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Posts Tagged ‘Sunshine Diaz’

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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Rule number one in gardening….JUST DO IT!  If you’ve ever been too timid to put a particular vegetable in the ground, don’t be. There is a ton of information out there on the internet and plenty of seasoned gardeners and farmers who are more than willing to pass on valuable information…like us, here at Rock Star Farms. 

It wasn’t too long ago that I was just plain scared of planting something like an onion because I had no idea how to do it – what type to choose, where to plant them, how to care for them…the excuses just went on and on.  I’m thrilled to say, thanks to my experience here on the farm and priceless guidance from a variety of seasoned farmers, these fears are slowing being erased.

We’re planting onions!!  

Back in late January we selected several varieties (yellow granex, first edition, candy, red candy apple and copra). All in all about 1,000 little seedlings went into the bed. Unfortunately we had some pretty severe weather that wiped out a little under half of what we planted, but we still have over 500 onion plants growing strong that will be ready for harvest in the next couple of months!

So, no matter what you want to start planting this spring, don’t let fear of the unknown stop you and always plant more than what you want because there inevitably will be casualties. 

If you want some quick tips on growing onions, click here

And as always, thanks for checking us out and HAPPY FARMING!

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Sunshine Diaz, left, Amy Senn, center and Patrick Stacey lay out produce as they prepare to put together CSA packages at Rock Star Farms in Forsyth County.

When the Gainesville Times called last Wednesday to request a tour of the farm and an interview, we were happy to accommodate.  They had been pointed in our direction by Georgia Organics, who this past weekend, hosted the Georgia Organics Conference in Athens where hundreds of  farmers and garden enthusiasts gathered to network and participate in educational workshops.

The resulting article not only provides a nice mention about Rock Star Farms, but gives a great overview on what’s happening on the political front as it relates to agriculture here in GA. Currently there are several bills being presented which will greatly affect small farmers in and around the Southeast. Check out the article, find out how to get involved and remember to always…

“Vote with your fork!”

Here’s an excerpt from the article which appeared in Sunday’s paper

Organic farmers hope to reap benefits from leadership change
Local growers seek policies helpful to industry from new ag commissioner

By Ashely Fielding

Sunshine Diaz picking lettuce at Rock Star Farms Image by Tom Reed (Gainesville Times)

Sunshine Diaz, owner of Rock Star Farms in Gainesville, has hope that the Georgia’s attitude toward small and organic producers will change. Diaz and her husband, who have been involved with Georgia Organics for the last three years, started their own naturally-grown produce farm near Browns Bridge Road last summer.

“I think the more we have local farms, the more we empower our communities, and there’s nothing you can do to stop that once it gets started. And it is started,” Diaz said.

But Nashville-based goat farmer Tom Kuettner said he won’t be looking for any help from the state’s new ag commissioner.

“I haven’t seen anything I like in the ag department,” Kuettner said.

Still, he is looking for legislation that affects smaller farmers and those who cater to the emerging demand for local food.

Visit the Gainesville Times to read the entire article. All images provided by Tom Reed of the Gainesville Times.

Click here to learn more about Georgia Organics.


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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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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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