There are people who enjoy growing their own food but don’t have enough land or time to farm. They are known as hobby farmers and one local group hopes to make people aware of them.
Kim Hines, director of Augusta Locally Grown, defines hobby farmers as “anyone with an active curiosity in the art of food growing.”
A hobby farmer corner will be set up Saturday at the Columbus Day Antique and Art Festival, which will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Evans Towne Center Park.
“This will include about a dozen groups or individuals who specialize in some sort of farming enterprise as a hobbyist,” said Hines. “We will also have one or two full-time local farmers participating with us.”
Among the hobby farmers already registered for the event are several Columbia County groups. Twisted Fence Ranch in Grovetown deals with alpacas and wool art and Evans-based Slippery Slope Acres is a shitake mushroom grower.
Other hobby farmers at the arts and antique show will be CSRA Hobby Farmers of South Augusta, Shady Creek Greens of Avera, White Hill Farm of Dearing, East Georgia Produce of Bartow, JandL Farm and Stables of Hephzibah, Lil Dinker Gardens of Evans and several other businesses.
Legacy Gardens of Evans will provide information on soil and raised-bed vegetable gardens, said Hines.
Hines is hoping to have a beekeeper and food canning expert on hand at the event and says a homemade soapmaker and a peacock and heritage bird raiser are also scheduled to be set up.
“Augusta Locally Grown will also have an educational booth for kids focused on seasonality and a ‘grow-your-own’ activity,” she said.
Augusta Locally Grown also will use the event to launch a year-long community game called A-GUSTAVORE.
“I hope folks come away from our Hobby Farmer Corner with an enthusiasm for growing their own food, even on a very small scale,” she said. “My personal goal is to turn the Garden City into the Vegetable Garden City.”