The Soil Sifter

Two visitors to the Farm noticed a Farmer struggling while trying to sift her soil.  They stopped to chat with her and suggested using a solid framed sifter as this had worked for them.  When the Farmer said that she would have to build one for herself, the two visitors smiled, bid her good day …then went to the store…purchased supplies…and started working.  The next day, they returned to the Farm and presented that lucky Farmer with a gift – a wooden sifter!  Such kindness extraordinaire!  These two visitors remain anonymous but what they have left behind does have a name … compassion.  This little tale is a much needed re-boot for the rest of us on how deep human kindness can flow.  That Farmer was lucky to receive their gift … and the world is lucky these nameless visitors are two of its citizens!  (4/11/2011)

Squash Attacked!

Squash Attacked!

The leaves of one Farmer’s summer squash was being eaten by something not visible and the blossoms were shriveling up and dying. So, she dutifully tried an anti-squash vine-borer concoction … which did not work fast enough. Alas – all her squash plants fell prey to the invisible foe and had to be pulled to keep the rest of her plants safe. One Farmer suggested a new tip: a new way of growing summer squash is to put the plants in cages like those used for tomatoes. Growing the plants vertically rather than sprawled on the ground apparently keeps the bugs away. Give it a try and let us know if you have the same results! Anything to save the squash! (5/6/2011)

From The Landings Journal May 2011

Supper at Skidaway Farms!

You are invited to have supper at Skidaway Farms on May 15th!  We’ll be celebrating our first harvest so it’s appropriate we eat…really well…while doing that!

Roasted Chicken, BBQ Pulled Pork, Orzo Salad teeming with Veggies, Roasted Potato Salad and Corn Bread dripping with Honey Butter will be on the buffet prepared by the chefs at Cha Bella.  Beer and wine will also be available.  Tickets are being sold at the Landings Company Offices (on Bartram just off Landings Way North) -tickets are $ 45 (with a voucher for a glass of beer or wine on us!) 

The supper is a fundraiser for Skidaway Farms – an event to help us pay down the $ 18,000 debt we still have from our start-up costs.  The event is open to all – so bring your family and your neighbors and everyone else you can think of!   

While you eat, you can wander around the Farm listening to soft music supplied by Savannah Steve while you take it all in.  There is a LOT to see!  What started out as two acres of plain soil and gravel walkways is now a thriving green space with trellises dripping with pole beans and cucumbers; and furrows topped with broccoli and lettuce; and rows upon rows of radishes and tomatoes and onions and carrots.  If you haven’t seen Skidaway Farms since Opening Day in February, your visit will be a sight for sore eyes!  The garden sculptures alone are worth the visit!

There has been a call for more Raised Bed plots!  The Governance Committee decided to commission eight more to be built as soon as they are rented.  The annual rental for these plots is $ 250 (the cost of the lumber and the carpenter to build one).  Contact Membership Coordinator, Janet Waldie at  sunshine@gardenthyme.me  for details.  And there are still 15 ground-level plots available and the time to get some plants into the soil for a late June harvest! 

You’ll enjoy yourself at the May 15th Supper.  It will be a sumptuous time!  And dress like a Farmer if you get the hankerin’ – you’ll fit right in!  The buffet opens at 5:00 pm.  The rain date…hopefully not needed… is on the calendar for May 22nd.

 Come one!  Come all!  Come on down to the Farm!

 Skidaway Farms is on McWhorter Road going to Modena — bear left at the fork and then turn left onto the gravel drive next to the Skidaway Farms sign.  The gates are open every day from “sun up to sundown.” 

Supper At The Farm

Supper at The Farm

The May 15th “Supper at The Farm” is getting closer! Farmers were heard going on today about the great food Cha Bella Restaurant always supplies… much thanks to Chef Matt and his staff! Tickets are on sale…. everyday …at the Landings Real Estate Office on Bartram Road. Don’t miss out on your first Harvest Celebration! It’ll be so nice to eat while strolling amongst the vegetables and fruit … a perfect end to a Farmer’s day! (4/12/2011)

Tips From Those In The Know!

Walk around the Farm and you can see some amazing plots …glowing veggies…no weeds…well pruned plants… perfect furrows and trellises. The work of very experienced hands is on display in these plots! The Farm counts several Master Gardeners and many more Gardeners-Extraordinaire with years of know-how on our roster. We are lucky to be able to watch them work and now several are willing to volunteer their time to help Farmer-wannabees get their plots in order. If you have a friend who wants to join the Farm but hesitates because they have no experience, then Skidaway Farms can remedy that! Send an email to Education@skidawayfarms.net and we’ll get going on it! (4/18/2011)

The Farms’ Initial Children’s Program

The pilot program for our children’s garden is an initial attempt to educate, and allow children and parents to experience the joys of growing vegetables from seed.  We have begun this program with four plots within the area designated in the Farm.

Just after the Grand Opening for Skidaway Farms, a crop of cool weather (early) vegetables was planted:  garlic, onions, radishes, spinach, parsley, and carrots as well as pumpkins.  Pat Barry, Skidaway Farms’ Children’s Coordinator, will monitor the progress and inform the participants when “things” start to sprout.

As the Farm waits with great anticipation for our first children’s harvest, meetings will be conducted with the Children on selected Saturdays from 10 AM until 11 AM.  Initially, they may learn the fine art of weeding, if nothing else!  The children will tend and cultivate the veggies as they mature.  A harvesting celebration is envisioned for the children, when they will be able to remove their produce to take home.

Three volunteers have assisted Pat Barry with the tilling, mulching and building of the furrows: Aletha Dunlavy, Kathy Fritz, and Linda Rich, the current president of Green Thumb Garden Club.

Skidaway Farms would like to encourage others to join the Children’s Garden and help us continue to develop and “grow” this wonderful program. (March 2011)

Supper… and Angels …at “The Farm”

 

Not only are we growing great food at Skidaway Farms but next week we’ll be serving some to you as well at our May Supper at the Farm event!  You and your family, friends and neighbors are invited to join us for our first harvest celebration!

Cha Bella Restaurant’s incredible Chefs have prepared a delectable menu for the buffet which will begin at 5 pm on Sunday, May 15th.  Tickets are on sale at The Landings Company office on Bartram Road.

Roasted Chicken, Barbequed Pulled Pork, Orzo Salad teeming with Vegetables,
Corn Bread dripping with Honey Butter and Roasted Potato Salad!

And…. your first drink is “on-the-Farm!” (And…yes… we’ll have those libations!)

You’ll eat well while enjoying soft, sultry music provided by Savannah Steve … amidst the unmistakable growth of happy vegetables and cheerful flowers in the Farm.  Wander around the plots … take it all in … enjoy the amazing farm-art and the beauty of the fleur and fauna!

About those angels at the Farm….

Thanks to Bethesda Barn Builders, Skidaway Farms is now home to some incredible heart-felt memorials for gardeners and builders-past.  These gifted volunteer woodworkers…there are presently 17 men in the group… have designed and built the Southern Pine benches you see around the Farm.  Dedicated by Friends of the Farm, some of the benches are gentle reminders of those who loved to garden and are sorely missed while other benches honor folks who are supporters of the Farm.  Bo Wolf, Bethesda Barn Builders’ present Director, made sure one of their benches was dedicated to deceased barn builders who had been with the group since its inception.  Jack Fisher, chief designer for the group’s projects, founded the volunteer builders to help renovate an old barn at Bethesda Boys School in 1993.  Many barns, benches and bridges later, Bethesda Barn Builders continues to grace our community with projects at Delegal Marina, the Landings’ Nature Trail, UGA’s Marine Extension, the newly-renamed Bethesda Academy and, of course, Skidaway Farms.   Bravo, gentlemen!  We are all honored to admire your work!

Come visit Skidaway Farms to see the work of the Bethesda Barn Builders and the many talented Farmers of Skidaway Island!  Or join the festivities on May 15th for a great supper and lots of camaraderie!  Tickets are on sale for one and all at The Landings Company offices (open everyday 9-5).  If you would like to purchase a bench to honor a gardener in your life contact Blake Caldwell at  404-964-8409  or mblakecaldwell@bellsouth.net

Skidaway Farms is on McWhorter Road going towards Modena — bear left at the fork and in one half-mile turn left onto the gravel drive… next to the Skidaway Farms sign.  The Farm is open every day from “sun-up to sundown”.

SKIDAWAY FARMS

SKIDAWAY FARMS

for the TLA Journal April 2011

The gates are open — the irrigation system is on — the sun is shining —- and the frosts are behind us!

But the best news is:

Skidaway Farms still has room for you to become a member and start gardening!

After the Opening Celebration on February 12th, Skidaway Farms had a crush of new members join up!  But with almost 200 plots onsite, there are still 29 plots available for more new gardeners. Email Membership Coordinator, Janet Waldie  (sunshine@gardenthyme.me) who will get you signed up!

Close to 190 gardeners are busy tilling, planting and admiring their plots.  Traditional gardeners number 110 while the Organic section boasts 25 members.  Governance Committee Chair, Blake Caldwell is also exploring the notion of creating more raised beds for those new gardeners who may be interested.

Skidaway Farms is a 2.5 acre view of just how very talented we Skidaway Islanders really are!  It is the colorful answer to: “What happens when dedicated gardeners put their personal signature on their own 200 sq. feet of dirt!”

No two plots look alike — some sport pine straw —some black anti-weed fabric— some are furrowed — trellises adorn others — there are birdbaths and flowers and wind chimes and even a mailbox or two!  And, of course, there are vegetables — and flowers too.

Talk among the Farmers is that Season 1 will be on a leaning-curve.  After all, Skidaway is a coastal island and that means the wind, the soil, the humidity, the critters and the bugs are new to many Farmers who hail from other climates.   The Farms’ Education Coordinator, Donna Shea, is busy lining up a slate of experts who will be on hand to help out!   (line about zipperere…etc,

Come on down and visit the Farm!

Skidaway Farms is on McWhorter Road going to Modena — bear left at the fork and then turn left onto the gravel drive next to the Skidaway Farms sign.  The gates are open every day from “sun up to sun down”.

Kids at “The Farm”

Kids at “The Farm” –

from the TWATL 4/15/2011

Who knew you could grow pumpkins in an eggshell?

Pat Barry, Children’s Garden Coordinator at Skidaway Farms surely knew!  It was the first thing she taught her flock of children-farmers about how vegetables really grow.

Supported by their parents, over a dozen children (ages 4-8) have planted sunflowers, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, pumpkins and radishes in the Children’s Garden at the Farm.  With a generous grant from the Green Thumb Garden Club, Pat rented the plots and was able to purchase enough copies of Helen Jordan’s  “How A Seed Grows” so each child had their own book.  Linda Rich, Aletha Dunlavy and Kathy Fritz helped Pat till the soil and get the plots ready for the children.

Then, armed with a couple dozen eggshells and some pumpkin seeds, Pat showed her wide-eyed little Farmers just how it was done!  Everyone took home their eggshell – and watched it carefully for that first exhilarating pop of green up through the soil.  Once the seeds germinated, each child planted the seedling  at the Farm – eggshell and all!

Other seeds went into the ground directly – under the caring eye of the flowered-hat-scarecrow who, so far, has kept a vigilant watch over all the goings-on!

Girl Scout Troop # 33061 also has joined the Children’s Garden.  These Daisy Scouts are working to receive their Rose-Petal-Daisy badge by gardening their harvest of melons and veggies.  Troop Co-Leaders, Dawn Ciano and Colleen Bibby are using Skidaway Farms to guide these young girls through the “Make The World a Better Place” Girl Scout program.

Skidaway Farms encourages other children to join up…  organized groups or maybe a Grandparent and their grandchildren.  The only requirement is the children must live on Skidaway Island and a parent/guardian must be involved.  Contact Pat Barry at pat@home31411.com with any questions about the Children’s Program.

Come on down and visit the Farm!

Skidaway Farms is on McWhorter Road going to Modena — bear left at the fork and then turn left onto the gravel drive next to the Skidaway Farms sign.  The gates are open every day from “sun up to sundown.”

 

Coffee Ground Fertilizer

The talk at one plot today was about coffee grounds today… and how earthworms love them! And anything that makes earthworms happy makes for happier soil. You can add grounds directly to the soil… scratch it into the top couple inches or just sprinkle the grounds on top and leave it alone. Mother Nature takes over … things start to decompose … and your plants start to notice! One Farmer makes coffee ground “tea”. Add two cups of used coffee grounds to a five-gallon bucket of water…. lets it steep for a few hours or overnight… it makes great liquid fertilizer for garden and container plants! (3/12/11)

 

Growing Sustainable Gardens And Community