Got a green thumb? Like to play in the dirt? Or do you just want to enjoy fresh tomatoes and other produce that you grew yourself?  If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you’ll definitely want to be part of the conversation about Suwanee’s community garden, expected to be ready for planting next spring.

The first public meeting to discuss how Suwanee’s community garden should grow will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, at City Hall.

Area residents interested in participating in the organic garden, which will be created on a former nearly 7-acre farm property located between Buford Highway and White Street, are encouraged to attend the public meeting or contact Assistant to the City Manager Jessica  Roth at or 770/945-8996. Community interest and input will help determine how many and what type of plots are created as well as additional park elements. At least two additional public meetings are scheduled for later this summer.

Also attending the June 10 public meeting will be representatives from Team Agro-Engineers, the firm that the City of Suwanee has contracted with for professional design and construction management services for the garden. Team Agro-Engineers includes:

Farmer D aka Daron Joffe

Farmer D aka Daron Joffe

  • Farmer D Organics – Described as the “Ty Pennington of organic gardening” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Daron “Farmer D” Joffe has developed and managed organic farms all over the country. Joffe, who also has deep roots in organic production and urban farming, will serve as the project “expert” and assist in establishing and managing the garden.
  • SEI (Southeastern Engineering, Inc.) – Marietta-based SEI offers civil engineering, landscape architecture, land planning, land surveying, and seismic/subsurface investigation services, with specialty services in “green” design.
  • I.C.S. (Irrigation Consultant Services) – I.C.S. will provide assistance in irrigation design.
  • Michael P. Landry – This is a small architecture firm experienced in private and public projects, including public park facilities.

The City received 15 proposals in response to its request for design and construction management services. City Council approved a contract with Team Agro-Engineers not to exceed $42,700 at its May 26 meeting.

“Team Agro-Engineers and Farmer D are passionate about organic and community gardening, sustainability, and our park site,” notes Jessica Roth, assistant to the city manager. “We feel confident that they’re the right team to help us get the community excited about this project and to help us figure out a way to take community gardening to the next level.”

Says Farmer D Daron Joffe: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the City of Suwanee on such a pioneering project. Creating a community garden will provide children and their families with meaningful memories that inspire healthy eating, an appreciation for nature, and knowledge in agriculture.”

Says Sean Murphy, landscape architect with SEI: “Our team believes that we are temporary stewards of the land and therefore this project should be implemented using environmentally sound practices and ‘green’ technologies. Our ‘green’ ideas for the park include the possibility of utilization of organic farming methods, installation of a well for irrigation, water recycling, and construction of a ‘bio-swale’ to catch silt from tilled fields. We’re very excited to help Suwanee create another signature park near its  downtown area.”

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