AC repair inEulonia, GA

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As a homeowner, you know that your HVAC unit is one of the most important components in your house. It keeps you cool during hot summer days and warm on chilly winter nights. When it's working properly, it's easy to forget its important role in your everyday life. But when it malfunctions, you quickly remember how crucial heating and AC repair in Eulonia, GA, is for your family.

At Liberty Heating & Airworx AC, our mission is to ensure your cooling and heating systems remain effective throughout the year at the lowest prices available. Unlike some of our competitors, we prefer to put our customers first before anything else. We believe in doing right by the folks who choose our business. Cutting corners to save a few bucks? Annoying sales pitches to try and sell you new parts or equipment? That's just not the way we do business.

When you choose Liberty Heating & Airworx AC, you can rest easy knowing you won't have to pay outlandish fees for our services. As a licensed, bonded heating and air conditioning company, we know how important trust is when it comes to the nature of our business. We go above and beyond other HVAC companies and treat your home like it was our own. That way, you have peace of mind knowing you and your family are in capable, responsible hands.

We take pride in providing our customers with the highest quality service. Our highly trained technicians have experience handling all aspects of HVAC repair, from routine maintenance problems to advanced A/C unit installation projects in Eulonia, GA.

Through hard work, honesty, and integrity, we have built a loyal customer base that continues to grow each month. It would be our honor to call you our customer too. Whether you need a routine maintenance check or emergency heater repair in Eulonia, we are here for you every step of the way, 24-hours a day.

Air Conditioning Repair Services Eulonia, GA

Service Areas

Why Choose Liberty Heating & Airworx AC?

We get it - there are a lot of A/C companies out there to sift through. You want to be sure you choose the best company for your needs and budget.

 AC Repair Services Eulonia, GA

Here are just a few reasons why our customers choose Liberty Heating & Airworx AC over other HVAC companies in South Georgia:

Authorized Carrier and Goodman Dealer:

Authorized Carrier and Goodman Dealer:

We're authorized to service and sell two of the most respected brands in the heating and A/C industry. No matter what size home you own, our technicians are fully equipped to handle any HVAC issue with your Goodman, Carrier, or other air conditioning units.

Insured, Bonded, and Licensed:

Insured, Bonded, and Licensed:

We go the extra mile to ensure that our customers feel safe and protected when they hire our team. We treat your home like it was our own, from the moment we step foot on your property to the time we pull out of your driveway.

Fair Pricing

Fair Pricing

We understand that money doesn't just grow on trees. You work hard to make an honest living and need reasonable pricing on A/C repair and other HVAC services. At Liberty Heating & Airworx AC, you'll never have to worry about us charging you outrageous prices.

Flexible Financing

Flexible Financing

Has your heater gone out in the middle of a freezing January night? A/C unit quit working in the middle of summer? Despite some common red flags that you can keep an eye out for, you can never really plan for an HVAC malfunction. That's why we offer emergency HVAC services in Eulonia, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Year-Round Discounts

Year-Round Discounts

With Ft. Stewart just a few minutes away, Eulonia has one of Georgia's largest active military populations. It is our honor to offer current and retired military members and their families discounted prices on their next service appointment. We also offer up to 10% off for Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Members. It's our small way of giving back to those who have sacrificed so much for our liberty.

Free Estimates

Free Estimates

From new unit installations to air conditioning repair, it would be our pleasure to provide you with a free estimate on our services.

Emergency Service

Emergency Service

Has your heater gone out in the middle of a freezing January night? A/C unit quit working in the middle of summer? Despite some common red flags that you can keep an eye out for, you can never really plan for an HVAC malfunction. That's why we offer emergency HVAC services in Eulonia, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Flexible Financing

Flexible Financing:

When your A/C unit or heater breaks suddenly, it can be hard to squeeze repairs into your budget. To make sure all of our customers are comfortable in their homes, we offer financing options to make your life easier.

Air Conditioning Repair in Eulonia, GA

Here in southern Georgia, our summers can be extremely hot and humid. Trying to live in a home without A/C a South Georgia summer isn't just a bad idea; it can be downright deadly. Fortunately, Liberty Heating & Airworx AC is here to help with all of your A/C needs. There's no A/C issue that our highly trained HVAC technicians haven't seen before, and no job too small or large for us to tackle. Whether your A/C system needs a basic issue resolved, or you need a new AC unit installed at your house, our team will be at your door in no time.

We have the experience and training to service all major air conditioning systems, from ductless systems to central air setups. We're authorized to service Goodman to Carrier brands, but the truth is it doesn't matter what A/C unit brand you have - our team can fix it all. If your unit is beyond repair, we can walk you through the process of installing a new A/C system and suggest appropriate units that will work well for your home.

Here are just a few of the most common A/C repair services we offer in Eulonia and the surrounding area:

  • Electrical repair
  • Compressor Repair
  • Refrigerant Leaks
  • Refrigerant Recharges
  • Replace Blower Motor
 AC Repair Eulonia, GA

Common Signs That
You Need AC Repair in
Eulonia, GA

Once springtime rolls around, it's very important that you keep your eyes and ears open for any potential warning signs that your A/C unit needs to be repaired. The last thing you need is to be caught off guard when June, July, and August are in full swing. Knowledge is power, and at Liberty Heating & Airworx AC, committed to keeping our customers in the loop about potential A/C repair warning signs. That way, you can take preventative steps rather than reactive ones.

 Heater Repair Services Eulonia, GA
Loud-Unusual-Noises
Loud, Unusual Noises

Don't be alarmed if your A/C unit makes low-level noises throughout the day and night - these sounds are completely normal. However, if you hear loud, unusually abrupt noises coming from your unit, it may be time to have it repaired. Buzzing or rattling noises can mean a part is loose, while grinding or whistling can signal a more serious problem. Because these types of issues won't work themselves out on their own, a professional is needed to diagnose and correct the problem.

Strong-Odors
Strong Odors

If you notice strange, smelly odors permeating throughout your home, your first instinct may be to grab the air freshener. However, unpleasant odors can be a sign that your A/C unit needs attention. Our A/C repair techs will let you know what's going on and how a potential issue can be remediated with a quick diagnostic test.

Refrigerant or Water Leaks
Refrigerant or Water Leaks

Your A/C unit needs refrigerant to keep your home cool and comfortable when it's hot outside. It's common for condensation to accumulate as your system cools your home. With that said, if you notice pooling water or an active leak coming from your A/C system, it's time to call an A/C repair tech ASAP. Leaks can cause extensive damage to your home, and the problem needs to be addressed quickly.

Heater Repair in
Eulonia, GA

South Georgia isn't known for its freezing temperatures, but one thing is for sure - wintertime in Eulonia can get very cold. When the temps begin to drop, your home's furnace works properly. Modern homes have come a long way since the days of wood and coal. Your home's heater is complicated, and when one component fails, the entire system can be affected. In situations like these, it's important not to panic. Instead, give Liberty Heating & Airworx AC a call. Our trustworthy team of heating repair experts have the knowledge and training to repair your furnace fast, so you can get back to enjoying your home.

Here are just a few of the most common issues that we can help repair:

  • No Heat
  • Thermostat Malfunction
  • Heat Pump Replacement
  • Ignition and Pilot Problems
  • Noisy Heater
  • Emergency Services
  • Much More!
 Heating And AC Services Eulonia, GA

Common Signs That You Need Furnace Repair in Eulonia, GA

 Heating And Cooling Repair Eulonia, GA

Today's heating systems are complex. At Liberty Heating & Airworx AC, our heating repair technicians receive ongoing training in all aspects of heating technology. That way, their skills stay sharp, and their techniques remain up to date. However, you don't need to be an expert to spot common signs that your heater may need to be repaired.

As colder months approach in Georgia, try to be aware of the following red flags:

Expensive Heating Bill

You're probably used to a more expensive electricity bill when winter hits Eulonia. However, if you notice a huge price jump over last year's bill, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your heating system. Utility companies are known for raising prices gradually, but a dramatic leap is a cause for concern.

Uneven Heating
Uneven-Heating

Does your heater seem to work perfectly in some areas of your house but not others? Are some rooms too hot while others are drafty and cold? If so, your heater may need repairing. This is a common issue in older homes and requires an expert to inspect your heater and ducts for airflow problems.

Unhealthy Air Quality
Unhealthy Air Quality

If the air in your house is hazy no matter how much you dust, your heater may be the problem. A furnace that circulates mildew, dust, and other harmful particles isn't working correctly. This issue is particularly bad for people with asthma or respiratory illnesses. If you haven't changed your home's air filter recently, be sure to do so. If the problem persists, it's time to call Liberty Heating & Airworx AC.

New AC Installation
in Eulonia, GA

You and your family depend on your home's A/C system to keep you cool and comfortable during the hottest months of the year. Unfortunately, breakdowns happen at the worst possible times - like in the middle of July when temperatures are over 90 degrees. If you have had to repair your A/C system more and more often, investing in a new cooling system will save you time and money in the long run.

As an Authorized Carrier and Goodman dealer - two of the most recognized and respected brands in our industry - we have the highest quality units available. We handle every aspect of your new A/C installation from start to finish. That way, you can focus on living your life rather than worrying about the next time your A/C goes out.

Curious when it might be time for a new A/C system?

Keep an eye out for these warning signs:

Dusty Furniture

 HVAC Eulonia, GA

If you have kept your unit well-maintained and changed your air filter regularly, you shouldn't experience this problem. If you do, and your system is old, it can be more cost-effective to replace it and have your duct system analyzed to fix the root cause of your dust issue.

High Humidity

 HVAC Repair Services Eulonia, GA

If it feels unusually sticky in your home, like you just spent a few hours outside in the summertime, there's a good chance that something is seriously wrong with your air conditioning. Your air conditioner's job is to pull moisture out of the air to keep your feeling cool inside. When that process fails, it can increase your risk of mold and mildew growth - and that's just the start.

Frequent Repairs

 HVAC Services Eulonia, GA

When your repair bills end up costing more than a down payment on a new A/C system, it might make more financial sense to invest in a more modern unit. Compare how much it costs to have our maintenance technicians perform regular service vs. the cost of a new air conditioning installation. The results may surprise you.

Liberty Heating & Airworx AC

We Are Your Trusted Local Source For Heating And Air Conditioning Services

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912-408-3131

Latest News in Eulonia, GA

McIntosh closes deal for $7.8 million rec complex, but funds come up short

McIntosh County had planned to finance a new recreation complex north of Darien with the proceeds of two voter- approved SPLOSTs.But because of soaring inflation, the bids came in about $1 million higher than the projected cost, and McIntosh County Commission Chairman David Stevens said proceeds from a third special-purpose, local-option sales tax will be needed to pay for the $7.8 million contract that the commissioners recently awarded to low bidder MMI Construction & Engineering of Uvalda, Ga.Stevens said he doesn’...

McIntosh County had planned to finance a new recreation complex north of Darien with the proceeds of two voter- approved SPLOSTs.

But because of soaring inflation, the bids came in about $1 million higher than the projected cost, and McIntosh County Commission Chairman David Stevens said proceeds from a third special-purpose, local-option sales tax will be needed to pay for the $7.8 million contract that the commissioners recently awarded to low bidder MMI Construction & Engineering of Uvalda, Ga.

Stevens said he doesn’t expect that to be a problem because the two earlier local tax referendums passed easily because voters have waited years for the new recreation facilities. The complex will be built on a 70-acre site across U.S. 17 from McIntosh County Academy high school.

Asked about the items affected by inflation, Stevens said, “I think fencing is way up. I think lighting is way up.”

Those are among the main elements of the facility that will include fencing around the perimeter and the athletic fields. Prices are climbing so quickly that the fence contractor said it would honor its bid for only five days, Stevens said. Although the commissioners weren’t able to approve the contract within that deadline, the contractor nonetheless honored their price, Stevens said.

The plans also include two restroom and concessions buildings, but some of the work is recession proof.

“The rest of it is in the fields. That’s all dirt,’’ Stevens said.

The facility will include four baseball fields, two “flat fields” that can be used for football and soccer, and the buildings. The remainder is fencing, lighting, parking and an aggregate surface walking track around the perimeter.

Twenty acres of the land had been designated for a new elementary school, but the county school board decided to build elsewhere and that left the property available. Stevens said it is a near perfect location because it is centrally located between Darien, Eulonia and the many other communities.

He also said the contractor has a year to complete the project and expects to be done early.

In addition to the paying for the $1 million shortfall in funding, the next SPLOST could also include funding for tennis and pickle ball courts that were cut from the project.

Stevens said there is no outside funding for the facility.

“This is all on the county, 100 percent,’’ he said.

The new complex will help with scheduling games at fields in the Lions Club Park in Darien, a field in Eulonia, the football field at the McIntosh County Middle School and two or three other fields around the county.

The middle school field was used for county rec football when the Lions Club field was in use for soccer, he said. Middle school baseball games are also played at the Lions Club park.

“The county recreation department and the board of education worked well together,’’ to get the games played, Stevens said.

Stevens said the project has been a long time coming.

“We’ve been talking about this since I came on the county commission,’’ he said.

Stevens took the oath of office in January 2005.

Asked about a scenario should voters not approve the next SPLOST, Stevens said, “The county commission will have some tough decisions to make.”

BULLDOZED: McIntosh County Academy prevails to a key region win over Screven County

After two tough losses to the two best teams in Region 3-A, McIntosh County Academy came out the gates ready to play en route to a 32-8 win.On senior night, the Buccaneers won the toss and wanted to dictate the game quickly.Senior running back Will Jones received a bulk of the carriers on the first drive of the game, eventually making his way into the end zone for an 18-yard score. The Buccaneers would miss the extra point try and lead 6-0. He was the first of three seniors to score in front of the home crowd.Defensively...

After two tough losses to the two best teams in Region 3-A, McIntosh County Academy came out the gates ready to play en route to a 32-8 win.

On senior night, the Buccaneers won the toss and wanted to dictate the game quickly.

Senior running back Will Jones received a bulk of the carriers on the first drive of the game, eventually making his way into the end zone for an 18-yard score. The Buccaneers would miss the extra point try and lead 6-0. He was the first of three seniors to score in front of the home crowd.

Defensively, McIntosh came out to stop Screven County’s Isaiah Chappel on the ground after his five-touchdown performance against Portal. They help Chappel to 15 yards on the opening drive and forced quarterback Chase Hart to throw the ball downfield to keep the drive alive. On third-and-nine, Hart was intercepted by Nehemiah West, who run it back 29-yards to the 20-yard line of the Gamecocks.

Flags would hurt the Buccaneers after the turnover, being penalized on four plays on the drive. Thus, forcing the team to punt from midfield and away from scoring off the turnover.

Screven’s offense yet again struggled and on a third-down play, Hart was sacked by Deondray Bacon and Jones. After a botched snap to the punter, Danny Thompson was forced to kick it on the ground and out of bounds, giving the Buccaneers goal to go downs.

Jones would punch in his second score of the game from seven yards out. A failed 2-pt conversion left the Buccaneers leading 12-0 at the beginning of the second quarter.

Screven’s Timothy Frank and Chappel traded carries to find some sort of momentum for their team, but the Buccaneers’ defense stood strong forcing another punt.

With the ball on their own 10-yard line and trying to not allow the Gamecocks to have a spark, the ball was handed off to senior Austin Crosby, the team’s leading rusher. Crosby split the hole and raced his way down the field and all the way in for the 90-yard score. His second-longest touchdown rush of his Buccaneers career. With the fans on their feet cheering on the team, placekicker Madi McMahan made her first extra point of her career. Her teammates and coaches celebrated and jumped for joy as McMahan put the team up 19-0 midway through the second.

“She’s tenacious,” McIntosh County Academy head coach Bradley Warren said of McMahan. “She never gave up and we finally started making some extra points.”

The Gamecocks would finally find the end zone after a grueling nine-play drive that saw the Buccaneers defense reward the Gamecocks with over 20-yards in penalties. Frank bulldozed his way into the end zone, stretching for the end zone to keep his team from being shut out on the night. A missed extra point would leave the game at 19-6.

With just under two minutes to go before the half, quarterback Will Philmore threw two consecutive passes, leaving the Gamecocks confused as to why the ball was being thrown. Philmore connected with running back Quan Proctor for a screen pass, leaving the senior to do the rest. Catching it from the left side of the field and turning upfield to the right pylon, the senior scored from 41-yards out. McIntosh would lead 25-6 heading into the half.

In the second half, the two team’s played sloppier football with six turnovers, three punts, and a blocked punt for a safety showing forth.

The lone scoring drive came towards the end of the third and Crosby rushed for 40 yards before Proctor score on a 12-yard carry to push the lead to 32-6. McMahan would make her second extra point of the night.

“We played three and a half quarters now and we got a big lead,” Warren said. We came out a little bit sloppy (in the second half). We were playing hard still but we weren’t making substitutions correctly, we got to improve and learn how to finish.”

McIntosh finished the game with 382 yards of offense and pushed themselves closer to a berth into the Region3-A playoffs.

“We more than likely locked up a playoff position tonight,” Warren said after the win. “The seniors gave everything they had. They played really hard and I’m proud of them. We are going to be something to reckon with in the playoffs.”

Taking the long way to Darien, Georgia

Bucko and I always try to spend our wedding anniversary in some place exciting and different. Often, this involves a month-long journey to Southeast Asia where we base ourselves in our favorite hotel in Bangkok and take short trips by plane to places like Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc. You get the picture.But this year the pandemic has shortened our sights. Neither of us want to board a plane, and for various reasons, we can’t spend the time right now on a long car trip. So, when push comes to shove, we look to Darien, G...

Bucko and I always try to spend our wedding anniversary in some place exciting and different. Often, this involves a month-long journey to Southeast Asia where we base ourselves in our favorite hotel in Bangkok and take short trips by plane to places like Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc. You get the picture.

But this year the pandemic has shortened our sights. Neither of us want to board a plane, and for various reasons, we can’t spend the time right now on a long car trip. So, when push comes to shove, we look to Darien, Ga. for an outing. It might not be Bangkok, but surely we can rustle up something interesting to do there, right?

In preparation for our long journey to a place usually not much more than an hour’s drive away, I did my usual internet and Trip Advisor search for things to do there. We’ve been to Darien a number of times and have walked around the quaint town, eaten seafood, driven around the rural roads, visited Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge and the visitor center for Sapelo Island, but surely there must be something we missed before. And, I found it! Georgia Peach World! According to Trip Advisor, this is a top attraction in the area – how could we have missed it before?

To make this trip even more exciting, I used Google Maps to plot a long, involved route heading out toward Folkston, then north and back east again along back roads we had not traveled before, up to Townsend and back down to Darien. Along the way, we passed a large prison-like facility surrounded by high fences topped with concertina wire and guard towers, and discovered that this is the Folkston Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center, a sad place for sure. A bit further along on another side road, we stopped to photograph a dead beaver on the road. It was beside an overflowing drainage ditch it no doubt emerged from. Another sad sight, but I’ll spare you the photos.

Finally, we got to the much-anticipated Georgia Peach World and it exceeded our (admittedly modest) expectations. We were picturing something like the Florida Citrus Center off Interstate 95 near us, but this was even more exciting. If you have little children, it really is an attraction. There are two Peach Worlds at the same exit off I-95 in Townsend, one catering to children and one to adults. The children’s Georgia Peach World included a petting zoo where goats, miniature horses, and donkeys gathered along their fence line awaiting food pellets purchased by visitors from the dispensers nearby. The animals looked healthy, and the people with small children had a fun experience, I am sure. Inside this Peach World, there were all kinds of nifty things for sale, including cricket and worm edible treats, Daisy air rifles, and more kinds of peach ice cream, candies, and cakes than you can imagine. There were also some of those long ago common storefront rides that children can climb on and parents can power with quarters. Bucko, of course, could not pass these up and posed happily on one of them.

I had my own chance to pose at the second Georgia Peach World nearby, the adult version. Outside this store, I stuck my face into a hole in a mural and posed as a Georgia peach. Inside the shop, we perused shelves of different peach alcohols, syrups, jams, and other peach-oriented groceries for adults. A group of people entered the shop with their GPS still on. When they approached the peach wine, it said loudly, “You have reached your destination.” The sales clerk, Bucko and I, and the other visitors all laughed together. I guess peach wine was their target.

On the way back south to Darien, we took a detour to look for the Iron Bison Ranch, another local attraction, but sadly it was closed at the time – too bad. I was hoping to see their herd of bison but could only glimpse them from afar. Later, we passed by the “Smallest Church in America,” recommended by the Explore Georgia website, and a number of interesting political signs including a giant billboard stating, “Only Donald J. Trump and God can save our country,” and various other signs bearing religious quotes.

All in all, it was a fun road trip, the long way to Darien. Who says there is nothing interesting and exciting in our own area? There is a lot to see if you just get off the beaten track no matter where you are. And our anniversary weekend was just beginning. Stay tuned for more.

Pat Foster-Turley is a zoologist on Amelia Island. She welcomes your nature questions and observations.

patandbucko@yahoo.com

First Alert Weather Day: Tornado Warning expires in McIntosh County

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Update at 3:45 p.m.: Tornado Warning expires in McIntosh County.Update at 3:24 p.m.: Tornado Warning expanded for to Brunswick and St. Simons Island.Update at 3 p.m.: Tornado Warning expanded into Darien, Ga.Update at 2:49 p.m.: Tornado Warning expanded into Glynn County.Update at 2:20 p.m.: A Tornado Warning has been issued for Wayne County.Thursday is a First Alert Weather Day. A round - potentially a couple - of strong to severe storms are likely this afternoon and evening.T...

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Update at 3:45 p.m.: Tornado Warning expires in McIntosh County.

Update at 3:24 p.m.: Tornado Warning expanded for to Brunswick and St. Simons Island.

Update at 3 p.m.: Tornado Warning expanded into Darien, Ga.

Update at 2:49 p.m.: Tornado Warning expanded into Glynn County.

Update at 2:20 p.m.: A Tornado Warning has been issued for Wayne County.

Thursday is a First Alert Weather Day. A round - potentially a couple - of strong to severe storms are likely this afternoon and evening.

The chance of being impacted by nasty storms starts increasing by early afternoon. Strong, to severe, storms are most likely between 2 PM and 11 PM. Timing may adjust, slightly, as new data comes in and ingredients for severe storms build over our region.

A Tornado Watch has been issued for a few Georgia counties. The Watch is in effect until 5 p.m.

All forms of severe weather, including large hail up to the size of quarters, damaging wind gusts to 70 MPH, isolated tornadoes, and street flooding are possible with the strongest storms.

Uncertainty - forecast models continue to have some trouble resolving our local severe weather threat. Specifically, how much energy will be available for storms to use when they move in and what storm-mode they’ll be in as they impact the area. Storm mode; line of storms v clusters of storms v separate, individual storm cells.

Storm mode tends to influence storm threats. An organized line of storms would pack a greater threat of widespread gusty winds. While separate, individual storm cells pose a greater risk of producing strong tornadoes.

Regardless of specifics, the risk of severe weather is in Thursday’s forecast and you need to be prepared for severe weather.

1. Have at least one way to get severe weather alerts; two is even better

2. Have a severe weather safety plan; know where to go if a warning is issued for your area

3. Be ready to enact your safety plan if dangerous weather moves into your neighborhood

Rain and storms shift offshore early Friday morning. Pleasant weather filters in through the day Friday.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.

A sweet part of McIntosh County history may take root again

Clemson University provides long-gone purple ribbon cane to farm in EuloniaEULONIA, GA. | Almost 90 sugar cane plants went into soil Tuesday on a farm in northern McIntosh County, which is not all that uncommon.But Jerome Dixon saw it differently."This is historic,'' he said, because some of the plants are purple ribbon cane, a strain that Thomas Spalding introduced on Sapelo Island around 1800.Stephen Kresovich, a Clemson University professor of plant genetics and biochemistry, has been tryi...

Clemson University provides long-gone purple ribbon cane to farm in Eulonia

EULONIA, GA. | Almost 90 sugar cane plants went into soil Tuesday on a farm in northern McIntosh County, which is not all that uncommon.

But Jerome Dixon saw it differently.

"This is historic,'' he said, because some of the plants are purple ribbon cane, a strain that Thomas Spalding introduced on Sapelo Island around 1800.

Stephen Kresovich, a Clemson University professor of plant genetics and biochemistry, has been trying to track down some original purple ribbon cane, and those plants could be the start of something big for Dixon.

The cane will be grown into mature stalks of cane that will be cut down and planted in segments, or billets, to sprout as cane. The roots, if left in the ground, will sprout themselves for up to four years, but Dixon has plans for the cane stalks.

"September, this is going back to Sapelo,'' he said.

"What's got me excited is this is such a historical event. Spalding was a slave holder,'' Dixon said. "Some of my ancestors handled this cane."

Dixon figures that purple ribbon cane could be McIntosh County's Vidalia onion, a crop with a unique taste tied to a region.

"Why not bring this cane back to the place it was first grown?" Dixon asked.

Spalding owned much of Sapelo Island and grew sea island cotton there and built Georgia's first sugar mill. Dixon said Spalding used ribbon cane in his mill.

"He built this industry with the sugary, very sweet, frost resistant cane,'' Dixon said.

Whether any of the 89 plants that will grow at Georgia Coastal Gourmet Farms have the DNA of purple ribbon cane will be virtually impossible to determine, said Matt Myers, who works with Kresovich in plant research.

"We helped him gather all the germ plasm,'' Myers said, from a variety of sources in South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida.

"The last known purple ribbon was grown in 2007 in South Africa,'' Myers said.

"These are all named purple ribbon,'' Myers said, pointing to a row of cane sprouts in planters beside raised beds.

Tracking purple ribbon can be difficult, he said.

"Somebody here in Georgia gave it to somebody in Louisiana. He might have called it Louisiana red stripe,'' Myers said.

Kelsey Zielinski had cared for the cane in a Clemson greenhouse.

She trimmed it frequently to make sure the energy went into building strong stalks rather than making leaves, she said.

Zielinski said she took DNA samples of all the cane, but it will be hard to match it unless someone can provide a definite link to purple ribbon cane.

"We've been contacting museums and historians on the East Coast,'' she said, "even some of the distilleries that used cane in their rum."

For Dixon, though, he is hopeful it is the real thing. Tuesday, he was doing what he likes best, putting plants into the raised beds with drip irrigation and black plastic covers. He is an old hand at planting and was standing on family land where peanuts, corn and sugar cane grew.

Now he and his partner, Flowery Branch pathologist Bill Thomas, operate it as a gourmet farm, growing and marketing vegetables locally.

"This is where he would love to be,'' Dixon said of Thomas.

Asked if he thought the cane would grow, Dixon grabbed a fist full of the soil that he said will grow about anything.

He hopes purple ribbon cane works as well as Sapelo red peas, an old staple of the island that had almost disappeared.

Lifelong island resident Cornelia Bailey kept the peas going and now people want them.

"We brought that pea back. It's almost like a gold rush,'' and now they're bringing back the cane, he said.

Terry Dickson: (912) 264-0405

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