Middle Georgia farmers create co-op to get shoppers to buy local

SANDERSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Farmers in Sandersville want you to know where your food is coming from.

They and several growers around Middle Georgia put together a co-op to help expand their brands, put more local foods in restaurants, and in markets and stores around the region.

For someone who has been farming for a little more than eight months, Katie Doe Putkowski says she’s a natural.

“We are just contributing to the production of vegetables and sheep for lamb meat and now we have chicken eggs,” she said, referring to the produce and meats she and her partners sell at Forest Grove Farm.

Katie, her partner Chris Horacek, and farm owner Lyle Lansdell don’t mind getting their hands dirty.

“The principle is that we don’t want to eat pesticides and herbicides,” Lansdell said about why they’re running an organic, sustainable farm.

The three and growers from across Middle Georgia started “Middle Georgia Growers Cooperative” — a group where farmers can work on ways to expand their outreach to the region, even beyond the surrounding counties.

“Hopefully, you’ll start seeing our produce and goods utilized in restaurants in the Macon area,” Putkowski said.

“If you’re buying a bag of carrots from the grocery store, those profits are going out to California, Mexico, wherever they’re grown. Where as we directly profit from it and we can input that into our communities,” Horacek said.

It’s a push to remind shoppers to think twice when they’re picking up groceries.

“How else could a person have the energy to do this if they didn’t have the principle behind it pushing them, driving them to do this hard work,” Lansdell said.

“We’re just trying to bring people out and encourage them to get to know their farmers,” Putkowski urged.

… To know their farmers and to know where their food is coming from.

The produce and meats from Forest Grove Farm can be found at the Mulberry Market in Macon each Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m at Tattnall Square Park.

Categories: Local News, Washington County

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