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New learning farm at Ga. National Fair donates produce grown

The food grown will be donated.
The food grown will be donated.(WALB)
Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 5:33 PM EDT
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Perry, Ga. (WALB) - The Georgia National Fair is known for its food. However, this year, they’re introducing a new farm dedicated to teaching how to grow fresh produce.

The Starbucks learning farm is at the south entrance of the fair.

Executive Director of Flint River Fresh Fredando Jackson said they’re waiting for everyone and anyone to stop by and plant a seed.

Farmer Fredando Jackson is also the executive director of Flint River Fresh.
Farmer Fredando Jackson is also the executive director of Flint River Fresh.(WALB)

Flint River Fresh is a nonprofit in Albany designed to give more access to fresh produce in food deserts.

This year, they’re introducing a 2-acre learning farm for fairgoers to learn how to plant, water and maintain produce.

“This is our way of eliminating food insecurities in our areas, because most the time there is a vacant property that’s available, but people are not sure of how to plant how to tend how to take care of it,” said Jackson.

He said all the produce grown will be donated to a hunger-relief organization or people that have a food need.

The goal is to inspire attendants to start their own garden, even if it’s just starting off small.

“You can start off with a bucket, start of by saying, ‘hey, I don’t mind putting four or five, 5-gallon buckets in my backyard for the simple fact that I’m going to grow collards and turning and give to the local food bank.’ That can help you grow for yourself, as well starting off small and expanding out,” said Jackson.

He said even though this method seems unconventional, it works.

“I’ve been growing for 17 years now and when I first got started, it was strictly a 5-gallon bucket in my mother’s backyard. If I can start that small and take it here 17 years later, imagine what having the interest of saying, ‘I’ll try it and see what happens,’” said Jackson.

Some of the produce growing right now are lettuce, collards, cabbage, broccoli, peaches,...
Some of the produce growing right now are lettuce, collards, cabbage, broccoli, peaches, blueberries and much more.(WALB)

Their goal is to have the farm active all year round and get programs like FFA and 4-H involved.

“To kind of give them another community service outlet where they can practice what they preach. They learn it in a classroom, why not come out here and apply it,” said Jackson.

Some of the produce growing right now are lettuce, collards, cabbage, broccoli, peaches, blueberries and much more.

“If we can do this with one or two people, imagine what you can do with five or seven people to make sure there’s fresh fruit growing for those who need it,” said Jackson.

Farmer Fredo will be at the fair from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. during the two weeks of the fair. They will have workshops for you and your family to participate in throughout the day at the Starbucks learning farm. If you can’t make it, you can still learn the techniques.

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