News from the Farm…
As a farm whose seed was planted by the Food Bank Farm, as proud residents of a community neighbored by sanctuary cities Greenfield, Amherst, Easthampton, Holyoke, Northampton, and Springfield, and as individuals committed to dismantling racism, we are thrilled by the abundance of new resources that allow us to self-educate.
Top of the list is Leah Penniman’s Farming While Black. Particularly notable in Leah’s book, which Vogue called “part agricultural guide, part revolutionary manifesto,” are the histories of Black leadership in the sustainable agriculture and food justice movements throughout time. To dismantle white supremacy, we need to understand its history – and how better to do that than with the animated musical series released this summer, The History Of White People In America. Even Forbes Magazine is talking about the Ten Ways That Racial And Environmental Justice Are Inextricably Linked! While those first-of-the-season sweet potatoes are roasting, we hope you’ll join us in checking out these resources.
This Week’s Share:
mixed salad greens!
mix and match options:
cabbage!, the first of the broccoli/cauliflower, green tomatoes!, the last of the summer squash/zucchini, beets, onions, sweet peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, turnips!, and sweet potatoes!
Pick Your Own:
oregano, parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, thyme, sage, mint
During this pandemic season, please: bring your own scissors, containers & water; no sampling; wash your hands & wear masks; and keep your kiddos close!
Ideas & Recipes:
Food for Thought…
Tara Lohan: You write in your book that you initially thought “organic farming was invented by white people” and worried that your “ancestors who fought and died to break away from the land would roll over in their graves to see me stooping.” What did you learn that made you realize that was wrong, and who were the people that inspired the path you’re on now?
Leah Penniman: It was during a Northeast Organic Farming Association conference as a teen. I’d been farming for a couple years, ready to make it my life’s work, and I was, as you mentioned, feeling disillusioned about the fact that it seemed like a really white community, a white movement. I wondered about my place in it.
I went around and handed out little slips of paper to anyone who appeared Black, Latinx or indigenous to me and asked them to meet. And we shared really common feelings about being one of the few [people of color] in this movement.
Karen Washington was there at the time, who went on to become a farmer at Rise and Root Farm and the founder of the Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference. She said to hang in there — we’re going to claim space in this movement. And that was a turning point for me because it gave me a hypothesis that maybe I didn’t know the whole story.
I started investigating the origins of different sustainable-agriculture techniques and found out that of course everyone from Fannie Lou Hamer to Booker T. Whatley to the Sherrods to the Haitian peasant movement had all made these monumental contributions to sustainable agriculture and sustainable businesses. Those just aren’t talked about in the white-dominated food and land spaces. And so it was time to write a new narrative.