A Time to Plant
In 2010, Jamila Norman planted a seed on Atlanta’s West End. In 2022, the city reaps the benefits of a harvest that yields happiness, health, and hope to communities that need it most.
Jamila, known internationally as ‘Farmer J,’ founded Patchwork City Farms in 2010 on a 1.2-acre space on the Westside of Atlanta. Today, the farm is located in the Oakland City area of Atlanta and is Certified Naturally Grown, meaning there are no unsafe additives used in crop growth. The pledge to grow organically, and love for community, are staples in Farmer J’s recipe for change. Although Southwest Atlanta seems an unlikely farm location, it is precisely where Patchwork City Farms provides clean, fresh, locally grown foods to the city. There are after-school programs that teach youth farm-based activities. There are also opportunities offered for passionate volunteers to gain hands-on experience in the work. At her weekly farmer’s markets, residents can buy those organically grown fruits and vegetables. By making these purchases, they are supporting a farming collective that is dedicated to the highest production standards and assists in facilitating the regeneration of healthy neighborhoods.
Growth & Determination
Black farmers have an obscure history in the U.S. Cultivators of color have weathered complex legalities and knotty ethics, leaving the timeline of their story riddled with the repercussions of a once divided nation. The denial of land equity to skilled laborers, making the transition from servitude to vested landowners, became a major contributor to less availability of healthy food options in marginalized communities. In 1999, the USDA settled a $22 million dollar class action suit with multitudes of Black farmers who were discriminated against, and who’d lost their land between the years 1981 and 1986, leaving many areas without sources for fresh food.
Consequently, the 2008 U.S. Farm Bill declared a food desert to be an area where access to fresh and affordable food is severely limited. The bill further clarifies that grocery stores are scarce in these communities, or transportation to reach a location is unavailable. It is here, in these described neighborhoods, where Jamila Norman and the work of Patchwork City Farms provide sustenance for both the body and soul.
Commitment to Community
Lamson is committed to helping those who dedicate themselves and their businesses to mending social disparities. Therefore, from February 24-27th, 10% of Lamson sales will be donated to Patchwork City Farms. This contribution will further enable Patchwork City to continue its educational and agricultural efforts throughout Atlanta.
To learn more about Jamila Norman and Patchwork City Farms visit their website, and shop Lamson Product to support the efforts of Black farmers who are making a vital impact in the city of Atlanta.