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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.

ORAL HISTORY

Susan Pavlin


Global Growers

Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Susan Pavlin’s proximity to farming came in the form of playing hooky from school after staying up all night to help her father can vegetables from the family’s garden. Years later, after settling in Atlanta, she practiced corporate international law, then worked for Refugee Family Services, helping to re-settle refugees from all over the world into their new home of Atlanta. After she mentioned her personal interest in farming to a man from Burundi, Global Growers Network began. In 2010, land broke on the Umurima Wa Burundi (Burundi Women’s Farm). The success of the farm has led to a network of other urban farms, including Bamboo Creek, a training farm in Stone Mountain, Clarkston International Community Garden, Decatur’s Kitchen Garden, and various community gardens. The farms bring together people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. The farmers are learning the soil of a new home, introducing Atlanta to new varieties of produces, becoming entrepreneurs, and reconnecting American communities to growing their own food.

Date of interview:
2013-08-07

Interviewer:
Sara Wood

Photographer:
Lizzy Johnston

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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.

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