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Mitchell Couny family farm grows with each generation

The farmland has been in the Robinson family's possession for a century

Father and son duo Timothy Robinson Sr., left, and Timothy Robinson Jr. are the owners of Robinson Farms in Mitchell County. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

Father and son duo Timothy Robinson Sr., left, and Timothy Robinson Jr. are the owners of Robinson Farms in Mitchell County. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

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The Robinsons survey some of the crops on their 10-acre farm. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

BACONTON — As Tim Robinson gazes over his thriving 10-acre farm, he envisions all its future possibilities.

More that 200 acres of undeveloped land surround the lush area that currently overflows with summer crops such as peas, okra and sweet potatoes. Soon that land will become the home of fall’s bounty that will include collard greens, rutabagas and kale, to name a few items.

For Robinson, farming runs in the family, as he and his father, Timothy Robinson Sr., now cultivate and maintain the farmland that has been a part of their heritage for more than 10o years.

The owners of Robinson Farms in Mitchell County, Robinson and his father are local farmers associated with the Southwest Georgia Project, a nonprofit organization that works to engage, empower and educate through advocacy and grassroots organizing.

The Robinsons have been a part of the Southwest Georgia Project since 2012, supplying food to local schools, food banks and markets, as well as family and friends.

But farming is something that’s run in the blood for as long as either Robinson can remember.

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Timothy Robinson Jr. envisions many possibilities for the future of Robinson Farms as he plans various ways to expand on its surrounding land. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

“I was 7 years old when I learned to drive a tractor,” Robinson Jr. recalled. “I grew up with farming, learning everything about it and being a part of each task involved.

“As a farm kid, that’s just what you have to do.”

Robinson recently retired after 30 years of service in the U.S. Army, and has now returned to his roots at home — literally and figuratively.

As they walk through their fields, father and son survey their crops, taking note of what works and making suggestions for future plantings.

“You learn by experience,” Robinson Jr. said. “When one thing doesn’t work, you just replant, relocate, and try something different the next time, until you find a formula that works.”

All produce grown at Robinson Farm is all natural and chemical free, a quality that the Robinson plan to continue and develop.

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Timothy Robinson Jr. examines a crop of peas currently growing on the farm. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

“I was introduced to organic growing while working in California,” said Robinson Jr. “There are truly so many benefits, and I would like to expand on that here in the future.”

The father and son duo envision a multi-faceted farm operation that includes contracts and providing for private markets. Immediate goals include the hopes to install a well on the land and to begin an animal market that includes goats.

“We’ll have to do things in phases,” noted Robinson Jr. “Above all, it’s important to make sure that we still keep the farm manageable and marketable. We’ll just take things one step at a time.”

A lifetime of experience has not only helped this farm grow and thrive in the present, but will be essential in this farm’s future as well. Already, the next generation of Robinsons are learning the value of hard work as father and son pass along the lessons once taught to them.

Taking a look at his farm, Robinson Jr. notes how every item has its place, even the weeds.

“You’ve got to know what you’re looking at and how it works in the grand scheme of things,” Robinson said. “Sometimes, even the weeds can be beneficial for helping the land retain moisture.”

No doubt that’s a lesson passed along to him from his father.

“I’ve been here all my life, and I love it,” said Robinson Sr. “I was born here and I intend to stay here. I’ve learned to live off the land, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

For more information on the Robinsons and their produce, contact Timothy Robinson Jr. at timothyrobinson848@yahoo.com or contact the Southwest Georgia (229) 430-9870  or visit their website at www.swgaproject.com.