January 29, 2019
This past Sunday, the tasting room here at Pretoria Fields felt like a mead hall from Game of Thrones. Chamber music floated through the wood rafters of this old building, glasses clinked, bellies chuckled, and ears delighted. They’ve done it again! Albany Symphony Orchestra hosted the second event of their four-part series “Symphony Sunday” at Pretoria Fields this past weekend. For this second Symphony Sunday, the Artifactual String Unit, a trio out of Atlanta, delivered a thought-provoking performance of their own kind of chamber music–one where they experiment and improvise with the traditional technique of chamber music.
In the Parliament Room, Farmer Fredo had his bountiful, local produce displayed in a rainbow for the Sunday Pop-Up Farmers Market. Out in the courtyard, kids and dogs ran alongside each other, while the undeniably delicious smell of grilled onions and peppers wafted from Taqueria del Cruz where folks lined up to order tacos, quesadillas, nachos, etc.
It takes a collective, and on days like Symphony Sunday, we give the Albany Symphony Orchestra a standing ovation for their tireless efforts to bring a community together through music. The Albany Symphony Orchestra has been a large part of the collective since we opened our doors and tapped our kegs. There are two more Symphony Sundays left this season: February 17 with the Paul Mercer Trio. Paul Mercer is a composer and violinist whose work focuses on the wooden whispers of ancient violas and violins and their hidden melodies. He will be accompanied by ASO principal bass, Gabriel Monticello, and percussionist Paul Stevens. Then April 28, the last Symphony Sunday of the season, with Charlie Meyer and Friends. All Symphony Sundays are free to the public, and from 2-4.
Not only does the Albany Symphony Orchestra host these wonderful free events at Pretoria Fields, they also will be here for their Third Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on March 15! We will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day from 7-10. Dress up in your most festive attire. For those interested in the VIP experience, pay $75 and get authentic Irish food, a Celtic music performance from ASO, a commemorative pint glass with your first pint free, and happy hour pricing the rest of the night.
Check out this great write-up from the Albany Herald! https://www.albanyherald.com/news/local/brewery-patrons-enjoy-symphony-sunday/article_ad6f5647-e8e6-5db6-aa30-9278b004a972.html
Here’s some photos from last year’s St. Patrick’s celebration…
January 23, 2019
We’ve got a packed week here in the tasting room! Scroll down to read more about our upcoming events!
Today, January 23 we will hold another TIE DOWN WEDNESDAY presented by Southeastern Flyworks. Join us for a laidback and educational evening where folks are invited to bring their fly kit and tie alongside other fishermen, share stories and tips, ask any questions, or simply, just to watch! Don’t miss this free event tomorrow afternoon starting at 6.
Thursday, January 24 will be another night to belt it out at KARAOKE W/ MARK from 7-9! Mark’s been the Karaoke King of the Good Life City for some time now. Come join the fun!
Friday, January 25 SUNDOWNER MOTEL will serenade the tasting room with their wide array of songs and genres. Music starts at 7. DUSTY’S GARLIC COVE Food Truck will be set up by 6. Seriously delicious food!
Come on down to the tasting room on Saturday and Sunday where Farmer Fredo will set up another VIBRANT pop-up FARMER’S MARKET! Fresh produce like eggs, fresh peas, greens, citrus, and tomatoes will be available for purchase.
Sunday, January 27, ALBANY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA presents SYMPHONY SUNDAY @ Pretoria Fields! This will be the second installment of ASO’s Symphony Sundays at Pretoria Fields! Join us Sunday from 2-4 as the Artifactual String Unit of ASO delivers a free and delightful performance.
Monday, January 28, BEER and HYMNS from 6:30-8:30! Come listen, sing, drink, and eat! DUSTY’S GARLIC COVE will be back to serve up her wonderful recipes!
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Kids and Dogs welcome!
Please call us at 229-518-1770 with any questions.
Thank you all for your ongoing support and interest. We hope to see you this week!
January 16, 2019
You can find him in the taproom most Saturdays and Sundays, maybe savoring small swigs of Skywater Golden Ale, or, recently, Rye Charles IPA. Mounds of fresh collard, mustard, and turnip greens nearly dwarf his son as he helps set out all the loads of produce–a task that usually takes a couple hours. Baskets of apples and tangelos and vidalia onions line up along another table that sits just in front of his large ice chest full of peas and farm eggs. Adults are giddy as they smell fresh tomatoes, pick the best bunch of greens, swap recipes and stories.
There’s something about the tasting room when Farmer Fredo and his wife and son are here. It transforms into a small, bustling market where parents and children alike can come and play, enjoy locally made drinks, and leave with a beautiful bag of locally grown, fresh produce.
The experience of a Flint River Fresh pop-up market at Pretoria Fields is unique and special in its own right, but when you consider the effects of your purchase throughout the community, putting your money where your mouth is takes on a wholesome, new meaning.
In our 9th episode of No Dams Given, Farmer Fredo mentions the Southwest Georgia Project, which has been an institution of support, community, and activism in Albany and the surrounding area since the early 1960s beginning with Charles and Shirley Sherrod’s tireless work on desegregation and the Albany Civil Rights movement.
Now, the Southwest Georgia Project’s mission is to provide a more secure environment for farmers and community to interact with and support each other. Dougherty County is still suffering from the recession of 2007-8, and now with the recent hurricane and tornado disasters, we need to help each other more than ever. Southwest Georgia Project and Farmer Fredo (Flint River Fresh) work toward a common goal of supporting small farmers and providing accessible ways for all areas of the community to obtain fresh produce as well as education.
This fact glared at me from the Southwest Georgia Project’s webpage:
“Southwest Georgia suffers greatly from two paradoxical challenges: food access and family farmland viability. The region has not recovered from the 2007 economic downturn, 9 grocery stores closed in Albany (Dougherty County) and as a result Dougherty County is in the top 1% of counties in the United States for the highest rates of food insecurity. Oddly, there are thousands of acres of farmland owned by family farmers who struggle to access reliable markets and make a living on the farm (http://www.swgaproject.com/support-us.html).
Farmer Fredo mentions many resources and organizations that help forge the community connection: the collective. And in the podcast, Dr. Morgan, Billy, and Fredando discuss the importance of the word “collective” in Pretoria Fields Collective. Farmer Fredo explains how using more sustainable practices of organic and chemical-free farming of foods used in both food and beer creates an even stronger bond between the farmer and the community because the farmer needs help and interaction and support from his community and vice versa. The philosophy of the “collective” is to create and foster strong bonds throughout the community through support, collaboration, and understanding. And we are so grateful that Farmer Fredo has been such a large part of that philosophy.
Agriculture is the big business here in Georgia. In areas like southwest Georgia, it is impossible to drive for very long without seeing vast fields of peanuts or cotton or soybeans or pecans. Look a little closer and you might see these small family operations who grow vegetables right in our backyard. Look even a little closer and you might see a young child helping weed the garden, or feed the chickens, or shell peas–look closely, and you’ll see exactly where your money and support can go.
Plus, it’s delicious!