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Friday, May 16, 2014

Coming Soon: A 68-acre farm for King of Pops

Chocolate sea salt pops in the making

They got their start in the Buddy's parking lot. Then, they acquired a truck and a pick-up window. Now, Atlanta's ubiquitous popsicle peddlers have staked out yet another new location - and at 68 acres, it's looking like they're going to need a mighty big rainbow umbrella. On Wednesday morning, King of Pops announced via Instagram that they had just closed on a piece of property that they plan to use to grow herbs and produce, both for their pops and for sale to the general public.

farm.jpg

The as-yet-unnamed farm, located about 30 minutes west of Atlanta in Douglasville, has been an active nursery for about forty years. Steven Carse, KOP cofounder, tells us that the company plans to maintain what's already planted on-site, in addition to growing ingredients like mint, basil, lemongrass, ginger, berries and melons for their all-natural pops. Thanks to the number of greenhouses on site, he says, they'll be able to grow many more kinds of herbs and produce than they'd originally planned. The produce won't just come in pop form, either. "We'll be producing more fruit than we can use," Carse says, "so we'll plan on selling it at markets and to restaurants." In fact, according to Carse, they've already struck up their first restaurant deal: they'll be providing fruit to Sister Louisa's Church for the bar's beloved sangria.

Why a farm, and why now? As it turns out, the company has been on the hunt for the right piece of land for nearly a year. "We've always been committed to the local food movement, and being a steward of that community," Carse says, adding that he and his brother come from a long line of farmers. "We finally got to a point where we wanted to learn [about farming] and fell in love with this land, so we decided to go for it." In addition to cultivating produce, the company also plans to use the acreage for educational programming and farm dinners. "We just want to make the best product we can," he says. "And I think this is the next step in doing that."

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