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Farmer Jamila’s Killer Tomatoes

As we get ready for the 9th Annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, benefiting Georgia Organics, on Sunday, July 16, we wanted to highlight some of the farmers who make the delicious meals possible with their hard work in the fields.

In this edition, we spoke with Farmer Jamila Norman Truly Living Well in Atlanta, Georgia.

What was your background before working with Truly Living Well?

I was operating my own farm before coming to Truly Living Well called Patchwork City Farms. I did that for five years. Originally, my background is in engineering, I was a environmental engineer for nine and a half years with the state. I went all over the state- I was on the compliance side of wastewater for corporations so I got to travel all around the state visiting different corporations. It was like my own “How It’s Made” show. I got to see how the waste was being processed. I even went to the aquarium and got to see their system.

What are you most looking forward to about the Festival?
Participating and seeing what people come up with. One on the main reasons I got into farming is because I love food. And during the season we are so busy it’ll be nice to talk with other farmers and relax at the festival a little.

Where do you think the local farm to table movement is headed?
I know where I want it to go–I want it to extend and reach more communities. I want to know how to bridge the gap with middle class working families. I want to see how we can go back to how it used to be and the connection with farmers. Because today I think we have sacrificed our health for convenience.

What does farming mean to you?
Ohhh, so many things. I know it sounds crazy but it’s peaceful. As hectic as it is I just get lost, get lost in the work. I’m in control of what I eat- I know what I grew, what went into it- so it’s wholesome and good for my body.

It’s actually seeing results. You put a seed in the ground and it grows and people buy it and eat it and come back to the market and are happy. You feel accomplished, you have an endpoint, and that gets repeated over and over.

What is one fun fact about you?
I’m from New York City proper (I know you have to put that)- my family is Caribbean and the last generation of farmers in my family were great grandparents in Trinidad and Jamaica . So I am that “return to the land” one.

 

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