The farm stand, featuring Owl Creek Farms’s produce and Fire and Iron’s organic baked goods, will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the clinic’s 150 Gentilly Blvd. office.
“We’ve got about 120 employees in our Harbin Clinic Cartersville location, and the goal of the farm stand is to make purchasing fresh, locally grown produce more convenient for our employees as well as this community because our farm stands are open to the community as well as our employees,” said Sarah King, director of wellness for Harbin Clinic.
King said the clinic’s Rome location hosts the stand weekly during the summer and fall peak growing seasons. The Nov. 26 farm stand will be the clinic’s first in Cartersville.
“[In] each of our clinical departments we have a wellness champion, an employee representative for the wellness program. The group of wellness champions in Cartersville were the ones that decided that they would like to offer something like the farm stand in Rome in Cartersville around Thanksgiving when people are typically buying a higher volume of vegetables in preparation for their Thanksgiving meal,” said King.
Erica Gordon, who operates Owl Pine Farms near Taylorsville, said she would have a variety of vegetables for sale. Ranging from various forms of cabbage and kale, sweet potatoes, turnips, radishes, lettuces and winter squash will be offered as well.
Fire and Iron, Gordon added, is a small Floyd County business operated by Shawna Kirkpatrick that specializes in organic, locally sourced, baked goods such as pies, breads and rolls. Lawana Haney, a superfoods specialist, will also be on hand to talk about maca root and goji berries, among other superfoods.
Working with Harbin Clinic has been a good experience, Gordon said.
“I love it because they are focused on health and that’s what I’m focused on,” she said. “A lot of people will go to a regular farm stand and you can get a lot of different growers that are doing a lot of things, and the fact that Harbin Clinic recognizes that it’s so much more healthy to eat this way is just awesome. Plus, just having an organization like Harbin Clinic backing us just makes us that much more substantial to the community, I think.”
For Harbin Clinic, King said the advantage was being able to provide healthy food for employees in a convenient fashion. In an email, King said produce was often picked the morning of the farm stand, which provides a larger amount of nutrients. Employees also have a chance to speak with the farmers, a key part of the farm to table concept, she added. It is all part of the clinic’s HarbinSTRONG program.
“HarbinSTRONG is specifically designed to provide tools and resources and education to employees to help them start leading healthier lives, which we hope will transition to our patients as we set an example,” King said. “We kind of think of being the true health leaders in the community.”
Gordon said her Owl Pine Farms produce was reasonably priced, with many items running $2 to $3. If the Thanksgiving farm stand is successful, she would like to see the small market turn into a regular event.
“Me being so close to Cartersville, I always wanted to have more business there. So this is a good way of opening that up, I think,” she said.
In addition to the Cartersville event, Harbin Clinic will be hosting a farm stand at its Rome location, 1825 Martha Berry Blvd., on Nov. 27, also from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information on the farm stand events, contact King at 706-236-5232.