Blue Ridge, Ga. – Feed Fannin is celebrating 10 years of serving Fannin County and throughout the years the all volunteer organization has grown and become a template for other projects across the state of Georgia.
Feed Fannin was founded in 2009 by Barbara Ferer who had a vision of bringing individuals together to “educate and encourage our community towards self-sufficiency while providing food for those in need”.
The very first garden planted in Fannin County was at Davenport Brothers Wood Yard and from there smaller gardens popped throughout the community.
“Our primary goal is to provide food or funds for the pantry,” Feed Fannin Board of Directors member Jane Kimzey said explaining the mission of the organization, and what Feed Fannin has provided to the Family Connection food pantry.
Through organically gardening a variety of produce, which varies year to year, Feed Fannin was able to raise and contribute 7,415 pounds of vegetables to the community in 2018. This large amount is predominantly attributed to, beyond the vast hours of work volunteers put in regularly, the Fannin County School System leasing a tract of land on Ada Street.
According to John Sugg, Chairman of Feed Fannin, acquiring the Ada Street property allowed the organization to grow exponentially.
“We are here today and we have one purpose, to tell you all thank you. This partnership means a lot to us,” Sugg spoke recently to the Fannin County Board of Education.
The Ada Street property was first leased from the school system in 2013, with the first garden being planted on site in April of 2014. The land, which is leased for $1.00 per year, not only allowed for Feed Fannin to move forward in their mission but also opened up an ongoing mutually beneficial relationship between the organization and the local schools.
Working side by side with Fannin County’s Future Farmers of America (FFA), Feed Fannin is excited to see the school system’s new Agriculture Center completed adjacent to their gardens.
“We work closely with their new Ag Center which is a jewel in this community,” Sugg said of the relationship shared with Fannin County schools.
Assistant Superintendent Robert Ensley spoke of the school system’s appreciation for Feed Fannin, “They have been a great partner to us. Through our STEM program and different things, they have helped us financially and been a partner in the community. They do a lot of great things.”
Since their beginning in 2009 Feed Fannin has provided the local food pantry and community with 64,797 pounds of produce. Along with this produce Feed Fannin works to raise money for the Family Connection food pantry.
“We either give the money directly to the food pantry in some cases, but in some cases we use it to purchase milk and eggs,” Kimzey spoke of the use of the funds raised each year.
Since 2009 Feed Fannin has raised over $320,000 to support area projects. Besides general upkeep of gardens and equipment, all money raised goes directly into the community, as there is no paid staff and the organization runs on a volunteer basis only.
Much of the funds raised for Feed Fannin come from the annual Bowls of Hope fundraiser. 2018 saw record breaking numbers as this fundraiser alone was responsible for bringing in almost $32,000.
So what’s in store for the future of Feed Fannin? Currently more than 168 volunteers work to provide services to the county. These services include year long educational classes, working with local elementary schools on gardening programs, continuing a relationship with Fannin County’s FFA program and stocking shelves with home grown goods for the local food pantry.
Feed Fannin has recently added a research and development team to keep up with the latest methods in gardening and to look into ways to improve an already successful program. An experimental garden has also been added to the Family Connection property and is being funded by an independent organization.
There is work being done to expand Feed Fannin’s allotment garden where individuals with less than ideal conditions for gardening can make use of the community land and plant their own small gardens.
Chairman of the Fannin County Board of Commissioners Stan Helton read from a proclamation acknowledging the work done by Feed Fannin, “Where as hunger in Fannin County continues to be problem, Feed Fannin, a group of individuals have joined forces to eliminate hunger in Fannin County by helping others help themselves through community gardening, education and shared resources.”
Feed Fannin invites all citizens of Fannin County to celebrate with them as they mark 10 years of service in our area. The annual fundraiser, Bowls of Hope, will be held on April 27, 2019 at Willow Creek Falls and Vineyard.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feed Fannin Presents a Class on Beekeeping
Mark your calendar! Feed Fannin continues its educational program by presenting a class on Beekeeping Saturday, April 15th. The Introduction to Hobby Beekeeping class will start at 10:00 a.m. at the Feed Fannin Farm located off Ada Street in Blue Ridge.
Interested in establishing a beehive and need to know where to start? Join Dr. Laurence Ransom, of Red Baron Apiary, to learn how to start a hobby of beekeeping. Dr. Laurence will share the cost involved in establishing a hive and provide safety tips to be comfortable around your beehives. Dr. Ransom studied medicine at Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He is Board Certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Neonatal Perinatal Medicine. He is the former Medical Director of Neonatal Medicine at Women’s Hospital of Greensboro. Dr. Ransom and his wife currently operate Red Baron Apiary located in McCaysville.
The class takes place on the Feed Fannin Farm at 762 Ada Street in Blue Ridge, GA
No registration is needed for the class but a donation of a $5 or the equivalent in non-perishable canned food will be appreciated. Feed Fannin is a local non-profit all-volunteer organization working together to educate and encourage our community towards self-sufficiency while providing food for those in need. The donations will be used to help support the local Family Connection Food Pantry and Feed Fannin’s efforts to promote gardening and self-sufficiency. Feed Fannin is proud to have the support of the Master Gardeners and the Fannin County Extension Office.
Feed Fannin will be offering additional classes on sustainability, and winter gardens for the 2017 season. Watch for more information about upcoming classes on the Feed Fannin website, Facebook and in local newspapers. For more information go to www.feedfannin.com, follow us on Facebook, or contact Anna Speessen at 706-502-0940 or at email@example.com.
A class “Starting Plants from Seeds” will be offered at the Fannin
County Library at 5 pm on Thursday, March 23. Charlotte Dickinson from
the North Georgia Master Gardeners and Sue Campbell from Feed Fannin
will teach the class. It will feature starting seeds indoors as well as
starting seeds in the ground outdoors. The class will be informal with
lots of time for questions or comments from the audience. This marks the
beginning of the 2017 planting season. Seeds that were donated at the
end of the growing season last year have been packaged by Feed Fannin
and Master Gardener members and are now ready for “check out” at your
public library! There are many different varieties of vegetable seeds
available, as well as some herbs and flowers, for free!
Clare Barton, Librarian
Fannin County Public Library
phone 706-632-5263 fax 706-632-7719
400 W. Main St. Suite 104
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
That weed you see may be a plant or herb valued for its healing qualities. You can learn more about native and garden plants and their medicinal qualities by attending Feed Fannin’s class on herbs on August 6th at 10:00 a.m. at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church located at 823 Forge Mill Road in Morganton, GA 30560.
Feed Fannin has partnered with the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies, Georgia’s Premier School of Herbal Studies for 22 years, to offer the class. The class will be taught by the schools’ director, Patricia Kyritsi Howell. Howell will teach participants how to identify healing plants and herbs and how to incorporate them into their gardens and medicine chests.
Feed Fannin asks participants to bring a donation of a $5 or the equivalent in non-perishable canned food will be appreciated. Feed Fannin is a local non-profit all-volunteer organization working together to educate and encourage our community towards self-sufficiency while providing food for those in need. The donations will be used to help support the local Family Connection Food Pantry and Feed Fannin’s efforts to promote gardening and self-sufficiency. Feed Fannin is proud to have the support of the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies for its educational series.
Feed Fannin request Registration for this class as space is limited. Feed Fannin will be providing a light lunch so call early! RSVP to Anna Speessen at 706-502-0940 or 706-946-5460 email your RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feed Fannin held its largest fundraiser of the year, Bowls of Hope, on Saturday March 19 at Willow Creek Falls and Vineyards.
Bill Fleming and his wife Jacquelyn Howard support Feed Fannin because, as Mr. Fleming states, “What are the two most important things in life – food and people. No organization embodies this than Feed Fannin. Every community needs a Feed Fannin.”
Indeed Feed Fannin’s contribution to the community is more than the 6,000 tons of produce it grew and donated to families in 2015. Feed Fannin helped build the community gardens at each of the three Fannin County Elementary Schools. It also holds community classes on productivity and canning. Feed Fannin volunteers also staff the food bank. The garden space develops community too. Feed Fannin offers garden bed rental for $10 a season. In the garden, people can keep each other company by celebrating the pride of growing your own food even while doing the relentless task of pulling up weed shoots before they crowd out the vegetables.
The gift is mutual. Feed Fannin has tremendous support throughout the area in all sorts of ways. Feed Fannin needed some earth moved for the garden, a company donated its time. Feed Fannin needed soups, breads and dessert for Bowls of Hope and Fannin restaurants and stores provided and volunteered at the tables.
Feed Fannin needed bowls for the Bowls of Hope and 15 artists created over 500 bowls for the event. Some potters like Cooper Creek Pottery, John Archer and Mountain Oak Pottery have been contributing bowls over the last few year. They and potters from Turning Point Clay Studios, Foxglove Pottery and John Campbell Folk School, all from Cherokee County North Carolina donated the bulk of the bowls. 500 bowls at an average price of $20 to $25 a piece represent $11,250.
According to Jim Stewart, the Fannin community contributed over 18,000 at Bowls of Hope last year which is a tremendous amount of money for a community this size.
Feed Fannin held Bowls of Hope event at Willow Creek Falls on March 21st 2015. (more…)