Southwest Atlanta, Fulton County
By Andrea Ness and Andy Friedberg
Less than a 5 min walk down the BeltLine, we Aluma Farmers are transforming an old urban lot into a Food Oasis. The land we steward might have been just another 3.4 acres of typical development along prime Beltline property.
However, the Beltline had the foresight to instead set aside an urban farm plot which has become a prime community asset! Aluma farm is a productive and beautiful green space, employing five full time positions.
We bring nutritious food right into our neighborhood by selling thousands of pounds of organically grown fruits and vegetables at our weekly on-site farm stand. We make that food more accessible by doubling the value of SNAP/EBT.
We are building a relationship where our neighbors support us as we increase food security for our community.
Vacant lots like ours used to exist all over this city- usually in neighborhoods that have been neglected or pushed aside for decades. As the BeltLine expands into these neighborhoods, more and more people are suddenly interested in developing them. But it is crucial that these developments are guided by and benefit their historical communities and residents.
There is a huge need for truly healthy food in these underserved neighborhoods-that is why we farm. It is vital to have farmers at the table as we work to make our city stronger and more resilient. We see solutions to hunger in lots where most people see vacancy. We see nutrient rich sources of compost where most people see trash. We create healthier soils and communities together.
What will you do to include farmers in the development of your next project?