Sustainable farming on a local front
Two GC alumni give back to the community by growing vegetables and fruitsGeorgia College’s graduates have gone on to accomplish and discover great things, as they continue to shape their ways of living and interests after college. For two of those graduates, Chelsea Losh and Bobby Jones, their great discovery was restoring and managing a local farm.
Located just 30 minutes southwest from the heart of Milledgeville in Gordon, Babe + Sage Farm is a 30-acre plot of land which produces over 40 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts. The property itself has been owned by the Oetter family since the Great Depression, and has been under the management and care of Losh and Jones since October of 2011. The farm operates under the maxim of “…food for the belly, love for the dirt.”
The name of the farm, Babe + Sage, comes from a poem written by William Henry Channing. An excerpt from the poem was written on a painting given to the couple by friend and local business owner Kim Joris.
“(The painting) had followed us from farm to farm to farm, to house to farm to apartment, to about 50 different places, and the quote on the painting was ‘To live content with small means, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart this is to be my symphony,’” Jones said. “And there’s the name.”
Although the farm isn’t certified organic, they utilize organic practices by not using any type of synthetic or chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers on their crops. Their products change with the seasons, creating a diverse selection of good-quality eats.
“Conventional farming uses a lot of chemicals to kill the bugs that are eating the plants, and if you kill the bugs that are eating the plants, you also kill the good bugs that pollinate the plants or that eat the bad bugs,” Losh said. “Or even if the bugs have the chemical in them or on them, your birds will eat bugs or your salamanders, and then they will die, so you’re killing the whole ecosystem.”
As of right now, Babe + Sage contributes freshly baked bread and eggs to the Mulberry Street Farmers Market in Macon on Wednesday afternoons and the once a month Local Harvest Farmers Market in Milledgeville on the second Saturday of the month.
The farm also offers a Community Supported Agriculture program, or “Farm Share,” which allows customers to pay an upfront fee in exchange for a box of fresh vegetables each week. There are three seasons during which customers are accepted, the spring season which goes from April 2 until May 23, the summer season from June 4 until Aug. 22 and the fall season, which goes from Sep. 3 until Nov. 7.
A GC alumna and long-time friend of Losh and Jones, Brittany Curry, admires what the couple is doing for the community.
“It’s inspiring to see two people making such a massive investment in something with so little certainty or guarantees,” Curry said. “They are farming to harvest actual crops, but I think there is a metaphor at play here as well; by starting the farm and offering CSA memberships, the seeds they are planting in our community are sure to produce rich fruits unforeseen to us right now.”
The next Milledgeville Farmers Market will be on April 14, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. In addition to vendors offering various produce and meat, there will be a ribbon cutting and a band to celebrate the grand opening of the market.
In May Babe + Sage is planning a farm tour in before the summer session starts and will be posting the date on their website. To find out more information visit their website at babeandsagefarm.com or email them at email@example.com.