Vendor Spotlight: Diamond Hill Farm
by Sam Eberhard - AFM Outreach Intern and My Market Ambassador
When strolling through the market, it may be difficult to choose which farm to buy your produce or eggs from. That being said, it should be noted that you can’t go wrong with any selection. Many of the farmers have similar types of products at the market, but each is unique and distinct in its own ways. One such unique farm is Diamond Hill Farm, owned and operated by Carter and Shelley Dodd out in Hull, Georgia.
Carter and Shelley are both genuine, down-to-earth people with a great knowledge of sustainable farming. One aspect they really like about the Athens Farmers Market is the awesome community of people that make it what it is – the farmers, the vendors, the workers and volunteers, and of course the shoppers. They say that it’s also a great learning and sharing environment amongst the farmers. All the farmers are able to learn and help each other with potential questions or problems that might arise. If one farmer has an issue with their produce, it’s likely that another farmer has encountered the same problem as well, and therefore can give some helpful advice. Although I’ve only been interning for a couple months now, I can already feel that the Athens Farmers Market is like one big family, where everyone cares and looks out for one another. It feels great to be a part of that.
Similar to how many farmers might start out, Carter and Shelley Dodd began their farming endeavors with a large home garden when they lived in a house in Athens. Starting out by planting in five-gallon buckets, then 45-gallon buckets, and then into the ground, this still wasn’t enough space to meet their demands. They then found a plot of land out in Oglethorpe County, but after a little while decided to move out to Hull on an even larger plot of land to farm. They are currently Certified Naturally Grown and are in the process of also moving towards USDA Organic Certification. When asked what his favorite produce item was, Carter said he currently likes the strawberries, but the first week of really good in-season tomatoes is his absolute favorite. I would have to agree with him - a nice batch of fresh tomatoes is to die for.
If you’re in search of a companion or a new friend, the Athens Farmers Market could be the place to go. Shelley and Carter didn’t quite meet at the market, but they sure did have one extremely memorable day there. An interesting and heartwarming fact that some people might not know is that at their very first market three years ago, Carter proposed to Shelley! What better place to propose than where all their hard work, dedication, and passions had come together to amass to their first time selling commercially at the Athens Farmers Market. Not to add to the stress of a first time vendor at the market and of not knowing what to expect, their car had also broken down on the way there. Despite that little bump in the ride, he proposed. She said yes. And all their family and close friends were all there to celebrate with them as well. From that day on, yet another fascinating fact, Carter has not cut his hair to this day and doesn’t plan on it anytime in the near future either. Then three years later, here they are today still selling produce at the market as strong and as happy as always, just with a few more farming tricks up their sleeves and hair a bit longer.
You can find Diamond Hill Farm on the outside ring of vendors at the Saturday marketand also at the Wednesday market each week. So come on over to the market and make sure to check out Diamond Hill Farm and snatch some of their scrumptious produce and eggs before they’re all gone (because they are just that good)!