green is easy on the eyes

by mads frost and reed mattison

Max Farrar and Davida Flowers are two of the 321,000 Millennial farmers. As a generation becomes more concerned about the climate crisis and sustainable food sources, Millennials are finding their way back to the dirt. The younger generation of farmers are employing regenerative practices like no tilling and no harsh chemicals to restore soil health. 

The couple stands with their two children Maya (6) and Alton (3) in the apple orchard that Max’s grandfather planted. 

Max and Davida became concerned about food sources and agriculture's relationship to the climate crisis after seeing documentaries and related research. A small guerilla garden near their Houston home would be the beginning of their journey into agroecology. 

Healthy food begins with healthy soil. Compost helps break down tightly compacted clay so roots and water can penetrate the soil. Soil in western Kentucky is notorious for having large clay deposits. By using regenerative agricultural practices, Max and Davida nurture the clay into a fertile, healthy soil. 

Davida holds soil from the garden that has transformed from the original dense, red clay. This new soil has the consistency of a crumbling cake Davida said.  

Alton peers into his mother’s hands as she tends to her garden. Alton drifts between running around with Maya and quietly prodding Davida about what she is doing.  

The vegetables you buy at the farmer's market begin here, in a seed tray. Using seed trays allows for consistent seedling growth before the transplant process. It's a small, temporary space before placing deeper roots in new soil.   

Maya and Alton find out what floats in the watering can as Davida transplants flowers into her garden.

Max and Davida in the garden behind their Bowling Green home. 

Davida’s garden survived the season’s last frost. Kentucky’s unpredictable weather means farmers have to keep a close eye on forecasts. Within three weeks, Bowling Green experienced snow and highs in the sixties. 

Rocks, sticks, rope, and spades. Anything can be a toy growing up on a farm. Alton makes a lasso with rope he’s found on the ground. 

Leaving home

Starting a farm has seemingly insurmountable barriers. Aside from land access, equipment, and startup costs, there is an unexpected emotional labor that comes with becoming farmers. Max and Davida grapple with faith, family, and race as they relocate from Houston to Bowling Green. 

What is sovereignty. What is liberation. Davida confronts her family's history as sharecroppers and what it means to her to be a Black farmer. 

Max uses a stirrup hoe to remove weeds from in between crop rows. The plastic tunnel that covers the crops retains heat and moisture while protecting from inclement weather. 

Max surveys the crop underneath the bug nets. To avoid using harmful chemicals, Max uses mechanical methods of fighting off insects he said. 

 A gap in the tree line leads to “the pit.” The apple orchard that Max’s grandfather planted on a hillside overlooks this overgrown sinkhole. Max intentionally lets the rear section of property grow freely as a place for the kids to explore.

Maya runs through the front yard with Alton in tow. The two are beginning to develop a connection with the 13 acres they live on Max said. Spending almost every day outside gives them a freedom they wouldn’t otherwise have if the family stayed in Houston Davida said.

The land is where Max experiences the Holy he said. Putting his trust and faith in his family, and the land is how the farm will be more fruitful. 

Max packs the cab of his truck with produce to sell at the Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green, Ky. Bins of carrots tower over Maya and Alton in the backseat. 

Max continues to unpack produce as the market opens to customers at eight in the morning. With his kids by his side, punctuality isn’t his strong suit Max said, “I always tell people 8:30.”

Alton prefers the company of his father while at the market. His sister Maya occupies her time hanging out with other farmer’s kids. 

Farmhand, Leslie Dobbins, harvests Swiss Chard on Thursday afternoon in preparation for Saturday’s market. 


Max and Davida's vision of the farm and future is one of community. A desire to eat well, support your neighbors, and be good stewards of the land are the center of the farm's mission according to their website. Majestic Greens Farm participates in the Growing Together Farm share which is a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. CSA's like these can be found nationwide and are designed to get locally sourced food on families tables. 

The project of the farm is to show what life can be like. To show what the modern American family looks like. 

Maya runs out of the garage after getting back from a ride on their Kubota utility vehicle. Max obliges when the kids ask to take a ride around the farm. 

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