The Urban Farm at the Westside Trail now officially has two farmers: Andy Friedberg and Andrea Ness have partnered to run the Atlanta BeltLine’s first agriculture site, located near the border between the Oakland City, Adair Park, and Capitol View neighborhoods.
Plans for the farm include focusing on the site’s potential as a resource for the community and for users of the Atlanta BeltLine. In the short term, the farmers hope to build the soil up so that it will support the most nutrient-rich produce. The focus, at first, will be on growing greens such as arugula and herbs, and some storage crops such as squash and sweet potatoes.
Part of Andy and Andrea’s strategy is to sell quick-turnaround goods to local restaurants and reinvest profits into longer-term production and programming. The ultimate goal, they say, is to build a market garden, and have a farm stand so people in the neighborhood and on the Atlanta BeltLine can come buy fresh produce. They hope to be a resource to the community in terms of food and education. The farmers intend to use sustainable methods to grow the most healthiest, nutrient-rich produce so they can provide the best quality food to the community.
Andy grew up in Atlanta and has been farming since 2004, but started pursuing it full-time in 2010. He has farmed in various locations in Georgia, as well as Massachusetts, and started his first farm on his own in Stone Mountain. Andrea gained skill and confidence as an apprentice for Green String Farm in California, and has worked on several farms in Georgia, as well. Wanting to be close to the project and part of the community, she is now moving into a house in Adair Park. Both Andrea and Andy are excited about the opportunity to work on the Atlanta BeltLine’s first Urban Farm, and enthusiastic about the communities in southwest Atlanta.
The Urban Farm was once a contaminated site plagued by erosion and depleted soil. The land has since been remediated, and a cover crop established. Now, our farmers can bring the site up to its full potential as a living, breathing part of southwest Atlanta.
Stay tuned for more progress on the Urban Farm!