Meet the youngest certified farmer in Georgia
A 6-year-old Atlantan has set the example that you are never too young to learn how to farm. Kendall Rae Johnson is the youngest certified farmer in the state of Georgia. She is the owner of aGROWKulture Urban Farm in Southwest Atlanta, where she sells food baskets, subscriptions, donated food boxes, grow boxes and even hosts classes. The City of South Fulton proclaimed that Sept. 28, 2021, would be known as Kendall Rae Johnson Appreciation Day. She joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom along with her dad, Quinton Johnson, to talk about Kendall Rae’s favorite subject: making green things grow.
Kendall Rae told the story of her first introduction to growing edible plants. She was 3 years old when her great-grandmother taught her how to re-plant stems and clippings to grow new plants, igniting the young girl’s fascination. “My great-grandmother will say, ‘Don’t throw your stems away because they could actually help you,’” said Kendall Rae.
“The most thing I enjoy about farming is playing in the soil … My winter crop is collard greens, beets, radishes, broccoli, cabbage,” said the precocious farmer. “Want to know my spring crops?”
Kendall Rae’s favorite season is summer. “I love the warm weather,” she says, before rattling off her list of summer crops, including bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. She also plants flowers — even roses, notoriously challenging to grow.
Her proud dad chimed in to share about the philosophy behind the farm’s name. “It’s definitely a play on the word ‘agriculture,’ but it represents a culture of progression — just moving forward in whatever we do. So we try to promote positivity, especially in kids, but in everyone, and just try to be a shining light for everyone,” said Quinton. “If we share positivity with each other, we can all grow together, and there’s enough for everybody.”
The philosophy also informs the agriculture youth development program started by Kendall Rae and the Johnson family, known as Kendall Rae’s Green Heart 4H at aGROWKulture Urban Farm. “She has her own goals within the company,” said Quinton. “Her goal is to meet new friends, make new things and inspire other kids, and that’s what she wants to do. She wants to inspire other kids, talk to many people and create with a lot of other people. So that’s what the program is pushing.”
More about the ongoing projects of aGROWKulture Urban Farm, and information on subscription packages and ways to engage, can be found at www.agrowkulture.com.