Providing our kids with the freshest produce possible is one of TABLE’s key pillars because fruits and vegetables are critical to the body’s health and development. To support this work, TABLE has developed partnerships with local farms that allow us to give our kids organic produce that is truly “farm to table” while also providing local farmers with a sustainable business.
TABLE intern Grace Berry had a chance to talk with one of TABLE’s farm partners, Tanya from Gabor Farms, about their business and partnership with TABLE.
Tell me a little bit about Gabor farms, how was it founded/created?
Gabor Farms was purchased by my husband Clarence’s grandparents in the 1970s. The property is in Richmond County, right on the state line. During that time in Richmond there were predominantly tobacco and cotton farmers. The farm began as a place to produce mainly cotton and tobacco.
When did you begin your partnership with TABLE?
This is our third year working with TABLE. Three years ago, we were only working with the black farmers market. TABLE came over and we chatted, made a connection, and a month later they asked if we would be interested in farming for their programs. We had to be very upfront and tell them that we had no idea how to farm on a large scale, but that we had the space to. They told us to start where we were and so we did.
TABLE has super resourceful people, and seeing how our food has benefitted the children and members of the program has been so meaningful. Our partnership with TABLE has helped us scale up the farm with the resources they provided us and it has helped our business.
How did the partnership come to be? What made you choose TABLE?
It was definitely their mission and the people they serve. We wanted to be really specific in whatever endeavor we were going to get into. Farming does not bring a lot of money, so you really want to make sure that what you are doing is going to make a difference. Talking with TABLE and seeing how much time and dedication they put into the organization persuaded us. We will never become millionaires, but if there is any program I would like to represent, it would be TABLE. They are good, genuine people.
Tell me a little about what your partnership with TABLE looks like?
They pay us a certain amount for the specific things we farm for them, and then everything else we donate. We have it set up to where we don’t want the things in the farm to go to waste, so we donate extra green leafy veggies mostly. We used to do more root vegetables but found that people in the summer and spring aren’t interested in cooking as much.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is reaping the rewards of putting in all of the hard work. We recently planted 100 feet of nothing but pees and seeing them blossom is so exciting!
What is your favorite recipe with things produced at Gabor Farms?
I enjoy mushrooms. I like to pair them with scallions and leafy greens. I make everything from crab cakes with lion’s mane, to scallops with spinach. I make it all!