Thursday, March 27, 2008

Local Land Trust Announces Grant from Wildlife Foundation

Southern Conservation Trust (Fayette County) is pleased to announce that Norcross Wildlife Foundation of Massachusetts has made a generous donation to the Trust to purchase updated office equipment and print conservation brochures to support its conservation, educational and administrative activities. The Trust has added a Development Director, Bonnie Helander, and is expanding its conservation program throughout the Southern Crescent in 2008.

Norcross Wildlife Foundation’s mission is to protect, enhance and expand habitat for wildlife and to propagate, restore and maintain populations of threatened and endangered native plants. The Foundation supports the efforts of conservation programs throughout the country.

Southern Conservation Trust is a non-profit land trust formed to maintain, protect and enhance natural areas entrusted to its care for public use in the counties south of metro Atlanta. The Trust owns, manages and protects over 1,300 acres, including two beautiful nature areas in Peachtree City – Flat Creek Nature Area and Line Creek Nature Area. In 2008 the Trust is working to open two preserves in Fayette County for residents’ enjoyment – Sams Lake Bird Sanctuary and Morgan Grove Preserve.

For more information on conservation and the expanded tax benefits available to landowners, contact Southern Conservation Trust at 770.486.7774 or info@sctlandtrust.org.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

“Gardening in Georgia” premieres April 9

By Kristen Plank
University of Georgia

(Just a bit of Fayette County trivia... Walter Reeves is the son of well-known Fayette Countian Frances Reeves.)

Birds sing. Bees buzz. Flowers bloom. A new spring arrives in Georgia and so does a new season of “Gardening in Georgia with Walter Reeves,” premiering April 9 at 7 p.m. on Georgia Public Broadcasting stations.

The show is hosted by Georgia gardening guru and retired University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent Walter Reeves.

Guests will explain how to choose potting soil, propagate begonias or correctly plant trees, Reeves said. The segment on tree planting may or may not include a mud fight.

“We are going to have a lot of interesting guests on the show,” he said.

From creating a waist-high raised bed for those who cannot bend down, to building a rain barrel, Reeves will demonstrate a wide variety of do-it-yourself projects.

“There will be a bunch of hands-on sessions as well,” he said.

Reeves will work his way around Georgia and surrounding states to explore a variety of gardens this season. He will ward off “haints,” or lost souls, too, with bottle trees and risk his life felling a tree. It’ll be a colorful season.

Viewers can check out the show’s archives or find publications referenced on the show at the Web site www.gardeningingeorgia.com. Students and adults can learn about interesting careers in horticulture there, too.

Shows will air each Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on GPB. Beginning April 19 shows will repeat Saturdays at 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. through October.

“Gardening in Georgia” is coproduced by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPB. It's underwritten by McCorkle Nurseries and the Georgia Urban Agriculture Council.

Dell’s ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ Program Goes Retail with samsclub.com

We thought this was interesting enough to pass on to our environmentally conscious readers. Whether you buy into the global warming thing or not, whether you think the carbon exchange program is nuts or noble, they're planting a tree and that's not a bad thing. Working to make the planet a little cleaner and healthier isn't a bad thing either... :

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dell customers looking for an environmentally-responsible computing option at samsclub.com can now help offset the carbon impact of the electricity required to power their laptop or desktop, an extension of Dell’s Plant a Tree for Me” program.

Customer contributions of $2 for a laptop and $6 for a desktop will go toward the planting of trees that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Dell partners with The Conservation Fund and the Carbonfund.org, non-profit organizations that plant trees in sustainably managed reforestation projects.

“Our success in addressing climate change, energy depletion and other global challenges ultimately depends on our ability to empower and inspire the ReGeneration, people of all ages who care about the environment,” said Tod Arbogast, director of sustainable business at Dell. “Programs like ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ provide a simple and tangible way to make a difference.”
Dell launched “Plant a Tree for Me” for customers in January 2007. The company recently joined The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other commercial partners in dedicating 158 acres of forestland in East Texas, one of five tree-planting projects funded through the program.

“Climate change and habitat loss are two of the greatest environmental challenges of our time,” said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund. “Thanks to industry-leading efforts of Dell and samsclub.com, and the generosity of their customers, we are making extraordinary strides to restore native forests that will clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, enhance habitat for wildlife and create new recreation areas that we can all enjoy.”

Environmental Leadership

Dell is committed to becoming the “greenest” technology company on the planet. Last year, the company announced that it would be the first major computer manufacturer to neutralize the carbon impact of its worldwide operations. The company’s carbon intensity (CO2 emissions/revenue) is among the lowest of the Fortune 50.

In September 2007, Dell announced Plant a Forest for Me,” a program that enables organizations worldwide to share best practices and, as partners, facilitate the planting of trees in sustainably managed reforestation projects. Partners include AMD, ABN AMRO, Ask.com, CGI, Staples, Salesforce.com, Targus and WellPoint.

Dell also offers the industry’s only free recycling program for consumers. In 2006, the company recycled more than 78 million pounds of computer equipment worldwide, a 93 percent increase over 2005. This put Dell ahead of schedule in achieving a goal of recycling 275 million pounds of equipment by 2009.

For more information on “Plant a Tree for Me,” “Plant a Forest for Me,” and Dell’s commitment to become the “greenest” technology company on the planet, visit www.dell.com/earth. To join with the company and thousands of others in lending a voice and protecting the environment, visit http://www.regeneration.org/.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Events in Fayette, Coweta & Atlanta Area!

Here are a few event's that'll tempt you to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather (hopefully it'll be beautiful!!!).

Coweta Master Gardeners’ Spring Plant Sale
3/25/08 (4:18 p.m.) Coweta County’s Master Gardeners have been busy once again this year in preparation for their fifth annual Spring Plant Sale fundraiser. The “Sell and Tell” will be held on Saturday, April 12... More

Calling All Bargain Hunters! 7th Annual Spring Yard Sale April 5th
3/21/08 (5:43 p.m.) Visit over 50 yard sales in one location at the 7th Annual Spring Yard Sale on Saturday, April 5th from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Fayette County Parks and Recreation Department, this community-wide yard sale... More

ING Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon
2/4/08 (9:05 p.m.) The ING Georgia Marathon, Half Marathon and Wheelchair Half Marathon will be held on Sunday, March 30... More

Planting Camp Announced
3/5/08 (9:42 p.m.) Tired of being cooped up in school? Spend Spring Break outside at the Cowgirl City Ranch Planting Camp April 7-11. Take time to enjoy nature, watch birds, ride horses, create herb gardens and learn to plant flowers and vegetables. For more information, call 770-896-5452.

Stone Mountain Park Marks 50th Anniversary
3/4/08 (3:51 p.m.) Stone Mountain Park recently announced plans to kick off its yearlong 50th anniversary celebration. The Georgia icon is home to the world’s largest piece of... More

Annual Plant Fair and Sale at Callaway Gardens
3/14/08 (2:10 p.m.) Head to Callaway Gardens® with a plant list and a vehicle with enough room to take home all of the great finds at the Callaway Gardens® Plant Fair and Sale, March 27-30... More

Annual Fly Fishing Show Returns to Callaway Gardens
3/11/08 (6:48 p.m.) For those who’ve pondered fly fishing in Georgia with questions like, “Would I like it?” “Could I even do it?” and “How in the world would I get started?” Callaway Gardens will offer the perfect... More

Callaway Gardens® Announces 2008 Spring Workshops and Hikes
2/8/08 (10:36 p.m.) Regardless of the weather, connecting with nature through a Callaway Gardens® workshop, hike or visit is inspiring. Callaway Gardens’ spring... More

Doggie Dash 2008
3/7/08 (9:04 p.m.) What: a 5k (or shorter course) pledge-walk with your dog to support Georgia Heartland Humane Society’s rescue of abused and abandoned animals of Fayette & Coweta Counties; When: Saturday April 12; Registration 9:30 am; Walk begins at 10:30 am; Where: Shakerag Park, Peachtree City; For more information, directions, pledge and registration forms: www.gaheartland.com or email gaheartland1@yahoo.com, or call 770-830-2820; Proof of rabies shot required. Dog must be in good health.

Students in Non-accredited and Failing Schools Could Enroll in Other Districts
3/24/08 (6:24 p.m.) In light of the impending loss of accreditation by Clayton County Schools, a bill has been passed by the Georgia senate that would require public school systems to enroll students from other public districts or schools that are not accredited, on probation for accreditation or have... More

YearOne and Stone Mountain Park Welcome Bikers to the 4th Annual Cool Car Festival
2/18/08 (12:39 p.m.) For the fourth year in a row, YearOne presents the Cool Car Festival at Stone Mountain Park on April 5. In addition to an incredible array of cars from... More

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Governor Perdue Launches Fifth Annual National Agriculture Awareness Week in Georgia

Today Governor Sonny Perdue and the Agriculture Advisory Commission launched the fifth annual National Agriculture Awareness Week in Georgia to recognize the contributions of agriculture and agribusiness in the state. A celebration held today at the Georgia Freight Depot featured approximately 60 agriculture commodities and organizations throughout Georgia displaying food products and related information. Guests attending today’s event included state legislators, FFA, 4-H, Young Farmers, Commodity Queens and other agriculture related organizations.

“Our agriculture community is made up of hard-working individuals who embrace technology and innovation,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “They are helping Georgia’s agriculture community move forward – understanding agritourism as a great way to add value to our farms, growing a bio-based economy, promoting innovation and technology in agriculture.”
Governor Perdue also announced today the 2008 winner of the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Agriculture – Danny Hogan, Hogan Farm in Dexter, Georgia. The purpose of the award is to honor farmers for good stewardship of all aspects of the environment in their farming practices.

Hogan Farms is a 950 acre family farm owned by Danny Hogan and his partner and son, Richard. The Hogan family has continually farmed the land for more than 40 years. The farm grows wheat, oats, peanuts, cotton and soybeans. Hogan Farms also manages pasture and timber, raises Black Angus, Limousine and Belgian Blue Cows and quarter and paint horses for show and sell. Hogan Farms has remained successful for four generations because of its commitment to conservation. They use conservation tillage to grow their crops, use chicken litter to fertilize them, maintain manure storage facilities, and participate in environmental quality, wildlife habitat, forestland enhancement and other conservation programs. They plan to continue to find ways to conserve water, while finding new and better ways to protect the streams and wetlands that flow through their land.

The district stewardship winners include: Bud Butcher, Bud Butcher Family Dairy Farm in Senoia; Ted Hughes, Chantilly Farm, Inc. in Comer; Danny Hogan, Hogan Farm in Dexter; Martin (Marty) McLendon, McLendon Acres Inc. in Leary; and Jeffery L. Deen, Jeff Deen Farm in Baxley.

The Governor also announced, White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, the winner of the 2008 Flavor of Georgia contest for their White Oak Grass Fed Beef Ribeye. The contest focuses on the Agricultural Advisory Commission’s goal of entrepreneurship and rural development by showcasing the diversity of Georgia’s agriculture and food processors. Over 160 new food products were entered into the contest.

The Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Commission brings together members of various sectors within the agricultural community to act as a sounding board for economic development ideas and to implement the Governor's agriculture strategies and initiatives. The commission is divided into four subcommittees – economic development and retention, education, environmental and agriculture awareness.

Agriculture is Georgia’s oldest and largest industry, and it remains a leading source of jobs and income. Georgia has one of the nation’s most vital and diversified farm economies, leading the country in the production of poultry, pecans, peanuts, eggs and forestry products. The state is also taking the lead in converting agricultural produce to ethanol and biodiesel. Georgia consistently ranks as a top producer of watermelons, rye, peaches, sweet potatoes and cotton and is home to the world famous Vidalia onion.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Green Revolution to the Rescue

With gas prices going “off the hook” and environmental concerns on the increase, people understand the benefits of conserving energy and saving money at the same time. Some call it “Going Green”.

The sun is one of our greatest assets on earth that is free of charge to us and Georgia is certainly blessed with sunshine. That is why we should all take advantage of solar energy as a clean source of energy.

Today, many homes are making use of solar energy for light, heat, and hot water to save money, with no pollution to the environment. There are even new programs that will lease the solar system to homeowners without the homeowner going through the hassle of installation and upfront investment.

What is also great now is the new solar powered golf cart or Low Speed Vehicles (LSV). These solar powered LSV can give you up to 60 miles of travel while the sun is continuously charging the battery. Since owners of regular golf carts are demanding more mileage and use on their golf carts, the solar powered model is the smart choice. Regular golf carts can also be converted to “solar powered” with a solar roof do-it-yourself kit.

The Green Revolution is on, and it is driven by our necessity.

By Achor Njoku CEO
Smart Energy Stuff

Friday, March 14, 2008

LEARN TRICKS TO GARDEN DESPITE A DROUGHT WITH GARDENING GURUS WALTER REEVES AND MILDRED PINNELL FOCKELE AT THE CALLAWAY® GARDENING SCHOOL

As gardeners in the South face the continued challenges of the drought, two gardening gurus will share secrets on gardening without rain. Walter Reeves and Mildred Pinnell Fockele, both of Atlanta, will share the stage on Friday, March 28, 2008, for the Callaway Gardening School.

Walter Reeves will teach you how to be drought smart. Learn how to adapt your garden to Mother Nature’s extreme weather conditions as Reeves focuses on “Tough Plants for Tough Times.” Reeves will arm participants with knowledge of how to keep gardens looking good year round regardless. His practical approach on the basics of gardening makes him a popular and much sought-after lecturer. He currently hosts a four-hour weekly gardening show on NewsTalk 750 WSB-AM. Reeves can be seen on the nationally syndicated Ask DIY Gardening on the DIY Network. Reeves’ newest book, Georgia Gardeners’ Q&A 501 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, will be available for purchase and signing.

A great option for gardening in extreme conditions is to garden in containers, providing a great deal of control. Mildred Pinnell Fockele, horticulture director at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, will teach you tricks to keep your containers in top condition. She is a sought-after speaker for regional and national gardening associations and writes for various gardening publications. As a Container Garden specialist, Fockele and her horticulture team design elaborate plant displays for Atlanta Botanical Garden – many being featured in Fine Gardening, Horticulture and Carolina Gardener among other publications.

The schedule for the Callaway Gardening School is:
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Container Gardening with Mildred Pinnell Fockele
Get the latest on containers including what works and what doesn’t work. Learn tricks to keep containers in top form under Mother Nature’s most arduous conditions – too little water, too much water, heat, etc.

10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Break and Plant Fair

10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Tough Plants for Tough Times with Walter Reeves
Drought conditions, monsoons, windstorms, extremes in temperature – too hot, too cold, late spring freeze, early fall frost. What’s a gardener to do? Reeves will teach us the plant varieties and know-how so whatever nature throws at us gardeners we’ll be armed and ready to keep our gardens looking good year ‘round.

12:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Lunch and Plant Fair

1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Questions and Answers Walter Reeves and Mildred Pinnell Fockele
This session will be the experts answering your questions. Come prepared and get those perplexing gardening “challenges” solved!

Registration for all three sessions and lunch is $60. Individual sessions are $20 and an optional lunch is $15. To register, contact the Callaway Gardens Education Department at education@callawaygardens.com or 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) ext. 5153. Space is limited so make your reservation today.

The Callaway Gardens Plant Fair and Sale will be happening alongside the Gardening School offering those hard to find plants that are unique to the Southeast. Plan to visit March 27 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; March 28 through 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. And, be sure to travel in a vehicle large enough to bring home your finds!

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. For additional information, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) or visit www.callawaygardens.com.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

ANNUAL PLANT FAIR AND SALE AT CALLAWAY GARDENS®

Head to Callaway Gardens® with a plant list and a vehicle with enough room to take home all of the great finds at the Callaway Gardens® Plant Fair and Sale, March 27-30, 2008.

Choose from garden-related items and a wide array of flowering plants and shrubs, including many unique, hard-to-find varieties and native plants that thrive in the Southeast, often in challenging weather conditions.

Twenty nurseries and specialty vendors from throughout the Southeast will offer plants for sale, answer plant related questions and offer their very unique garden-related wares. Those participating include: Chattahoochee Valley Day Lily Society; Eagle’s Roost Herb Farm; Kombi Tools Inc.; Laurel Springs Nursery; Lewis Simmons Designs; Garden Delights; Granny’s Old Bloomers; Massee Lane Camellia Gardens; McMahon Nursery; Our Secret Garden; Petals from the Past; Rocky Branch Nursery; Sun Coast Orchids; The House of Bonsai and Wade’s Metal Works. New this year is Rock Hill Farms; Hollonville Nursery; Bodins Tropicals; and Fern Ridge Farms. Callaway Gardens’ volunteers will be selling plants grown at Callaway.

There will also be a Callaway Gardens retail booth featuring a wonderful selection of garden-related items including books such as Walter Reeves’ newest book Georgia Gardeners’ Q&A 501 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Reeves, who will be speaking with Mildred Pinnell Fockele at the March 28th Callaway Gardening School, will be on hand for autographing his books. Both will be speaking on best practices for gardening in tough conditions, including drought.

The Plant Fair and Sale will be open to the public Thursday, March 27 from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. EDT and March 28 to 30 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday will also offer an art show and sale by the Southern Rivers Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. There will be painters and potters, jewelers and blacksmiths, woodcarvers and mosaic makers, and more displaying and selling their creations.

Admission to the Plant Fair and Sale at the Beach Dome at Robin Lake Beach is free when entering through the beach gate on U.S. Hwy. 27*. Admission will be charged to those who wish to visit the rest of Callaway Gardens®.

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. For additional information, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) or visit http://www.callawaygardens.com/.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Read plant labels thoroughly: The inside track on your plant's wants and needs.

Reading nutritional labels can help you make the best food selections for your body’s needs. Taking the time to read plant labels can help you do the same for them.

“Before you even buy a plant, you need to read and understand the information on its label,” said Bobby Smith, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent in Morgan County. “This is as important for plants as it is for seed, fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides.”

Soil type and right light

A plant label includes information like the plant’s Latin and common names, mature height, spread and flowering time.

The label will indicate whether the plant performs best in acidic, alkaline or neutral soil. It will also dictate whether the plant prefers moist, well-drained or dry conditions.

Light requirements are also commonly found on plant labels. Knowing the plant’s light requirements will help you determine whether to it likes full sun, partial sun or shade.
The most overlooked detail on the plant label is the plant’s mature size, Smith said.

“The mature height and spread of any plant is an especially important consideration before planting,” he said. “The plant may be called a dwarf, but compared to what? The dwarf’s parent plant may grow to be 80 feet tall while it only grows to 40 feet.”

Knowing how tall and wide a plant will be at maturity is essential for proper site selection. This information will prevent you from placing the plant or tree too close to a house or structure.

Not too close

“Trees should be planted no closer than 20 feet to any house or structure to keep roots from undermining the foundation,” he said. “For proper health, plants should not be placed too close to each other either.”

If you cannot understand the information on the plant’s label, don’t buy it or plant it until you do, Smith said. Ask a garden center professional for help or contact your local UGA Extension office by calling 1-800-ASK-UGA1.

By Sharon Omahen
University of Georgia
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Thursday, March 06, 2008

TIME TO SIGN UP FOR THE ANNUAL SPRING YARD AND GARDEN SHOW

It is time to sign up for the annual Spring Yard & Garden Show hosted by Peachtree City Parks & Recreation Department on April 19, 2008. Spring is quickly approaching and business owners specializing in yard, or garden related products or services have the opportunity to showcase their items at this event, to be held from 10am to 6pm at the Shakerag Knoll on McIntosh Trail in Peachtree City. Many local businesses in the surrounding area have already signed up for the show.

Two businesses already in the show include, Selective Designs and Innovative Irrigation. “This year we are going green,” says Shane LeBlanc, owner of Selective Designs. “We are going to create beautiful landscape while still conserving water,” says Shane.

We are looking for vendors with produce, flowers, nurseries, stone, any yard d├ęcor, outdoor kitchens, pools, hot tubs, concrete, etc., anything to improve or add character to your yard. “We still have space available and we are always looking for new vendors,” says Event Coordinator, Ashley Alonso. If you know of anyone interested in participating in this show tell them to contact us. Sites start at $45 and are approximately 12’x12’.

A vendor application, waiver, and the rules and regulations for this event are available online at www.ptcrecreation.org under Spring Yard and Garden Show or you may visit the Recreation Administration Office at 191 McIntosh Trail.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Ashley Alonso at 770-631-2542 or aalonso@peachtree-city.org.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Iraqi Farmers Union Focuses on Revitalization

NF Note: We thought this was rather interesting... know it's a stretch to use it in the Naturally Fayette blog, but it IS about farming :

Sixteen prominent landowners gathered with members of the Baghdad-7 embedded provincial reconstruction team at Patrol Base Whitehouse in Sayifiyah on Feb. 28 for a farmers union meeting.

As security returns to the region, coalition forces are focusing on restoring the agriculturally based economy in Sayifiyah. Efforts include reviving the poultry and beekeeping industries, increasing productivity of vegetable farms and creating new industries, such as fish farming and chicken processing plants.

All of these efforts were discussed at the meeting, the farmers union's third gathering.

"We're here to restore the area to the farming community it once was," said Mike Stevens, from Alexandria, Minn., embedded PRT agricultural advisor.

Enough seeds for 350 farmers were distributed to eight of the landowners whose primary business is vegetable farming. Tomato, cucumber, green pepper and eggplant seeds imported from Turkey and Spain will be given to the numerous farmers who work the fields, Stevens said.

He called it a self-starting, self-sustainable package that will help farmers gain bigger returns on their produce, since the PRT absorbs the initial cost of jumpstarting production.

Stevens said future investments will target the top five areas of need in the region: vegetables, poultry, irrigation, veterinarian services, and herds of cattle and sheep.

A key point underlying the initiatives is increased profits for farmers. Under Saddam Hussein's regime, Stevens said, farmers received supplies from the government to run their farms. In return, they owed the government up to 50 percent of their crops. Now, under a democratic system of government, farmers will have the power to keep all their produce and set their own prices and areas of market. This eventually will strengthen the economy by allowing farmers to bring in more money, PRT officials said.

Stevens said he hopes to build a strong union, so farmers can pool profits to buy goods and services such as more seeds, animals and machinery.

Toward this end, part of the meeting focused on teaching the landowners democratic and capitalistic concepts. They also were encouraged to discuss their own issues to help work out solutions among themselves and the PRT. Some issues raised were repairing and procuring more tractors and distributing pesticides to kill insects that damage citrus trees.

Stevens reiterated the need for the farmers to work together and take advantage of the zero start-up cost being offered by coalition programs to increase their collective profits.

Signs of progress already are materializing. Fadil Fawaz Hamed and other landowners have begun work to strengthen productivity. Hamed has 124 farmers working his vegetable farms.

"It is about strength in numbers," Stevens said. Working as a group, the farmers can reduce the cost burden of fixing problems and collectively enjoy the benefits of solutions. In the meantime, the group is focused on existing structures and restoring them to their pre-war production levels before leaning into new ventures.

"We're off to a good start," Stevens said. "We can't provide everything, but if people can work together, we can promise to work hard to help them achieve their goals."

Author Army Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky serves with the 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Three Years, 51, 000 Certifications and A Better Georgia

As the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) begins its third year of the Education and Certification Program, more than 51,000 certifications have been issued to individuals involved in land disturbing activities. The Education and Certification Program was established in 2003 by House Bill 285. The goal of the program is to educate individuals involved in land disturbing activities about the importance of erosion and sediment control thus improving and protecting Georgia’s water resources .

According to GSWCC approved trainer Luke Owen “With almost every Seminar, I've had people approach me and say how much they appreciate the information taught because they didn't understand the impact our increasing population was having on Georgia's limited water resources. They are glad to have gained knowledge about how to keep the sediment on their sites because they are more capable of making sure BMPs are installed and maintained correctly.”

The Education and Certification Program is a tiered system of training courses targeted at specific audiences. The Level IA Fundamentals Seminar is designed for developers, builders, site superintendents and monitoring consultants, as well as primary, secondary and tertiary permittees. The Level IB Advanced Fundamentals Seminar targets regulatory inspectors and individuals contracted to perform regulatory inspections. The Level II Introduction to Design Seminar is for Plan Reviewers and Design Professionals. The Subcontractor Awareness Seminar is for individuals working in a subcontractor capacity. Such individuals include but are not limited to grading contractors, landscape personnel, wastewater personnel, and best management practice installation personnel.

According to Jeff Smith of the Bibb County Engineering Department “I appreciate the GSWCC’ s Education and Certification Program because it has granted not only personal credibility to me in my day to day execution of the duties required by my employer but it has granted a degree of credibility to the entire Bibb County Engineering Department. By having several of our employees obtain this certification, it demonstrates our dedication not just to being compliant with state law but to being a partner in this process with the GSWCC.”

Why is the GSWCC Education and Certification Program so important? Frank Henning, UGA Area Watershed Extension Agent says it best “it is hard to point to a healthy stream and credit erosion and sediment training, but that is what this effort is all about. The stakes are high - over 200 tons of soil can be lost per acre each year from areas where the land is being disturbed, and Georgia is the 5th fastest growing state in the nation. We are doing our best to make sure that the people who move soil are properly trained in order to limit erosion and reduce the amount of sediment entering area streams.”

According to Brent Dykes, GSWCC Executive Director “The Education and Certification Program’s success is due to the efforts of many people, especially the Stakeholder Advisory Board. The Stakeholder Advisory Board has been invaluable in their commitment of time and resources to ensure that the Education and Certification Program succeeded in reaching an almost overwhelming number of individuals in the development and compliance industry who are a part of the required certification initiative.”

For more information on the Education and Certification Program please call 706-542-1840 or visit www.gaswcc.georgia.gov.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Earth’s original satellite guides good gardening

By Terry Kelley
University of Georgia

The sky is filled with satellites, ones for weather, spying, communicating and even for ones for finding directions to the store. Many gardeners and farmers rely on a more ancient satellite - the moon. Farming and gardening by the signs, or phases, of the moon goes back to the days when dinosaur bones were tillage instruments.

However, the practice of gardening by the moon, unlike those bones, has not become a relic. Planting by the signs is still popular among old-timers and newcomers. If you know the signs, you’ll know when to plant, cultivate, fertilize, water or harvest.

The lunar month is divided into four phases or quarters. The light of the moon is the 14-day period (first and second quarters) when the moon is growing from the new moon to the full moon. The dark of the moon (third and fourth quarters) is the following 14 days - from the full moon to the next new moon.

Some folks even like to get more specific and plant by the moon’s signs, which change every two and a half days.

Almanacs are based on particular time zones. So, even with one, it may be hard to tell exactly when the signs change. Remember, they change every two and a half days. As a general rule, most people skip the first day of a sign just to avoid this confusion.

So what are these phases and signs used for and how do you use them? The signs are associated with the zodiac. For instance, Leo is a barren sign. Cancer is a fruitful sign. Signs that are fruitful are used for such practices as planting. Those that are barren are used for such practices as cultivation.

Soil preparation and cultivation are recommended during barren signs. Soil preparation should be done in the light of the moon and cultivation in the dark of the moon.

But why should soil preparation be during the light of the moon in a barren sign? Well, the theory is that in the light of the moon, the moon is growing and this will cause the soil to remain loose and is easier to turn. Also, the barren sign indicates a period when weeds are vulnerable to attack and more easily killed.

All fertilizer should be applied during a fruitful sign. Chemical fertilizers should be applied in the light of the moon and organic fertilizers in the dark of the moon.

Irrigation is recommended during one of the water signs, Scorpio (the secrets) or Pisces (the feet). Always water in the light of the moon, this is when the moon is growing larger - since you also are watering to make your fruits and vegetables grow larger.

It’s best to plant crops that produce fruit above ground in the light of the moon and crops that produce fruit below ground in the dark of the moon.

The first quarter is best for planting crops which produce seed outside the fruit and the second quarter for crops which produce seed inside the fruit. The third quarter is best for planting crops that grow below ground. Avoid planting in the fourth quarter if possible. Plant during a fruitful sign.

It is really quite easy to coordinate the signs and the moon's phases to follow the proper timing for your farming or gardening practices. Whether you believe following the original satellite will help grow a better crop may be best decided after you've tried it.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---