Getting a to do list like this done everyday is not a one person task. There is a whole team behind the weekly harvest at Gaia Gardens. It really take a village to raise a farm. In addition to Farmer Joe, several kind, hard-working souls labor weekly to ensure that everything is planted, weeded, scouted, recorded, watered, maintained, and harvested. Anyone who picked up from the farm last year knows that Gaia Gardens would not be the same without the knowledge and deeply appreciated work of Lois. New this year at Gaia are Matthew and Erin. Both of these farmer apprentices worked with Farmer Joe last year and provide their labor and critical thinking to all facets of the farm. Behind the scenes, Judith keeps the farm connected and technologically savvy, in addition to her work with the incredible Five Forks and Flasks restaurant group. She also inspires the whole team with her deep commitment to the Atlanta local food system and growing culture that nurtures a food system that is good, clean, and fair.
Don’t forget that all of you are critical to the farm team through your support, consumption, and co-production.
This week let’s meet Matthew. Matthew lends his expanding, expansive bank of farm knowledge, as well as his physical energy, to the farm each week. He is a true “renaissance man,” a tremendous mix of artist, hard-worker, philosopher, chef, and mechanic. His ever ready smile is also a great boon. Matthew also brings the biodiversity message to a new level with his interest in wild and foraged food.
Here, he’s shown harvesting red russian kale, a fleeting Spring delicacy. Our Southern heat is invaluable for growing food over a long season, but it is not too kind to our delicious leafy greens. We hope you enjoy them!
All of that red russian kale would go well baked into kale chips.
You could also use that kale and some of your pesto-ized basil in a Garden Basil Pesto Soup. What a great way to blend Spring and Summer treats from the farm.
[Photo: Angie McGowan]
Next week, look out for another farm team profile.