ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Flint River Soil and Water Conservation recently welcomed Fredando Jackson as its new urban program coordinator. His job is to bring more of our region's fresh produce into the homes of those living here in the city.
Jackson prefers to be called Farmer Fredo.
"I was working with some young kids in the community and they had a hard time saying 'Fredando' so one of them said we'll just call you Fredo," Farmer Fredo explained.
Fredo is busy preparing several raised beds which will serve as teaching gardens for the faculty and students at Lake Park Elementary. It's part of the farmer's mission to get the community interested in growing and supporting fresh produce.
Fredo is from Plains and is no stranger to agriculture.
"Being able to ride to Mr. Kooter or Mr. Jackson's house to get watermelon and fresh collards. But I realized most kids growing up in an urban environment don't get that experience, because they have a supermarket," he said.
Casey Cox is the executive director for the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation. She told WALB News 10 that Farmer Fredo was the right guy for the position.
"He just brings incredible passion and knowledge to this role," Cox said.
Although Fredo is now enjoying the fruits of his labor, he admitted that his harvest hasn't always been plentiful.
"I didn't start off in agriculture at all," said Fredo.
Before the gardening tools, Fredo worked in marketing and sales for a record company in Atlanta.
"I got let go because music shifted from a physical product to a digital product," said Fredo.
Soon, Fredo found himself homeless, couch-surfing at different homes until one day, "the Spirit said just go out and feed my people, so I started on that journey," he said.
And his journey continues today. In addition to teaching area students about the importance of fresh produce, Farmer Fredo has also started a farm to work program. Residents can order fresh produce from area farms and pick it up from several different businesses, like 229Yoga.
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