Update 2016-01-28: Video of Gretchen on Talk 92.1FM Scott James show.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
South Georgia Growing Local on the air and on the ground at Pine Grove Middle School
Hahira, January 25, 2016 — Tuesday morning 8:30 AM, Gretchen Quarterman will be on the Scott James radio show, 92.1 FM, talking about South Georgia Growing Conference, happening again at Pine Grove Middle School, all day Saturday February 6th. “This has really turned into a thing!” as Chris Beckham said on his 105.9 FM radio show when Gretchen was on there last Wednesday, “So many different topics in six tracks, but all indigenous to south Georgia.”
Gretchen explained: “Indeed, when this conference started six years ago, we just had two tracks. One was about cooking, and one was about growing, pest control, and fertilizing, and how to have your garden be successful in the special conditions of south Georgia and north Florida. Because our conditions here are different than they are in north Georgia or on the coast, or farther south in Florida where it never freezes. We sort of have a very special environment here, and so this conference is geared towards that.” And all promoting local food, community, and economy.
This is the third year in Lowndes County, where this conference draws attendees from as far away as Savannah and Orlando. Individual sessions include “Bread 101” by Arica Griner of Waycross, and “Goats and Soaps” by Julia Shewchuk of Serenity Acres Farm in Madison County, Florida. Those are just a few that have been blogged so far, as speakers send in their session descriptions.
Culture and tradition are alive at South Georgia Growing Local. The annual Ham and Eggs Show in Lowndes County is one of only two remaining in the entire U.S. One of that Show’s longtime organizers, Derrick Dawson, Sr. will tell us some secrets of “Country cure meats,” such as how much salt, sugar, time, and “What supplies do I need?”
This conference promotes the local economy, and many presenters will have tables with their products for sale. Like Dawson, Terry Davis has been farming locally for many decades, and he will talk about “Planting by the Moon,” plus you can buy some of his unmatched cane syrup.
Local Buying Club Dirt Road Organics has a hard time keeping up with all the customers they’re gaining, as they collect local foods and other products from them across south Georgia, and sell them through weekly pick-up points in Camden County, Waycross, Valdosta, and Douglas. Farmers get wider distribution at fair prices, and buyers get fresh local food at reasonable prices.
New this year, Vanessa Flucas of the Valdosta City Downtown Development will ta lk about Community Resources, and there will be a talk about Valdosta City School Gardens by county extension agent Josh Dawson.
Even the sessions repeated from earlier years are always different. After all, “If I knew then what I know now,” as Christine Hagen of Berrien County’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Hagen Homestead wrote about her talk on “tips and tools for market farming and gardening in general”.
Continuity is aided by new crops, such as the surprising variety of fruits and vegetables Bret Wagenhorst grows in Tift County, some of them apparently tropical. His talk, “Lesser Known Crops for the Coastal Plain”, will include “what has sold well at the local farmers market for me, what I find tasty, what I find easiest or hardest to grow and ways to preserve these crops for later consumption.”
Plus Rainwater Collection by Marilyn Dye and Solar Energy by John S. Quarterman are among the over 20 sessions attendees can choose among. Water and sun join with our loamy soils to grow local foods, community, and economy.
Join us at Pine Grove Middle School for South Georgia Growing Local, 9AM to 5PM, Saturday February 6th, 2016!
And meanwhile catch Gretchen interviewed by Scott James on 92.1 FM this Tuesday.
You can register today on the web, at Okra Paradise Farms (OPF),
where you’ll also find the draft schedule for all the tracks:
You can keep up with conference events on facebook, at South Georgia
You can join the facebook event to let everybody know you’re coming:
But remember to register soon through the OPF web page, so Gretchen can tell the caterer how many to expect.