Farmer of the Month: Ladybug Farms

ladybug farmsFarmer Terri Jagger Blincoe loves working outdoors and has always been good at growing things and teaching others. Now she is sharing her expertise and passion with the Northeast Georgia Farm to School program. “This work feels important and my decision to farm is as much a political statement as anything.  Farming touches every major issue in our country from the environment to our health to economic.”

Ladybug Farms, best described as a small scale, intensive and highly productive farm incorporates two ¼ acre fields and one 1/8-field producing between 8,000 and 10,000 pounds of food each season.  “I do not buy the argument that small farms can’t feed the world. I grow 40+ heirloom varieties of beans, squash, beets, carrots, lettuce, kale, potatoes, tomatoes and more,” explains Farmer Terri.

One of Terri’s favorite quotes and inspirations is “The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living off a small piece of land”… Abraham Lincoln.

Days on Ladybug Farms change as the season progresses. Terri starts the first seedlings in her greenhouse in February then begin preparing and planting the fields in March, April and May. The months of June and July her days are spent harvesting and weeding followed by August where she starts fall crops and begin to prepare fields for winter cover cropping. “September the strawberries go in, October the garlic – all the while I am selling produce, plants, teaching classes, fixing equipment, keeping up with the finances and everyday chores on the farm” says Terri.

Stepping up and committing time to the Farm to School program aligns directly with Terri’s mission to connected people to where their food comes from. “My parents generation is the last generation that grew up eating farm food, and we are only now beginning to see the consequences of that change in our society. Obesity, diabetes and cancer are rampant, and I firmly believe our diet and eating habits is one of the main reasons.  Establishing healthy eating habits at an early age can counteract many of these problems” explains Terri.

This year Ladybug Farm is growing sweet potatoes and kale for the Rabun County students. “Kale is a super food – is fantastic for making kale chips and in smoothies. Sweet potatoes are also super nutritious, fun and easy to grow and make great sweet potatoes fries,” exclaims Terri. Farmer Terri’s hope is to inspire a new generation of healthy eaters that are committed to respecting and nurturing the land that provides all this abundance.

The local community can purchase Ladybug Farms wonderful produce through the farms CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Individuals purchase a share in the farm for the season and in return Ladybug Farms agree to deliver 8-10 different items each week – whatever is in season that week. Ladybug Farms CSA members can receive their weekly shares either Friday mornings in downtown Clayton or stop by Saturday morning at the Main Street Farmers Market.

You can also purchase Terri’s produce at the Main Street Farmers Market in downtown Clayton or enjoy them on the menu of local restaurants Fortify, Fromage and the Lake Rabun Hotel. To learn more about Ladybug Farms contact Terri at terri@ladybugfarms.net.

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