These nicer, greener seasons sure do have us feelin' like we were born for the great outdoors. (And without the aid of antihistamines no less – at least some of the time.) Unfortunately, embarking in the 'great outdoors' in the city isn't quite as romantic as it can be in the idyllic countryside. No need to take to the country life completely, though – Atlanta hosts a bevy of opportunities for those of us who care to exercise our green thumbs without going outside 285. (Even in Atlanta's most concrete portions – it's possible!)
Step right up, folks, and be a farmer for a day. This grassroots organization descends on suspecting (and very much appreciative) farms, doing a hard day's work in exchange for camaraderie and a farm-to-table meal. With roots in North Carolina, Crop Mob began as a means of providing small, sustainable farms with the labor they need, and uniting urbanites with the opportunity to contribute to the local food movement. Heck, you might even learn a little somethin' somethin' along the way.
Truly Living Well
These Atlanta folks are all about spreading the message of natural urban agriculture—"combining the vitality of city life with the benefits of being close to nature, creating communities that are truly living well." Besides growing and selling fresh food, they provide education and a lengthy, in-depth Urban Grower Training Program, perfect for us city-folk who want to fully immerse themselves in the agriculture of sustainable farming.
East Lake Community Learning Garden
Though Atlanta certainly has a plenty of community gardens, not all of them are as focused on growing community as East Lake Community Learning Garden. And while we're all for independence, we wouldn't know where to start at those other rent-a-plot locales. At this small urban farm, neighbors work together to grow organic produce as they learn more about heirloom gardening. (Don't worry. You can still rent a plot.)
The Homestead Atlanta
Kimberly, the mastermind behind it all, hopes to improve the well-being of individuals, communities and environments through reconnecting them with forgotten heritage skills. And she has big plans for the non-profit organization, which fully encompasses all that is old school. No, we mean really old school. Namely, classes that feature wood-crafting, yarn-spinning and, of course, organic vegetable gardening. Students will leave with a renewed green thumb, and the skills needed to coax vegetables out of whatever space you have.