In February 2020, Jamila Norman convened a meeting.
A local Atlanta Production Company spoke to a TV pilot about her idea. Norman BSBE ’06 I was thinking.
She has owned Patchwork City Farms in the Auckland City area and is a key member of the Atlanta City Agricultural Community for over a decade.
The idea is to have a home gardening show. The producer filmed the conversation and sent the video to her clients: Home Remodeling and Lifestyle Best Stars Chip and Joanna Guys. The Guineans were launching a Magnolia network — a combination of discovery and cable media — and enthusiastically signed the show. Norman became one of the stars.
welcome to Home grown, The latest scene in Norman’s life – like her farm – is pouring in.
From the moment Norman was born, fresh and healthy food was a part of her life. She came from New York City, but the influence of her mother (Jamaican) and her father (Trinidad) on the cooking was amazing.
“I read garden books like other people read. In the front. I use everything,” Norman said.
After her family moved to Atlanta, Norman tended small gardens, and while in Athens she was a bachelor, she taught children the basics of cooking at a boys ‘and girls’ club. After graduating, she worked as an engineer for about 10 years, working side by side for a long time.
After leasing land for several years, Norman bought Patchwork City Farms in 2018. The former Environmental Engineer has split the vacant lot into a drainage canal into a 1.2-acre farm. Agriculture, always love, became her full-time job. Norman builds a solid customer base. The crop, which did not go from farming to table restaurants in Atlanta, was sold at the city’s farmers’ market.
Being a TV star was never considered. But for someone new to the genre, Norman is natural.
“I am becoming myself,” she says. “This is not a reality TV show. I’m not playing a character.
I read garden books like other people read fiction. Front to back. I use everything. ”- Jamila Norman BSBE ’06, Urban Farmer and Host Home grown, On the magnification network
Each section of Home grown Patchwork City Farms starts and ends with Norman. In the meantime, viewers will find a new family and their soon-to-be-changed venue. A picture of Norman’s plans is displayed on the screen, accompanied by a voice that describes each step. The show follows as Norman and his team transform the campus into a garden for food.
During the show, spectators visit local gardeners, artisans, farmers, growers and other members of Norman’s wider community – most of whom are personal friends. And everything quickly packs up to a 24-minute package and plays like a loving postcard from Atlanta.
Season 1 of Home grownLaunched with Discovery + in July 2021, Magnolia Network’s first offerings were an encouraging success. Chapter 2 aired at the end of October in a series of six to 12 episodes. The new units include a two-month home visit.
“We see a lot of gardens,” says Norman. “We can also talk to the audience about the importance of collecting food.
In such a busy schedule, Norman may be forgiven for stopping other plans. Instead, it is expanding its entire field of Pachewerk farms into a health and rehabilitation center to teach classes and host events.
Norman introduces other women of color in urban agriculture. Within seconds, Norman listed half a dozen black female farmers in Atlanta. One of them is Hail Green, the “Queen of the Garden of Eden.” Home grown. Introducing neighboring farmers is one way Norman gives to the Southwest Atlanta community.
“I was not the first black woman to work in agriculture in Atlanta, but I began to look,” she says. “Urban agriculture is a way of reclaiming undeveloped land. We don’t have much fresh and healthy food here, but the demand is here. Our long-term goal is to deliver barriers – income, transportation, awareness, cultural relevance – to those who need it.