Clarkston, Georgia is known for its vibrant international color. A designated refugee resettlement city since the 1990’s, Atlantans flock there for the diverse array of restaurants, refugee-pulled lattes and volunteer opportunities for the many nonprofits that populate the area. What most visitors don’t realize is that Clarkston is food insecure. In a sad twist of irony, refugees resettled in Clarkston often spend their lives in war-torn countries as farmers but when they finally find peace, are unable to access fresh, affordable produce. That is where Global Growers steps in.
Global Growers is an Atlanta-based nonprofit creating sustainable agriculture by growing organic food, training farmers, and providing economic opportunity. The organization distributes produce harvested on commercial farm sites to greater Atlanta via CSAs, restaurant partnerships, and farmers market stands. However, Global Growers does the bulk of its work at sites in Clarkston and Decatur where refugee farmers cultivate food from their countries of origin for consumption and sale. These sites are hubs of education, culture, and wellness where over 12 different cultural groups come together to nourish their families.
To expand their capacity, Global Growers is in a race to raise $15,000 for their Plow Forward campaign. If the nonprofit reaches their goal before the ball drops December 31, funds will go directly toward a new tractor and their Farm Equipment Education Program. The last time Atlanta had the chance to celebrate a massive power tool this big was with Driller Mike and we know Global Growers’ new tractor will go the extra mile. A tractor will lead to a higher crop yield and translates to increased income and sustainable produce for vulnerable families. It will also help Global Growers increase their share of Atlanta’s ravenous farm-to-table market, as well as offer their services to other Clarkston-based minority populations.
The Global Growers staff and farmers are thrilled about the prospect of a tractor. When Communications Coordinator, Désirée Fowler, told one of the Burmese farmers about the campaign, he showed her his labored hands and said, “now my back hurts and I’m always tired – that will be so different soon when we have a tractor.” Fowler says this equipment will, “allow our farmers to do what they do best, which is grow incredible food.”
Information to make a contribution or spread the word about this campaign can be found here. Looking for additional ways to show your support? Global Growers also welcomes volunteers and new CSA members. But before December 31, let’s make sure they plow forward and get that tractor. Who knows, they might have a naming contest and we’re pulling for ‘Big Boy.’ Driller Mike needs a friend, don’t you think?
All photos are property of Global Growers.