantry.

We’re looking forward to an exciting series of educational programs in 2018.

If you would like to become a Feed Fannin volunteer and help with our educational programs, please contact us at 706-946-1001 and leave a message. We promise we’ll get back to you.

Submitted by Diane Payne