It’s been a tough start to the year. You know that freeze a while back that we’ve all conveniently forgotten about in the midst of this 70 degree weather?  If you’re a farmer, then it’s still a main topic of conversation. “How have you recovered from the freeze?  It wiped out my entire field of “insert intriguing item.” If you’ve experienced several weeks in a row of, how do you say, “boring baskets,” that freeze mixed with a ton of rain is why. Thank you for your creativity and patience with us. One farmer told me: “last March was the best we’ve ever had, and this March will be the worst.”

The cohort of Fresh Harvest eaters will be counted on more than ever this spring as farmers aim to make up for weeks and weeks of lost revenue. Thankfully, all the crop planning meetings of December and January have prepared us for this moment. Read more about what’s to come from my summarized farmer meeting notes below.

Crystal Organic Farm, Newborn, GA 

Jeni Jarrard-Donck and Nicolas Donck

2022 was an busy year for farming power-couple Nicolas and Jeni. I had a great meeting with them at their house on the farm a couple weeks back. Be sure to check out our crop planning video here for more of the highlights from our meeting. Their investment in a perimeter fence back in 2021 paid off big time, saving countless crops from hungry deer. Unfortunately, the freeze did much more damage than any herd of deer. But they’re moving forward, and will be producing more dried herbs, medicinal flowers, and roots this year, along with a lot more unique vegetable and fruit varieties. 

Love is Love Cooperative Farm, Mansfield, GA

Planning with Love is Love Farmers Judith and Joe
I had a great on-farm sit down with a couple of the worker-owners at Love is Love, Judith and Joe. They established that Fresh Harvest became their largest wholesale buyer in 2022 and we are planning to increase that number in 2023. They’re planning to do that by offering more scallions, pickling cucumbers, lettuce varieties, and potentially some fruit like cantaloupe, figs, and strawberries when they expand their property later this year.

Berry Farm, Vidalia, GA

I had a great chat with Jason Berry, owner of Berry Farm, who grows a lot of organic blueberries for Fresh Harvest. This year he’s planning to really ramp up his partnership with us by installing a new fancy hoop house with a retractable roof for better berry production. This will help extend their growing season by A LOT. He’s also planning to send us blackberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melons, watermelons, a variety of lettuce types, cauliflower, and black cherry tomatoes!

Hearts of Harvest Farm, Arnoldsville, GA

Lindsey and Paul harvesting flowers for Fresh Harvest

Paul and Lindsey will be ramping up production this year as they continue to cultivate the additional land they purchased in 2021. One of their main goals for 2023 is to establish a fruit orchard on the new property, and I’m so excited that Fresh Harvest will be playing an important role in that plan. We’ll be rolling out a campaign shortly to help fill their orchard with fruit trees: for every new Fresh Harvest customer, we’ll be planting a fruit tree on the farm! Stay tuned for more…

Hickory Hill Farm, Carlton, GA

Rainy crop planning meeting with Farmer Josh at Hickory Hill

It was a very wet meeting at Hickory Hill Farm. Josh and his father-in-law Garry stood with me outside their packing house for a couple hours while we talked through 2022 (SO many carrots!) and planned ahead for 2023. The farm looks so different, with more hoop houses and a couple more storage buildings peppering the property. One of their biggest projects this year is to bring in a massive high tunnel, which will allow them to drastically extend their growing season. Expect to see more high quality crops than ever from Hickory Hill in 2023.

Rodger’s Greens & Roots Farm, Campbellton, GA

Farmer Ashley with her new Meishan pigs

Big news from Ashley Rodgers: she’s raising pigs! Chinese Meishan pigs to be exact. They’re adding to the resiliency of the farm by naturally tilling and fertilizing the soil while also creating a full circle composting method. Also in 2022, Ashley stopped selling to restaurants to focus on growing for Fresh Harvest and her farmer’s markets. We talked through some new equipment and processes she’s implementing to help extend the life of her produce. And finally, she let me know that they’re completely maxed out on Edamame production, which is a cool reminder that endless growth is not always the goal. Sometimes it’s best to set a limit. 

Diamond Hill Farm, Athens, GA

I always enjoy a visit with Farmer Carter at Diamond Hill followed by lunch at one of my favorite Athens joints. One big note from our meeting is that Carter is going bigger on flowers in 2023. There will be lots more varieties and a whole lot more quantity to help spruce up your home from Diamond Hill Farm. It was also cool to hear his take on what makes organic, locally grown potatoes better than the typical grocery store varieties, which are selected primarily for storage and transportability rather than flavor and culinary goodness.

Signal Mountain Farm, Signal Mountain, TN

Farmer Tom crop planning from an electrical tower

We had a little too much fun on our latest visit to Signal Mountain Farm.  But when we weren’t four-wheeling through the woods or jumping in a freezing river, we were talking 2023 crops. In addition to literal tons of heirloom tomatoes, Tom will be sending us his famous snap peas this year, as well as more unique squash varieties like Ronde de Nice and Patty Pan. Oh, and we might even get some of his delicious strawberry crop. More to come on that soon.

Tucker Farms, Rome, GA

Tucker farmhand harvesting veggies in the field

Farmer Craig and I had a great conversation, covering everything from salad mix sizing to labor shortages. 2022 was a tough year from the labor standpoint for Tucker, so he’s looking at increasing production of crops that are less labor intensive. Keep an eye out for more field peas in particular. He’s also adding White Cauliflower, Romanesco, Pink Eyed Peas, and Leeks to his Fresh Harvest offering. I’m especially excited about the local cauliflower, which is almost always in short supply. 

West Georgia Farmers Cooperative, West GA

Farmer Darrell delivering a pallet of WGFC sweet potatoes

There aren’t too many updates from WGFC for 2023, which is a good thing since we’ve been ordering a steady weekly supply of beets, sweet potatoes, and red potatoes from the coop almost year-round. 2022 was a great year with our friends in West Georgia and we hope to repeat that in 2023!

Fresh Harvest Garden, Clarkston, GA

Mung Lian and his Mother Dim Lun harvesting greens

There are 44 beds in the garden and it’s a constant juggling act for Farmer Cody and his team to determine what is feasible to plant where and when. He just finished soil testing, and now he’s adding amendments to the soil for optimal growth in each bed. Most of these beds are in a sort of a bowl, which Cody says makes things challenging. I don’t know about you, but some of the best tasting things I’ve eaten came out of a bowl.

Fry Farm, Bethlehem, GA

Matt Fry harvesting radishes in the rain
The freeze was super tough on Fry, but it has given Matt and his parents, Steve and Vicki, time for winter projects like building a new storage building and applying for high tunnel grants. Fry has always been a pioneer of new and exciting varieties, which they plan to continue in 2023 with new micro greens like beet, amaranth, and various herbs. I’m especially looking forward to their Sugar Cube Cantaloupe and additional edamame production in 2023.

Love what you’re getting or hoping for changes to your weekly Fresh Harvest produce options? Send us an email at to let us know what you think.