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Salvation in the soil, a young widowed mother builds a multi-generational farm in Rural Georgia

Margo Candelario
Farmer, Writer, and Artist
Young Female Farmers Farm in Oconee County, Georgia

I’m excited to invite you to my conversation with Margo Candelario. Margo is an author, a visual artist, and the owner and operator of a female run multi-generational family farm in Oconee County, Georgia. Margo runs Young Female Farmers with her mother, and her three daughters. They offer fresh produce, baked goods, and wildcrafted tinctures. I previously featured Margo on our blog, click HERE to read the full story, and see photographs from her farm.

Margo was born into a military family and grew up in the mountains of San Bernardino. Through the GI bill, Margo’s father was able to buy a house with some acreage and she was raised with a backyard garden and a menagerie of animals. After her parents separated, she moved back to New York, and got a job working on Wall Street. She quickly climbed the ranks and started to be able to enjoy the finer things in life - expensive clothes, travel and fine dining. Yet, even with this early financial success, deep down there was a growing part of her that felt unfulfilled.

After Margo and her husband had their first daughter, they decided to move to rural Georgia. The landscape reminded her husband of his home country Puerto Rico, and Margo of her childhood in rural California. Although she loved the blue sky and fresh air, she felt like a fish out of water and had a difficult time adjusting and finding work. Coming from a successful career in finance, the only jobs she could find in Georgia were low paying service positions. Her husband Phil, seeing Margo’s struggle to find gainful employment, offered to be the sole-financial provider for their family so that Margo stay home with their daughters.

Leaving the workforce was a welcomed refocus until tragedy struck. While pregnant with their third daughter, Phil suffered a massive heart attack and passed away at the age of 34. Margo became a single mother overnight and had to find a way to take care of her family. Weighing her limited options, she decided that the only feasible option as a pregnant, single mother was to start her own business.

She began making sweet potato pies and selling them at farmers markets and then expanded into fresh produce - making a point to visit food deserts in their area to provide fresh vegetables to people in her community that wouldn’t otherwise have access. Farming and entrepreneurship allowed Margo to bloom and build a new beautiful chapter for herself and her girls.

I hope Margo’s story offers strength and guidance to anyone listening who is navigating tragedy or past traumas. I also hope she inspired anyone feeling unfulfilled in their current career or overwhelmed balancing a stressful job and raising kids to think about building your own small business. The best way to build something is to reach out to your community and assess what might be missing locally. It can start as a side hustle and grow into something that can offer you more autonomy over your own life and a sustainable livelihood that could be passed down to the next generation. Family-run businesses aren't for everyone but I know that Margo feels extremely blessed to be able to work alongside her mother and daughters, and to build a connection to her land and community.

In our conversation, we speak about Margo’s journey from Wall Street to rural Georgia, her connection with her land, and the wisdom she has gathered through following her heart’s path all these years.

This is a story about family, love, overcoming extreme tragedy, and celebrating life.

Thank you Margo for sharing your story.



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