Norcross Community Market
the 1st in a Series
Know Your Farmer
Norcross Community Market has been selected to receive a grant from AgSouth Farmers Credit as a part of AgSouth’s Think Outside the Store® farmers grant program.
The funds are designated to be used for promoting the market, and Norcross Community Market was chosen based on our plan to increase public awareness of the market with this “Know Your Farmer” series.
Here at Norcross Community Market, we want to encourage a sense of community that will spread to other area residents. We’d like for you to “know your farmer” in such a way that you’re aware of what makes them each unique before you ever set foot in the market.
By reading what each farmer is most proud of, where they come from, why they choose to be here, and lots more, you should gain a sense of each of the farmers being a friend by the time you actually say hello and see their products.
Meet the Writers
Before you meet the first farmer, we’d like to introduce ourselves . We are Pam and Sara, and we’re local residents (Pam lives in Norcross, and Sara in nearby Clarkston). We are also a mother-daughter team of food bloggers at Biscuits and Burlap. We are huge believers in buying local to support our community and cooking with the freshest food possible. We invite you to visit our blog and try some of our recipes!
Our team is proud to be bringing you the series, “Know Your Farmer.” So, let’s begin!
Meet and Get to Know Your Farmer
Gilliam’s Community Garden (Gilliam’s Urban Farm)
Many of you will recognize Gilliam’s Community Garden, because their farm has been represented at Norcross Community Market since the very first market in 2016.
Husband and wife team Farmer P (left) and Lovey (right) are the head honchos over at Gilliam’s Community Garden. Farmer P is Gilliam’s Farm Manager and Lovey is the Event Coordinator.
A few details about Gilliam’s
One unique thing about Gilliam’s is their location. Situated very close to the center of Atlanta, Farmer P and Lovey are true urban farmers and the soon-to-be new name “Gilliam’s Urban Farm” will more accurately describe where they are located and what they’re all about.
That urban location puts them in a unique position to host school groups, including those from inner city schools. These children might not otherwise get to witness first-hand the process of growing and producing fresh foods.
Gilliam’s also welcomes other groups, such as for church, civic or family outings. For a nominal fee, they promise an educational, hands on, urban farm experience like no other.
What does Gilliam’s Produce?
The core of Gilliam’s products are vegetables, with an emphasis on beans and peas, but there is a wide variety, with something for everyone.
A personal favorite of ours, is a pea that we cherish from our home in north Florida. Have you ever heard of white acre peas?
Gilliam’s has been saving the seeds for these acre peas through three generations and we were thrilled to find that they had them.
Besides the vegetables, there is also livestock at Gilliam’s. Where else in the city would you find goats, sheep, chickens and hogs? They also carry jellies and preserves and (new this year) medicinal teas.
Future Goals and Plans
Lovey Gilliam has a definite plan in mind. She wants to see Gilliam’s sponsor and host “cook offs” for kids. She has a vision of helping children learn to cook and eat healthier options, and she sees her plan as a fun and educational way to fight childhood obesity. The new outdoor kitchen at Gilliam’s is the first step in making this dream a reality.
Certifications, Grants, Recognition, Achievements, Memberships
Gilliam’s continues to rack up the achievements. We’re proud of what they’ve accomplished and look forward to seeing what the future holds. Among their certifications and memberships:
· Certified to participate in Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program – a USDA program which provides coupons to low income seniors to be used for eligible foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
· Grant recipient from Food Well Alliance’s More Hands More Eggs program
· 2017 Civic Innovation Fellow
· Participant in Georgia Organics Bridge Health Program
· One of three 2017 recipients of the Atlanta Emerging Market, Inc’s Civic Impact Loan designated for making a greater impact in the local community.
In wrapping up our visit with Farmer P. and Lovey we asked what made them choose to come to Norcross Community Market. The answer? The diversity of the shopping community here in Norcross was a real draw to them. The visitors to the market come from all walks of life and many backgrounds. That is not only part of what makes our market unique, but makes it a true community market.
What are you most proud of?
Lovey Gilliam answered this one without a second’s hesitation. She is most proud of her husband, Farmer P. He has worked hard to achieve his goals, and together they have taken a small backyard garden and built it into a full time urban farm.
A Fun Recipe with Products of Gilliam’s Community Garden
We invite you to come over to Biscuits and Burlap for this outside-the-box recipe made from Gilliam’s okra and tomatoes. Just click the recipe title or photo above to be taken straight there.
See you at the Norcross Community Market!
Be sure to look for Farmer P. and Lovey and tell them you read their story. They look forward to meeting you at the market, and they would love for you to visit their website at Gilliam’s Community Garden. To schedule a visit and tour call 678-949-8530.
Keep your eyes open for the 2nd installment of the Know Your Farmer series coming soon! In the meantime, we would love to have you sign up to receive weekly Southern recipes from Biscuits and Burlap by clicking this link.
Until next time,