Gillard Farms is a family-run organic farm, growing under the watchful eye of sibling farmers Althea and Matthew Raiford, who are the sixth generation to farm this land. The farm was first established in 1874 by Althea and Matthew’s great great great grandfather Jupiter Gilliard.
Gilliard Farms has never used chemicals to grow crops and is a member of Georgia Organics, Coastal Organic Growers and Georgia Grown. The farm grows vegetables and raise Yorkshire hogs, and converted their first hoop house into a chicken house. Gilliard Farms also boasts an impressive on-site compost operation; they use coffee grounds from various hotels near Jekyll Island, fish grounds from the local fish market, and horse manure from a local horse farm. The farm also has a high tunnel and a sugar cane press from 1919.
In October 2011, Matthew completed a six-month apprenticeship at the Center for Agroecolgy and Sustainable Food Systems. Matthew serves on the board of trustees of the Edna Lewis Foundation and as secretary for Farms to Grow Inc. Althea is a member of Women, Food, and Agriculture, and both siblings are also members of the Farmer Veteran Coalition and Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON).
Learn more about Althea and Matthew Raiford here.