The idea to develop a small organic farm at Bodhi Tree has been in the works since 2013. Both Russell and Liz have been involved with the local food economy for much their lives in Athens: Liz as a familiar and friendly presence for many years at The Village Bakery, and Russell as a market gardener and prior director of ACEnet’s Food Ventures project. Still, it’s one thing to imagine serving guests organic food from a farm on your property, but another thing entirely to start and maintain one! Enter Randy Cooper who had just sold his own farm down in Meigs County and was looking for land closer to Athens.
Russell, Liz and Randy’s ideas for collaboration gelled quickly, and by the Fall of 2015 those ideas became actions: building raised beds, tilling ground, amending soil, renovating outbuildings, and sourcing seed. Bodhi Tree is situated on less than 4 acres of land and one of the joys and challenges of a smaller property is to work with what is given. Our farming philosophy is rooted in bio-intensive, organic management practices that continuously improve the health of the soil. The farm now consists of approximately 50 raised beds, with an additional field production area for larger-scale crops. We grow a variety of specialty crops and mixed vegetables and strive to create a diversified food source. We have been certified organic since May 2016.
You can find us at the Athens Farmers Market Saturday mornings and some Thursday’s. We are located just 5 miles from the market, which allows us to harvest as much as we can the morning of the market. Produce from the farm is also available by request for guests and visitors of Bodhi Tree.