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Meet Diamond Hill Farm

Meet Diamond Hill Farm

 Carter Dodd has been farming since 2012. He and his wife, Shelley, started Diamond Hill Farm as a two-person team, and now the farm has expanded to 16 employees! They’ve always grown an impressive assortment of produce, and over the past 4 years, Carter and his team dove into growing specialized flowers. We’re lucky to offer their gorgeous bouquets here at G&G! We asked Carter a few questions about the farm and how he got started, so keep reading to learn more.

 

Tell us about Diamond Hill Farm! Where are you located and when did you get started?

Diamond Hill Farm has two farm sites located in Athens GA and Winterville GA.  I started farming in 2012 and have been farming full time since.  I am a 1st generation farmer and worked alone for the first 3 years, with my wife Shelley assisting with farm work and at all farmers markets. Diamond Hill Farm now has 16 farm employees.

 

How did you get into farming? Did you always know it’s what you wanted to do?

Shelley forwarded me a video link for a farm for rent east of Athens in Lexington Ga. At the time, I was the General Manager at an Athens music venue and had been contemplating a career change.  We had been gardening for a few years (first with about 50-5 gallon buckets and growing into our first in ground garden). I had really enjoyed working with plants and incorporating our garden harvests into the meals we made always felt really special. With Shelley's full support, I was able to leave my job to pursue a farming career. Although my high school aptitude test suggested farming as a career, it was years after college that I was able to realize that opportunity. I had no idea this is what I would be doing.

 

Carter Dodd, founder of Diamond Hill Farm

 

What would you be doing if not farming?

I think I would be working with food in some way.  I really like to cook!

 

What different kinds of flowers do you grow? Do you have a personal favorite? 

In the past 4 years, we have really started to dive into growing specialized flowers for our markets and customers. As the seasons change, the variety and colors are always changing. In the winter and early spring we grow tulips, ranunculus, anemones, poppies, daffodils, baptisia, snapdragons, larkspur, dianthus, statice, stock, and many more. In the summer we grow a lot of classic annuals for cut flowers like Sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, rudbeckia, gladiolus and lisianthus.   

My favorite has to be the lisanthus!  They last for a really long time after harvest and are really remarkable blooms.

 

What’s the most rewarding part of farming? 

The most rewarding part of farming is the relationships that we have developed with our customers and the farmers that work with us and with other farms. Our farm went through a pretty tough situation when we moved to our new property and the community really stepped up to show us their support. The farming community is really special. Since I started farming, almost every conversation I've had with other farmers has helped me become a better and more confident farmer.

 

The Diamond Hill Farm team. Photo credit: Joshua L. Jones, Athens Banner-Herald

 

 

And the most difficult part?

The most difficult part is being able to handle failure. Failure happens daily as a farmer and it can be a huge roadblock to success. It is inevitable, but I am learning to accept failure and try to enjoy the successes when we really turn out some beautiful stuff.

 

Which markets can we find your flowers and produce at each week?

In Atlanta, we are at the Freedom Farmers market and Morningside Farmer Market every Saturday year round. In Athens, we can be found at the Athens Farmers Market on Saturdays and on Wednesdays at Creature Comforts Brewery! You can also find our flowers each week through Garnish and Gather!

 

 

What does being part of the local food community here in Georgia mean to you?

I think community is really what it is all about. Not everyone gets to experience strong community in their professional lives. Farming is hard and it feels like we are all in this together. We want to share the freshest food and flowers we can grow with our community and neighbors!

 

 

Have a bouquet of Diamond Hill Farm flowers delivered! Order them here to be delivered with your G&G meal kits and groceries.