SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — There are some exciting changes and growth underway at the Forsyth Farmers’ Market with the installation of a new executive director.

Dr. Deidre Grim is the farmers’ market’s first Black executive director. She plans to expand some of its most successful programs into areas where the need is growing. She sat down for an interview on First News at 4 to talk about her background and what lies ahead.

And a quick reminder, the Forsyth Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday, year-round, on the south end of Forsyth Park, from 9 a.m. To 1 p.m. To learn more about the market and its various programs click here.

Here’s the transcript of that interview:

Q: “Dr Grim, you started last Monday; hit the ground running. You are the executive director of a really a famous Farmers’ Market here in Savannah. So what’s that like for you?”

Grim: “Well it’s very inspiring; also very scary, because I stand on the shoulders of very inspiring and, not necessarily powerful, but people that did great work, right? So, I have big shoes to fill. And just being able to work with the community, connect them, and help them understand their food systems is really a passion of mine, and I know it was with my predecessors, so I’m very grateful for the opportunity but also very intentional on where we’re moving next with the organization.”

Q: “I know that you are very intentional about food justice. Tell us what food justice is.”

Grim: “Kissinger had a statement that he who controls the food can control the people, right? So food is this… it’s not just the substance of it, but it’s the ideology of being able to be self sufficient, because if you can’t take care of yourself and sustain yourself by having food then what happens, right? So, opening up the ability for people to have access to health foods, the affordibility, the ability to have farmers to create wealth, as well as connecting them back to the land. I’m really a big fan of gardening, so in my backyard my husband he gets tired, because I come home with a tree or something, almost every week of something, and he’s like well what are you going to do with this. I was like well, when there’s an issue with the food chain, or supply is down, we can feed our neighbors, right?”

Q: “And gardening and farming, it’s really in your soul, because I was reading when you were a child you were out in the fields. You were working the fields, right?”

Grim: “So, sad story, my grandmother who was 105 she passed on my birthday this year, but she would have me in the fields picking green beans and collards and peas. I was telling the story the other day, it just dawned on me, my grandmother hated peas, but she knew I loved them. So, she would have us out there shucking peas and picking them, and even in her 90s she was still running behind chickens ringing them. So, I was like if she can do that at 90 then what can I do when I’m at 90. I don’t know if I can keep up with that, but yes it’s just very… it’s generational for us, and she was very intentional in insuring that each of us knew how to source our own food.”

Q: “So, the farmers’ market is just one thing, one of the programs that the Forsyth Farmers’ Market does. Are you intending to change any of those? Will those other programs continue, do you want to add some things? What are your thoughts?”

Grim: Sure, so I’m quite sure everyone knows about Farm Truck 912, and the great work that it does throughout the county. It’s not just even Savannah. So, we also are looking to expand our stops. We see that unfortunately poverty is shifting to the south side, and so we want to make that we’re able to meet the needs there as well. The Food Pharmacy, for some who may is this program where people, clients are able to use food as medicine, and they can access food to, as opposed to taking medicine to change their diet and limit some of the chronic illnesses, and so we’re looking at expanding that and really just being more visible in the community. We do have some great things in the works. I’m unable to. I’m not at liberty to say yet at this moment, but I will definitely keep you abreast of what’s going on.”