Celia Barss | Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

< Back to Oral History project: Women Who Farm: Georgia


Celia Barss

Woodland Gardens Organic Farm

Celia Barss was born in Newfoundland, Canada. Her parents worked all over the world, so the family rarely stayed in one place. Though she did not grow up farming, Celia developed an interest in food systems. She was drawn to working with her hands outdoors. After studying soil science at McGill University, she went from the lab to the field, moving to California to study sustainable agriculture at UC Santa Cruz. She developed an interest in cultivating small, diverse farmland. After moving to Pennsylvania to help start Penny Pack Farm just north of Philadelphia, she found her way to Athens, Georgia looking for any kind of farming opportunity she could find.

While working at Flat Rock Farm, Celia encountered an ideal opportunity: Thomas Woodruff and Dock Epstein owned seventy acres of farmland in Winterville and had no intention of farming. They were looking for a farmer to take care of the land. For the past decade, Celia has farmed fruits, vegetables, and flowers on ten acres of the property. With the help of her husband and eight employees, the farm sells to several restaurants in Atlanta, Decatur, and Athens. Woodland Gardens is also one of a small number of farms selling at the year-round Morningside Farmers’ Market in Atlanta, where there is usually a long, civil line for Celia’s produce.

Date of interview:

Sara Wood

Sara Wood

Download Transcript

Other Project Interviews



The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

Let’s Stay in Touch

Sign up for the SFA newsletter to have the latest content
delivered directly to your inbox.