Georgia Organics sponsors numerous workshops, an organic living series, special restaurant experiences, field days and farm outings that are open to all (visit www.georgiaorganics.org for details). Executive Director Alice Rolls has 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and environmental fields and hopes to double membership in the next year or so to directly connect more consumers with their food.
Creative Loafing: What's a fact I would be surprised to know about organic farming?
Alice Rolls: Gardeners use three to five times more pesticides than farmers.
What's the definition of sustainable? Organic? Are they interchangeable?
Those words are tossed around a lot and there's a lot of confusion. Sustainable, in my book, means an approach that looks at the impact -- not just economic, but social and environmental -- of farming, of your commute to the office, of your lifestyle.
It's a whole system of thinking. It's been described as a three-legged stool: If one leg is missing, the whole thing falls apart. You know, 99 percent of all mankind's farming was organic. It was only after World War II that we began using chemicals. We should have to label things as "pesticide-ridden," not as "organic."
What's one easy way for people to participate in sustainable growing?
Think about your everyday habits. Is your coffee made from sustainable beans? There's a local and global impact to our daily decisions.
What about restaurants offering sustainable food on their menus?
We encourage more restaurants to consider making that commitment. Woodfire Grill has been a long-standing supporter of Georgia Organics. Five Seasons Brewing, Teaspace, MidCity Cuisine, Bacchanalia and R. Thomas are others. Consumers need to frequent places that make that commitment.
What are some other projects we will see?
As part of downtown revitalization, many communities are creating farmers markets. Farmers are supplying schools and restaurants in their communities and converting grassy, weedy areas into community gardens. We want to shorten the distance from farm to fork.
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