Better Fresh Farms, Growth in Demand

Grant Anderson, owner and operator of Better Fresh Farms, has seen a growth in demand for his product over the past few months. It's truly no wonder why. He has been able to provide the Savannah community with a consistently unique product despite the challenges faced by the climate and weather. His method? Growing vertically & hydroponically inside of shipping containers. 

Grant began his company with a strong desire to improve the local food scene in a sustainable, environmentally conscious manner. He not only challenges perceptions surrounding fresh food by engaging in meaningful conversations with people, but he also provides us with an alternative product -- one that is truly fresh, tender, and will last an impressively long time in the fridge despite being perishable. 

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Grant has been incredibly thankful for the connections he has made at the Forsyth Farmers' Market. Unfortunately, he will be taking a break from the weekly farmers market until the summer. He says, "I've been blessed to have an opportunity to work with Bon Appetit (SCAD's food service coordinator) through their "Farm to Fork" initiative to encourage purchases from local farmers. They have agreed in conversation to buy all of my lettuces for the remainder of the spring semester to feature at their campus restaurant "beeFUEL" in The Hive near student housing. I am also very grateful to be selling some of our whole head lettuces & chervil to Chef Tyler Williams at Husk Savannah each week. All of my remaining kale, swiss chard, pac choi, and radishes that I typically bring to FFM are currently going to Brighter Day Natural Foods Market at the end of each week."

It's important that farmers have the opportunity to diversify their clientele to ensure sustainability. We are so excited he's been able to secure gigs that are incredibly valuable for his company going forward. The Farm to Fork initiative with the SCAD community will be a great opportunity for Grant to bring more awareness to college students the power of their purchasing power and the importance of supporting local farmers. Grant will return soon to the weekly farmers market to continue connecting with his consumers and growing his demand base.

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Farmsgiving 2017 A Success

The Forsyth Farmers' Market annual fundraiser, Farmsgiving was held on Saturday November 11th. A special thanks to the organizers, local businesses, donors, and attendees who made the event a great success!

We invited community residents and businesses to host a dinner party event for friends and family while accepting donations on behalf of the Forsyth Farmers Market. The dinner party specifics were left up to the preference of the party host -- and they ranged from a back yard casual get-together to more formal events. Party hosts were also encouraged to support local farmers in their purchasing of ingredients! Lulu's Chocolate Bar donated beautiful cakes for the deserts of the party.   

If you'd like to be a part of next years' Farmsgiving, stay tuned. Details will come out around October 2018. 

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Oldways in Savannah, A Taste of African Heritage

“Diabetes is not part of your heritage. Neither is heart disease. What is in your heritage is a healthy heart, strong body, extraordinary energy, vibrant and delicious foods, and a long, healthy life.”
-OldWays, African Heritage Diet.

Our nutrition educator, herbalist, and community activist, Ayo Ngozi taught the first 6-week session of nutrition education classes here in Savannah this past summer, 2017. In the coming 2018 year, this course will be taught in community centers in Savannah [dates pending]. 

The course is based on the Oldways, A Taste of African Heritage curriculum. The course is designed to teach people how to eat and cook healthfully, traditionally, and enjoyably through hands-on experience. The class covers a specific food group each week from the African Heritage Diet Pyramid.

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The outline of the class is as follows:
Week/Lesson 1: Traditional Herbs and Spices
Week/Lesson 2: Greens
Week/Lesson 3: Whole Grains
Week/Lesson 4: Beans and Rice
Week/Lesson 5: Tubers and Stews
Week/Lesson 6: Fruits and Vegetables


From the Food Guide Pyramid (1992-2005), to MyPyramid (2005-2011), and now – to MyPlate, the USDA has gone through many graphical representations in attempt to help people better understand how to eat healthily. The opinions surrounding these graphs are certainly not few and far between, to say the least. But that’s to be expected with an attempt to standardize and simplify something so complex, variable, and culturally dependent — our diets.
A Taste of African Heritage introduces to us a food pyramid which intimately connects culture and food – in a way that can add value to our lives, deepen our connection with our food, and strengthen social connections. This diet specifically places an emphasis on eating like our ancestors – because we are evolutionarily adapted to an environment quite unlike the one we live in today.
The modern American diet has been shaped, to a great extent, by the industrial food system. At its core, the food system promotes standardization of inputs to maximize efficiency and market success. We have become highly specialized in producing commodity crops (corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, etc.) – and as a result, we have experienced a great loss in biological diversity and cultural diversity. This can be exemplified in the simple fact that there are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world yet fewer than 20 species now provide 90% of our food.2Our industrial food system has – in a way, created its own culture around cheap, convenient, delicious food – while disregarding the cultural identity and health of its consumers. The modern American diet has contributed to one of the most serious public health concerns. More than 64 million Americans have one or more types of cardiovascular disease, which represents the leading cause of mortality (38.5% of all deaths) in the United States.3 Fifty million Americans are hypertensive; 11 million have type 2 diabetes, and 37 million adults maintain high-risk total cholesterol concentrations (>240 mg/dL)3

As a society, we have done a great deal of damage to our health. Profound changes have occurred in our diets over time; from the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry to the use of genetically modified foods. The interaction of the environment, genes, gene expression and the relation to food and disease is a whole mess of complicated. There is not easy explanation for the prevalence of chronic disease in our country. But there is an increasing awareness that a disease does not arise from one single dietary element (say for example, saturated fat). It is the interaction of nutritional factors directly linked to excessive consumption of novel Neolithic and Industrial era foods (dairy products, cereals, refined cereals, refined sugars, refined vegetable oils, fatty meats, salts, etc.) —  our environment has changed too fast on an evolutionary time scale for the human genome to adjust.3 And paradoxically, food has become a poison in our Westernized diet. Simply put, we must get back to our roots. And that is what Oldways is about, at it’s core — our cultural roots.

For more information or to express interest in being a part of the 6-week course, please e-mail Ayo at ayo.ngozi.herbalist@gmail.com