South Georgians coming together to grow organic food
Some of the produce organically grown in the Green Life Garden in Albany, GA
Juby Phillips, Garden Organizer
A gardener looking through a squash plant at the Green Life Garden in Albany, GA
Njemile Ali, Gardener
A cucumber grown in the Green Life Garden in Albany, GA
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
A group of south Georgians are using organic gardening to change the way many residents get their food. The freshly picked peppers in the Green Life Garden are part of a growing trend toward sustainable living.
Now, a handful of growers in the community supported agriculture garden at on Old Dawson Road are prepping for the next season.
"We're expanding, we just put into production another five acres attached to this and we're looking to grow a lot of winter kale and lettuce and greens, rutabagas, beets. All the winter crops we'll be having available soon," said Juby Phillips, Garden Organizer.
Some C.S.A.s ask for membership fees, but Juby Phillips decided to sell coupon books priced at $100 for eight baskets of food.
"People support the garden on the front end as opposed to buying food as the end product. So instead of asking people to pay for...to sustain the garden for a whole year, we're letting people buy it in small chunks with a coupon book," said Phillips.
But growing fresh produce could be about more than just health.
"The whole process is, you know, feed your body mind and spirit from the very beginning. Not just at harvest time, but seeding to preparing the soil to harvesting, to pulling weeds, all of that," said Njemile Ali, Gardener.
The use of pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms found in our food supply inspired many to embrace the new way of life.
"It's a great vision of what we can do for not just semi-rural like this is, but actual urban gardening, urban farming. We're building bridges here," said Ali.
And strong community bonds may play a larger role than the food.
"Everyday someone stops by to ask us about the garden, talk to us about the garden, tell us a story. 'Oh, my grandmother gardened this way. This is how we did things back when. And that has been the greatest thing, just story telling," said Phillips.
So the love and sweat poured into this fresh produce may be the beginning to a greener Georgia.
Gardeners are gearing up to plant crops, including broccoli, cabbage and collards in the garden on Old Dawson Road. Volunteers are welcome, but it's not required to be a part of the C.S.A. Organizers are also looking for farmers who want to form partnerships.
For more information on some of the garden's programs, or on how you can become a member or volunteer, call (229)669-2278, or visit Green Life Garden on Facebook here