Since 2009, we have gradually developed an organic roof top garden for our residents to learn about urban food production, sustainable technologies and to have the experience of producing food for Our Community.
Our project currently includes 80 single raised beds and has already raised small crops of: lettuces, collards, kale, chard, carrots, radishes, squash, watermelon, zucchini, peppers, tomato, etc. In addition, we have made the garden sustainable by adding the beehive for pollination and honey. We are also harvesting rainwater to irrigate the crops!
Partnership with Truly Living Well, the groundbreaking urban farming center and training facility has brought organic food production and neighborhood farmers’ markets to neighborhoods throughout metro Atlanta. Truly Living Well and other local “green” efforts have emphasized involving everyone in our communities in local food production and marketing that food to neighbors, the public, and to local restaurants.
As Resident Volunteers participate in the Truly Living Well Urban Growers farming training, they are offered opportunities in new technologies that are not currently available to poor and homeless people. A specially funded program to prepare them for entrepreneurial farming and marketing also certifies them, at the completion of the 6-month internship, to develop and train others at Our Community at Peachtree-Pine.
Volunteers are learning garden planning, plant selections, optimal production technologies as well as rainwater harvesting techniques. As the planting and harvesting seasons end, those volunteers will also participate in food storage training and experience as well as marketing and other opportunities for income-producing urban farming work. Certifications that provide participants with demonstrable qualifications for employment to move into the greater community.
Training and supervision of the project is provided by individuals with urban gardening experience and training. Carl Hartrampf, long-time volunteer with the Task Force, has led every aspect of this program’s development. It is with his energy, enthusiasm and great love that we are fully engaged in Our Rooftop Garden as the chief effort towards attaining community wellness at Peachtree Pine.
Each “urban grower” is a Resident Volunteer at Peachtree-Pine and is in training or has graduated from the Truly Living Well program. Truly Living Well was founded in 2006 by Rashid Nouri to meet the fresh food needs of families in the local Atlanta community and to bring nutritionally-rich, fresh-picked produce to local residents through a community supported agriculture program.
We have also been well supported, also, by Framer “D”, Darron Joffe, a biodynamic farmer, teacher, and resource for local groups to set up community vegetable gardens. Stone Creek Church is also an enthusiastic participant and supporter of all our gardening efforts, providing volunteers and plants.