Business 1 on 1 with Lea Birdsong Nelson

July 13, 2014 

BizSpotlight

Lea Birdsong Nelson picks sweet corn Thursday with her father, Bill Birdsong, at Walking Tom’s Garden in Gordon.

JASON VORHEES — jvorhees@macon.com Buy Photo

Lea Birdsong Nelson, co-owner

Walking Tom’s Garden, 1785 New Haven Church Road, Gordon, 745-5742

How long have you been in business?: The shop opened in 2012 and is located on the old home site of a farm owned by a relative called “Walking Tom.” The name of the shop also refers to the numerous wild turkeys (males are called toms) that live on the farm, now owned by Nelson’s parents.

“This was kind of something I always envisioned in some way doing. I thought it would always be neat to have a garden shop.”

Nelson is taking a “summer siesta” until July 22, when more of the produce will be ready. Then the shop will be open noon-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

What do you like best about your job?: “Growing up there wasn’t a future for me even though my family has been (commercial) farming for over 100 years. So what I liked best is I am actually continuing that family tradition now. I am a farmer, but we are doing it differently.”

What is your specialty?: The shop sells seed and starter plants in the spring. Produce includes corn, purple-hull peas, blueberries, blackberries, potatoes and kale.

“All the produce we sell, we plant it, we grow it and we pick it.”

What are your future plans?: “Next year I’ll focus on getting outside our area. We are kind of still in that friends and family stage. We have a Facebook page, and that has exploded this year.”

-- Linda S. Morris

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