Asbury’s origins date back to 1926, when members of the Methodist Church purchased the Rolling Acres Dairy Farm. Despite plans that called for a place to “eat, sleep, and rock,” as in a rocking chair(!), early residents kept busy with chores, gathering eggs and helping tend to the farm animals and gardens.
Now, 92 years later, the farm is back but with a modern twist that matches the evolution our campus and mission have undergone. Meet Gigi Goin, Asbury’s first farmer-in-residence. Gigi will be using no-till farming and other sustainable practices to grow organic vegetables, fruits, grains and herbs for the kitchens of Kindley Assisted Living and Wilson Health Care Center.
Raised in Trinidad, Gigi helped raise avocado, guava, pineapple, and more in her grandmother’s garden. After spending 18 years in human resources, Gigi’s love for the land re-emerged and led her to classes in farming, and eventually, a farm internship in North Carolina.
Gigi blogs about her farming adventures at TheAsburyFarm.org, sharing information about sustainable practices and pictures of the weekly workshops she conducts with residents of Kindley Assisted Living and Wilson Health Care Center. She is eager to begin planting once the ground is fully thawed. On the menu: lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, root vegetables, and herbs including parsley and thyme. Once warmer weather hits, she will add tomatoes and squash. After several growing seasons, Gigi hopes to be able to open a farmer's market on campus.
"I am so happy to be at Asbury, where my organic vision is welcomed," says Gigi, who lives in the Trott Apartments."Everywhere I go on campus, residents are so warm and welcoming and so open to my goal of naturally growing nutrient-dense food."