Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Saturday! Be there or be square!

Coming this Saturday at Bonner Park in Milledgeville:

The GC&SU outdoor education class will be sponsoring an event designed to raise environmental awareness. Class members will also be cleaning up the park and planting some trees from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. I'll be there representing Salamander Springs and I've been asked to speak to the class and other volunteers about permaculture, sustainability, and intentional communities. Come on out! Plant some trees to beautify the park and help stabilize the climate!


PS: Don't be ... 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bask in the Glory of Seed Catalogs

Now is the time to be drooling over seed catalogues - they are beautiful and free. Here's a link to a Mother Earth news article about the best garden seed companies by state.

My absolute favorite catalogs are: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, Seed Savers Exchange, Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply, Bountiful Gardens, Seeds of Change, and Nichols Garden Nursery. The best tree catalog is Forest Farm and a good source for fruit and nut trees is Stark Brothers.

Heads up: buy only heirloom seeds! You can save the seeds, and they will return true each and every year.

Baker Creek

Sunday, November 27, 2011

More Love for Chestnuts

This month's Permaculture Activist has an excellent article by chestnut expert Frank Salzano titled Chestnuts: Staple Foods Do Grow on Trees. Click here to go to Permaculture Activist magazine, and click here to go to a Frank Salzano chestnut overview courtesy of Keith Moore.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tree Sponsors Needed!

For the past two years, we've been building a tradition at Salamander Springs. February 14 is our tree-planting day. Trees offer myriad benefits: reforestation, wildlife habitat, better air quality, aesthetic beauty, climate stabilization and food. Therefore, we'd like to ask you to join our tradition and plant a tree or two where you live.

Our trees will be planted in the orchard. We'll be planting fruits like apple, pear, plum, nectarine, mulberry, pomegranate and Oriental persimmon. You can sponsor any of these trees for $25. We will use the money to buy an established, quality tree and we'll put a wooden plaque with your name on it next to the tree. 

Tree sponsorships really help us out. Our orchard will be a source of produce for many years, so I'd like to thank those who have sponsored in the past as well as those who will be helping us this year. And if you don't sponsor a Salamander Springs tree, please do plant a tree where you live.

How to sponsor:
Method 1 - Send a check or money order for $25 per tree. Let us know what kind of tree (from the list above) you would like us to plant and what name you want on the board. Here's the mailing address:

                Debbie Waugh
                396 Nelson Road NW
                Milledgeville, GA 31061

Method 2 - Make a $25 donation (per tree) via the paypal button to your right. Send an email detailing which tree (from the list above) you would like us to plant and what name you want on the board. Here's the email address: debbiekwaugh@gmail.com

You can sponsor as many as you'd like, and thanks again to all our past, present, and future sponsors! You're also welcome to come to the farm and help us plant our February 14th trees!

Note: you may also sponsor a pecan or chestnut tree, but due to increased costs these trees will be $30.

The delectable mulberry

Friday, November 25, 2011

Grow! is playing Tuesday @ 7

For those not in the know, Grow! is a wonderful indie flick that chronicles the endeavors of 20 young farmers. It was filmed at 12 different Georgia farms and really shows the passion and idealism that some of America's youth are bringing to the movement.

Click here to check out the official Grow! site.

How can you see this award-winning movie free of charge and in the company of like-minded individuals? It's playing at Georgia College on Tuesday at 7PM. Put down your shovels, hoes, and rakes and head on over to the Arts and Sciences auditorium, which is in the Arts and Sciences building across from the library.

Hey ... I think I know that guy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nothing but Love for Chestnuts

Why am I writing about chestnuts on Thanksgiving, you ask? Because I'm all about the chestnut. It requires none of the pecan's high maintenance and it thrives in the Georgia climate.

It's a marvel of nature too; one tree produces 55 to 110 pounds of nuts per season, and the nuts are delicious! Also, trees start bearing in only four to five years, compared to about ten years for a pecan tree. I myself have grown them from seed and had excellent results.

I'm not the only one in love with chestnuts though. Here's Carroll D. Bush, from the Nut Grower's Handbook (1946): The greatest tree food crop of the world - the chestnut - is not grown within the United States, except very little. We can grow it. We will some day. It is a crop that would pay on our eastern hill farms. It would change much of our so-called "marginal land" from unprofitable to profitable farming land. Just now a few people, regarded as cranks, are trying to grow it.

I proudly consider myself a chestnut crank, and I hope you'll join me.

The noble chestnut, here in Connecticut.

The Halloween Hoedown

As we move into a new holiday season, I'd like to say thanks to all who came out to my Halloween / Birthday party. We had a blast (over 40 people at one point!) and the Haunted Trail was a big hit. Also, as a by-product of the Haunted Trail, our chainsaw is working again! If you were there, you know what I'm talking about. Look forward to even more music next year and a bigger and more terrifying Haunted Trail!

Michael serenades as Dee waxes philosophic.

Heads up! Plant garlic now!

If you would like to harvest some fresh delicious garlic in the summer, how about taking the friends or family outside this Thanksgiving and following these easy instructions from the University of Georgia:

Garlic does not produce true seed but is propagated by planting cloves, which are the small bulblets or segments making up the garlic bulb. Each bulb usually contains a dozen or more cloves; each clove is planted separately. Select only larger outer cloves of the best garlic bulbs for planting. The larger cloves yield larger size, mature bulbs at harvest. Do not divide the bulb until ready to plant; early separation decreases yields. Select "seed bulbs" that are large, smooth, fresh, and free from disease.

To plant garlic properly, dig a hole or trench, place the unpeeled clove gently into the hole with the pointed side up (the scar [stem] end down) and cover the clove with soil. Setting the cloves in an upright position ensures a straight neck. Approximately 2-3 pounds of garlic bulbs will plant 100 feet of row. The amount will vary depending on variety (number of cloves per pound), row width, and plant spacing.

Plant cloves 1-3" deep and 6" apart. Rows are usually planted 12-14" apart. In colder areas of the state, cloves may be planted slightly deeper for winter protection. Mulching will help protect bulbs from severe cold and will help conserve moisture. Irrigate immediately after planting. 


Cob Oven Cooking

Here's one of our cob ovens (and Molly sleeping beside it). It works like a charm! Just recently, Yuri, Nate, Tiffany, and I each made a personal pan pizza. After building the heat for about an hour, the pizzas cooked in seven minutes flat! They were fantastic; maybe they'll become a Salamander staple.

Current Project and Materials List

Here's a list of projects happening right now:

Building the creekside cabin
Expanding the garden to prepare for the spring market
Sealing the fishpond
Planting perennials in the orchard
Building a new chicken shelter
Stocking winter firewood

And here's a list of materials we could use if you have them lying around:

Woodstain, paint and polyurethane (any colors)
2 by 4's, 4 by 4's, and plywood
Windows and doors
Bricks and blocks
Chicken mesh
Sheet plastic (black or clear)
Nails and screws
Bentonite (to seal the pond)
Foamboard insulation

We have received a ton of materials to help make the creekside cabin successful; thanks for your support!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Salamander Springs enters the 21st Century!

Welcome to the new blog! We'll post newsletters and all things Salamander Springs here so join the site and check in often to stay up to date on the latest happenings down on the farm. Also, let me politely direct your attention to the donation button. 100% of all donations will go toward the betterment of Salamander Springs (like the cabin we're building right now!). Thanks for your support and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,


Newsletter (10/24/11)

The newsletter should expand if you click on it. Happy reading!