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Brandon Wilde works with Grovetown farmer to bring fresh veggies to residents

Posted: July 23, 2016 - 11:10pm  |  Updated: July 23, 2016 - 11:54pm
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Fresh organic produce is delivered to the kitchen at Brandon Wilde, from Grovetown organic farmer W.B. Brown.  Fresh organic produce is delivered to the kitchen at Brandon Wilde, from Grovetown organic farmer W.B. Brown.
Fresh organic produce is delivered to the kitchen at Brandon Wilde, from Grovetown organic farmer W.B. Brown.
Fresh organic produce is delivered to the kitchen at Brandon Wilde, from Grovetown organic farmer W.B. Brown.

 

Fresh from the garden is a sales pitch typically found in the aisles of your grocery stores or farmers markets.

But Brandon Wilde has brought the organic, fresh vegetable option to residents of the community as part of the “Farm to Fork” initiative.

The life care community in Evans has partnered with Grovetown farmer W.B. Brown to provide produce for residents.

Brown arrived at Brandon Wilde on Tuesday, as he does each week with freshly harvested vegetables. This week, white acre peas, bell peppers, egg plant, and squash from Brown’s certified organic farm on Dawson Road were on the menu.

With help from his two granddaughters visiting from Virginia, Brown dropped off the produce to the kitchen.

According to Dining Director Matthew Jones, Brandon Wilde uses each delivery to offer a fresh vegetable plate or vegetable of the day option to residents. While they try to coordinate, Jones says they will incorporate whatever produce Brown has available.

“He brought us some corn on the cob that we were not expecting, so that day we had corn on the cob,” Jones said. “We don’t always know what he’s going to bring but we always use it.”

To kick off the Farm to Fork initiative and Brandon Wilde’s new partnership with Brown, dining services put together a special buffet dinner with all Georgia-grown products, using as many local products as possible, including Brown’s produce.

“Cheese, even the beer we got from downtown, from Riverwatch Brewery,” Jones said. “Everything we had was a Georgia item and as much local stuff as possible.”

Jones called the event and the partnership with Brown a huge success, adding that next year will be even better.

Planning for the seasonal harvest is familiar territory for Jones, who grew up on a farm.
“Basically whatever we grew, that’s what I ate. We didn’t buy any vegetables, whatever we had, that’s what we had. So it was not much of a learning curve about what was in season,” Jones said of growing up on a farm. He added that that knowledge will help with planning for next year.

“When we first started talking to (Brown), he had already started planting some of his stuff,” Jones said. “We started talking about things that we’d like to have that we’d like to use, and he said, ‘Well OK, I can plant these things for you,’ so we have come up with a partnership with him so that he is going to plant stuff and help us along throughout the whole year with seasonal things so that we can always have something coming in season to eat.”

Brown, who has been farming for about 20 years, became organic certified three years ago and says whatever he doesn’t sell at farmers markets or keep for his family, he gives away at church or to friends.

“It’s just been nice,” Brown said. “It’s a good acquaintance with Brandon Wilde.”

Jones said the success of their partnership with Brown has encouraged them to possibly reach out to other farmers.

“We probably will look at a couple more farmers in the area to try to supplement what he can’t do and what he can’t get, but he will be our primary provider,” Jones said.

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