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Veggie Truck Market debuts Tuesday

Sunday, March 24, 2013 8:37 PM
Last updated Monday, March 25, 2013 1:06 AM
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The Veggie Truck is parked next to St. Luke United Methodist Church in Harrisburg, and in the church’s backyard Brett Heimlich and Remer Brinson drop a long wooden box next to others that will become a raised planting bed and activity area.

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Loretta Adderson (left) sells bunches of organic kale and honey to Jospeh, Ivy and Theresa Shipes at the Evans Farmers Market. The Addersons will be selling their organic produce at the Veggie Truck Market in Harrisburg beginning Tuesday.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Loretta Adderson (left) sells bunches of organic kale and honey to Jospeh, Ivy and Theresa Shipes at the Evans Farmers Market. The Addersons will be selling their organic produce at the Veggie Truck Market in Harrisburg beginning Tuesday.

Loretta Adderson of Adderson’s Fresh Produce sits next to a green tent where she will be selling her organic wares when the Veggie Truck Market begins Tuesday.

Adderson is explaining to the uninitiated what a “hoop house” is.

“It’s like a greenhouse, but you plant directly in the soil instead of in pots,” she said. “We had tomatoes in there earlier but it got very, very cold for too long and they died. But they grow a lot faster. We have some strawberries that are ready now.”

That draws an appreciative “Mmmmm” from market manager Jenny Jia.

“I love spring strawberries,” said Jia, a second-year medical student at Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

The market, which will be held every Tuesday at St. Luke, is an outgrowth of a project last year that saw the Veggie Truck tooling around Harrisburg providing greater access for residents to get fresh fruits and vegetables. The new market will do even more than that. It is partnering with a group called Wholesome Wave Georgia that will allow it to double the amount purchased with federal or state food stamps, said Harrisburg advocate Brinson. That will help its customers overcome what is often a price barrier to purchasing healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, and studies show it can also help establish a good habit, he said.

“Even after markets stop doubling the food, the same people continue to come back and shop at the market because at that point they’ve realized all of the added benefits above and beyond sheer finances,” Brinson said.

It also can mean changing perspective and rediscovering the joy of healthy foods, said Kim Hines of Augusta Locally Grown, an online market that is also participating in the Veggie Truck Market.

“I think we’re naturally designed to derive a great deal of pleasure from food as humans,” she said. “Moving back toward eating things that are good for us while we are enjoying them is something everyone should be able to participate in.”

Hines is helping to bring farmers such as the Addersons on board, and the farm is responding by adding 10 acres so that it will farm between 25 and 30 acres near Keysville, Ga. The farm already does a good business through Augusta Locally Grown and other local farmers’ markets but sees the potential for more through the Veggie Truck Market.

“This market here we’re hoping that we’re going to get a good pull from,” Adderson said.

Hines said she believes the Adderson farm is the only certified organic farm in the immediate Augusta area but others are working their way toward that certification. Adderson, who grew up on the farm she now tills, says it has always been the way she and her husband, Sam, have done things.

“Every place I’ve gone I’ve had an organic garden,” she said. Hines said there is “not enough” farms like theirs but there is some interest building in Augusta around locally grown food.

“There’s a wonderful slow but steady flow of young people coming back to Augusta who want to get into this,” she said. “It’s a matter of connecting them up with resources: land, equipment and knowledge. It’s not something that you just pass down to generations anymore. People choose this for themselves as opposed to being thrown into it by their families.”

The key might be connecting that want with a need that is right there in Harrisburg, Jia said.

“The cool thing I think about this project is it is hopefully not just a need in this community but it is also allowing community members here to connect with another group, the farmers,” she said. “And for them to support each other together, which I think is awesome.”


Starting Tuesday, the Veggie Truck Market will be held every Tuesday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at St. Luke United Methodist Church, 309 Crawford Ave. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the market has a grant to double the purchases made with federal and state food benefit programs. There will also be activities such as cooking demonstrations. Sponsors include Good Neighbor Ministries, Augusta Locally Grown and Wholesome Wave Georgia.

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countyman 03/25/13 - 01:44 am
Urban core neighborhoods on the move!

More good news related to Harrisburg! The Kroc Center, 25 acre development near Kroger, Cookout restaurant coming to Walton Way, free WiFi access, etc are located in/around Harrisburg. There's going to be a major competition between Harrisburg and Laney Walker to become the next hotspot in/near the urban core similar to Olde Town & Midtown( between Central/Wrightsboro and Monte Sano/Hickman). Unless somebody finally decides to fix parts of the Sand Hills neighborhood.

sandhillbilly 03/25/13 - 08:27 pm
New momentum for urban neighborhoods

This is a wonderful opportunity to create urban sustainability. Countyman it is my understanding that there is a new momentum for the Sand Hills neighborhood. There's a kick off breakfast at the Sand Hills Community Center on Saturday, April 6.

corgimom 03/26/13 - 05:34 am
You want to upgrade those

You want to upgrade those neighborhoods? Get some jobs into Augusta and fix the schools. That does more for neighborhoods than a restaurant, free Wi-Fi, and selling vegetables. Fix the poverty in Augusta, the rest will follow.

Desperately poor people don't care about a Cookhouse restaurant, they are just worried about getting through the month. Back in my poverty days in Augusta, I used to love February- only 28 days- and hated it when months had 31 days. Maybe some of you have never been that poor and that hungry, but I have. It's not fun.

countyman 03/26/13 - 02:22 pm
Combination of everything!

Atlanta, Houston, etc have attracted plenty of jobs in the last decade. All of those cities still have poverty and poorer neighborhoods. The jobs coming to Augusta don't come here, because of the poor neighborhoods or schools. They relocated here due to the good schools and neighborhoods in the county.

The $172 million Starbucks plant is underway, and it does no good for the people without the skills to land the job. It's also hard to 'fix' certain schools, unless the demographics change.

Free WiFi gives somebody the access to the internet to fill out job applications. Restaurants, access to fresh produce, etc will attract people with disposable income into the neighborhood.

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