Georgia Roots Urban Farm is open for business in the city of South Fulton, and residents are already taking advantage of having farm-fresh produce in their backyard. A variety of fruits and vegetables are available through the farm’s community supported agriculture (CSA) program, a subscription-based harvest box available for pick up twice a month. Additionally, its farm store is open Friday through Sunday at 3415 Enon Road.
The farm’s owners, Kennise and Kwesi Elder, hosted members of the community during a mixer on June 7, and opened their farm store on June 14. So far, their inventory has included kale, collards, okra, peaches, blueberries, seeded watermelon, eggs, a variety of fresh herbs and more.
The farm, formerly a nursery, is home to over a dozen hoop houses, which allows for more temperature control and greater flexibility in the growing season. The largest is named “Carver House,” in honor of George Washington Carver, the agricultural scientist and Tuskegee professor who rose to fame for the development of hundreds of products using peanuts, sweet potatoes and soybeans.
The Elders will specialize in greens and plan to launch a mushroom project. They will also co-op with farmers throughout the state for their CSA program to offer members even more variety.
Kennise Elder studied plant science at Fort Valley State University, where she helped to develop a 20-acre research plot. She later worked with the USDA in California, the largest agriculture producer in the U.S. Kwesi Elder has over 20 years of experience in landscaping, and is also a welder and artist.
Georgia Roots Urban Farm is a marriage of their skills and experiences. They’re not only offering products, but also education. Since the farm’s launch, the Elders have been able to answer many of the community’s questions on everything from how produce is certified as organic to the science behind genetically modified organisms. They are also emphasizing the benefits of eating local.
“Local produce is full of nutrition, you’re going to love the taste and it’s just an excellent experience,” said Kennise Elder. “I run into people all the time who say they don’t like cucumbers or tomatoes. The majority of these items in the grocery store are grown in water, and they lack flavor. I encourage people to try these items when they are grown local and in soil, you’ll get a different experience.”
The Elders invite members of the community to come to the farm, learn about their operation and get information about their CSA program. The farm store is open on Friday from 4:00-8:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
“We enjoy being here,” said Kwesi Elder. “Come out, support and watch us grow.”