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Farming in the Winter

August 15, 2012
I visited Atlanta in February and because of my desire to get more information about models for the planned Wild Ramp  (not yet named at that time)  that were already working, I spent some time visiting a market and then they sent me to a farm….IN the city!!

When I visited the Boxcar Grocer  I asked a lot of questions since the ball was just beginning to roll for the Wild Ramp market. Although the local market concept is not for as complete a grocery as Boxcar is, many of the concepts are similar.

When I was asked if we had settled on our suppliers yet I had to report that it is still being worked out. Her next question surprised me: Are you getting any of your produce from within your town?

Well, not expecting to, small garden areas, hilly terrain,etc etc etc……and her answer was Why not?

She sent me to Truly Living Well who operates several growing centers but the one I visited was the Wheat Street Garden close to Auburn Avenue. Located within view of downtown Atlanta, this 4 acre parcel provides vegetables and fruit to individual purchasers, CSA members, local stores and restaurants.

Several staff members are assisted by volunteers.
The greenhouse provides a climate controlled area for seedlings. Seeing the amount of greens in various stages of growth reminded me that we in West Virginia do not enjoy the more temperate winters that Atlanta does, but these raised beds can be worked in tunnels and the results would be similar spectacular.

The Living Well site has ample parking, a covered picnic area with sinks for warm weather classes,

 
several storage areas, the greenhouse, and some fun areas as well. This is a wonderful use of an abandoned land parcel that any urban area has in abundance.
Of course, in the past few weeks I have visited a number of small farms located right here in Huntington. None are in what I would consider an urban setting, but why not? We have a lot of open lots scattered around, even downtown! Rows of garden veggies would be a lot better use of a vacant lot than weeds and trash piles, right?
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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2012 2:16 pm

    The Cabell and Wayne County horticulture agents could take this on as a project to establish community gardens with support from the Master Gardeners. Boyd Co. Ky agent Lori Bowling is working on this for our area.

    • August 16, 2012 12:17 am

      There is so much we can do to make good food easily available right here.

  2. August 15, 2012 5:26 pm

    Just wanted to say that I’m excited to make my first venture to your market today! I’m trying to find out how to become a ‘Friend of the Market’ on your Facebook page, but I haven’t been successful. Hopefully I can figure that out today! Can’t wait to check it out!

    • August 15, 2012 11:59 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the market. Perhaps you received a brochure when you checked out? It has info about the membership but you can also go to the Market’s website and get the info.

  3. August 15, 2012 8:42 pm

    Have you seen http://ediblecitythemovie.com/? It features Oakland in the Bay area in CA, but relevant to urban agriculture everywhere, and totally relates to your post.
    That greenhouse is so neat and tidy!

    • August 16, 2012 12:16 am

      Thanks. I sent it on to our Community Garden director too

  4. August 16, 2012 1:58 pm

    I’ve seen community gardens in several major metropolitan cities I’ve visited and ever since the apartment building on Third Avenue burnt down 4 or 5 years ago, I’ve thought “what a perfect spot for a community garden”. Sun all day pretty much and, IMHO, a fitting memorial to the people who lost their lives there.

    • August 16, 2012 6:38 pm

      I think that is a great idea. Contact Eve MarcumAtkinson on Facebook…she is the one in charge of the Huntington Community Garden OR just start one there. One thing we have learned at Chat N Chew is that chances are it is easier to ask forgiveness than ask permission. As long as you are not breaking any rules, it should be ok. The one thing I can think of is that you should contact the owner of the property and see if you have his okay.

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