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Roswell author inspired by local farmer
by Nicole Dow
September 03, 2014 02:14 PM | 1158 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Roswell resident Renea Winchester has written a nonfiction book called “Farming, Friends and Fried Bologna Sandwiches” and will host her book launch Saturday at Billy Albertson’s farm in Roswell.
Roswell resident Renea Winchester has written a nonfiction book called “Farming, Friends and Fried Bologna Sandwiches” and will host her book launch Saturday at Billy Albertson’s farm in Roswell.
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For Roswell resident Renea Winchester, a chance visit to Billy Albertson’s farm on Hardscrabble Road in Roswell has altered her life.

She first stopped by Albertson’s farm about seven years ago when her daughter spotted a sign for the baby goats there.

“We noticed wheelbarrows full of tomatoes — totally full — and here he was sweating and melting in the sun,” Winchester said.

They knew he needed help and decided to do just that. Since then, Winchester has been volunteering at the farm, helping with the planting, weeding and harvesting.

She also has organized a group of local volunteers to help out there as well.

Yet Winchester did not just stop at the volunteering. She decided to write two nonfiction books detailing some of the stories from the farm as well as farming tips and recipes.

The latest book — “Farming, Friends and Fried Bologna Sandwiches” — was released Monday by Mercer University Press.

“It’s a celebration of farming,” Winchester said. “This is the ultimate ‘buy local’ book.”

A book launch event will be held Saturday at the farm at 525 Hardscrabble Road.

Winchester said the first book “In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love and Tomatoes” has drawn more visitors to the farm.

“A lot of people stop there not knowing that he’s the last farmer in Roswell, Georgia,” she said. “He is a treasure for Roswell. He is such a jewel. Where else in Roswell can you bring your child for free and pet a baby goat?”

Winchester said with people becoming so health-conscious, buying food from Albertson’s farm is a great option.

“When you stop at Billy’s, your produce has been off of the vine maybe 30 minutes,” she said.

Albertson said he appreciates Winchester’s help on the farm and considers her to be like a third daughter to him.

“It’s been a pleasure,” he said. “She’s really worked hard over here.”

Albertson said though he has no direct input on what Winchester puts in the book, he knows it all to be true.

“I don’t tell her to write nothing,” he said. “What she wrote is her own thoughts.”

When Winchester first told Albertson she was going to write something about him, he said he thought she’d just be scribbling something in a notebook, not writing an actual book.

However, he said he enjoyed the first book and is looking forward to the new release.

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