News and Events

It’s more than a garden; it’s a look at the future.
The “Feed Fannin/Barbara Ferer Research & Demonstration Garden” has opened next to the Fannin County Family Connection Food Pantry at 101 Industrial Park Road in Blue Ridge. As its inaugural project, the garden incorporates the “Mittleider method,” which produces higher yields with less water in a smaller space than the standard garden.
The Research & Demonstration Garden is made possible through a grant from The George Link Jr. Charitable Trust. A ribbon cutting and sign unveiling will be held at 10 am on Wednesday, August 8, to celebrate the occasion.
In 2009, Feed Fannin founder Barbara Ferer led the creation of the Feed Fannin Community Garden, now located on Ada Street in Blue Ridge, on land made possible through a partnership with the Fannin County Board of Education. That garden supplies the Food Pantry with thousands of pounds of fresh, nutritious produce each year, thanks to the tireless efforts of dedicated Feed Fannin volunteers.
“Once the main garden was well established and successful in its mission, I began thinking of developing new and progressive methods of raising food in small home gardens,” Ferer said. Her most recent effort to promote more sustainable gardens led her and Feed Fannin volunteers Ken Banwart and Chuck Haines to research and pursue the Mittleider method as their first experimental project in the new Research & Demonstration Garden.
A committee of several Feed Fannin members will be exploring other alternative gardening methods. “Demonstration garden spaces using a variety of progressive, environmentally-sound and economically-practical methods will be started,” said John Sugg, chairman of Feed Fannin. Members of the community will be invited to observe and encouraged to learn about the different methods to determine which approach would best suit their terrain, level of interest and their budgets.
“We also welcome new ideas from the community to identify small-space gardening methods to test in the Research & Demonstration Garden,” added Sugg.
There will be workshops about growing food, many in partnership with schools, related organizations and agencies, hosted in the Family Connection conference room. In addition, Feed Fannin will hold building and planting demonstrations, and workdays focused on small-space gardening to engage members of the community in fun and practical ways to “grow your own garden” in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia.
As is the case with the primary garden on Ada Street, all the produce grown by Feed Fannin volunteers in the new gardens will be donated to the Food Pantry. The long-time support of the Fannin County Family Connection is a major factor in the success of the joint effort with Feed Fannin to operate the Food Pantry housed in their building, which serves thousands of families and individuals in need each year in our area.
“We are grateful to The George Link, Jr. Charitable Trust for their support of Feed Fannin’s efforts to provide nutritious food and fresh produce to those in need in our community and to share knowledge about sustainable gardening methods suitable for our area,” said Sugg.

Feed Fannin is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2009 for the purpose of educating and encouraging our community towards self-sufficiency while providing food for those in need. It manages Community Gardens in Fannin County and raises funds through donations and our major annual fundraiser, Bowls of Hope. Funds raised are used for food purchases from the Chattanooga and Atlanta community food banks. The produce grown in the gardens and the food purchased from the food banks are provided to needy families at the Family Connection Food Pantry. Other locations provide space for local residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

Questions about this news release? Call Diane Payne at 678-296-8742 or contact her at gabirdy2@gmail.com

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Events:

Look for Feed Fannin volunteers at the following events:

  • Arts in the Park (Spring)
  • July 4th Celebration (Parade Float and Market)
  • Arts in the Park (Fall)
  • Light up Blue Ridge – Saturday after Thanksgiving – (Come have your picture taken with Santa)
  • Bowls of Hope – Saturday March 10, 2018 – Sponsored by Feed Fannin