Mending Fences with Integration Acres

I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of our Market's most notable producers in one of Athens' most notable places - a goat farm in Albany. Chris Chmiel, co-owner and proprietor of Integration Acres, hosted a get together he called a "Walk the Line" party. The reason - completion on a 3,600 ft. woven wire perimeter fence enclosing his entire pasture. Now you may be wondering why such fencing possessed me to pack up two kids, brave the rainy weather and drive out to Albany - for the free goat cheese? You bet. No really, I wanted to be sure that Chris's herd couldn't outsmart this new boundary line and go visiting the neighbor's tasty tree plantings. And if you've never kept goats (count me in this category) you may not realize how strong-willed these animals can be - when they know there's something good to be had one pasture over, they'll stop at nearly nothing to get there. Well, they're stopping now - Chris's fence is officially impenitrable (and just to be really sure, I had my husband act like a goat and attempt to pass through - he bleated mercifully to give up after a few noble trys).
We also got a chance to milk some of the resident goats...this experience, I am glad to say, was a great way to solidify my prior convictions to stick with vegetable farming. I did, however, feel an odd sense of solidarity with these sweet mama goats, sharing the same woes of an ever-lactating mother in constant need of milking.

A great time was had by all, and I came away an even bigger goat food enthusiast than I was before. Chris and his wife, Michelle, are not only meeting the demand for quality products at our Market but also mending fences with their neighbor for the betterment of our community. Kudos, Integration Acres.

What's New at AFM

Spring's Bountiful Harvest is Here!

Look for the following fresh foods at AFM this time of year:

-collard greens
-lettuce/spring mix
-sweet potatoes

-apple cider

-dried sausage
-goat cheese

Baked goods:
-scones, breakfast foods


-bedding plants
-vegetable starts
-trees and shrubs
-gourmet dog buiscuts