Springtime temps and the promise of colorful flowers and garden greenery brought 16 local residents out to Feed Fannin’s first class of the year at Quinn’s Greenhouse in McCaysville on March 17.
Ginger Montgomery, co-owner of Quinn’s, addressed the chilly and wet spring that delayed plantings this year. She offered advice on soil preparation and spring seedlings and, after playing in the dirt a bit, she sent everyone home with a tray of herb and annual cuttings and vegetable seeds.
April’s class featured a tour of the Blue Ridge Cannery in a program jointly sponsored by Feed Fannin and the North Georgia Master Gardeners. As it was far too early in the growing season to have any crops ready to can, Rhonda Matthews, who co-manages the cannery and is an agricultural education teacher at Fannin County High School, showed a good mix of Feed Fannin members, master gardeners, future farmers and other curious
area residents around the facility and explained its capabilities.
Rhonda detailed the canning process and talked about the advantages of using the cannery rather than canning at home (less messy, easier and more efficient for canning larger quantities of food, etc.).
Bats were the star of the May class co-sponsored by the Fannin County Young Farmers Association. Trina Morris, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources, came to the Ada Street farmhouse to talk about the benefits of having bats, healthy bat habitats and White Nose Syndrome, a fast-spreading fungus that has decimated many bat species and caused five to seven million bat deaths in the U.S. in recent years.
Here is the schedule of future classes planned by the Education Committee:
- June 16, 10 a.m. Mittleider Gardening Method by FF members Ken Barnhart and Chuck Haines, presented by Feed Fannin and the Young Farmers Association at the Fannin County Family Connection
- July 14, 10 a.m. Saving Seeds by Master Gardener Fran Stoecker, presented by Feed Fannin and the Master Gardeners at the Ada Street farmhouse
- Aug. 4, 10 a.m. Medicinal Herbs by Patricia Kristi Howell, director of the Botana Logos School of Herbal Studies, at the Ada Street farmhouse
- Sept. 15, 10 a.m. Invasive Species by Master Gardener Alyce Wirtz, presented by Feed Fannin and the Master Gardeners at the Ada Street farmhouse
- Oct. 8, 10 a.m. Edible Perennials by Dr. David Busch, class to be held in David’s garden in Cherry Log
Many thanks to all of these volunteer speakers for their willingness to share their expertise with us. Visit our Class Schedule for all current classes.
Submitted by Diane Payne