Dahlonega’s 2015 Wine Trail Weekend 8/22-23

17 Jul

Come stay with us and enjoy a Leisurely Weekend of Wine Tasting at  Dahlonega’s Wine Trail Weekend August 22-23.

This special event weekend will begin Saturday, August 22nd from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm and continueEventPhotoFull_Wine Trail Logo Sunday, August 23rd from 12:30 pm until 5:00 pm.

Wine Trail event passports are $30 per person including a Souvenir Glass (for the first 1,200 people). The passport is good for the weekend of August 22 & 23 for one visit to each of the five wineries. Ticket stubs in the passport are redeemable at each winery for free tastings.

Participating wineries include Three Sisters, Montaluce, Cavender Creek, Wolf Mountain and Frogtown.The local tasting rooms in downtown Dahlonega will also offering discounts and specials for passport holders.

Passports are available, and wine trail patrons are encouraged to begin the event, at the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Center located on the historic square in downtown Dahlonega.

If you do not wish to drive to the wineries we suggest you contact Mama’s Taxi at (706) 482-8539 or Crown Mountain Limo at (706) 867-0747.

To reserve passports online or to receive more information visit http://www.dahlonega.org

Goodbye to Stu

14 Jul

Very sad day at Cedar House Inn today.stu

Many of you remember our official greeter and beloved dog Stu. He would greet guests with Fred in the parking lot or Mary Beth when guests came in the inn front door. Many guests loved him since he was so friendly and full of love, enthusiasm and energy.

He loved guests scratching him on the rear and petting him! He was also fond of breakfast leftovers too which we had to restrict later on since he was putting on weight.

Today we had to put him  to sleep. He was 16 years old and having problems with walking. He had moved from the inn to our son’s house about six months ago because he had difficulty climbing the stairs to our second floor owner’s suite where he slept at night. The arthritis had taken its toll over the years with Fred trying to keep him comfortable with glucosamine and other natural treatments.

With our two sons and our son’s girlfriend we said goodbye dear friend and family member. The vetstu2 arrived at 5 pm so we got there early to love him, scratch him behind the ears (his favorite) and spend some quality time saying goodbye. We knew it was time for him to go since he wasn’t wagging his tail when we petted him. He seemed to appreciate the attention however from the look in his eyes.

Our son who is a chef cooked him a last supper of steak and salmon. He gobbled it right down. One thing for sure is that Stu always loved food and today he loved it too!

Once the vet arrived we all took turns loving him while he got the first shot (a sedative) and the final shot that would take him from us forever and take away his pain from old age.

We will miss him so much and know guests who have stayed with us will miss his smile, wagging tail and petting him. Putting him to sleep was the hardest thing we have ever done and we have heavy hearts.

So long “bubba Stu”. We will never forget you and the joys you brought us over the last 16 years.stu3

Dahlonega’s Appalachian Jams 2015

19 May
No, we are not talking about jams on toast. We’re talking about old-fashioned music jams on the public square that will get your toes tapping and your fingers snapping.
While Dahlonega is known historically for its gold, it also has a long tradition as a haven for Appalachian music. The recent Bear on the Square Festival highlights this tradition with a weekend of mountain music performances and workshops.
If you visit Dahlonega during the warmer months you might notice musicians with banjos, fiddles, guitars and dulcimers playing mountain music around the historic square.
The Appalachian Jam series started this year on Saturday April 25th and ends October 10th.
The jams happen every Saturday from 2 – 5 PM, rain or shine on the Gold Museum lawn. Look for the white tents or just listen for the music.
If weather requires, the jams will be moved across the street to beneath the covered pavilion on the Dahlonega Visitors Center Plaza.
The series is free so just come and listen/enjoy.

Nurse Plants in Your Landscape?

11 May

At Cedar House Inn we utilize permaculture and sustainable principles throughout the property. Onecomfreynanking09 example is that we forego using synthetic fertilizers on the fruit and berry bushes planted on our swales (see related swale post). Instead we use nurse plants.

A nurse plant is a companion plant that can provide food for humans and animals while also providing benefits to surrounding plants. Examples on our property include nitrogen-fixing plants and dynamic accumulators.

Plants need nitrogen to help grow and flourish, hence, it is a key ingredient in many commercial fertilizers. Rather than using synthetic fertilizers made from petroleum and other laboratory derived ingredients, we choose a more natural method on our property.

On our swales we have many kinds of fruit and berry trees and bushes. Interspersed with our nanking cherries, aronias, and blueberries, you’ll find nitrogen-fixing plants like autumn olive and goumi berries. Both of these plants provide nitrogen to the surrounding plants and also provide edible berries for people and wildlife.

We have also planted dynamic accumulator plants like comfrey. Comfrey (see picture) is a perennial nurse plant with a very deep tap-root. The root mines minerals deep in the ground and brings those minerals and nutrients to the surface for nearby plants to use. Comfrey leaves are also used to make compost tea. The tea is made by cutting the leaves and placing them in a 5 gallon bucket with water to steep for several weeks. The nutrient rich water can be poured on vegetables in the garden or other plants as fertilizer. It smells like rotting flesh, so be careful where you brew it.

Comfrey can also be eaten like spinach but needs to be cooked since the leaves are a little rough. Some say you should not eat too much because it may be harmful to the liver in large quantities. Opinions differ on comfrey for human consumption but it has been used as a medicinal for many years. Chickens also love to eat it.

Another nurse plant that helps improve the nitrogen content of  garden soil is the siberian pea shrub. While we haven’t used that particular plant, we have planted pole beans (a legume) around trees to act as a nitrogen fixer for the trees. Come harvest time there were beans for us to eat.

There are other nurse plants that we haven’t used but would love to try in the future.

Work with nature instead of working against nature. Instead of reaching for a bag of your favorite commercial fertilizer or a can of insecticide next time you’re at the local garden center, choose some nurse plants. You will benefit from a healthier and more sustainable eco-friendly landscape.

5th Annual Dahlonega Art Trail 5/9/2015

5 May

Dahlonega has always been known for the natural beauty of its surrounding mountains and waterfalls and more recently for its wineries. The picturesque historic downtown square is known for its music, shops, and restaurants.

Dahlonega is also becoming known for its art.

This coming weekend, Saturday May 9th, artists will be working around the historic square during the 5th Annual Art Trail. They will be providing a variety of demonstrations from 11 am-4 pm.  The trail can be started anywhere in the downtown area since the artists will be “ringing” all sides of the square. Painters, jewelers and fine crafters will be represented. Some downtown merchants will also be hosting artists in front of their stores. The event is being sponsored by Chestatee Artists Inc – a local art organization.

Artists scheduled to be on hand to provide demonstrations of their work include: oil painters, Wanda Smith, Carole Kennedy, Denise Roberson and Joyce Fox; watercolor artist, Oscar Rayneri; mixed media, Bart Prato; acrylic painter, AJ Wolff; Leather crafts, Tom Slavicek; chainsaw carver, Carl Pirone; folk art wind chimes, Pattie Pirone; jewelry, Paul & Florence Roberts; and stained glass, Letty Rayneri.

What’s a Swale?

29 Apr

Many of our guests have been interested in how we practice permaculture on our property. Wenewdugswale frequently give tours after breakfast to show how permaculture works and to help guests get an idea of how they can use permaculture principles on their own property to have a more earth-friendly sustainable landscape.

One permaculture element that is readily apparent when entering the property at Cedar House Inn & Yurts is the ditches that seem to be everywhere. Some guests have wondered what are they for? They are swales.

We began digging our swales several years ago. After strong rains we noted where the rain water travelled on the property and that helped us determine where we should locate our swales.

Why have swales you ask?swalewithwater

Swales take rainwater that would normally run off the property and send the water into the ditch to be stored for later use. The water in the ditch is slowly released underground after a rain and also helps the mycorrhizal fungi that lives in the soil. Why help the fungi? The fungi attach to the root nodules on the many fruit and berry plants we have planted and help the plants in the uptake of water and soil nutrients.

Our swales are dug on contour to catch water traveling downhill after the rain. The swales are 1 – 2 feet deep and 1 -2 feet wide. The dirt taken from the ditch is used to make a berm on the lower side of the slope that is used for planting fruit and berries as well as nurse plants. In the future we will talk about nurse plants.

Bottom line is that we think swales are swell and encourage others to add them to their landscapes. You will have happier soil and plants.

Dahlonega Winery Sunday Brunches 2015

25 Apr

At Cedar House Inn we’re just a mile and a half away from Wolf Mountain Winery. Many of our194  Saturday night guests go to a winery brunch after checking out Sunday morning.

Below you’ll find the monthly brunch themes for the year. Seatings are 12:30pm and 2:30pm. Cost is $30 per person, plus tax and gratuity and wine is additional by the glass or bottle.

April – Celebration Of Napa Cuisine & Bluegrass Brunch
May – White Wine, Sparkling Wine & Seafood Festival
June – Tribute To Tuscany Brunch
July – Tribute To BBQ Of The South With Live Blues
August – Artisan Cheese & Southern Regional Cuisine
September – Country French Cuisine With Live Jazz
October – Harvest Celebration With Live Bluegrass
November – Wild Game and Red Wine Brunch
December – Holiday Comfort Food

These events sell out quickly so if you are interested we encourage you to make reservations soon by calling 706-867-9862.



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