Cary Walker is an urban farmer and creator of Little Love Blue. Her family’s farm story is as sweet as the items she creates. Cary uses pure felted wool fabrics and fiber to make small collections of animals and other nature-inspired art. Her pieces are precious little hand-sewn treasures.
Are you ready to be inspired by Cary’s story and see her lovely little handmade creations?
An Urban Farm Story (Atlanta, Georgia)
Let’s embrace a new, broadened definition of farmer to include anyone who is growing food, raising farm animals and/or keeping bees anywhere – whether in the city, suburbs or a rural setting. With that said, are you a rural, suburban, or urban farmer?
What part of Atlanta is your farm house located? Is it in the same area where you grew up?
We are located in Grant Park in Atlanta, an area where a lot of people keep chickens, bees and even goats in their back yards. I grew up mostly in California, where my father trained horses and ran a horse farm when I was a young child. Later, as an adult I lived in New York City for more than 10 years. My husband’s family lives in Atlanta and he remembers fondly visiting his great grandparents’ farm outside the city when he was young.
In a nutshell, what is the story behind your farm? And, when did life as a farmer begin for you?
We became interested in the local food movement and backyard farming that was taking place around us when we lived in Brooklyn. Unfortunately we had little space to do this ourselves. We often visited my husband’s brother in the Catskills where he kept chickens and I really wished to try it out also.
What does your family grow and/or raise? What is the approximate size of your farming space?
We currently have 8 chickens, an assortment of Barred Rocks, Rhode Island and New Hampshire Reds, Buff Orpington, Ameraucanas, and a Golden Laced Wyandotte. We hope to add a few more chicks next Spring. We also have plans for bee hives, and perhaps some goats.
We are experimenting with growing vegetables also, but having lived in the city so long we are complete novices!
Meet Lucy. A golden laced Wyandotte.
Who or what influenced you to become an urban farmer?
I think watching others farm, especially in the city or on small amounts of land influenced us a lot. Growing up I was lucky to be able to be around some farm life and always loved it. I think it was while in college and I became a vegetarian and really started thinking about our connection to our food that led me on the path to farming. I know that I will never be able to fully support my family on what we grow alone, but I am more appreciative of where our food comes from. We visit the Farmer’s Market every week and know where much of our food comes from and who works so hard to produce it!
Cary’s Homegrown Christmas Lemons
I choose to farm because I want my children to think about and appreciate where their food comes from.
They helped to raise our chicks and now to care for them as chickens. They can go in the backyard and collect their eggs and then eat them for breakfast! They see the work and care that goes into producing that food. This is something that many kids might take for granted when it just comes from the store. I hope this will help them to think about where all their food comes from and lead them to make better choices as they grow older as well.
Hand-Sewn Animals from Little Love Blue
What products do you currently offer?
I make small animals that are entirely hand sewn from wool.
Left: Aprons hanging inside booth.
Right: Cary with her sister Katy at the Grant’s Park Farmers’ Market.
Left: Heirloom Nativity Set made by Cary & Katy.
(Each piece was hand sewn by Cary and made with pure felted wool fabrics then filled with lamb’s wool. Learn more.)
What do you enjoy most about creating these products to offers?
I love the handmade animals I make because in our mass produced economy the art of hand sewing is nearly lost. I put a lot of time and care into each creature I make, and only make them from all natural wool and cotton materials. I hope they will be something that is cherished for a long time to come.
I also love re-using fabrics that would otherwise be thrown away to make new things, such as aprons, napkins, and dish towels. These are everyday items that are so important and in turn can be used over and over again as well.
We encourage others to embrace time-honored traditions, old-fashioned skills and also celebrate the modern arts and contemporary craft movement. What arts, crafts, skills and traditions do you enjoy practicing (or teaching) today or aspire to learn?
Well, I love hand sewing, machine sewing and felting! I would love to learn weaving and quilting as well. Really any traditional crafting skills are appealing to me and I hope to continue learning as much as I can. I home school my children as well, and I am trying to pass on the skills I already have as well as learn new ones along with them. They are also learning wood working from their grandfather, which I love and so do they. The things they make themselves are ones they dearly treasure. I also just love the day to day tasks we do together, like cooking and sharing healthy meal each night. I wish I could say this wasn’t a lost tradition but I have come to realize this is no longer routine for many families.
Where can people find you online today?
Do you currently offer any classes or workshops?
I home school, so I teach my children daily and their friends occasionally as well.
—Cary Walker of Little Love Blue
Cary, everything you create is absolutely precious. We celebrate your efforts to live the farm life in the city of Atlanta and are grateful for your dedication to preserving the time-honored tradition of hand sewing.