Really, the very best parts of attending something like the Georgia Organics conference are meeting new people and hearing those peoples’ thoughts about food and our food system. This is probably an example of what is called “confirmation bias,” where we seek out and bend information in ways that support our own world view, but I did leave the conference with an upbeat feeling about local food production in Georgia.
|Cover of our conference schedule. It is actually green. PHOTO/amygwh|
After my friend Electa and I arrived on Saturday morning, we signed in, then went through the breakfast line and looked for a place at a table.
We wound our way through the big breakfast area to a table that had only one woman and her young son seated there. Over breakfast we learned that they both had completed a growers bootcamp put on by Habesha Atlanta (but held in Augusta), and they were starting their own small food-growing operation.
While we ate and talked, more people who had participated in the same bootcamp, and who had begun working to grow some good food, joined us. This was a GREAT way to start the conference!
Throughout the day, we met and spoke with other people who had established small (1/2 acre or less) orchards and veggie farms and small chicken production operations in urban and suburban areas throughout Georgia.
Then one speaker (could have been GA’s Ag commissioner Gary Black; my notes are sketchy here), in talking about Georgia’s food system, listed big farms, medium farms, small farms, and home gardens as all contributing to our food system.
Home gardens! It was so great to hear these recognized as an important element of food production in the state.
My dream, of course, is that everyone finds a way to grow at least a little food. Our individual production may be small, but it all adds together.1>