Category Archives: Love Notes Newsletter

TRABAJO VOLUNTARIO

Por favor, únase a nosotros/as en nuestros Community Farm Days / Días de Finca Comunitarios (tequios) – mensualmente, de abril a octubre. Trabajamos la tierra y aprendemos juntos/as de 8 AM a 1 PM, seguido por un almuerzo “potluck” y conversación, 1-2:30 PM. Todos/as están bienvenidos/as. Verifique el reporte del tiempo y vístase apropiadamente. Gente con todos los niveles de destrezas están bienvenidos/as a un día de alegre conección con la tierra y la gente. Honramos la práctica cultural haitiana de Konbit, trabajo cooperativo y ayuda mutua. POR FAVOR CONFIRME SU ASISTENCIA AQUÍ. (English)

Fechas en 2017: Abril 22, Mayo 20, Junio 17, Agosto 26, Septiembre 30, Octubre 28, Noviembre 18 (No habrá día de finca comunitario en julio)

Quienes vienen desde lejos, por favor considere esta lista de alojamientos locales.

Aquí hay respuestas a algunas preguntas frecuentes sobre los días de finca comunitarios.

Posiciones de Trabajo Voluntario Especializado y Recurrente

Quienes estén interesados/as en una relación más profunda y recurrente con Soul Fire Farm, podemos usar su apoyo en las áreas mencionadas abajo. Cada posición requiere trabajo independiente y auto-dirigido.

Formulario para Solicitud de Trabajo Voluntario (English)

Posiciones Abiertas

Oficina Remota – correción de texto, investigación, bibliografías, clasificación de datos, llamadas telefónicas

  • Program en la Finca– preparación, limpieza, y cocinar
  • Transporte Local – recoger participantes y suministros
  • Compromiso Local – asistir a eventos locales comunitarios y hablar sobre Soul Fire Farm
  • Cuido y Apoyo en la Finca – masaje, medicina natural, y apoyo personal para el equipo Soul Fire
  • Donaciones – solicitar y recolectar donaciones de contribución en especie
  • Arte Remota – hacer tarjetas escritas a mano y regalos caseros apropiados para dar las “Gracias”

Las posiciones son continuas. Si tienes otras destrezas que crees serán de ayuda, déjanos saber en la solicitud. Estaremos en contacto para entrevistarte. ¡Gracias por tu interés!

 

Agricultura Sostenida por la Comunidad 2017

Soul Fire Farm CSA (Agricultura Sostenida por la Comunidad por sus siglas en inglés)

20 semanas de vegetales frescos de nuestra finca, entregados a la puerta de su casa entre mediados de junio y principios de noviembre 2017.  

REGISTRESE AQUÍ PARA 2017 (English) Nota: Estamos ofreciendo #solidarityshares (porciones de solidaridad) para inmigrantes, refugiados/as, y gente impactada por violencia de estado – becas completas. Por favor ayude a su vecino(a) a completar su registro.

“Las entregas semanales de vegetales de su finca fueron un deleite absoluto en nuestras vidas este año. Qué afortunados somos de disfrutar comida que es tiernamente cultivada y cosechada. Nunca hubo un momento en que comí alimentos de su finca y no estuve 100% consciente de su calidad de dar vida. Y el saber que su familia son quienes cultivan me dio completo consuelo en comer.

¡Gracias!” ~ Miembro de CSA

Tenga una idea de lo que hay en una porción semanal. (English)

¿Cómo funciona una escala proporcional? (English)

La Agricultura Sostenida por la Comunidad de Soul Fire Farm se basa en el espíritu de  ujaama, o economía cooperativa. Es una colaboración entre nosotros/as, los y las finqueras, y tu. Clientes compran una porción de la cosecha anticipadamente y reciben una entrega semanal de productos agrícolas frescos durante la temporada de crecimiento. La membresía de CSA es una manera excelente de apoyar agricultura local y proveer comida saludable y asequible para su familia y amistades, y a la vez apoya la misión más amplia de nuestra finca. Ofrecemos un total de 80-100 porciones en 2017.

¿Cómo me registro?

#1. Llene nuestro formulario de membresía online o envíe el formulario por correo a:

Soul Fire Farm

1972 NY Highway 2

Petersburgh NY, 12138.

Aceptamos solicitudes en orden de llegada, sin embargo un porcentaje de las porciones está reservado para miembros quienes usan EBT. Se les dará preferencia a miembros recurrentes quienes soliciten antes de enero 11.

#2. Espere correspondencia. Le enviaremos confirmación y factura. Una vez pague su primer plazo, oficialmente es miembro de nuestro CSA.

¿Por qué unirse a Soul Fire Farm CSA?

Ujaama: Economía Cooperativa: Participar en Soul Fire Farm Share significa que te estás asociando con un negocio dirigido “black” para asegurar la salud del mercado agrícola, la salud de la tierra para generaciones futuras, y la salud de tu familia. Le hacemos honor al espíritu del ancestro Booker T. Whatley, un finquero “black” muy avanzado para sus tiempos quien lideró prácticas de regeneración agrícola en este país (hoy día conocido como agricultura sostenible o, a veces, orgánica), al igual que Clientele Membership Club, conocido hoy como CSA (Community Supported Agriculture o Agricultura Sostenida por la Comunidad).

Ama a Tu Tierra: Tendrás acceso a alimentos frescos y densos en nutrientes durante todo el verano. Compartirás hábitos de comer saludables con tus seres queridos. Con un Farm Share, obtienes un gran precio por buena comida. Adicionalmente, nuestro Farm Share ofrece alta proteína – tienes la opción de una docena de huevos o una porción de brotes de legumbres cada semana. No importa cuál sea tu ingreso, nuestro Farm Share tiene una manera para usted participar.

Cuida a la Madre Tierra: Apoya a una finca donde los finqueros y las finqueras cuidan de la tierra, alimentan el terreno, y conservan energía. Además de ser Certified Naturally Grown y cumplir con el Farmer’s Pledge (promesa) para agricultura sostenible, nuestras prácticas agrícolas están diseñadas para minimizar la contribución de combustible fósil tales como el uso de tractores. Comer productos locales también significa que estás reduciendo el número de millas que viaja tu comida para llegar a tu plato.

Contribuye a la Justicia Social: Soul Fire Farm está comprometida a poner disponibles alimentos reales a todos, y en el proceso, desmantelar la injusticia racial y económica. Aceptamos EBT, reservamos una parte de nuestras porciones para familias de bajo ingreso, y ofrecemos programas de educación gratis para la juventud urbana. También compartimos destrezas de vida sostenible en lugares tan lejos como Haití y Brasil y tan cerca como Troy, Albany, Berkshires, NYC, Hudson Valley. Tu participación apoya este trabajo para un sistema justo de alimentos.

 

Conveniente: La entrega a la puerta de tu casa está incluída para la mayoría de barrios en o alrededor del centro de Troy y North Central, y para los barrios Mansion, South End, y Arbor Hill de Albany. Vea el mapa de entrega. También hay recogida centralizada en la escuela Woodland Hills Montessori en North Greenbush, y en nuestra finca en Grafton. Pregúntanos si estás dentro de la ruta de entrega.

¿Cómo funciona el CSA?

Entrega los Miércoles: Para clientes viviendo en las áreas de entrega de Albany y Troy, hacemos entrega los miércoles en la tarde durante la temporada del CSA. El resto de los clientes pueden recoger su porción en uno de los sitios centralizados, o coordinar con otra familia. Tendrás que designar un lugar seguro y sombreado para nosotros/as dejar tu porción en el evento de que no estés en casa a la hora de entrega. Pregúntanos si estás dentro de la zona de entrega.

4 Mese de Alimentos: Miércoles, mediados de junio – finales de octubre (20 semanas). Cada porción va a contener su opción de huevos o brotes más 8-15 variedades de vegetales de temporada, suficientes vegetales para tu familia de cuatro o dos adultos vegetarianos. Cultivamos sobre 75 variedades de vegetales. Durante el apogeo de cosecha tu porción tendrá lo suficiente para preservar una parte para el invierno. Mira nuestro calendario de cosecha 2016 para tener una idea de lo que ofrecimos el año pasado.

Pago de Escala Proporcional: El costo completo de una porción de CSA está delineado abajo. Este representa una gama de $23-$50 por semana. En todos lo casos, el precio es más bajo de lo que encontrarías en tiendas locales de alimentos naturales por los mismos productos, y esencialmente costos al por mayor. Te pedimos que escojas pagar de acuerdo a tu acceso a recursos financieros. Si necesitas ayuda para determinar el nivel apto para pagar, por favor lea este excelente documento sobre escala proporcional y justicia económica. Aceptamos EBT/SNAP (cupones de comida). No ofrecemos mitad de porciones, pero te ayudaremos a emparejar con otra familia.

Boletín Informativo: Nuestro boletín informativo semanal vía correo electrónico está lleno de sucesos en la finca, recetas para usar la comida en tu porción, un artículo sobre trabajo de justicia de alimentos desde lo local a lo internacional, y fotos de la semana.

EBT/cupones de comida: $460 ($23/semana)

Bajo ingreso: $500 ($25/semana)

Medio ingreso: $560($28/semana)

Alto ingreso: $660($33/semana)

Apoya nuestro trabajo/contribuye hacia una porción de bajo ingreso: $800 ($40/semana)

Soul on Fire (Alma en Fuego)/¡Tu nos adoras!: $1000 ($50/semana) (Este costo representa aproximadamente precios en el mercado.)

Intercambio de Trabajo Opcional: Miembros del CSA quienes trabajan 5 horas voluntarias en la finca recibirán una caja gratis de vegetales en noviembre. Dependiendo de la temporada y condiciones del tiempo, esta caja incluirá calabacín de invierno, papas, ajo, cebollas, repollo, y otros productos almacenados.

Reuniones: A través de la temporada, tendremos “potlucks,” días de trabajo de la comunidad, celebraciones, espectáculos, eventos educacionales, talleres de destrezas, y más. Mantente informado/a de lo último.

Si tienes preguntas sobre el CSA, contáctanos por correo electrónico love@soulfirefarm.org o llama 518-229-1339 (celular).

Soul Fire Farm Español

Soul Fire Farm es una finca de familia comprometida a acabar con el racismo e injusticia en nuestro sistema de alimentos.

 

Soul Fire Farm está comprometida a acabar con el racismo e injusticia en el sistema de alimentos. Cultivamos alimentos que dan vida y actuamos en solidaridad con gente marginada por el “apartheid” de alimentos. Con profunda reverencia a la tierra y sabiduría de nuestros ancestros, trabajamos para recuperar nuestro derecho colectivo de pertenecer a la tierra y tener entidad en el sistema de alimentos. Unimos diversas comunidades en esta curativa tierra para compartir destrezas en agricultura sostenible, construcción natural, activismo espiritual, justicia de salud y justicia ambiental. Estamos entrenando a la próxima generación de finqueros y finqueras activistas al igual que fortaleciendo los movimientos de soberanía de alimentos y auto-determinación comunitaria.

METAS ESTRATÉGICAS

  1. Entrenar y apoderar a aspirantes cultivadores/as Black, Latinx, e Indígenas para revertir el peligrosamente bajo porcentaje de fincas poseídas y operadas por gente de color y para aumentar la cantidad de buenos alimentos cultivados por y para gente marginada.
  2. Avanzar la curativa justicia para individuales y comunidades impactadas por el racismo y otras opresiones, al envolver metodologías tanto basadas en la tierra como curativas ancestrales, así esperando alzar esperanza, entidad, y eficacia en el movimiento.
  3. Entrenar y apoderar a gente joven, especialmente quienes son objeto de acoso por violencia del estado, para que creen relaciones con la tierra, cambien a dietas saludables y tengan auto-determinación con respecto a sus cuerpos, y aprendan destrezas de organización para corregir injusticias en sus propias comunidades.
  4. Ofrecer talleres, clases, y publicaciones de educación popular a activistas y miembros de la comunidad para aumentar la concientización y destrezas sobre justicia ambiental, soberanía de alimentos, cesar el racismo, justicia transformativa, y otras herramientas concretas para aumentar el impacto del movimiento.
  5. Proveer entregas económicas semanales de alimentos en temporada, frescos de finca, y cultivados naturalmente a familias viviendo en barrios sufriendo “apartheid” de alimentos. Enfocarnos específicamente en las necesidades de gente criminalizada por el sistema judicial – gente encarcelada, gente impactada por violencia policíaca, inmigrantes, y refugiados/as – para alzar el derecho de todos de acceder comida que da vida sin importar estatus social o económico.
  6. Mejorar y compartir nuestro modelo de una finca justa y sostenible que maneja biodiversidad, captura carbono, paga un salario digno a sus empleados/as, alza la integridad comunitaria, desmantela el racismo, habita estructuras sostenibles, y logra solvencia financiera.
  7. Colaborar con redes regionales, nacionales, e internacionales por la justicia de la tierra y soberanía comunitaria de alimentos para avanzar cambios estructurales necesarios por un sistema de comida más justo.
  8. Avanzar justicia curativa y liberación en la extensa comunidad, comprometiéndonos a una cultura organizacional que cuida del bienestar de sus empleados/as a través de suficiente descanso, comunicación compasiva, liderazgo distribuido, e inversión en desarrollo personal y profesional.

Love Notes #5 – meet the trainers, general strike, and salamanders

Love Notes #5, April 20, 2017

 

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Announcements

  • The SOULstice party is coming up on June 24, with DJ Trumaster on the tables. We are looking for volunteers and food vendors. Contact us if you are interested.

  • May 1 is a general strike and action in support of undocumented immigrants and others disenfranchised in this capitalist economy. Please join us.

  • Come see us at the Holyoke Food Justice Conference May 6. Leah will be writing a book this year, speaking less, so this is one of the few remaining public talks for a while.

  • Almost all of our 2017 programs are full and we are getting to that super abundant time of year when it’s difficult to answer emails and phone calls, so please be patient with us.

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News From The Land: We just finished two weeks on the land together as a farm crew – with Jas, Keidra, and Larisa earning the most soil stains on their hands. Onions and brassicas are being transplanted into the cool, ready soil, protected by a layer of woven row cover. Baby chicks are warm in the brooder and new perennial herbs are breaking dormancy. Since Rowe dog is getting to her middle ages and not so enthusiastically chasing deer, we are installing a complete perimeter deer fence around both fields. It’s a huge task and something the 90+ of you who RSVP’d for tomorrow’s community farm day can help with! We are also in the process of de- and re-constructing the wood shop so that it will be big enough to teach in and have some sleeping space upstairs. Also, we were worried that the big machines that dug out the silted irrigation pond would hurt the frogs and salamanders – but alas, last week we were greeted with a cacophony of amphibian mating calls letting us know that nature beats machine.

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Events and Organizing: The Polly Dance Party was a huge success with almost 200 people in attendance and $1K raised for #solidarityshares, a subsidized Farm Share that gets veggies to refugees, immigrants, and people targeted by state violence. We already have 13 families in the program! We also hosted an Agroecology Encounter planning weekend for regional and international land-based activists. We got to witness one of the delegates from Puerto Rico experience snow for the first time. While the travelling and speaking season is making way for the earth-connected hosting season, we still presented at Eastern Mennonite University, VA, Clark University MA, and the local Siena College. It’s been powerful to witness action and mobilization emerge from every one of these talks – from a new strategy on a VA refugee farm to collaborations with local public schools. Conversation as catalyst.

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Heart Work: All of this is heart work, but this year we are particularly trying to make sure that healing, ritual, and relationships are central in the justice work. We helped bring a Transformative Justice trainer to work with the Albany activist community on addressing harm without reliance on the state. We hosted our 7th annual AfroSeder, a story and song-rich celebration of freedom from enslavement honoring Harriet Tubman and Moses. On our seder plate, for example, we had both a horseradish (Soul Fire grown) and a lock to represent the bitterness of slavery and the New Jim Crow. There is a point in the ritual where the children negotiate for a prize in exchange for the afikomen and we were touched that their first idea was “an acre of Soul Fire.” Yes!

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BLFI Trainers: We are so excited to welcome the 2017 Class of Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion, “Train the Trainers.” These folks have farming and food justice experience and will help run BLFI sessions with the goal to bring their knowledge and skills back to their communities. This year’s trainers are Ruby Olisemeka, Katie Key, Tattiana Aqeel-de Oliveira, Daniel Reyes, Sindhu Siva, Cristal Alba, Sarah Garton, Dania Flores, and Dishaun Harris. Check out some of the bios and photos below – more forthcoming!

Ruby Olisemeka is an independent educator/consultant focusing on socially transformative education; food justice and incorporating African and indigenous practices into farming and food & farming education. She began her farming career as an apprentice at Stone Barns (2011) and has since built numerous school and urban gardens in lower Westchester and Harlem. Ruby has over 10 years’ experience educating children and young adults, she has worked as an educator at Edible Schoolyard NYC, Harlem Grown and various public and private schools and institutions.

Tattiana Aqeel works as a product developer in DC’s medical cannabis program and has a decade of experience using herbal remedies, lifestyle, and nutrition for health maintenance. Other works include sustainable agriculture and waste management, bio-construction, wildcrafting, and propagating holistic food and health systems by/for people affected by racism. Her background is in the performing arts and she continues to make art to affect social change. Tattiana has extensive acting training and musical practice, which she uses to evoke healing through songs and stories that support human triumph over challenging environmental and ethical structures. She also uses dance and embodied breathing techniques to heal trauma.

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Sarah Garton is a mixed Filipina/white farmer and educator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota originally from Arlington, Texas. She has worked on organic and biodynamic farms and in schools since 2009 focusing on food sovereignty and youth power. She now works at a project-based learning middle and high school run by a teacher coop. She also organizes around radical Asian American identities and social justice education.

Katie Key is a Black multiracial, genderfluid nature-lover living in the Mid-Hudson Valley.  Drawing from folk wisdom and professional experience, Chef Key’s inclusive menus blend culinary tradition with high vibration innovation, uniting diverse dietary needs and tastes at the same table.   Chef Key offers private catering and freelance services, and leads empowering hands-on cooking classes for youth on farms and in classrooms.  S/he believes in artistic process as a primary tool for liberation, and practices this through cooking, writing, singing and storytelling.

Daniel Reyes’s food justice work began during his time as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, where he developed programming with local food banks to provide affordable access to locally-grown produce for low-income families. He later worked as the Advocacy Coordinator for the Food Bank of Delaware, organizing individuals receiving food assistance in campaigns to protect and expand programs like SNAP, WIC, and free school meals. Looking to build upon his previous farming experiences, Dan spent 2015 and 2016 apprenticing on Caretaker Farm in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Fernbrook Farm in Chesterfield, NJ. Daniel is currently studying city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Blessings,

The Soul Fire Farm Family

Love Notes #4 – Solidarity Shares, Uprooting Racism, and Potions

Upcoming Training Events – Apply Now

 

You are also welcome to join us for any of our community farm days this season or see us speak at one of our public talks.

And please come to the POLLY DANCE PARTY on April 1, a fundraiser for our Solidarity Shares program – which provides free and low costs veggies to immigrants, refugees, and those targeted by state violence.

 

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One of the best things about being at the Just Food Conference over the weekend, was connecting with alumni (aka family) of Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion AND youth who have attended our programs. I feel so blessed to be connected to Ashleigh, Assefash, The Green Teens, and hundreds of others who are doing seriously powerful work for equity in the food system.

 

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We have been super busy wrapping up our “traveling season” with talks and trainings all over the northeast. Thank you so much for NOFA CT, Hudson Valley Farm Hub, NE Young Farmers, Montclair State, Brooklyn Movement Center and everyone else for welcoming us! Of all the work though, we probably most enjoyed nerding out with this Miracle on Craig Street crew over crop rotation plans. It’s an honor to do capacity building with such committed grassroots organizers.

 

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Sometimes #farmlife is overwhelming and discouraging – like when you have to get up at 4 AM in a blizzard power outage to turn on the generator so seedlings don’t die. That’s when you need your monk friend Jun San to unexpectedly walk up your driveway drumming and chanting and give you a copy of her favorite Japanese poem to lift your spirits. Magic! (Yes, Emet wears shorts all winter.)

 

Rain Won’t

By Kenji Miyazawa, translated by Arthur Binard

 

Rain won’t stop me

Wind won’t stop me

Neither will the driving snow

Sweltering summer heat

Will only raise my determination

With a body built for endurance

A heart free of greed

I’ll never lose my temper

Trying always to keep

A quiet smile on my face

My daily diet must be simple

Several heaped bowls of brown rice

Some vegetables and miso

Profit must never be the issue

I’ll listen to others, observe carefully

And refuse to forget

I’ll make my home in a hut with a thatched roof

Near a meadow surrounded by pine trees

If a child were to fall ill in the east

I’d run there to help with the nursing

If a mother were to overwork herself in the west

I’d be there to carry the heavy bundles of rice

If a man were on the verge of death in the south,

I’d rush to soothe his fears

If bitter lawsuits and fighting were to break out in the north

I’d urge all parties to come together and talk things over

In days of drought, I’d weep

Just weep

In unseasonable cold spells, I’d walk the fields

And mourn the stunted crops

People may call me a fool

I doubt if anyone will applaud me

Then again, perhaps none will detest me either

All this is my goal-

The person I want to become

 

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Children joyfully helping their parents seed thousands of onions (sort of.)

 

Have a great week,

Soul Fire Crew

Revolutionary Potions

“A hands-on, hearts-open plant and energy medicine workshop to enhance our effectiveness as justice warriors in these glaringly oppressive times.”

Led by Luana Morales and Leah Penniman

Saturday, April 29

3 – 7 PM, @Soul Fire Farm

Registration Required – limited to 30 participants. 

REGISTER HERE 

This is a multi-racial, gender inclusive, age diverse space designed for social and environmental justice activists. These plant and energy medicine technologies are rooted in Haitian Vodou  and Gaia Reiki, but people from all spiritual traditions are welcome. Dinner is potluck. Please bring a dish to share with 6-8 servings.

Agenda

  • 3:00-3:30 PM Opening, Grounding Ritual
  • 3:30-5:30 Wildcrafting, energy work, medicine making – baths for protection, recipes for interrupting harm, and practices for clarity
  • 5:30-6:00 Fortification Ritual
  • 6:00-7:00 Potluck dinner and share-out of movement strategies to protect our communities and ensure our survival in this time when the Empire is emboldened. (Come prepared to discuss your work.)

Cost: Sliding scale $10-30. No one is turned away for lack of funds.

 

REGISTER HERE 

Leah Penniman is a Queen Mother (Manye) in Vodun-Krobo and serves her community through spiritual activism, ancestor reverence, life cycle support, and sacred herbal baths.

Luana Morales is a Reiki Master Teacher, Birth and Bereavement Doula, Death Midwife, Moon Circle Facilitator, and Medicine Woman from the Boston area.

Ending Racism In the Food System – Strategy Workshop

Ending Racism in the Food System – Strategy Workshop

Saturday, June 10, 2017, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, @Soul Fire Farm

APPLY HERE

Workshop Goals

  • To understand how racism permeates our food system by exploring the historical and current examples of land theft, labor exploitation, racial violence, and frontlines resistance.
  • To reflect upon our current role as – farmers, activists, artists, and movement builders— in perpetuating or dismantling racism in the food system.
  • To develop relationships of mutual understanding and plan for collective action between organizations and individuals working on food justice in this region.
  • To develop concrete action plans to dismantle racism and other oppressions in the local food system.

Who Is Welcome? This program is designed for a multi-racial, multi-sector group of farmers and food justice activists committed to take action for an equitable food system. All adults are welcome to apply. We will select participants to ensure a diverse group in terms of ethnicity, gender, class, and sector. This is not a 101, so some familiarity with food justice is expected. 

What is the cost? The workshop is sliding scale $20-70. Lunch is potluck – please bring a dish with 6-8 servings. Snacks and tea provided by the farm.

Simplified Agenda

  • 9:00-9:15 Registration
  • 9:15-9:45 Welcome, Goals, Safer Space Agreements
  • 9:45-10:15 History of Institutionalized Racism in the Food System
  • 9:45-10:15 Reflection on Our Roles in the Food System
  • 10:15-10:30 Break
  • 10:30-12:00 Action Planning Part 1 – Problem Definition
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch Break
  • 1:00-2:00 Action Planning Part 2 – Organizational Self-Assessment
  • 2:00-3:30 Action Planning Part 3 – SMART Goals and Strategic Objectives
  • 3:30-4:00 Closing Circle and Reflections

APPLY HERE

Love Notes #3 – BLFI Deadline, Regional Organizing, and Water Magic

Love Notes #3 – February 22, 2017

Peace family,

Want to immerse in land-based healing and learn skills to feed your community? There are only 8 days left to apply for Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion by the priority deadline. Want to receive weekly deliveries of life-giving food to your doorstep? We still have openings in the Ujaama Farm Share! Want to bring youth to the farm? We are almost booked for our summer youth food justice program, so sign up now to schedule a visit… Read on for updates about regional organizing, upcoming events, and an exciting announcement.

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Just yesterday, we convened the first ever regional gathering of farmers and food justice leaders of color in the northeast. Among the POC-led formations represented were Rise and Root Farm, Wildseed Community Farm, Nuestras Raices, Gardening the Community, Corbin Hill Food Project, Wellington Herbs and Spices, Movement Ground Farm, and Soul Fire Farm. Our primary goals are mutual aid and joy-centered relationship building. We will be working toward a “food justice corridor” of people-information exchange in the region. The ages of farmers present ranged from 13 to 80. Ase-O!

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In this time of climate instability, careful water management is essential. With the permission of the Spirit of the pond, we are renovating it to once again serve as a reservoir for irrigation and fish habitat. What was recently only a few feet deep and clogged with silt will soon be 18 feet deep and hold over 60,000 gallons of water for the crops and wildlife. Water is life and without it we have no food for our community.

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Organize! Wintertime for Leah is very much about regional organizing for food justice and racial equity. She recently facilitated a training for student farmers at Farm School, MA (where she farmed as a teen) to help them craft business plans that integrate a social justice imperative. We’ve been working with the Young Farmers Network in Providence and Real Food Challenge on anti-racism strategy. We also collaborated with other farmers nationally to draft the first CSA charter and are supporting Young Farmers Coalition in conducting a national survey of our needs as farmers. The last of our winter speaking events are coming up – check us out at Williams College 2/24, Montclair State University 2/28, NOFA CT 3/11, Just Food Conference 3/12, and Eastern Mennonite University, 3/20-21.

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So about that book! It’s happening! For years, our community has been asking us to take all that we teach at Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion in terms of concrete farming skills, African ancestral agricultural practices, culturally relevant cuisine, strategies for accessing land and resources, et al into print. Specifics to be announced soon as deals are in the works, but trust that Farming While Black: A Practical Guide to Liberation on Land © will be in your hands sometime in 2018. We are super excited to uplift our people’s farming practices, like these Komye, Haiti farmers above who channel irrigated this degraded land to bring it back to life. We will be looking for a RESEARCH ASSISTANT to help with the book, announcement soon.

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The sap is rising in the trees and the snowpack is starting to melt. This means spring is almost here! To prepare for growing thousands of veggie seedlings, we are transforming one of the high tunnels into a heated, vented greenhouse. Please send Jonah hugs and warm energy – it’s been a challenging task to do all the necessary wiring in the cold of winter. Once finished, this will be a huge improvement from growing all of your seedlings sprawled out across of living room and kitchen. Jonah is also working to renovate the wood shop so that it’s suitable for teaching – we have our first natural builders immersion this fall. Upstairs from the shop will be some additional rustic lodging for program participants. Finally, Jonah is replacing the slop sinks and cobbled together shelves in the bathroom with real built ins for your washing comfort.

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In collaboration with local black women survivors, we are organizing a Transformative Justice training for the community, seeking mechanisms for community accountability that uphold the humanity of everyone involved and do not rely on the police state for enforcement. As part of the reflection process leading up to this training, we crafted our commitments to treating one another as fully human. We hope that love and justice advance inexorably in movement spaces.  

Our squad is complete! We are so excited to welcome Amani Olugbala back to the farm as our Food Justice Educator and Gabriela Alvarez as Kitchen Goddess. Amani is already live, having just met with Project Growth leadership team to start planning our 2017 “restorative justice” diversion program for court adjudicated youth. Full crew bios here.

Finally, we want to shout out our friend and board member, Tagan Engel, for her new podcast The Table Underground. She recently interviewed sisters Naima and Leah Penniman about heart-led activism – listen here.

 

Wishing you a gentle and powerful week!

Soul Fire Crew

I commit to treating others as fully human…

I have been heartbroken by the vitriolic attacks experienced by many members of our activist community – not in one situation, but in several, both online and offline. For several months I have been listening and supporting targeted individuals, helping with safety plans, reaching out to community accountability trainers in other communities for advice, and other such emotional labor. I want us to stop harming each other. Some of us are organizing and fundraising to bring a community accountability workshop to the area, details TBA. I have also been thinking about co-creating voluntary standards for how we treat one another in the movement. While I should have been sleeping but couldn’t because I love our people and was upset about harm, I drafted MY COMMITMENTS to YOU. It is my hope that all of our formations-collectives-organizations in the movement will have conversations and develop commitments as to how we treat each other. These will not all look the same. I hope that some of the language below catalyzes these important dialogues. We cannot succeed in building a just world if we are not reflecting those same values within our activist communities. 

I commit to treating others as fully human…

Because no one is disposable; because suicide is real; because our people have been through enough trauma; because even if we imagine what we believe or hear is the whole Truth, it can only be a partial truth; because all of us are human; because all of us are valuable; because all of us make mistakes and cause harm; because it’s easier to tear down than to build up; because the real “enemy” is white supremacist patriarchal capitalism, not one another; because relationships are not “zero sum” – for one person to be right, valuable, justified does not mean the other is wrong, invaluable, unjustified; because there is room for differences of identity, tactics, and beliefs; because the distance between humans in the online space engenders more vitriol and less understanding; because black and brown lives matter; because fear of being shut down silences voices we need to hear; because leading with love is revolutionary…

  • I will not participate in or condone bullying of any human being, online or offline. Specifically, I will not spread rumors, expose secrets, threaten, dehumanize, or recruit others to dislike specific individuals.
  • I will practice “both/and” thinking. No one knows everything or has the whole truth.  Together we know a lot.
  • I will practice self-focus language, using “I statements” rather than imagining that I speak for others or have access to some universal truth.
  • I will be aware of both my intent and impact. When someone tells me I am causing harm to them or others, I will listen, seek to understand, and take responsibility for changing my behavior when appropriate. I will apologize sincerely.
  • I will defer to “calling in”, not “calling out.” When someone behaves in a way that challenges my values, my first response will be to invite them into awareness rather than dismissing, shaming, or shunning them. I will ask someone to support me with this if I can’t/choose not to do it myself.
  • I will practice self-care. I will be patient and gentle with myself. I will take space when I need it, so I can show up fully.
  • I will ask questions before assuming. The best way to understand the choices, actions, or intentions of one another is by asking.
  • I will defer to face-to-face or voice-to-voice communication to resolve interpersonal challenges, rather than social media or mass email.
  • When others are in pain, I will show up for them and support them, to the extent that I am able.
  • I will not imagine that I have a monopoly on pain or that my suffering takes precedence over the suffering of others in my community.
  • I will not perpetrate violence against others – whether physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, spiritual, cultural, or verbal. I will not seek to harm other humans.
  • I will respect people’s emotional boundaries by obtaining explicit verbal consent before discussing personal or potentially triggering topics with them.
  • I will respect people’s physical boundaries by obtaining explicit verbal consent before touching them.
  • I will ask for help when I need it, not assume that others know what support I need.
  • I will be aware of my prejudices and my privilege and make space for others to be heard in the community.
  • I will take a deep breath before I speak or act, asking myself, “What do I seek to accomplish?” and “Will this action alleviate or cause harm?” I will be patient and present in my decision-making. .

“We must love and protect one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” ~Assata Shakur

 

Love Notes #2: Resistance Strategy and Sign Ups

Love Notes #2, January 24, 2017

By Leah Penniman

Resistance Strategies, New Farm Manager, Job Opening, Sign Ups for Everything, Winter Training, and “Love Will Triumph”

To be a revolutionary is to be rooted in uncompromising love of our people and love of the earth. I personally do not ascribe to the doctrine that we earn our “radical badge” by tearing down the work and personhood of others who may have different tactics or perspectives. I long for a movement community that can engage in rigorous critical dialogue that upholds the humanity and dignity of all who strive for justice. I am grateful for the “reformers” who work on the inside to change policies and create programs – in fact our diversion program for court-targeted youth is possible because of one such lawyer. I am grateful for those who put their bodies on the line, enduring hoses and tear gas to stop pipelines and bulldozers. I am grateful for the visionaries building just alternative institutions – from cooperative businesses to language justice collectives. I am grateful for the voices that speak out with harshness and anger, shaking the community from its complacency. I am grateful for the sometimes fumbling, well-intentioned words and actions of “allies” and their courage to change. All of us are necessary. None of us are disposable. Ase.

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Check out Climbing Poetree’s newest video “Love Will Triumph” starring our youngest Soul Fire Farmer, Emet! Thank you to Naima Penniman and Alixa Garcia for uplifting #solutionaries.

In this time with the Empire is emboldened, our resistance is imperative. It’s unlikely that we will be able to get any favorable federal legislation passed during this takeover, so we need to fortify the grassroots. It’s time to organize at the municipal and state level for sanctuary for immigrants, funding for social programs, and the dismantling of the prison-industrial complex. It’s time to organize folks with privilege to systematically and strategically redistribute wealth to frontlines communities. It’s time to put our backs and sweat into our community organizations – the food justice farms, local schools, health clinics, advocacy collectives, and other formations building alternatives to white supremacist capitalism. And it’s time for direct action – demonstrations, civil disobedience, and tactics of the ungovernable. A multi-pronged strategy is necessary, so let’s each find the intersection of our passion and what the world needs.

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It was powerful to be part of the largest demonstration in the memory of veteran Albany activists, as close to 10,000 people gathered to resist the xenophobic, sexist, racist agenda of the empire.

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Winter is rich with opportunities for community organizing and activist training. In the past couple of weeks we have been blessed to offer equity and justice training for Edible Schoolyard NYC, a “Social Justice on the Farm and in The Classroom” workshop for education students at Goddard College, and food justice and nutrition training at Globesity in Albany’s North End.

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Our farm team is almost complete! We are so excited to welcome Larisa Jacobson as our new Farm Manager. She is already hard at work on the crop plan and seed calendar for the season. Larisa has deep community organizing, international solidarity, and farming experience and “holds reverence for the healing power of art, music, and food and for lifting up the stories and agency of those at the margins and the in-between spaces.” You can see full bios for our squad here.

 

GET INVOLVED IN 2017!

  • Soul Fire Farm is hiring a Farm and Food Justice Educator for the summer. Apply now.

  • Applications are open for Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion, including the “train the trainer” track.

  • Let us feed you! Register now for the 2017 Ujaama Farm Share, 20 weeks of fresh veggies delivered to your doorstep in the food apartheid areas of Albany and Troy.

  • Volunteer! We welcome volunteers at our monthly community farm days. We also have opportunities for remote volunteering – research, writing, and speaking.

  • Registration is open for our summer youth food justice empowerment program. Please sign up.

 

Stay strong family. We got this.

 

Leah and crew