Homebuyers looking for a farm-to-table lifestyle have a solution in Wrights Farm. It’s an agricultural community located off Wrightsboro Road at Reynolds Road, and the new neighborhood with room for hundreds of homes is coupled with a working farm.
Matt Mills of the Southeastern Company said that the development firm is always looking for a creative challenge and Wrights Farm will be the first development of this kind in the area.
“We started the planning process in 2019 and began construction last year,” Mills said. “The farm itself is spread across five acres and is a key component to this neighborhood.”
The partner on the farm side is Jim Stiff, president of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia. In 2007, Stiff launched Helms College, the first licensed, nationally accredited and federal financial aid-eligible post-secondary school in the Goodwill network.
“I told Matt Mills we wanted to develop a farm-to-table model and have an agribusiness, originally something that could turn into an agritourism venue at Lake Oconee,” Stiff said. “I told him we wanted to grow products that we could sell to the Macon and Augusta areas, and then maybe to the Atlanta metro market. Mills said, ‘You don’t have to go to Atlanta. I’m developing Wrights Farm, and we need someone to develop a working farm right out front of the development.’ So, we intended to have Lake Oconee be the first location for our farm that would operate as applied learning for our culinary students and to grow products for our operations, but Wrights Farm came on serendipitously for us.”
Edgar’s Grille, located at 3165 Washington Rd., is the restaurant where Helms College culinary students receive experiential learning opportunities. The Pinnacle Club and Edgar’s Above Broad are also managed by the Edgar’s Hospitality Group.
“Helms College, Edgar’s Grille, the bakery — they will all be connected with Wright’s Farm,” Stiff said. The bakery Stiff referred to is Edgar’s Bakehouse, a new bakery that will open in the coming weeks. “The stuff that we’ll be selling at the bakehouse, much of it will start with grinding up corn grown at Wrights Farm, and it will become part of our product here.”
The farming manager at Wrights Farm is David Daughtery. Stiff said there was an extensive search and Daughtery rose to the top of the applicants.
“He’s somebody who grew up in the farming world and had a University of Georgia-Tifton degree and did advanced agricultural studies at the Athens campus,” Stiff said. “He was excited about the fact we wanted to someday create a culinary agricultural degree program and help students understand that food doesn’t just come from a Sysco truck.”
The neighborhood of Wrights Farm will eventually be worked in as well, with agricultural classes available for the residents. Fresh produce will also be available to the public for purchase at a farmers’ market-style booth.
Frank Kassner, the director of culinary operations for Edgar’s Hospitality Group, said this partnership is a rare but exciting opportunity for a chef.
“As a chef, it is the ultimate dream,” he said. “From seed to table, we have full control over the product. I know what went into it, where it came from. That’s not always quite clear in modern agriculture. We can make food that looks good, tastes good and is good for you. David has the agricultural background, and I have the culinary background, so we can work together on what we grow and why we grow it.”
Residents have already begun to move into Wrights Farm, and dozens of homes are still under construction. For more information, call Staci Price, a real estate agent with the Southeastern Company, at (706) 945-0512.