If it’s pasture raised beef and pork, locally grown fruits and vegetables or even raw milk you’re looking for, Country Gardens Farm has what you need. However, this third-generation farm in Newnan hasn’t always been such a one stop shop.
“I’ve been growing something all my life. My grandfather, this was his original farm. My Father farmed here, but I’m the only one that’s kind of taken it to the level of selling retail. But for about thirty years, we’ve had a retail, nursery, and garden center and sold ornamental plants that we sold to the public and this just kind of transitioned into food,” says Mike Cunningham, Owner of Country Gardens Farm.
That of course is an understatement, as customers get the chance to browse a wide selection of products grown right here on the farm or surrounding areas, which guarantees the highest quality and freshness.
“So, we offer our customer a small farmers market here on the weekends so they can get meat, milk, eggs, cheese, vegetables; kind of a one stop little farm stand; our own little farmers’ market. That’s what I’m trying to do. So, they’re always after local produced fruit, vegetables, meats and they’re looking for to know where their food’s coming from,” says Cunningham.
What sets this operation apart from the rest are the multiple classes if offers throughout the month, with the goal of making it both fun and relatable.
“We got the one area that we call the teaching gardens and that’s something that they can envision in their backyard. It’s not like a huge hundred foot bed, but little, small gardens that they can envision doing this in their back yard. We’ve seen a lot of people that have never gardened before in the last few years and they’re really excited and we like to see them have a good experience with it,” says Judy Cunningham.
With a number of topics such as canning and fermentation to go along with the gardening, the Cunningham’s are hoping to bridge the generational gap when it comes to agriculture.
“It’s been kind of a disconnect over the years and they may have remembered their grandparents cooking and canning and now they’re thinking back to that and they say, ‘well, that’s something that I really want to learn’. We have a big population here, close by now,” says Judy
This 150-acre farm always stays busy as it grows a year-round selection of vegetables and plants. However, it’s a time and labor commitment they wouldn’t have any other way.
“When we’re planting seed and we’re seeing things germinate and come up out of the ground or we’re in the greenhouse back here in the wintertime, we’re starting our peppers and tomato plants and things, I think it’s something that’s wired in me to appreciate things that are growing and seeing things mature,” says Mike.
By: Damon Jones