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Georgia pecan farmers have thrived for a century. After Hurricane Michael, they’re unsure if they’ll survive another generation.
After Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Hurricane Irma in 2017, and Hurricane Michael in 2018, Georgia's pecan farming industry is suffering. Georgia lost a sixth of its total pecan trees from Hurricane Michael and generations of farmers lost their crops—giving them a long road to recovery. Combined with increasing tariffs, many farmers are uncertain about their future.
Created by Georgia Tech alumnus Corbin Klett and Emory University alumnus Bethaney Herrington, Atlanta Harvest is an organization focused on increasing consumer access to local, organic produce in the metro Atlanta area. To support local agriculture and economy, they are raising money to build farms in impoverished neighborhoods inside the perimeter.
The Mexicans—thirty-two of them—wait for the pickup truck. They are dressed, almost to a man, in dirty jeans, boots, long sleeves, and baseball caps. Some wear bandannas to shield their necks and ears from legions of gnats. The rising late-summer sun is starting to cut through the morning mist that clings to the orchards and fallow pastures of Peach County like a thin coat of fuzz.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is the gawky term for a feel-good undertaking: Members purchase a subscription “share” in a farm, and then at weekly pickup locations they receive boxes—or bags, or baskets—of just-harvested produce and sometimes other staples, including eggs, cheese, or meat.