The Weblog

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Availability for March 6

We’re back from the Georgia Organics conference, where we and six hundred other people from Georgia and beyond shared knowledge and enthusiasm to further our collective goal for getting more sustainable grown foods on all of our plates. We started off on Thursday with a tour of Sequatchie Cove Farm in Sequatchie, Tennessee. Besides being as picturesque a place as can be, it was exciting to see their heritage breed pork and dairy program, their vegetable gardens, their orchards, and the rest of their operation. On Friday, Vivian and I visited Etcetera Farms, a small market farm about the same size of my own nestled in a wooded mountain saddle run by former Athenians Chad & Lisa McKinney. Their place is a testament to how many families can be fed in a small space, even when the existing soils are full of rock and clay. We also visited Riverview Farms, a 750 care family farm raising pork, grass-fed beef, and a tremendous amount of organic vegetables. They are an example of a conventional operation making the transition to an organic one, making the farm more financially successful and keeping it in the family in the process.

Among the many educational sessions during the conference was a full half day on Square Foot Gardening, which I was happy to see. I began gardening with that method during my college years, and over time it evolved to the half acre I’ve got cultivated today. It’s easy to sustainably grow an amazing amount of food in a small space this way, and when combined with the ease of bringing your produce to market through Locally Grown, I see home gardeners helping us wean ourselves off our current food system fueled in so many ways by petroleum. If you’ve got a garden, and your grow in an organic, sustainable way (talk to me if you’re not sure what that means), and you’re interested in sharing your harvest with your neighbors through Athens Locally Grown, contact me. We’re nearly up to 1000 accounts now on the website, and even with the current group of over 50 growers it’ll be hard to feed everyone.

Thanks again for all the support you continue to show Athens Locally Grown and our growers. We’ll see you on Thursday from 4:30 to 8pm at Gosford Wine!