Raising Food, Family, and New Farmers at Sweet Jones Farm in Louisiana
Some people have big visions. This is one of them. Sweet Jones Farm is growing healthy food and opens doors for people to connect with agriculture.
J’Quincy Jones Sr. grew up playing hide and seek in the sugarcane fields of southern Louisiana. He remembers eating sugar cane instead of chips. His love and appreciation for farming blossomed over weekends with his grandfather where he would pick pecans on Saturday and sell them after church on Sunday. It was during those weekends in the groves and in the community that Quincy was gifted with his grandfather’s foresight and wisdom. “Just the jewels he would drop about being connected to your food, and growing your own food is like printing your own money. One time he said, you know, people say money don’t grow on trees, that’s not true. You have orange trees, apple treats, pecan trees. Money is growing on this tree.”
Quincy may not have known then, but life would lead him to become a farmer. Now he is the owner and operator of Sweet Jones Farm LLC, a family owned and operated, mixed produce Louisiana farm. They sell directly to consumers through a community supported agriculture, or CSA, service. Members can order for delivery or pick up on the farm. On-farm pickups give members the bonus of play time with goats, sometimes even baby goats.
But growing food hasn’t been Quincy’s only mission. He and his family are out to build community well-being through agricultural experiences and education. He feels the call to not only farm for his livelihood but to make it purposeful and a spiritual act.
“People need to be educated and fed. They can feed themselves if they know what they need to know to grow food.”
Quincy applied for a Brighter Future Fund grant from American Farmland Trust supported by Tillamook and others. Originally, he thought he would replenish his beehives (a major source of income) that were wiped out during Hurricane Ida. $5,000 was not going to go far to rebuild on a farm. So, after consultation with family and mentors, he decided to use the money to build educational opportunities and community connections— funding that can be difficult or impossible for farmers outside of a non-profit to access.
This financial support allowed Quincy and his family to lean into their values of helping people grow food where they live. They have supported 10 families with raised beds, vegetable seedlings, and guidance on how to care for the plants. They’ve helped people save money on food and showed them how they can eat healthier with a garden. At a time when inflation is at an all-time high this is serious community work. The gardens also provided therapeutic stress relief and created a place for families to connect with each other.
Find Sweet Jones Farm on YouTube and on Instagram @sweetjonesfarm – See their link tree to donate to the Sweet Jones Farm Agriculture Retreat.
About American Farmland Trust (AFT)’s Brighter Future Fund:
AFT’s Brighter Future Fund provides grants of up to $5,000 per project to help farmers nationwide improve farm viability, access, transfer or permanently protect farmland, or adopt regenerative agricultural practices. In 2022, the fund accepted applications from farmers who identify as BIPOC, Veterans, LGBTQIA+ and beginning farmers who had limited access to financial resources in the past. Since 2020, AFT with the support of Tillamook and others has provided approximately $2.5 million in grants directly to more than 2,000 farmers across the nation. Learn more here.