Southern Soil: A Growing Food Movement Here in Southeast Georgia

My name is LeeAnna Tatum and I’m the editor and publisher of Southern Soil. This magazine is born not only out of my passion for sustainably produced food, but also to fill a void that I found frustrating from a consumer standpoint.

I love to read articles about homesteading, permaculture, farm-to-table restaurants and inspiring stories about people who were on a similar path as my own. What I found frustrating was that these people and most of the businesses and restaurants that I would read about were located miles from where I live… and eat. What good is it to learn about a great CSA program in California, or that amazing chef who does fabulous things with organic meats up in Atlanta?

I wanted to know about places near me, right here in rural, southeastern Georgia. I was certain they existed. So, I began to search. Much to my dismay, there was no oneplace where I could find these like-minded people. Not a virtual place anyway. But those places, those people – the ones who want to make better choices about where our food comes from – they’re here. Right here. In Southeast Georgia.

For some, it’s simply a way of life that has been passed down through the generations. It’s not about sustainability or organic or anything fancy. It’s just about having a garden out back, canning in the summertime, fishing on the weekends, bagging a deer or two in season, and putting good food on the table.

For others, it’s a conscious choice to move away from chemicals, to go back to the basics and reconnect with the soil itself. Allowing nature to have a full partnership in the process, instead of being battled or subdued by modern technology.

It’s not the reason behind it that matters nearly as much as that connection to soil itself. It’s something we all have in common. My hope is that Southern Soil will help bring us all together and give us a platform from which to have conversations about sustainability, ethical meat production, responsibly grown produce. A place where we can celebrate successes together, learn from each other, encourage each other; and where we can know that this amazing movement away from conventional and factory farming is not something that’s just happening, “over there”, it’s happening right here. And no matter what our individual role in that movement may be, we can all do our part better when we connect as a community.

Sadly, as I am conducting my search of organic and sustainable businesses to include in the magazine’s index, many of the businesses I have found online are no longer in business. The reality is for sustainability to work, consumers, producers and retailers must be able to find each other, locally.

So, it is to that end that I have launched this new adventure called, Southern Soil, and I hope you will join me for the ride! Stay tuned to find out more information about content and features as things begin to come together. I hope to have the first issue of Southern Soil available the first week of February 2018.

Happy New Year!