April 02, 2018
Charlene Glover is a FarmHer with a vision. A number of years back, she realized that the options for local, fresh and healthy food in their community was lacking. She saw it taking its toll on the health and wellness of those around her. As a pastor and woman engaged in the health and stability of the economy in Albany, GA, Charlene had a vision to help the people in her community to have an option for fresh, healthy food and she did just that. Five years ago Charlene took her vision and got her hands dirty making it happen.
She started the Healthy Living Farm where along with a team of dedication visionaries, they grow 12 different types of certified organic vegetables over three acres, that are sold from an on-farm store. When she started the farm, Charlene had no background in agriculture, but she knew how to dig in. She found local mentors in other farmers and connected with the resources at the local university and through USDA. The process hasn’t always been easy, with Charlene and the others running the farm learning lessons as they go, but it is rewarding.
On the day I visited Healthy Living Farm I was warmly greeted not only by Charlene, but by the rest of the farm crew that day. While Charlene is the head FarmHer, she has a crew that makes things happen. From Marcus who works full-time at the farm to the others who volunteer their time on a regular basis, this farm is a true community farm. While it was the off season in mid-fall, there was still plenty of work to be done on the farm. We started by heading out to the plants where the crew hit the dirt, pulling weed after weed, row after row to make sure that their crop of sweet peas stays strong and healthy. As Charlene pulled, I got down and helped a bit while listening to her talk about her favorite recipes for the plants.
From there we walked around and looked at the cover crops in other plots and Charlene showed me the rest of the farm. We ended up my quick visit there back in the farm store where a few volunteers were working on assembling the value-added products that the farm store has been selling. I got a taste of some wonderfully fresh and slightly spicy hummus and also took home a bag of the tastiest granola I can remember ever eating! Seriously, that granola sustained me throughout the rest of the long filming week!
While the farm visit was quick, it was efficient and productive, just like the FarmHer of the farm, Charlene. She runs the farm with an open mind, ready to learn, and a strong purpose in her heart. All of those, combined with the good help of those around her result in a successful farming operation, providing fresh food to their community. Charlene is a FarmHer with purpose, passion and vision, who is making a difference in the lives around her.
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The busyness of holiday preparations, year-end closing of financial books, tax preparations, loan renewals and prepay of next year’s commodity inputs may have your snow globe resembling the topsy-turviness of a blizzard. Good health and wellbeing, including mental health, is a key factor that contributes to one’s ability to keep farming.
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