TUSKEGEE, AL. There's a new farm in town, and it's growing organic.
Nathan Wells, one of the founders of Lifetime Natural Organic Farms, is a California transplant who's taken with the history and possibilities of Macon County. He has a great respect for the history and accomplishments of George Washington Carver and wanted to honor that. "We came here because we felt that Tuskegee and the history here, with George Washington Carver--that we could be a part of that history and provide another avenue for Tuskegee and their community to have something to be proud of," he said.
Lifetime Natural Organic Farm opened earlier this year in Macon County. As the largest USDA Certified Organic farm in Alabama, they're focused on growing their produce and their presence in the community. "Our goal is to give back to the community," Wells said. "Our goal is to give a living wage to anybody that works for us, including insurance. We're here for the long haul and we want to be a big part of the community. We're excited to be a part of it."
The farm uses bio-intensive farming, which is an approach that priorities maximum yields from smaller areas. It also involves monitoring and promoting biodiversity and sustaining the soil's fertility in a natural way. An organic farm like this has been Well's long-time plan. "This is my baby," he said of the farm. "This is my vision, this is my dream, and this is my ministry."
The Macon County Economic Development Association (MCEDA) has also been involved in helping the farm find its footing and grow roots. The Board helped the farm establish itself on MCEDA property, and is hoping to see it grow. Joe Turnham, director, said, "We've always wanted to have an agricultural component to economic developing, and we think it's a great slice of that here." He's also looking forward to seeing the farm's impact on the community. "In addition to environmental practices," he continued, "we're hopeful that a full-scale commercial farm will be like a new industry to Macon county, employing maybe several hundred people and generating a lot of local tax revenue."
Lifetime Natural Organic Farms currently sells its organic produce to premium grocery stores and natural food stores like Whole Foods and Publix, as well as some restaurant chains. To find out more about this exciting new farm, visit their website or find them on Facebook.
By Leigh Daniel