Giving Compass' Take:

• Food Tank highlights a multi-locational market garden in Georgia, Grow with the Flow, which uses neighbors’ underutilized lawns and farmlands to grow naturally certified produce. 

• How can you find opportunities to invest in local food? Where is the need greatest? 

• Read about how access to healthy food helps grow a community. 

Grow with the Flow practices permaculture and intensive growing methods and is a member of the Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) program. CNG farmers and growers do not use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or GMOs. Unlike organic farming, CNG relies on peer inspections and direct relationships.

The organization started an initiative to provide the local community with fresh, naturally grown produce by establishing market gardens on homeowners’ lawns within a three-mile radius of their home garden. In exchange for providing land, each of the homeowners gets a share of vegetables and fruit from the network of gardens. The rest of the produce is sold through several local market streams.

The co-owners and twin brothers, Roger and Reggie Ramos, maintain eight market gardens with the occasional help of volunteers since they founded their family business in 2014. The Ramos brothers gained knowledge and skills while attending local conferences such as the Georgia Organics conference, working as apprentices on farmers with mentors, taking online classes, and participating in an accelerator entrepreneur program and workshops. They wanted to expand without purchasing farmland. An idea was formed, inspired by the book “The Urban Farmer” by Curtis Stone, to utilize the yards of their Tucker neighbors and harness mutual benefits. The idea was crucial in starting their venture as farmland is one of the top barriers in starting a farming enterprise.

Read the full article on Grow with the Flow by Katerina Bozhinova at Food Tank.