In September, the JJN Team hit the road for an epic road trip: Beckley, WV > Atlanta > Chicago > Beckley, WV. Over 2,000 miles in just six days!
We teamed up with The Conservation Fund to help tell the story of urban farmers in the Atlanta and Chicago areas. The Working Farms Fund supports a new and diverse generation of farmers who aim to expand food production, while permanently protecting significant farmland in urban areas across the country. JJN had worked with The Working Farms Fund about three years ago, when they were first getting started in the Atlanta area. So we were excited when we got the call to come back and revisit the project!
Check out some highlights of the trip below!
JD, Seth and Katie hit the road from Beckley and headed down south to Atlanta. We stayed at a beautiful AirBnB on Lake Jackson, just outside of the city. (Fun fact: We experienced an earthquake about an hour after arrival – but it was only a 2.4.)
Our first start was the Love is Love Farm in Mansfield, Georgia. We had visited the folks from Love is Love three years ago when they only had a little plot of land. It was awesome to see how much their operation has expanded and how much they are able to grow thanks to their partnership with The Working Farms Fund. We then headed up to Fresh Harvest to film a food delivery from Love is Love Farm.
On the second day, we headed over to Local Lands in Milner, Georgia. Local Lands is a family owned and operated farm that has been farming in the area since 2010. Through their partnership with The Working Farms Fund, they have expanded their operation with a farm in Milner and an organic food market in the Atlanta suburbs.
After spending our day with the crew at Local Lands, we hit the road to Nashville for a pitstop on the way to Chicago.
After a day of driving on Wednesday, we made it to Chicago. Our first stop was about an hour outside of the city at Rustic Road Farm in Elburn, Illinois. We got to check out their growing operations and meet a bunch of baby goats! We then headed into the city and stopped by a downtown farmer’s market and met with some folks from the Chicago Food Policy Action Council. With an hour to spare, the JJN team took a quick walk through downtown and hit a few tourist hotspots!
Then we headed to the southside of Chicago to the Farm on Ogden. This was a great spot in the heart of an urban neighborhood. The Farm on Ogden served as a fresh food market and also hosts educational classes for its customers – such a cool spot!
On our final day in Chicago, we headed downtown to Midwest Foods – a food distribution center that works with the local farms. JD got to throw on a hairnet and head out into the facility to check out the food processing process. We then made a quick pit stop at the University of Chicago and finished our day at a Lincoln Highway Farm south of the city.
Five days, 2,000 miles and hours of podcasts later, we made it back to West Virginia. We are so grateful to work with clients like The Conservation Fund. What they are doing is so admirable and we can’t wait to see how this program continues to grow!