Meet Jamie from Decatur, Georgia, United States

“I got inspired to grow food after I knew that my wife and I were going to have a baby. Bringing another being to life really makes you think about your food choices and your lifestyle. My wife and I liked to cook and entertain so we went all in and bought a farm, which was the obvious path and the rest was history!

I grow food because I love to share; share the bounty and share the stories. Food brings us together in ways that feel so good and connected. In a very divided country, we need to hold close things that we can have something in common. The one commonality that we all have is eating, that is my gateway to get people interested in growing food.

Our location is in Decatur GA, in Dekalb county. We mobilize gardens in cities and communities all over our county and beyond. We love to grow both perennials and annuals. We love growing fruit trees and berry bushes, things that are not necessarily common for our area like, Pineapple guava, loquat, and Hardy Banana. We grow tons of annual vegetables such as tomatoes, we LOVE tomatoes, peppers, lettuces and herbs.

We start with practicing good soil building techniques, using no till methods and lots of organic materials to cover our soils. Good soil is the key to plant health and plant health is the best protection against pests. When the bugs are relentless though, we like to use soapy water and diatomaceous earth and sometimes pyganic.

Keeping the engagement of the community to be involved through the life of a project is challenging sometimes. People get really excited in the Spring and then the excitement wanes when the bugs come out and it gets too hot.

The connections made when growing food and building gardens together as a community, that is by far the best reward! I would say second to that is sharing a good meal with friends, one that is grown together.

My company (Roots Down) started a Campaign calle GROW, DONT MOW. This campaign raises the awareness about modern day landscaping and all of its downfalls. We aim to teach people that these spaces can Grow food, Ecology and Community instead of the seas of grass that we are used to seeing.

Growing food is an innate part of who we are, it brings us connections that you would have never thought possible, it’s empowering and just feels so damn good. Please, if you can get out there and start a garden at home or a garden project for your community, DO IT!”