24th Annual Mountain Flower Fine Art & Wine Festival 5/15-16

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Come out and enjoy over 70 artists of all varieties and even watch some of them as they create their art on the spot. From pottery to two-dimensional art to photography, there will be something for everyone.

Along with all the fine art, there will be the Garden Expo located in Hancock Park.  This is produced by the Master Gardeners of Lumpkin County along with the support of MFAF. The Expo will include large plant and seed sales, as well as speakers hosting programs on a variety of garden related topics.  A demonstration garden featuring native plants and wildflowers will be on display.

New for this year, will be the Georgia Temptations Wine Garden, a sampling of the best wines in Georgia. The Garden will be located in the Park Place Pavilion. You must be 21 or older to enter. This is a wonderful way to sample a variety of our Georgia grown and produced wines. There will be a minimal entrance fee to enter the Garden. The Garden hours are Saturday: 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. and Sunday 12:30 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.

The Dahlonega Farmer’s Market kicks off its season this weekend in Hancock Park. Locally grown vegetables and fruits along with homemade jams and other items will be available for purchase. The Dahlonega Farmer’s Market will be open every Saturday and Tuesday mornings.

On Saturday, there will be a 5K race benefiting the Free Clinic of Dahlonega. For more information on the race and to pre-register, please visit www.active.com.

Parking is free and located around the square and just off the square. The parking garage at North Georgia College and State University is also available for $5 per day. The Dahlonega Merchants invite you to enjoy a weekend of fine dining, shopping, art and wine!

This year’s festival is produced by the Dahlonega Merchants Association and sponsored by the Dahlonega Arts Council. For more information, please visit: www.dahlonegamerchants.org.

First Friday Night Free Concerts May-October

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The “First Friday Night Concert Series” in Downtown Dahlonega announces a thrilling six-month schedule of outdoor concerts.

Shows will be held May through October at Downtown’s beautiful Hancock Park. Book a room or yurt with us and make your plans to attend one of the following events. Bring lawn chairs and enjoy the fun in downtown Dahlonega.  All concerts are held from 6:30-8:30 pm.  Arrive early, enjoy excellent downtown shopping, and pick up your picnic from any of downtown’s popular restaurants.

The First Friday Night Concert Series begins May 7 with the band Emerald Rose.  With their rousing blend of  vocal harmonies, Celtic & world music instrumentation, diverse songwriting, rocking renditions of Irish & Scottish classics, and an energetic performance style, Emerald Rose entertains.  

On June 4 the Remember When Band  returns to all you favorite songs spanning the generations between 1950 and 1990.

For the kickoff of the Independence Day weekend, the July 2 concert will celebrate traditional American music by presenting two bands – the Georgia Mudcats  and Yahoola.  The Eugene Wiggins Memorial Fund for the Preservation of Traditional Music will sponsor the Georgia Mudcats who have an international reputation for great Appalachian string-band music, flat land country blues, gospel music and traditional songs from all over the South. Opening the July 2 show will be Dahlonega’s “Yahoola” a group widely known for their super harmony singing and their 10 year reputation for playing some of the best bluegrass in North Georgia.

Fools Gold of Dahlonega will be back on August 6. Their mountain jazz is a unique combination of rock, blues, country and bluegrass.

Russo and Noe  will be swinging back in on September 3 with the songs of Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Las Vegas style! 

The concert series closes on October 1 with Kurt Thomas whose growing popularity is largely due to his unique voice, his highly entertaining live performances, and the originality of the music he writes.

Winefest 2010 May 1st

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Come stay with us and attend Winefest Saturday, May 1, 2010  from 12:00pm – 5:00pm at Habersham Winery. Cost is $15.00 per person includes a souvenir wine glass.

The festival will feature Georgia’s own award-winning wines made by members of The Winegrowers Association of Georgia.

Participating Wineries will include:

Blackstock Vineyards

Frogtown Cellars

Wolf Mountain Vineyards

Persimmon Creek Vineyards

Crane Creek Vineyards

Habersham Vineyards & Winery

Sautee Nacoochee Vineyards

Tiger Mountain Vineyards

Yonah Mountain Vineyards

•    Food selections by Nacoochee Grill & Nacoochee Village Tavern
•    Live Music
•    Wine Arts and Crafts

For more information call 706.878.9463

Hiking the Appalachian Trail- Slackpacking

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Many guests who stay at our inn take day hikes on the Appalachian Trail. The trail starts at Amicalola Falls State Park which is about 40 minutes from the inn by car. A five-mile hike is required before reaching the official starting point of the trail. While you are at the park enjoy the falls as well.

North of the inn are two locations where the trail crosses the main highway. These areas are closer to Cedar House Inn. One is Woody Gap which has parking available. Park in the right parking lot and hike to Preacher’s Rock.  At Blood Mountain the trail also crosses the road. Mountain Crossing, a store with hiking supplies and gifts, is located near the road and trail area. Blood Mountain is the highest part of Lumpkin County and the trail is more strenuous. Many guests like to hike to the trail shelter.

A couple of weeks ago we had guests from Colorado who spent the week at our inn. The purpose of their trip was to hike the Georgia portion of the Appalachian Trail. They were not considered thru hikers but slack packers. Each morning they had breakfast at the inn and dropped their car off near where they would finish their trail hike that day. The Hiker Hostel would meet them at their car and shuttle them to the trail area where they were beginning the day hike. They hiked most of the Georgia portion of the trail using this method. Each evening they came back to the inn for a hot shower, Mary Beth’s cookies and chai tea.

Benefits of slack packing are many. No roughing  it on the trail carrying a heavy backpack in all kinds of weather. No freeze-dried dinners or oatmeal breakfasts. No sleeping on the hard ground. A unique way of hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Book a room or yurt with us and try hiking the Appalachian Trail. For more information on Hiker Hostel’s shuttle service call (770)312-7342.

Building Permaculture Swales to Conserve Water

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We built a permaculture swale above the vegetable garden and blueberry bush area to capture the rain to prevent runoff and conserve the water for future use. Swales have been proven to retain water by forcing the rainwater into the Earth down to the impervious layer of soil. The water then travels under the surface and provides plant roots with needed irrigation. Such water can travel great distances and be stored for extended periods of time. Swales conserve valuable rainwater that normally runs down slopes and eventually ends up in driveways and storm sewers. They also help reduce evaporation of rainwater.

We built a swale above the garden to capture water running down the hill from the north end of the property. The swale is approximately one foot deep and 16 inches wide. Swale depth can vary depending on slope of hill and soil type. For example we made the swale shallower but wider in areas with rock closer to the surface which made digging more difficult. The swale at the top of the hill provides water for the peach trees, blueberry bushes and concord grapes. Decomposed leaves are placed in the swale to help retain water. Wheat straw covers the leaves and swale berm to prohibit erosion.

Another smaller swale was dug at the bottom of the hill using the same technique. This swale catches additional water for the vegetable garden. We are considering the addition of strawberries on the berm portion of this swale since they have deep roots and will help stabilize the berm. Not to mention fresh strawberries in the future.

Additional swales will be built on the property in the future.

To see a video of our swales visit video.

Geoff Lawton is a renowned permaculturist and did a great video on how swales work. Visit his video by clicking how swales work.

Appalachian Jam Returns to the Square 4/24-10/9

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Downtown Dahlonega Hosts Appalachian Jam Every Saturday
Thousands Enjoy Acoustic Mountain Music in Historic Downtown 

North Georgia’s mountain music pickers and singers flock to the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site every Saturday, April 24 through October 9. Listeners and musicians alike enjoy the acoustic bluegrass and old-time string music on the Public Square from 2 pm until 5 pm.

Dahlonega’s “Appalachian Jam” is produced by Dahlonega’s Downtown Development Authority and Better Hometown Program. The events are made possible with support from the Bear on the Square Mountain Festival Committee, the Georgia Appalachian Studies Center at North Georgia College & State University, and the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau. The events are hosted by the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site and are presented in cooperation with the Dahlonega Merchants Association. 

For information, contact the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 706-864-3513.

Bear On The Square Mountain Festival 4/16-18

The 14th annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival , an incredible weekend of mountain music and art held each spring in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains, will be April 16-18, 2010 in Dahlonega.

Old time and blue grass music will fill the Historic Public Square in Dahlonega, GA. Jamming goes on day and night around the square while other local, regional, and national musicians take the stage all day Saturday and Sunday.

A juried artist’s marketplace features traditional mountain art and crafts. Extensive music workshops, a Sunday morning Gospel Jam, a street dance, a live auction, children’s activities, a heritage center demonstrating mountain traditions, and of course, food, complete the offerings, making Bear on the Square the perfect outing.

Cork and Keg Festival 4/10

Come and stay with us and attend the Cork and Keg Festival in Helen, GA.

Tickets sales have been brisk for the upcoming beer and wine tasting in Helen on April 10 from 2-6pm. Prices are $35 April 1. This new Spring festival features tastes of craft-brewed beers from some of the nation’s best independent brewers (including Georgia’s own Sweetwater Brewing and Terrapin Beer) and award-winning wines from local Georgia vintners, as well as samples from area restaurants, all to the sounds of the Kip Dockery Trio, popular local jazz artists and veterans of the North Georgia festival circuit.

Attendees will receive a free beer-tasting glass, courtesy of Sweetwater Brewing. Wine growers of White County will be offering complementary wine-tasting glasses also. Every attendee gets one free meal ticket also. (Additional food items will be available for purchase.)

Winemakers and brewers will be on hand to enlighten festival participants on the unique aspects of each product. The event will be at the Helen Festhalle, on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. It is a short walk from shops, restaurants and all of Helen’s attractions. Admission is limited to the first 400 ticket buyers.

To purchase tickets or for more information, please call 706-878-3300 or visit www.snca.org.

The Cork & Keg festival is a fundraiser for the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association (SNCA), a non-profit organization committed to preserving and protecting the natural and historical resources of the area, and dedicated to nurturing creativity

Locally Grown Organic Food in Atlanta

Many of our guests who stay with us live in the Atlanta metro area. Many care about purchasing wholesome farm fresh food that does not travel from faraway places to the store, minimizing their carbon footprint. We recently learned about Moore Farms and Friends through Georgia Organics. They are a marketing association of small Sustainable, Certified Naturally Grown and USDA Certified Organic food producers. They never use any toxic chemicals to grow their food and use earth-friendly methods which we like. You can order what you want online and pick up at many Atlanta area locations. Check out their video or visit their web site.