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Local farms growing across the Big Bend

Posted at 6:09 AM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 06:09:25-05

(WTXL) — More small farms are popping up across the Big Bend.

Red Hills Small Farms Alliance has seen the number of farmers in the area almost triple over the past two years.

The group who works to support local small farmers says it's because there is more demand for all natural safe produce.

Donna Woodland has been a gardener her entire life.

"We would grow tomatoes and peppers and we would can them," said Woodland.

Now she's noticing a lot of people in the Big Bend are jumping on the farming bandwagon.

"There's a lot more local farmers right now. And it's becoming a trend in Indian Head where we even garden in our front yards," said Woodland.

Red Hills Small Farming Alliance a group who support local farmers says farming in the area is on the rise.

"When we started we had 20 or so farmers and now it's grown to about 70, and we see more every year. So I would say yeah it's a trend... it's trending," Katie Harris.

It's all because of demand from shoppers and local businesses Harris says people like shopping for locally grown produce because they can trust the product.

"It's a lot of E-Coli outbreaks on things like romaine lettuce right now and it seems like every month theirs something like that happening and who do you hold responsible and from the consumer standpoint that's part of it is just feeling like I can just talk to the farm I can go visit," said Harris.

One of the many businesses buying from area small farms is Tallahassee's Community Co-Op.

We already have a number of local names on our shelves, we plan to increase that number in the coming months.

And as that demand increases so will the need for even more local farms.

"We really have to have support from everyone, it takes a village to support a small farm," said Harris.

This week Red Hill Small Farms Alliance is holding a series of events to connect local farmers with the community.