Wow! The garden is exploding with great things – and it’s a treasure hunt to find them all!
(For the TLA August Journal)
The fall is the best time to get your hands into the soil and learn about growing your own vegetables and fruit. The weather is more pleasant… the sand-gnats aren’t around as much… and the coolness of the night air inspires all those cool-weather crops to flourish.
So if you have been pondering for a while about becoming a Farmer… or you just want to be shown how to thin rows of carrots or the best way to grow lettuce… come join Jane Kollman this September at the Farm. Jane is looking for folks who want to learn and who are willing to assist her with the Children’s Program that will run for ten weeks from September until Thanksgiving. Adults…if you have not gardened before and would like to give it a whirl, come learn with us in the Children’s Garden! You’ll be mentored along with the children to give you the tools to begin your own garden adventure.
Jane’s a great teacher of all-things-farming… from garden basics to the nuances of successful companion planting, fertilizing and composting. This spring, the Children’s plots were bursting with potatoes and strawberries, tomatoes and peas, onions and carrots and beets… oh, my! And there was even enough to donate to Second Harvest and still make a marvelously-delicious salad for a church buffet! Every step of the way there was ample time to learn how to tend the plants, when to harvest and how to handle any troubles a crop may be having. You will learn a lot about being a Farmer under Jane’s watchful eye… and enjoy yourself at the same time!
Parents and grandparents are encouraged to sign their kids up for the Fall Program by contacting Jane at email@example.com Adults interested in becoming one of Jane’s assistants should call her at 349-1395 to find out more about how the “mentoring” program could fit your schedule.
As the summer plods on through the hot month of August, we Farmers are dreaming about our fall gardens while remembering how nice it was to harvest tomatoes well into December last year! So, come on down and join this incredible farming community! The gates are open 7am-8pm every day. Directions are on the Farm’s website at www.skidawayfarms.net
(for the TLA June Journal)
We know that a visitor’s quick glance inside the Farm gives the impression that all is calm and quiet…that once the seeds go in the ground it’s just a matter of waiting for the food to ripen and then be served at dinner. WELL…
We Skidaway Farmers are ANYTHING BUT just waiting around for the bountiful harvest to bless our dinner tables. In fact, this past month two big projects were taken on and completed by a squad of willing volunteers! Both projects were made easier by the ever-present help the Farm gratefully receives from the TLA – Paul Kurilla, Sean Burgess, Eric LaFon and their staff makes things happen for Skidaway Farms…they have been there for us time and time again and deserve a huge “THANKS” for all they do!
New Woodchip Walkways…
Job One was a total replacement of our grass paths to keep the wild grass and weeds under control. The soil inside the Farm has been so improved over last year that the weeds were flourishing throughout the long walkways in between the plots…and sometimes into the plots as well. So, with the gracious donation from Evergreen Tree Company of over 45 cubic yards of woodchips and the stalwart transportation of all these chips to the Farm by the TLA Maintenance staff, the Farmers were able to cover the grass paths next to their plots to stifle weed growth. Local landscaper, Matt Joy’s Heritage Recycling Company; Savannah Kitchen & Bath; Wild Birds Unlimited; Pratt Industries and Carolina Pharmaceuticals donated all the cardboard which provided the underlayers for the woodchips…a process that further helped to kill the existing weeds. It was a huge job but one that really spiffed up the Farm and made all that weed-whacking and mowing a thing of the past!
and Our New Electric Fence…
Job Two was the much anticipated installation of our anti-raccoon electric fence. For this, major thanks go to the Governance Committee…and their spouses too…who spent hours drilling the posts and stringing the wire and installing the electrical runs and the ground rods and setting the cement footings for the gate fences. Chris John and Valley Crest crew, Ryan Rogel saved the day with their trench digger so the underground wiring could be run to both sides of the Farm. Thank you guys…Valley Crest’s support makes so many things possible at the Farm!
Just in time to save our ripening tomatoes and corn, this electric perimeter is energized each night to stave off any fury midnight marauders…who, if they attempt to clamber over the wires, will receive a mighty shock of electricity that won’t kill them…but it will zap them hard enough to teach them not to try that again! The fence will be turned on each night at 8:00 pm and shut down the next morning at 7:00 am by TLA Security…many thanks go to Chief McCluskey and her staff who make this continued surveillance possible for the Farm.
And While All That Was Going On…
The Children’s Garden has been abuzz with activity! Coordinator, Jane Kollmann and helper, Hilary Hughes have met with their young Farmers at least twice each week to work the four plots that have become home to rows of potatoes, strawberries, peas and radishes, lettuces and tomatoes. The Children have planted, tended and harvested their vegetables… many of which were donated to Second Harvest of Savannah. At a recent event at the Skidaway United Methodist Church, these young Farmers donated the fixin’s for the garden salad that was a huge hit among the event attendees! This highly successful ten-week Spring Season program will be followed up with a cool-weather program starting in the Fall. Contact Jane Kollmann at firstname.lastname@example.org for information and registration.
Come By and Visit the Farm…
Directions to Skidaway Farms are on our website at www.skidawayfarms.net which is open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm each day. If you’d like information on becoming a Farmer contact Janet Waldie at email@example.com
The children in the “Sprouts” gardening program have been hard at work …learning how to grow vegetables and strawberries under the ever-watchful eye of Jane Kollman and her helpers. Keeping a compost pile going…fertilizing potatoes, peas and beans…pruning tomato plants and knowing when to harvest lettuce…these are just some of the lessons learned by these young Farmers.
Last weekend, the fruits of their labor were on display…for a short time before they were gobbled up…in a huge salad prepared for the Skidaway Methodist Church’s recent fellowship event. Needless-to-say…it was a HUGE hit! (4/20/12)
Sometimes something happens at the Farm that reminds you why you love this place so much. Well, that something happened this morning.
The brisk air was no deterrent for our brigade of first-time Farmers in the Children’s Garden. These kids couldn’t wait to get their hands in the soft composted soil and plant their very-first-time-ever crop of vegetables. Boy oh boy…was that fun to watch!
These root potatoes, broccoli and lettuce plants could not have been more appreciated than they were by this merry band of gardeners. Coordinator, Jane Kollmann and her stable of willing assistants got things off to a brilliant start and soon rows of potatoes were staked…broccoli and lettuce were lovingly mulched to perfection and the watering cans were at work along the rows of plants.
A New Beginning at the Farm
With the last of the frost alerts behind them … hopefully… the Farmers of Skidaway are busy preparing their plots for the new harvest year. And with a year of experience dealing with the soil on Skidaway and the weather in Coastal Georgia, all anticipate a more bountiful harvest come this May.
This season, all 20 Raised beds have been rented along with 143 ground-level plots. There are 15 new Farmers on the Farm roster as well. Membership Coordinator, Janet Waldie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org to rent one of the plots left available. With the Farms new database system allowing much easier tracking of rental information, memberships are now accepted on a rolling renewal basis and are for one calendar year from the first date of rental. You can visit the Farm Rules Section online to check out rental fees and other requirements at www.skidawayfarms.net/farm-rules
The Children’s Program
The four plots in the Farm designated for the Children’s Program have come alive with the 15 little-farmers who have started their gardens there. Many of these children are first-time Farmers who have already sown their seeds and are eagerly awaiting the fruits of their labor. Coordinator, Jane Kollmann and her assistants Aletha Dunlavy, Sue Bell, Hillary Hughes and Jan Wright are having a grand time with these little Farmers…and Skidaway Farms has added yet another crop of passionate soil tenders inside its gates. Just wait ‘till they witness their first seedling popping its head above the soil!
Organic Gardening 101 Master Class
Skidaway Farms is hosting this special program, taught by Kelly Lockamy, Master Gardener and Director of the Savannah Urban Garden Alliance (SUGA). The participants have been busy studying soil biology…composting…seed starting techniques…handling garden pests and how to develop good compost. Their classroom work gets put to the test in the Organic Section of the Farm where they are tending a plot for the length of the course. Lockamy will begin the Advanced Techniques section classes starting on March 10th…you can contact her for more information at 912.644-5967 for more information.
(for the Feb TLA Journal)
Skidaway Farms is proud to announce we will be hosting a “hands-on” Organic Gardening Class this month. Sponsored by Georgia Southern University, this course is for those of us who have always wanted to know the ins-and-outs of Organic Gardening.
Learn about soil biology…composting…seed starting techniques…how to handle pests…how to develop good compost…both in the classroom and “in-the-soil”. This comprehensive six-week program will take place in the classroom at Skidaway Methodist Church and in the soil at Skidaway Farms.
The program will be taught by Kelly Locamy, Master Gardener and Director of the Savannah Urban Garden Alliance (SUGA). Kelly holds a Certificate in Permaculture Design and has worked as a Horticultural Therapist with the elderly in assisted–living facilities.
There are two courses … on Saturdays from 8 am-12 noon.
1. Organic Gardening Fundamentals – Feb 11, 25 and March 3
An overview of organic gardening good for both new and experienced gardeners.
2. Advanced Techniques – March 10, 24, 31
An in-depth analysis of organics.
You can register online at http://ceps.georgiasouthern.edu/conted/organicgardening.html
Questions? Phone us at 912.644-5967 for more information.
Happenings at the Farm…
Two truckloads of “black gold” compost arrived last week…just in time for the start of our second growing year! Harvested at a north Georgia Farm, this soil additive has already proven itself to many Farmers as the best way to jump-start their seeds and plants.
Raising vegetables and fruits in this coastal Georgia soil has been a challenge met head-on by our Farmers with compost, cover crops and other soil enhancements. Given the vast improvement in the fall harvest, we are all looking forward to the bounty this spring will bring!
Children’s Garden at the Farm…
On February 18th, the Children’s Garden will be underway! There are still openings to sign your child up for this 10 week program designed for kids ages 6-12.
Groups of friends, folks with their grandchildren, Scout Troops and more…all are welcome to come and grow with us at the Farm! For more information, go to the Farms website at www.skidawayfarms.net/children-garden.
(for the TLA January Journal)
Growing vegetables and flowers is a skill…much like learning how to swim or ride a bike….once you get it under your belt, it becomes a life skill you will use more often than you plan on. And learning about where your food comes from and how its health can keep you healthy is a valuable lesson for all our children.
From the White House to Skidaway Island…kids in the garden are breaking ground and having a ball doing it!
The Children’s Program at Skidaway Farms is now taking registrations for the Spring 2012 season.
Come Grow with Us!!
- Learn how to plant, tend and harvest vegetables and flowers of your choosing
- Ten week season begins Saturday, February 18, 2012
- Cost is $ 25 per child
- Meeting times are Saturday mornings and one weekday after school
Skidaway Farms Children’s Coordinator, Jane Kollmann is inviting you and your children ages, 6-12 to join up! You can contact her at email@example.com
with any questions you may have about the program.
Bring Your Friends!
You can bring your buddies with you and sign up as a group. Each group will tend their own plot…harvest their own food….and bring it home for supper when it’s ready!
Scout troops, Activity Clubs and other groups are encouraged to work on their merit badges and community projects by participating in the Children’s Program. Adult Leaders can set up special projects for their group that will encourage their children to learn how growing plants can help each other and their communities.
Grand-parents are welcome too!
•Sign up your grandchild and help them learn what it takes to grow your own food!
•What a great way to spend time outdoors with the kids!
• Encourage them to meet new friends who love being outdoors!
•Show them how to get involved in a community project like Skidaway Farms!
You do not have to be a Farmer with your own plot at the Farm to register your child in the Children’s Program however Adult Guardian participation is required while your child is at the Farm.
Check out the Children’s Page on our website at www.skidawayfarms.net
Each child will be able to have pictures of their plants and flowers posted on their own “farm page” as the ten-week season unfolds. A fun way to let their friends see what’s happening in their plot!
Come visit the Farm…directions are on our website at www.skidawayfarms.net/abouththefarm the gates are open sunrise to sunset every day!
The Governance Committee is pleased to announce that Landings resident, Jane Kollmann has been selected to become our Children’s Program Coordinator. Attracted by the weather and the longer growing season, Jane and her husband, Tom moved to the Landings from Minnesota a year ago. They tend to their two plots at the Farm as well as the Flower Garden in Section D.
Jane has been prepping the four plots that make up the Children’s garden, building a brick perimeter and covering the space with hay to winter over the soil. She is busy preparing the curriculum that will attract and inspire children ages 6-12 years old to plant and tend to their own garden at the Farm.
The Children’s season will begin in February and run for 10 weeks. Children and their parents will meet at the Farm on Saturday mornings and one afternoon during the week. Look
for the announcement flyer on our website and on our bulletin board inside the Farm! Email Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.