In his 2011 book “Folks, This Ain’t Normal,” organic farming pioneer Joel Salatin points out, “The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food?” Where indeed? Somehow humanity made it all the way to 1946 without a Publix or a Kroger down the road. He says, “Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.” This is the truth that the Best Self Atlanta team reconnected with when we volunteered at Truly Living Well, an urban farm in the heart of Downtown Atlanta that proves food still can – and probably should – come from your backyard.
As a group, we took a day off from office work and got down in the dirt together. Truly Living Well’s four-acre main garden on Hilliard Street was a beautiful tangle of summer green on the day we volunteered. Our tasks involved weeding among the kale, tomatoes, onions and more, scrubbing radishes to prepare them for market, and picking ripe plums. Though as a group we aren’t exactly seasoned farmers, instructions from our volunteer coordinator, Sara, set us off on the path to success. By the end of the afternoon, the raised beds were weed-free, the radishes clean, and the plums picked (and tasted!). We felt very accomplished, but it was clear: there’s always more work to be done on a farm. If you’d like to volunteer with Truly Living Well, either at the garden downtown or their other location in East Point, visit trulylivingwell.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.