Meet Your Growers - Bowman Produce

An organic pioneer

 Victor Jacobson is the sole proprietor, manager, marketer and grower of Bowman Produce. His unique life story includes growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, attending a single-room grade school (many years as the only student in his grade), graduating from a small college, running off to New Mexico, marrying, and finally finding his way to Bowman, Ga.

 A man who enjoys attending Georgia basketball games and making homemade nachos, Victor has spent the past 30 years in construction. Dreaming of making a living out of his hobby of growing organic vegetables, it was not until this past year after being accepted into the Athens Farmers Market group, that he was finally able to fulfill his dream.

 Spending time on his grandfather’s farm as a child, Victor attributes hiscurrent farming philosophies to the methods used there. He recalls the rich, dark soil and superior crops of his grandfather’s farm—successful due to the organic matter, such as horse and cow manure, which was used to enrich the soil.

 Victor is proud of his organic ways, and thankful to be a part of a group of farmers who feel the same way. He says, “It is very hard to grow vegetables in this part of North East Georgia, so there are not a lot of farmers like me and my fellow AFM participants who grow their crops so naturally.”

 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, while organic farming has been one of the fastest-growing segments of agriculture for more than a decade, it still only makes up less than 1% of the nearly 800 million acres of American agriculture. So, while organic growing is definitely increasing in popularity, it has not taken hold for most of our food sources.

 I was curious to learn from someone who has dabbled in organic growing for so long, how he feels about the recent shifts and trends of natural growing, healthy food and environmental awareness.“I think the movement will continue to grow thanks to promoters and educators of organic farming. Even those who still do not go out of their way to get naturally grown food understand what it is all about now.”

 As for being a follower of this trend, Victor thinks, “the AFM growers are more pioneers in the green movement, rather than the ones influenced by it.” This seems to be a bold statement for a man who has only been growing full time for one year, but his confidence was assuring.

 As for the future of Bowman Produce, Victor says, “Next year I hope to eliminate many of my first year mistakes, and use the knowledge I have learned about what vegetables are in demand so that I may utilize my time and energy in a more efficient way.”

 A humble man with realistic goals, Victor wants to maintain his one-man operation without many expansions. “I would like to develop some more raised gardens, however, and maybe try to grow some raspberry bushes.”

 With few desires and needs beyond sunshine, rain and decent climate conditions, Victor sees a promising future for Bowman Produce. He also wants to thank those working to establish the AFM movement, as well as the many people who come to support the growers on Saturday mornings. The greatest inspiration to his garden and produce production is the developing relationships he gains and the kind comments he receives from those at the market.

 VICTOR’S FAVORITES NACHOS:

Top Snyders’ restaurant style tortilla chips with Bowman Produce raw sweet onions, sweet peppers and hot banana peppers. Add black beans (cooked from dry beans-not canned), and cover with sharp cheddar cheese. Heat this in the oven until the cheese melts for a delicious and healthy snack or meal.

 

by Carly Nash - AFM Public Relations

AFM