Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference

Last weekend marked the first annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners conference in Brooklyn, NY. I had the honor to present a workshop on organic farming, which was well attended. Excellent discussions ensued around the place of organic food in our black communities, especially those that are low income. How do we make the highest quality food accessible to all people? Keynote speaker Will Allen had excellent strategies for urban farmers, from vermicompost heated budget hoophouses to teen programs funded mostly from the sale of baby greens. Also presenting were the farmers of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, North Carolina who were among those who sued the USDA for discrimination in the famous Pigford case. They had important lessons for us about our history, e.g. there was a lot of organic farming 400 years ago in the South; it was called slavery. They made us laugh and helped us renew our commitment to food security in the black community. It was an inspiring and connecting conference.