At 6 years old, Kendall Rae Johnson is already an esteemed member of the farming community in the state of Georgia.
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.
According to her mom, Ursula Johnson, Kendall started with a patio garden, which eventually grew into a full-fledged garden in their backyard by the time 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 got older, her fascination with growing her own food became stronger, as did her garden. 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 grows various plants in her garden, including carrots, okra, zucchinis, and strawberries. Like every other farmer, she suits up before getting to work. She dons her boots and work gloves and carries her gardening tools.
Kendall and her family eventually moved to a place where they could set up an actual farm, and her parents helped her become a certified farmer. With that, she became the youngest farmer in Georgia and the youngest Black farmer in the country!
Earning a certification allowed Kendall to create her official business called “aGROWKulture,” and apply for grants and scholarships. She can also buy land under 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 one of their many programs involves collecting donations to help provide garden boxes for families and urban communities.
Aside from large-scale projects, Kendall is also very interested in helping kids and parents learn more about where their food comes from. Through gardening clubs and classes, the girl is able to share her knowledge with different people.
“It has a big feeling in my heart. In my heart is the garden. The garden is special to me,” Kendall told 11 Alive. “The most fun thing about being a farmer is just being yourself.”
As young as she is, the certified farmer is no stranger to public speaking. 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.”
Currently, Kendall is attempting to raise $10,000 to purchase two high tunnels, dirt, soil, and lumber that will help make her farming process more efficient. A portion of the money collected will also go toward building an agricultural science learning space 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! Please follow her journey on Instagram!