Kendall Rae Johnson, aged six years old, is already a respected member of the Georgia farming community.
Kendall’s interest in growing produce started when she was 3 years old. She loved playing in the dirt and learned gardening tips from her great-grandmother, Laura “Kate” Williams.
Ursula Johnson, Kendall’s mom, said that Kendall started with a garden in her patio. This eventually turned into a full-fledged vegetable garden in their backyard when she was four.
“She started to see it go from a seed, to a plant, and then die and come back. She saw the plant life cycle of that and was like, wow,” Ursula said.
As she grew up, her interest in growing her own food increased. Kendall’s friends noticed, and the girl would happily give them tours to show them her fruits and vegetables. The kids would often be found playing with shopping carts and “buying” food from Kendall’s “grocery store.”
“The very first time we took her to go seed shopping, she spent $200! Whose kid does that?” Ursula said.
Whenever they’re in the garden, Kendall would talk to her parents about everything from bugs to food security. The kid’s interest is insatiable, and she just loves to explore and ask questions.
Kendall has many plants in her backyard, including strawberries and carrots. She is just like any other farmer and wears a suit before heading to work. She doesn’t forget her work gloves and boots, and she carries her gardening tools.
Kendall and her family eventually moved into a place where they could start a farm. Her parents helped her become certified farmer. She was the youngest Georgia farmer and the youngest Black farmer.
Earning a certification allowed Kendall to create her official business called “aGROWKulture,” and apply for grants and scholarships. She can also purchase land through her company.
Kendall and her family want to help their community with their farm, so they started the program “Bloom,” a monthly gardening club where invited families assist Kendall in planting, harvesting, and organizing subscription food boxes.
Another of their many programs is to collect donations to help provide urban communities and families with garden boxes.
Kendall is interested in helping parents and children learn more about the origins of their food, as well as large-scale projects. The girl shares her knowledge with other people through gardening clubs and classes.
“It has a big feeling in my heart. The garden is a special place in my heart. The garden is special to me,” Kendall told 11 Alive. “The most fun thing about being a farmer is just being yourself.”
Even though she’s only twenty-one, the certified farmer is not afraid to speak in public. In fact, she’s a member of many farming organizations and is often asked to attend conferences and make speaking engagements.
“When you go to these meetings and you go to these conferences and things of that nature, nine times out of 10 you won’t see anyone as young as Kendall there,” said Ursula. “It was so important and so inspiring that they invited her to just come, sit in, listen even if she doesn’t understand what is going on.”
Kendall is currently trying raise $10,000 to purchase two high tunnels and dirt. She also needs to get soil and lumber to make her farming easier. A portion of the money raised will go towards building an agricultural science learning area for children.
aGROWKulture’s mission statement summarizes all that this young certified farmer does for her community.
“My mission is to meet new friends, make new things & inspire other kids.”
South Fulton’s mayor even declared September 28 as the official “Kendall Rae Appreciation Day” for her work in her garden.
It’s amazing to see this wide-eyed girl pursuing her passion and helping her community at such a young age! Follow her journey on InstagramIt’s possible!