Know Your Vendor
The AFM has started a new campaign to introduce our vendors to you — our customers. In a growing, globalized world where people have grown increasingly more removed from where their food comes from we think it is important to highlight those local producers and growers that go to market each week to sell us their products. Each month we will feature two vendors. We hope you get to know them a little better and learn something new. If you have any questions you are dying to ask, send a message to our facebook page.
Know Your Farmer
Randy has been “playing in the dirt” for some time now, around 10 years to be exact. You might remember seeing Cooper Valley Farms at the market, Randy and Cathy’s first venture down in Meigs County. Things have changed a little bit now, mainly moving their farm up to Bodhi Tree Guesthouse and Studio with a two and half year old in tow. The new farm, set up off Lavelle Road where there are about 50 4×12 raised beds and around half of an acre for potatoes and garlic, is now named Bodhi Tree Farm and is certified organic. The retreat seekers of Bodhi Guesthouse and Studio can now enjoy a meditative weekend amongst a budding farm. You can find Randy or Cathy at the market on Saturdays and some Thursdays from May to January.
How long have you been selling at the AFM?
Around 3 years. Two and half at Cooper Valley and now as Bodhi Tree Farm.
How or why did you get into farming?
This was not intended. I started working for Rich Tomsu [of Rich Gardens Organic Farm — one of our other vendors] a while ago when I needed money while I was attending Hocking and I just fell in love with it. After working for him for a while, I decided I wanted to make my own money doing it and Cathy and I bought a place down in Meigs.
What is your favorite thing about farming?
Being outside and being my own boss and working at my own pace. I like being responsible for what happens, like if something gets messed up I know I did it. It’s kind of like living alone and you leave your place a certain way, but if you have a roommate who is lazy and doesn’t clean then you have to deal with that.
Garlic, (laughs) thanks to Rich, it’s a cool and easy plant and it grows in the winter.
What is your favorite thing to cook or eat from what you grow?
Hmmmm, all of it, I really like all of it. My least favorite is radishes. I really like asparagus, but we didn’t get a lot of that this year.
What is your favorite thing about the Athens Farmers Market?
It is a central place for everyone in town to come to and chit chat and get together. It is a social event and a venue where the community gets together and interacts and there aren’t many other places to do that.
What do you sell the most of?
Beets actually. I sold out of those pretty quickly. They were the [Chioggia?] variety, really nice and pretty.
*Fun fact: Randy will sell beet tops when he is thinning them out. If you’re looking for beet tops only, look early.
Bodhi Tree Farm and the Guesthouse and Studio will be having an open house and farm tour in early August. Check out their facebook page for more information and updates. If you would like to purchase wholesale or directly from Bodhi Tree Farms you can reach them at email@example.com