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Archive for the ‘Community / Education’ Category

                                                                                          

Now that I have your attention, you should know that  I’m not referring to your average beer, average babe or average vegetable! I’m talking about local hand brewed ales paired with several courses of organic local foods that were grown by female farmers right here in Georgia. 

This Saturday, September 18th we’ll be at 5 Seasons Restaurant and Brewery in Alpharetta for a very special event they are calling “Fall in Love With a Female Farmer Beer Dinner”. Each course will be paired with one of their hand brewed ales and all of the food served will have been grown by local female farmers, many of whom will be attending. So plan on coming out to chow down with us and hear about some of the amazing farms in the area!

 Check out the 5 Seasons website to find out more and reserve your spot.

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Just down the road, about 40 miles from rockstar farms, lies the quaint yet progressive small town of Athens, GA.  In recent years, Athens has quickly become known for its abundance of small local farms; farms that produce everything from fresh milled grains to grassfed beef, wild turkeys and just about every vegetable imaginable. A few short weeks ago a group of bicycling foodies got a unique oppportunity to visit, learn about and enjoy the fruits of labor from these farms – CNN was along for the ride.

On April 30th, 30 cyclists parked their cars at the UGA Poultry Center and tuned up their bikes for a 3-day, 100-mile ride to 7 farms.  The first day saw us at Woodlands Gardens where Celia showed us around their pristine intensively managed operation.  Next, we headed to Mills Farm for lunch and an introduction with Luke the mule, who plows the field and grinds the grits that Mills Farm is so famous for.  We ended Friday at Sundance Farm, greeted by the smiling faces of the Janosik family.  With approximately 35 miles under everyone’s belt, we were treated to a delicious meal prepared by Peter Dale of the National using produce harvested just feet from were it was served.  Everyone set up their tents and settled in for the night with roosters for alarm clocks. 

Read the entire article on the P.L.A.C.E. website

Read about our friends Ed and Kim Janosik at Sundance Farms (featured in the CNN video above)

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Nope, I am absolutely not talking about football.  Not that there is anything wrong with football, its just a little early in the year for that particular type of tailgating.  I am talking about  local tailgate markets where farmers and artisans come together to lay out their wares for purchase.  Tailgate markets are a wonderful way to suppport your local economy, purchase some of the absolute best produce and meats you could imagine and meet the people who grow and care for your food.

This year Rockstar Farms will be selling our produce at the Whistle Stop Farmers Market in Norcross every Tuesday from 4-7 beginning June 1.   We’ll even have the Tree Sound mobile solar rig and live music from our own Farmer Phatty on several dates including the opening day.  We hope you’ll come out and help support those hardworking farmers like us.

And if you are too far from the area or can’t make it on a Tuesday, I’ve listed some of our favorite tailgate markets in the area. Take a gander and make a plan to get to one of these amazing events.  We promise…you will LOVE it!

1. Whistle Stop Farmers Market in Norcross

Every Tuesday 4-7 beginning June 1  http://norcrossfarmersmarket.com/

2. Morningside Farmers Market in Atlanta

Every Saturday 8-11:30am   http://www.morningsidemarket.com/

3. Sandy Springs Farmers Market in Sandy Springs

Every Saturday 8:30-12:30  http://www.sandyspringsfarmersmarket.com/

4. Historic Market on The Square in Gainesville

Every Friday 2:30-6:30 beginning June 4 http://webpages.charter.net/srthomas625/

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Sunshine showing off Rock Star Farms winter veggies - best tasting greens you'll ever eat...guaranteed!

We’re super excited to tell you that Rock Star Farms is ready to launch our first winter CSA!  We’ll provide organic and bio-dynamically grown winter veggies for 10 families beginning this week. More shares will become available in the spring. Watch your email for more information, and in case you are wondering what the heck a CSA is and why its important to join one,  check out this article from localharvest.org

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer.  In brief…

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
  • Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

Click here to read the full article from Local Harvest.Org

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Its February 1 today and even in these cold months, we are growing strong here at Rock Star Farms. Our winter crops will soon be ready to harvest and we are planning for our early spring planting, which is right around the corner. One of the many preparatory tasks that are on the agenda is building our soil with organic matter.  

Now before I started farming, I assumed you just took a seed, stuck it in the ground and wa-la instant plant. Well, sometimes it actually can be that easy, but to create the best possible growing situation, you need healthy, nutrient rich, loamy soil. This does not come naturally to most areas of Georgia, where the red clay rules.  Fortunately we have some good friends at Natures Helper who gave us a great deal on an abundant supply of organic amendments that we have been and will continue to add to our soil as we prepare for plantings. 

As you’ll see in the video, Patrick introduces you to our ONION RING and the process that he is using to ready the ring for onion planting on Wednesday. Thanks for visiting us today, we hope you keep coming back to check out how we’re growing!

Helpful About.Com articles on soil building:   The Dirt On Soil   / Soil Amendments

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So you were wondering what’s the scoop on composting?  You might ask yourself , “Why should I compost? How do I compost? What’s the big deal about composting!?”. Well, our friend Laura from Denali Organic Growers and Sunshine, Founder of Rock Star Farms and owner of Tree Sound Studios, made this little video to give you a lesson on composting 101. Hope you like it!

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timemagazinearticle

The Rock Star Farms crew was on our way to Roots Farm in Athens, GA on Friday night for a slow food dinner (which by the way was STELLAR!) and passed 3 Burger King’s, all with signs that read $1 double cheeseburgers.  I thought to myself, “No way. How can they make a profit, and if they are, what kind of wretched ingredients are they putting in there?” Its becoming more and more apparent everyday that for the average family in America its cheaper to buy greasy and nutrient void fast food than healthy nutrient rich vegetables and animal products. Or is it?  Once you take into account the affects of food production on the land and the people,  energy used to ship said foods, treatment of the animals that are harvested for the foods, long term effects and health concerns, that $1 double cheeseburger ain’t as cheap as it seems.

Here’s a great article from Time Magazine by Bryan Walsh, that will explain all of this a little bit more.

Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won’t bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and a stomach-churning stench. He’s fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer. When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he’ll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obesity epidemic currently afflicting more than two-thirds of the population. And when the rains come, the excess fertilizer that coaxed so much corn from the ground will be washed into the Mississippi River and down into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will help kill fish for miles and miles around. That’s the state of your bacon — circa 2009. (See TIME’s photo-essay “From Farm to Fork.”)

Click here to read the entire article.

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