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Moving farm puts down permanent roots in Collegetown

Truly Living Well market Truly Living Well market

By Maggie Lee

After years of farming leased land, Truly Living Well now owns its Collegetown farm.

The TLW Center for Natural Urban Agriculture has bought the three-acre site from Atlanta’s housing authority, according to a press release from the nonprofit. TLW uses its farm and urban agriculture as a tool for health, wellness, education and cooperative community opportunities.

It’s an incredible milestone, said Carol Hunter, TLW’s executive director.

Truly Living Well Executive Director Carol Hunter provides a farm tour for Food Well Alliance staff and Fresh Harvest farmers. Credit: Caleb Jones

Truly Living Well Executive Director Carol Hunter provides a farm tour for Food Well Alliance staff and Fresh Harvest farmers. Credit: Caleb Jones

“Land ownership creates stability for the organization and permanency in a community that needs access to healthy food,” Hunter said. “We have the capacity to stimulate and contribute to a robust local food system from our location at Collegetown Farm and deliver other community benefits.”

TLW moved to Collegetown about five years ago when it lost a lease in the Old Fourth Ward.

At the farm, people can learn how to farm, actually work on the land, even rent the space for events. Oh, and of course buy vegetables. (With tiered pricing, customers pay what’s affordable for them.)

Atlanta’s housing authority offered TLW the space in part because the area is a food desert, and the farm helps serve the nearby neighborhoods that the housing authority is trying to help revitalize.

TLW provides a space for local food production and connect residents to healthy food resources and educational opportunities, said James Talley, at Atlanta Housing.

“I cannot understate the value they’ve brought to the community since they’ve been there. People trust them,” he said.

TLW bought the land for $10,000. But it also signed a thick 30-year community benefits agreement that spells out exactly how it will serve the community into the future, or risk losing the land if it doesn’t.

And, the farm also hosts events, like the annual Food Well Soil Festival. Check out the galleries from 2018 and 2019.

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Maggie Lee

Maggie Lee is a freelance reporter who's been covering Georgia and metro Atlanta government and politics since 2008.

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