Ei Farm Tours

Farm tours are integral to Ei work on many levels. From a soil health perspective, farms may be harmful or extraordinarily beneficial to restoring carbon cycle balance. Ei focuses on the many success stories where farms restore broken soil systems through regenerative agriculture.

From a food-waste focus, farm tours reveal sustainable practices in retail and consumer packaging used within the food supply chain. Similar to a manufacturing plant tour, Ei observes the materials management practices in place to ensure minimal waste is generated during operations and packaging for consumer purchase.

Ga Tech | Hickory Grove Farm

June 17, 2019
Hickory Grove Farm

Searching for a male squash bloom

On June 17, 2019 Ei hosted a Hickory Grove Farm (HGF) tour for Ga Tech sustainability associates led by Farm Manager Michael Blackwell. Georgia Tech Director of Waste & Recycling Cindy Jackson was joined by Sustainability Coordinator Sarah Neville and Senior Sustainability Manager Malte Weiland. Kennesaw State University (KSU) Sustainability Manager Jennifer Wilson joined the farm tour.

For Ei Founder Holly Elmore the tour was an opportunity to witness the farm’s evolution since KSU announced the closing of the Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability & Hospitality.

The RiA Magazine article, Success is not static: evolution is required to create and sustain regeneration, gives an overview of the empowering farm tour.

An Ei FB album, Ei Connects, section is a pictorial recap of the meeting and tour from an Ei-Connects perspective; a Holly Elmore Images FB album, KSU Hickory Grove Farm, section includes images from Holly’s pre-tour photo shoot as well as tour images.

Greenville Urban Farm Tours

May 14, 2019
Greenville, SC

While in Greenville for the Healthy-Food School Programs meetings, Ei Strategic Ally Mary Hipp, Feed & Seed Chair, took Holly on tours of two prominent, impressive urban farms, Reedy River Farms and Horseshoe Farm.

The Greenville urban farm tours are chronicled in the RiA Magazine article, Greenville, #yeahthatgreenville, is a southern treasure; the Holly Elmore Images FB album, Greenville, SC, is a pictorial recount of Holly’s May Greenville visit with sections on the farm tours.

Scott Seydel | CompostNow | King of Crops

February 26, 2019
King of Crops Farm

On February 26, 2019, CompostNow Co-Founder David Paull hosted Ei Founding Chair Scott Seydel and Ei Founder Holly Elmore on a tour of their impressive windrow food-waste composting operations at the King of Crops Farm.

Scott and Holly use CompostNow’s residential food-waste collections services at their respective homes. It was nice to see the food waste’s destination.

It is impressive to witness “integrity in action” within CompostNow’s operations. To minimize contamination, CompostNow provides BPI Certified Compostable food & beverage packaging to customers.

Photos from the impressive farm and composting site tour are included in the Ei FB album, Ei Connects.

Ei Exploration of Fungi, Soil Health & World Hunger

October 16, 2018
Upstate South Carolina

On October 16, 2018, Ei hosted the first Ei Exploration. A group of diverse, passionate industry leaders traveled from California, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to participate in the Ei Exploration of Fungi, Soil Health, and World Hunger in Upstate South Carolina. The empowering day was in partnership with Ei Strategic Ally Feed & Seed.

Ei Explorations bring industry leaders and experts together to strategize on solutions for challenges facing humanity and life on our planet.

The RiA Magazine article, An Exploration of Fungi, Soil Health, & World Hunger, chronicles the empowering event; the Ei FB album, An Exploration of Fungi, Soil Health & World Hunger, gives a pictorial recap.

Affairs to Remember Caterers | King of Crops Farm

June 26, 2018
King of Crops Farm

On June 26, 2018, Ei orchestrated a King of Crops farm & food waste composting tour for Travis Taylor & Kerry Washburn of Affairs to Remember Caterers. CompostNow Co-Founder David Paull hosted the tour; CN partners with King of Crops for commercial food-waste composting at the farm. … and Ei Founder Holly Elmore’s home food waste is delivered to the farm!

Photos from the impressive farm and composting site tour are included in the Ei FB album, Ei Connects.

KSU Hickory Grove Farm | The Conservation Fund

March 23, 2018
Hickory Grove Farm

On March 23, 2018, Ei Founder Holly Elmore hosted Stacy Funderburke of The Conservation Fund on a KSU Hickory Grove Farm introductory tour. Farm Manager Michael Blackwell hosted the tour and Leven School of Culinary Sustainability & Hospitality Director Christian Hardigree joined the group. The Ei FB album, Ei Connects, includes a pictorial recap of the introductory tour.

Georgia World Congress Center | KSU Hickory Grove Farm

July 31, 2017
KSU Hickory Grove Farm

On July 31 Ei Founder Holly Elmore hosted the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC ) team on an empowering KSU Hickory Grove Farm tour to learn about regenerative-agriculture practices. Since the June tour, GWCC Director of Sustainability Tim Trefzer worked with Levy Restaurants Executive Chef Matt Roach and GWCC Grounds Operation Manager Steve Ware to identify an on-campus mini-farm area. The intent is to use food produced in the employee dining facility.

Hickory Grove Farm Manager Michael Blackwall & KSU Professor Jorge Perez educated on regenerative agriculture practices along with crop choice advice; Steve shared his extensive horticulture expertise, especially pertaining to plant | tree identification on the farm’s old-growth forest areas.

The ZWA Blog article, The Power of Tours, features the July Hickory Grove Farm tour; farm-tour photos are included in the Holly Elmore Images FB album, KSU Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality.

EPA | Georgia World Congress Center | Kennesaw State University

June 1, 2017
KSU Hickory Grove Farm

In early June 2017, Ei hosted a KSU Hickory Grove Farm tour for Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) Director of Sustainability Tim Trefzer and Kim Charick with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 (Southeast Region). Farm Operations Manager Michael Blackwell and Professor Jorge Perez gave a thorough farm tour, along with details on the land history. The tour is the foundation for a potential GWCC on-campus mini farm and a Southern Farm & Garden feature article.

The ZWA Blog article, The Power of Tours, features the June Hickory Grove Farm tour; farm tour photos are included in the Holly Elmore Images FB album, KSU Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality.

GWCC | King of Crops Farm

February 6, 2017
King of Crops Farm

On February 6, 2017, Ei orchestrated a King of Crops Farm food-waste composting tour for Tim Trefzer, Georgia World Congress Center Director of Sustainability. Compostwheels (CW) Founder David Paull hosted the tour; CW partners with King of Crops for commercial food-waste composting at the farm. … and Ei Founder Holly Elmore’s home food waste is delivered to the farm!

The ZWA Blog article, The Power of Tours, features the King of Crops Farm tour. Photos from the impressive farm and composting site tour are included in the Ei FB album, Ei Connects.

Atlanta Urban Agriculture Tours

On a crisp early spring day in April 2015, Ei orchestrated a tour of Atlanta’s robust urban agriculture (ag) for Fulton County and EPA Region 4. The overt tour purpose was to introduce Valerie Rawls, Fulton County senior policy advisor to Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves, and Kim Charick, EPA physical scientist in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Division, to the local farmers | non-profits operating farms.

On a deeper level, the tour educated Valerie, Kim and Holly on the urban agriculture systems in-place, their connectivity (or lack thereof), the far-reaching implications of urban farms beyond providing fresh, seasonal produce to impoverished neighborhoods, and the valuable role compost plays on the farms.

On the surface the urban agriculture tours were a fun day spent with new and long-time friends. Yet the undercurrent of imperative action was strong and it was thrilling to realize urban agriculture’s vital role on fronts beyond food security and community engagement.

The RiA Magazine article, Urban Agriculture: vital on many fronts, chronicles the monumental day while the Ei FB album, 04-03-15 Atlanta Urban Ag Tours, gives a pictorial recap.

South Georgia Farm Tours

May 14, 2012
White Oak Pastures

May 15, 2012
Thompson Farms Smokehouse

In May 2012 a group of Ei Partners and friends traveled to South Georgia for farm tours. Learning the farm’s practices and assessing the current scenario for protein-transport packaging were the catalysts for the trip. Ei chose family-run farms committed to sustainability and animal welfare at the core of their ethics and operations.

The farms, White Oak Pastures and Thompson Farms Smokehouse, are Whole Foods suppliers and meet the stringent Whole Foods 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards with a 5+ designation. The ZWA Blog article, Consumer Demand: A Powerful Voice to Affect Change, chronicles the empowering tours.

For a pictorial recap of the farm tours, see the Ei FB albums, 05-14-12 White Oak Pastures Tour, and 05-15-12 Thompson Farms Tour. WARNING: Some Thompson Farms photos are graphic yet honor the process and the livestock who gave their lives to fulfill consumer demand for animal protein.