‘Urban farm’ shuts down as proponents call for more understanding

Posted on Oct 25 2018 - 9:38am by UOG

“Activists are calling for greater understanding of urban farming after a small farm run by two veterans near Hephzibah is shutting its doors.

Urban Grange Farm, owned since 2015 by Alesha and Thomas Gonzales, is moving out of Augusta after being cited for animal cruelty, allowing livestock to run at large, operating in a residential zone and not obtaining a local business license. The four-acre farm, located in a rural neighborhood of large-acreage lots, had become a regular vendor at Augusta’s Saturday market and the Veggie Park Farmers Market and sold its produce and meat to local caterers and restaurants.

An Augusta animal services officer told the court she responded to a report of ducks in the road in September and found some in a ditch in front of the Gonzales’ Seago Road home. Behind the house, the birds had access to water from a small swimming pool, she said.

Returning with department of health and codes enforcement officers a few days later, she photographed chickens and turkeys she said were crowded in a coop with little or no access to water. Augusta Code Enforcement Officer James Robinson said he saw four piglets scamper into the yard next door, then run back.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: “AugustaChronicle.com