The Dirt January 2011

The Dirt

Jan 2011

Good Day Farmers,

This is our second monthly newsletter and we are looking for an Editor. If you would like to become a critical part of the new organization and and have time each month to organize a newsletter, please contact me:
Blake Caldwell (598-5365 or 404-964-8409) .

Save the Date
Gate-Opening Celebration
Saturday, February 5 th (Rain date Feb 12th)2:00 PM
In the Garden – McWhorter Road
Live music, Refreshments by Cha Bella
Hester and Zipperer will have vegetable plants for sale
Free Hay Rides-Bring the Children
Everybody Welcome


Get Involved! (Second Request)

Several people have stepped forward to join our governance committee. However, there are still jobs to fill so please consider being part of the ‘ground floor’ as we build this new amenity for our community.

Chair- Blake Caldwell
Mike King: Finance Coordinator
Vice-Chair (rising Chair) – vacant
Linda Huntoon: Communications Coordinator
Education Coordinator: Vacant
Janet Waldie: Membership Coordinator

The Governance Committee will “be responsible for decisions regarding the membership and also current and future Garden activities. Committee members develop, interpret, and enforce the Garden rules. Only Garden members may join The Governance Committee” We need people to volunteer for this important work. The first couple of years will set the stage for many years to come, so please consider giving your time and wonderful ideas. If you would like to take on one of the vacant position or serve on a team, please let me know. (404-964-8409 or

Our First Work Party

The Farm as a Work in Progress. On December 30, with very short notice, we got 12 hearty gardeners to join us in shoveling and raking ground asphalt to be the base of the perimeter paths in the garden. Most of us have gray hair but we absolutely moved a lot of base material. The Valley Crest folks were mightily impressed. We all say thank you to: Janet Waldie,

Bill Bowen, Joe Shantz, Peggy Miller, Joan Huxler, Aletha Dunlavy, Andy Ward, Lou Molella, Connie O’Donnell, ,Liz McGough, Beth Thompson, and Jackie Huntley. Your chance will come. We plan at least one more work party before the farm opens Feb 5th.
Watch your e-mail.

Organic Gardeners Corner

I’m looking forward to gardening at Skidaway Farms. At our first work party, I met a lot great people and we are excited about sharing gardening tips with each other. Turns out, we have very experienced organic gardeners in our midst. The organic gardening plots will occupy a section in the back right corner of the garden. At the Grand Opening, we will have a separate drawing for those plots. If you would like to sign up for the organic section and have not done so already, please contact me. Janet Waldie. ( – 655.7716.) The following was taken from the University of Georgia’s web site under Organic Agriculture. Organic production is usually thought of as growing foods or fibers without the use of synthetic fertilizers or synthetic pesticides, or in the case of animals without using extra hormones or antibiotics. In reality, organic production is a system of practices that relies on biological cycles to minimize diseases and pests, and to help maintain fertility. Take a look at the definition below from the USDA National Organic Standards Board.

“Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.”
(Examples of off-farm inputs: purchased compost, rock, manure, etc.)

Our Sign is Up!
Look for it on the left on McWhorter Road beyond the split toward the aquarium.

Capital Fund Update:

Skidaway Farms will be celebrating its Grand Opening on February 5thth. We thank everyone who has so generously contributed not only financially, but also their time and labor to make this possible. We started out hoping to raise $80,000 in our Capital Campaign for the infrastructure needs – fencing, deep el, irrigation, tilling, grading etc. We are still short of meeting this goal by $27,000. Donors at all levels are invited to join us and will be recognized on our web site: Additional sponsorships exist to honor those who you may wish to celebrate or commemorate – naming rights to the garden’s ways and lanes, and plaques to be placed on benches and picnic tables built by Bethesda Barn Builders. Donations are tax deductible and should be made out to Skidaway Audubon and sent to 600 Landings Way South, Savannah, GA 31311.

Children’s Garden Update:

Plans are underway to provide an area reserved for children. The pilot program is our initial attempt to educate and allow children and parents to experience the joys (mostly) of growing vegetables from seed. We will begin with two plots within the area designated for the Children’s Garden.
A crop of cool weather (early) vegetables are planned. Garlic, onions, radishes, spinach, parsley, and carrots will be attempted. Each child will have a portion of the 20 X 20 foot plot.
During the Grand Opening, a sign-up sheet will be available and a flyer to give to parents. Meetings will be conducted on selected Saturdays from 10 AM until 11 AM. I will monitor the progress and inform the participants to join me when “things” start to sprout. They may learn the fine art of weeding, if nothing else, initially. We will tend and cultivate the veggies as they mature. A harvesting celebration is envisioned for each child, as they remove their produce to take home.
So far, we are a committee of 2, Pat Barry and Green Thumb president, Linda Rich. We would like to encourage others to join us and continue to develop and “grow” the garden for children. I have spoken with a few mothers who are enormously excited and supportive of the opportunity to share the fun and knowledge gained.

Costal Gardening Know How:

We area also looking for a person to write a monthly “what you should be doing this month” in the garden. You do not have to be an expert, but we want this column to be specific to Skidaway Farms. So if you want to talk about what you are doing and advise other farmers, please let us know. We are happy to have ‘guest editors’ each month until someone decides it is theirs to take on.