Category Archives: Love Notes Newsletter

LOVE NOTES – Righting History’s Wrongs, Strawberry Jam, and Climate Change

Announcements

  1. You probably noticed that we separated out the Love Notes from the weekly Ujaama Farm Share newsletter. If you are eager to discover what we are harvesting each week on the farm, you can still see the newsletter on our website.

  2. We want to see you! Some upcoming events that are still open include the Beatshot Music Festival this weekend, partial proceeds to Soul Fire. Then we have our August community work day.  There are also a few spots left in Unity Table’s “Bearing Witness to Land, Food, and Race” at Soul Fire Farm.

  3. Check out our latest media shout outs, including  a cover story in The Alt, and an article in Country Woman Magazine.

  4. Finally, please support the Victory Bus Project in getting a new van so that incarcerated people and their loved ones can stay connected and get farm fresh food. Thank you!

 

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Why are these folks bubbling over with joy and laughter? It’s because we just weeded the apple orchard and made space for an herbal understory of bee balm, chives, chamomile, echinacea and dozens of other plant allies. But more than that, we are happy because we spent a whole week together learning how to be activist-farmers as part of Session 1 of Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion. We explored our learning edges in community too – the ways we need to grow toward gender justice and toward accountability. As one participant shared,  “[This was a] dynamic once-in-a-lifetime experience, that opened my eyes to a completely new way of engaging and navigating systemic social violence and oppression. It helped me to regain my voice, not be afraid to share, to cry, to live.”

 

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There are no words big enough to say how much we love and cherish the youth that visit this land for healing and learning. Recently, we welcomed Malcolm X Grassroots Movement New Afrikan Scouts, Schenectady High School Roots, and Youth FX. We are nerds, so we love our farming-cooking-revolution-leadership curriculum, but the real magic is, “I found a snake!” then “Oooooh, let me hold it!” and “Do you want to hear a creation story about the snake?” and “Yes, we want to hear.”

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An old-timer neighbor of ours stopped to chat and shared, “I’ve been here for 40 years and have never seen rain like this. They say climate change isn’t real, but you know, they might be wrong.” We have had deluges of rain this spring, which does not bring out the best in our heavy clay, poorly drained soils. We are talking more seriously about what climate resiliency looks like – as warmer winters fail to reduce pest populations and floods leach nutrients. Pictured here, we break up cementy clods by hand (too wet for tractor) and press bean seeds in one-by-one (too wet to furrow.) Luckily, plants are committed to life and even send their roots upwards to avoid drowning!

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“Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years.” ~Wendell Berry  In the soils we workshop at the recent Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion, we explored soil texture, macro- and micro-nutrients, and amendments. Which, is a fancy way to say that we learned how to nurture the living substrate that feeds our people. Behind the scenes, we have been talking closely with some folks at the United States Department of Agriculture as well as private foundations about strategies for making sure these nascent farmer-activists-soil stewards get the land, credit, capital, and support they deserve. Let’s hope action follows words, but it is heartening to know there are individuals passionate about “righting history’s wrongs.”

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The SOULstice party is one those, “Is this really my life?” kind of days. Over 300 community members joining for our biggest celebration of life all year. Young ones rolled around on the newly built dance floor, pond lingerers enjoyed tacos or sushi or platano, the sun departed leaving a dusk rainbow… then a full lineup of local talent opened hearts – revolutionary, black, and earthy. Live drum dance circle by Jordan Hill and rhymes by Katani interspersed with DJ Truemaster’s beats, who outdid it again, keeping the dance floor lit until 4 AM when the rooster crowed. Campfire laughter as the sun rose, brunch on the grass, children building towers of scrap wood. Lingerers eating fish soup, breaking Ramadan fast, weeding kale, reflecting on the blessing it is to be here in this place, fully alive, tasting freedom. Thank you to all of the volunteers, friends, and family who made this weekend magical!

 

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What do the following things have in common? (1) reviving a family farm in VA (2) bringing teens to Ghana to study agriculture (3) starting gardens in Boston Public Schools (3) teaching food justice to engineering students (4) counseling children off of ADHD medication using diet (5) campaigning for healthier public school lunches? HINT: They are all examples of what graduates of Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion are doing to advance food sovereignty! We had our first ever BLFI Reunion bringing together 3 years of land-loving, committed visionaries. Pictured here, we cast our gratitude and intentions on these living waters.

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Emet is not-so-patiently waiting for the strawberry jam to be done so he can lick the pot. We had so much fun turning our fresh-picked Soul Fire strawberries into preserves for the families in the Ujaama farm share. Doing the extra for our people is our way of saying, “We love you! Thank you for being part of our extended family.”

Ujaama Farm Share CSA Week #4

We pray that this food nourishes your body and spirit! Thank you for being part of the Soul Fire Farm family. Enjoy the bounty of the land and the work of hands.

CONTENTS OF YOUR SHARE

  • Curly Green Kale (1 bunch)

  • Scallions (1 bunch)

  • Strawberry Jam infused with Chocolate Mint Leaves (1 jar) – Made from fresh strawberries and herbs on the farm. All natural and no preservatives – ingredients: strawberries, pectin, sugar, chocolate mint leaves. Please note: this is NOT shelf stable. Please keep refrigerated and use by 7/25/17. Please return the jars to your pickup or doorstep delivery spot for us to collect when you are finished.

  • Purple Top Turnips (1 bunch) – The greens are edible and delicious.

  • Salad Mix (about ⅓ pound)

  • Cilantro (1 small bunch)

  • Zucchini or Yellow Summer Squash (1-2)

  • Garlic Scapes (1 bunch) – Chop and use cooked like crisp, milder garlic, or blend into sauces and pestos.

  • Sugar Snap Peas (½ pound) –  Eat the whole thing – pod and all – raw, or lightly stir fry.

  • Optional: 1 dozen eggs

  • Optional: Zesty Sprout Mix

 

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RECIPE – Sauteed Turnips and Turnip Greens with Garlic Scapes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch turnips with their greens

  • 2-3 garlic scapes, chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or any mild oil

  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock

Directions

1. Thoroughly wash turnips, then trim greens from turnip bulbs. Set turnip greens aside to drain. Trim turnip bulb ends and thinly slice turnips. Then coarsely chop greens.

 

2. Heat garlic scapes in oil over medium heat in a large skillet until they begin to sizzle. Add the turnips and greens. Turn and coat with oil as you wilt the greens. Add broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes to soften.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

EVENTS: COMMUNITY DAYS. 8-1 Work and learn together. 1-2:30 Potluck lunch. August 26, September 23, October 28, and November 18. RSVP here.

WASH YOUR VEGGIES:  We DO NOT extensively wash veggies before delivering them to you.  We will do some washing if there is a lot of dirt on greens and we always rinse root crops.  In general, this allows the food to stay fresher longer. It also means you need to wash your veggies before consuming them. For greens: fill a bowl with cold water.  Soak greens in water for a minute.  Drain water and repeat two more times. Dirt will rinse to the bottom. Bugs should float to the top.

KEEP FOOD FRESH, EASY: Store leafy greens in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. To revive wilted greens, dunk them in ice water and dry in salad spinner or with gentle toweling. To make it easier to use greens on the go, wash and chop them in advance and store them in a sealed plastic bag. Then you can just grab a handful to add to your eggs, smoothie, soup, or sauté. Quick and easy.

CHICKEN FOR SALE: Farm-fresh, pasture raised chicken available for order. Please reserve your birds today.

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The Orisha Oya, a constant presence during Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion, comes with wind and storms, bringing fierce protection and deep transformation. Ase. Here we dance in celebration and gratitude after our last Hands on the Land together during BLFI Session 1, having just weeded the orchard perennial spaces where ancestral agroforestry practices live and grow.

Ujaama Farm Share CSA Week #3

Ujaama Farm Share CSA Week #3

We feel blessed to bring you these gifts of the land! Thank you for being part of the Soul Fire Farm family.

CONTENTS OF YOUR SHARE

Collard greens (1 bunch)
Lettuce (1-3 heads)
Green Goddess Mixed Herbs – recipe below! Includes some or all of these: chives (the dried flowers are edible and add flavor), oregano, parsley, mint, and dill (1 bunch)
Garlic Scapes (1 bunch) – Chop and use cooked like crisp, milder garlic, or blend into sauces and pestos.
Baby Beets with Greens (1 bunch) – The greens are edible and can be pan fried or used in salads and juices.
Sugar Snap Peas (¾ pound) – These are the lighter green peas. Eat the whole thing – pod and all – raw, or lightly stir fry.
Shell Peas (⅓ pound) – These are the darker blue-green peas. They have a tougher shell than snap peas that you don’t eat. Open up to reveal the peas inside and eat raw or cooked. Great for snacking!
Green Onions (1 bunch)
Optional: 1 dozen eggs
Optional: Mung Bean Sprouts

RECIPE – Green Goddess Dressing (Dairy-free and Egg-free Version)

Ingredients
1 bunch Green Goddess mixed herbs
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic scapes
3 Tablespoons apple cider or other vinegar
½ cup olive oil or any mild oil
½ teaspoon honey or maple syrup, or a pinch of sugar (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions
Wash herbs and strip the leaves from the stems into a blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Blend well until herbs are finely chopped and incorporated.

RECIPE – Baked Rice with Sugar Snap Peas
Adapted from Feeding a Family by Sarah Waldman. Serves 6.
Ingredients
4 Tablespoons olive oil or other oil
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic scapes
2 cups white rice (you can also use brown, and add a little extra liquid)
4 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
2 handfuls sugar snap peas, strings removed (bend an end and pull it down the length of the pea to string it)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter or non-dairy spread
2 handfuls Parmesan or other cheese (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In an oven safe pot that has a cover, heat the oil over medium heat, and add the chopped green onions and garlic scapes. Stir and cook until soft but not browned, then add the rice, stir to coat with the oil, and cook for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the broth or water to a boil in a separate pot. Pour over the rice mixture and bring back to a boil.
Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Take the pot out of the oven and add the snap peas, butter or non-dairy spread, and Parmesan or other cheese if using. Add salt and black pepper to taste and stir to combine.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

EVENTS: COMMUNITY DAYS. 8-1 Work and learn together. 1-2:30 Potluck lunch. August 26, September 23, October 28, and November 18. RSVP here.

WASH YOUR VEGGIES: We DO NOT extensively wash veggies before delivering them to you. We will do some washing if there is a lot of dirt on greens and we always rinse root crops. In general, this allows the food to stay fresher longer. It also means you need to wash your veggies before consuming them. For greens: fill a bowl with cold water. Soak greens in water for a minute. Drain water and repeat two more times. Dirt will rinse to the bottom. Bugs should float to the top.

KEEP FOOD FRESH, EASY: Store leafy greens in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. To revive wilted greens, dunk them in ice water and dry in salad spinner or with gentle toweling. To make it easier to use greens on the go, wash and chop them in advance and store them in a sealed plastic bag. Then you can just grab a handful to add to your eggs, smoothie, soup, or sauté. Quick and easy.

CHICKEN FOR SALE: Farm-fresh, pasture raised chicken available for order. Please reserve your birds today.


“Red beet, gold beet, striped beet, heartbeat, taste the love from every seed!” Farmers in Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion harvest beets for you in the high tunnel. Our hearts are full this immersion week with shared learning, song, and healing on the land.

Ujaama Farm Share CSA Week #2

We pray that this food nourishes your body and spirit! Thank you for being part of the Soul Fire Farm family. Enjoy the bounty of the land and the work of our hands.

CONTENTS OF YOUR SHARE

  • Rainbow Chard (1 bunch)
  • Napa cabbage or Bok Choi (1-3 heads) – Eat shredded in salads or cooked.
  • Parsley (1 bunch)
  • Garlic Scapes (1 bunch) – Chop and use cooked like crisp, milder garlic, or blend into sauces and pestos.
  • Easter Egg Radishes or Baby Purple Top Turnips (1 bunch) – Turnips can be eaten raw like radishes, roasted, or sliced and stir fried.
  • Sugar Snap Peas (1 pound) –  These are the lighter green peas. Eat the whole thing – pod and all – raw, or lightly stir fry.
  • Shelling Peas (¾ pound) – These are the darker more blue-green peas. They have a tougher shell than snap peas that you don’t eat. Open up to reveal the peas inside and eat raw or cooked. Great for snacking!
  • Lettuce (1-2 heads) or Salad Mix (about ½ pound)
  • Scallions (1 bunch)
  • Optional: 1 dozen eggs
  • Optional: Zesty Lentil & Mung Bean Sprout Mix
 
 

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RECIPE – Rainbow Chard Salad with Lemon and Breadcrumbs

 

We are grateful to CSA member Camar Diaz for sharing this recipe, closely adapted from alexandracooks.com and food52.com

 

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Rainbow Chard
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil or other oil, divided
  • 1½ cup breadcrumbs (or use almond meal or sunflower seeds for a gluten-free version)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped, or 1 garlic scape, very finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 lemon or 3 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice
  • ¾ cups grated Parmesan or other cheese (optional)

Makes 2 servings. This salad can serve more if you add the lettuce or salad mix or other vegetables (such as sugar snap peas, parsley, or thinly sliced radishes or turnips) from your share too and increase the lemon dressing amount made.

Directions
  1. Wash and dry the chard and remove the stems (save for cooking in another dish, or finely chop and add them to this salad). Stack some of the leaves and roll up Brazilian style into a long roll, then slice into ⅛ inch ribbons. Repeat to slice all of the leaves. Put into a large salad bowl.
  2. Heat ¼ cup olive or other oil over medium heat in a small skillet, add breadcrumbs (or almond meal or sunflower seeds, if using) and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted and golden. They will cook very fast so be careful not to burn them. Stir in the chopped garlic or garlic scapes, a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir and cook for another minute, then remove from heat.
  3. If using a lemon, grate the zest into the salad bowl with the chard, then slice and squeeze juice into a small bowl (or just add the bottled lemon juice). Add 2 pinches of salt and stir in the remaining ¼ cup of oil.
  4. If using cheese, add to the chard with some of the lemon dressing and toss to coat. Taste and add more dressing or salt if you like. Stir in the toasted breadcrumbs (or almond meal or sunflower seeds if using) and serve.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

EVENTS: COMMUNITY DAYS. 8-1 Work and learn together. 1-2:30 Potluck lunch. August 26, September 23, October 28, and November 18. RSVP here.

WASH YOUR VEGGIES:  We DO NOT extensively wash veggies before delivering them to you.  We will do some washing if there is a lot of dirt on greens and we always rinse root crops.  In general, this allows the food to stay fresher longer. It also means you need to wash your veggies before consuming them. For greens: fill a bowl with cold water.  Soak greens in water for a minute.  Drain water and repeat two more times. Dirt will rinse to the bottom. Bugs should float to the top.

KEEP FOOD FRESH, EASY: Store leafy greens in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. To revive wilted greens, dunk them in ice water and dry in salad spinner or with gentle toweling. To make it easier to use greens on the go, wash and chop them in advance and store them in a sealed plastic bag. Then you can just grab a handful to add to your eggs, smoothie, soup, or sauté. Quick and easy.

CHICKEN FOR SALE: Farm-fresh, pasture raised chicken available for order. Please reserve your birds today.

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Alumni of Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion gather for our first ever REUNION! Here we give thanks to the Earth by offering maize and sacred plants to the water, adorned with song.

Love Notes – Chamomile, Mindfulness, and Speaking Truth When It’s Hard

Love Notes – June 22, 2017

Chamomile, Mindfulness, and Speaking Truth When It’s Hard

 

Announcements

  1. Unity Tables is hosting a “Bearing Witness to Land, Food, and Race” mindfulness retreat at Soul Fire Farm this fall. We will be facilitating some of the sessions. Please join us. http://www.unitytables.org/

  2. The Summer SOULstice Party is this Saturday with DJ Truemaster, performances by Climbing Poetree, Katani, Taina Asili and more, live drumming, food vendors, and beautiful community.

  3. Check out our latest media shout outs – this article in Alternet, an interview on Contemporary Black Canvas, and our presentation at the Holyoke Food Justice Conference. Thanks of uplifting our story!

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The deluge of cool rains and persistence of overcast skies have given way to the generous sunshine of summer. And the plants are reaching up for Her, both the crops and the weeds. Our hard-working farmer team – Keidra, Jas, Larisa – have been putting in long hours to get the seedlings into the ground, harvest the crops for the Ujaama Farm Share that started this week, and protect the tender young leaves from hungry insects. We give thanks to everyone who has been showing up for community farm days to pitch in with the weeding, fencing, and clearing necessary to keep the farm ecosystem intact. Here, we liberate the bean crop from ambitious grasses.

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“We have to remember the importance of eulogizing people while they are alive.” Yesterday’s visit from the Drive Change team was just that – making space in ceremony to honor these citizens returning from incarceration who are part of a culinary training program in the food truck industry. We offered land, food, healing spirit bath, drum, and song. They offered one another stories of what each means to each, how their brotherhood has inspired wholeness. Lots of tears were shed in the sacred space. Here, we ponder the parallels between the tenderness shown to young seedlings and the tenderness that we need to offer one another in the human family.

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Part of our sovereignty is learning and practicing self-healing. Here, Emet teaches our guest how to harvest chamomile and it’s power to help with sleep, colds, and skin ailments. One of our visitors, Jaquim, took extra time to save one chamomile plant that was entangled with weeds, staking and tying it with grass to give it extra support. He named this plant Jaquim-omile and will be checking up on it’s thriving.

 

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Ayiti Cherie! We are bursting with excitement that our sister farms in Komye, Haiti are coming back stronger after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, which wiped out almost all their crops. When we were there in January, we supported them in installing irrigation for dozens of farms to allow replanting in the dry season. We also helped catalyze a peanut growers seedsaving collective. They just sent us this photo of the peanut growers picking up their allotment of seed and preparing to plant. Ayibobo!

 

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This past month, we had the opportunity to speak at the Community Food Funders annual gathering as well as to the New York State Health Foundation. It’s both a challenge and a sacred duty to learn how to speak in truth and integrity in spaces where resource and privilege are concentrated. Here we are all calling our ancestors for guidance as we do the work of uprooting oppression in the food system.

 

The land’s heart is thawing as it is kissed with the bare feet of children’s steps. Our youth food justice program is in effect with recent workshops for Albany District Links, Albany Juneteenth, and Carroll Hill Elementary School. Check out this video of the Troy elementary school students singing about seeds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejROXqB_sVo

 

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Committed food justice activists gathered at Soul Fire Farm for a training and strategy session on uprooting systemic racism in their organizations and it society at large. Each participant experienced embodied, historical analysis of the problems and worked on solution-oriented action plans. Accountability partners will check in with one another to support the implementation of these plans. At the center is the altar, built by guest facilitator Nailah, where we offered maize, gratitude, and intentions.

 

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Farmers Jonah and Jas enjoy some sweet, cold bubble tea after delivering 83 bags of vegetables to people’s doorsteps in Albany and Troy. Thank you for the blessing of being your farmers! We pray that the food nourishes you body and spirit.

Ujaama Farm Share CSA Week #1

We pray that this food nourishes your body and spirit! Thank you for being part of the Soul Fire Farm family. Enjoy the bounty of the land and the work of our hands.

 

CONTENTS OF YOUR SHARE

 

Kale – 1 bunch

Lettuce – 1-2 heads

Bok choi – 1-2 heads

Cilantro – 1 bunch

Radishes or Rainbow Chard – 1 bunch

Sugar Snap Peas – 1/4 pound

Salad Mix – about 1/3 pound

Green onions – 1 bunch (all of the green tops can be used)

 

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RECIPE – Sweet and Tangy Kale and Bok Choi

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch kale, washed and coarsely chopped

  • 1-2 heads bok choi, sliced into 1/4″ strips

  • 1/2 bunch green onions, green tops only, sliced

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root (optional)

  • 1 Tablespoon oil

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 3-4 Tablespoons sugar or honey (depending on how much sweetness is desired)

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

1. Put chopped kale, green onions and bok choi in a large colander, sprinkle salt over and mix in well. Leave to drain 1/2 hour, then rinse well with water, squeezing greens slightly to wring out liquid. Transfer to a bowl and mix in ginger if using.

 

2. Bring oil, vinegar, and sugar or honey to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over greens. Add red pepper flakes if using and mix well. This tastes best at room temperature or chilled as a refreshing zingy salad.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

EVENTS: COMMUNITY DAYS. 8-1 Work and learn together. 1-2:30 Potluck lunch. August 26, September 23, October 28, and November 18. RSVP here. You are also welcome to attend our SOULstice party this weekend.

 

WASH YOUR VEGGIES:  We DO NOT extensively wash veggies before delivering them to you.  We will do some washing if there is a lot of dirt on greens and we always rinse root crops.  In general, this allows the food to stay fresher longer. It also means you need to wash your veggies before consuming them. For greens: fill a bowl with cold water.  Soak greens in water for a minute.  Drain water and repeat two more times. Dirt will rinse to the bottom. Bugs should float to the top.

KEEP FOOD FRESH, EASY: Store leafy greens in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. To revive wilted greens, dunk them in ice water and dry in salad spinner or with gentle toweling. To make it easier to use greens on the go, wash and chop them in advance and store them in a sealed plastic bag. Then you can just grab a handful to add to your eggs, smoothie, soup, or saute. Quick and easy.

CHICKEN FOR SALE: Farm-fresh, pasture raised chicken available for order. Please reserve your birds today.

 

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Shaq and kaolin clay get along very well. He’s brushing the paste onto cucumbers to protect them from bugs and then adorning himself for good measure, during last week’s youth programs.

Love Notes #6 – Magical Rooster, Black-Brown Solidarity, and Movement Ripples

Announcements

  • The summer SOULstice Party is going to be lit this year, with DJ Truemaster on the tables, performances organized by B.L.A.C.K. (Black Lives a Creative Kaleidoscope), and talented local food vendors. It’s a benefit with all performers volunteering, so please bring some flow to donate at the door and buy a t-shirt.

  • Our next community farm day is June 17 – join us for “hands on the land,” potluck lunch, and tour/discussion. We don’t have any public days again until August, so we hope to see you!

  • We have been working with other frontlines farmers and organizers across the country to define actions steps to end racism in the food system. Check out our early draft and share. It’s a longer version of what came out in our most recent YES Magazine! Article.

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Amani explains to Troy youth how the high tunnel is a climatic portal to South Carolina.

Keidra, one of the Soul Fire farmers, challenges us to ask one another and the earth, “How can I love you more?” In regards to soil, that love has come in the form of thoughtful and calculated additions of organic matter and cover crops, and strategies to move away from tillage. It has also meant increasing the number of medicinal and ancestral herbal perennials we grow, as well as culturally significant crops like fish pepper, a plant with deep roots in the Black south and Caribbean. That love has also come in the form of asking the earth for what is needed and trusting the outcome. We had a very aggressive rooster in the flock that attacked the farmers and did not respond to our domicility training, even when Jonah carried him around for hours sweet talking him. The farmers casually “wished” for a rooster replacement program, and days later a majestic white rooster emerged from the forest (no, roosters do not live wild in the forest in normal reality), circled the field for a few days, then jumped over the fence to challenge the original rooster. The visiting rooster won the battle and took over the flock, interacting gently with both hens and farmers. We are left wondering, “Can we ask for something bigger?”

 

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Ever been giddy about a board meeting? We are! These are some of the dedicated folks behind the scenes, plus Jalal, Naima, and Elena. Photo credit: Tagan Engel

 

The solutions to the world’s food crisis exist at the intersection of the wisdom of those who work the land. One of the most beautiful unfoldings of the past months has been the farmer-to-farmer exchange across the northeast, bridging the sometimes divide between Black and Brown. Over the winter, we convened the first gathering of farmers and food justice leaders of color, and since then, have been visiting and offering support to one another’s projects. For example, we visited the nascent Global Village Farms outside of Worcester, MA, which centers the food and land needs of the First Nations people of that region, including stewarding the sacred stones of the Hassanamesit Woods. There, we were able to offer crop planning and marketing strategic support. From there, we visited two sister farms in PA, Owen’s seedkeeping farm and Sankofa farm in Philly. We also had our first ever predominantly Spanish-language community farm day last weekend with volunteers from Nuestras Raices and Hudson Valley Farm Hub. After the work was done and bellies full, many lingerers climbed trees and watched tadpoles near the newly renovated pond.

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Farm tour with simultaneous Spanish-English interpretation by farmer Raul.

 

While it is a little embarrassing to share, it also seems important to let you know that we have received abundant recognition in the past months for our food sovereignty leadership. We accepted a book deal with Chelsea Green Publishing to write Farming While Black: A Practical Guide to Liberation on Land, which will turn the Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion curriculum (times 10) into a full color, full length book, estimated to be on the shelves October 2018. Leah also accepted a Soros Racial Justice Fellowship which will fund the book and accompanying train the trainer program. We received the Community Food Funder champions award and the Food Project Leadership Award. We also accepted the Claneil Emerging Leaders Award. We hope that you will accept these honors along with us – because it’s the amazing work of our alumni, the tireless dedication of volunteers, the courage of our youth, and the wise input of this community that makes Soul Fire Farm possible.

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Holyoke Food Justice conference organized by Nuestras Raices. Lot of crying was taking place – which is a sign of real talk and open hearts. Loved it.

 

Our youth programs this season are off to a powerful start. We worked with School 12, an alternative high school program in Troy NY over a 2-day period. First, we guided the entire student body through a workshop on resource equity and systemic bias. The students came to the farm next day to learn composting, mulching, and perennial planting – but more than that, practices in respect for life and listening deeply to nature’s lessons. We also worked with homeless youth at Albany’s Equinox Youth Transition Shelter, teaching how to analyze nutrition labels and resist false advertising. Cohoes High School alternative program came out to the farm and were super excited about the power of herbal medicine and the capacity of Haitian stone balancing to calm the mind. We also welcomed the CEIO social justice crew from New Haven and Darrow School students on a service learning project. Together, we not only planted some beets, but headed to the Peace Pagoda Buddhist Temple nearby to help get the grounds ready for the Buddha’s birthday ceremony.

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Farmer Jas plants potatoes as we were taught by Brazilian farmers. It’s been powerful to increase our knowledge and practice of Diasporic farming methods.

 

While our public speaking season has made way for the on-farm programming season, we did manage a couple more talks this past month. The Holyoke Food Justice Conference was amazing – with almost all frontlines speakers including representatives from several tribal nations. We got to speak right after one of our heroes, Ricardo Salvador, from Union of Concerned Scientists. We also offered a tour to attendees at the National Farm Viability Conference and got connected to some folks from Tuskegee Institute, the OG of Black American agriculture. Finally, it was an honor to be able to speak on immigrant rights at the May Day Huelga! Protest in Albany. Black and brown solidarity is imperative.

 

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Tending the onions at our first ever, predominantly Spanish community day.

 

Please join us in welcoming two more Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion  “train the trainers” to our 2017 class. We are crazy happy for last year’s trainers who are running their own farms and culinary businesses, and organizing for food justice. We can’t wait to see what this year’s class will do!

 

Ulum Pixan Athohil Suk’il (Bird Spirit) – Also known as Dania Alejandra Flores-Heagney (colonizer Name) – is an indigenous mixed Woman (Maya, Xinca, Garifuna, Russian Jew and ladino), a mother and Grand mother, born in Guatemala, mesoamerica, after moving to the US in 1999, She has always organized in her country around aboriginal, women’s, language issues and the environment, she continue her work here in the U.S. as a volunteer, staff and consultant. She is a board member of the Environmental Justice league of Rhode Island, now the Farming Director at Global Village Farms and Access Co-op member owner. Ulum is a critical thinker, advocate and activist – Co-founder of Indigenous Peoples Network of RI and MA a collaboration with local indigenous peoples and people all over the state recognizing our ancestral struggles and forming unity by sharing resources, technologies and ancestral knowledge.

 

 

Cristal Alba is a border dweller from the deserts of southern califas, mestizx child to Mexican immigrants with Purepecha roots from the Jalisco and Michoacan regions. They began farming with their brother and cousin, growing and harvesting medicinal herbs, matas de chile, and jitomates. Two years ago, they moved to Chicago where they now grow indoors using aquaponic systems of food production and working at the Plant, a community of small sustainable food producers, running a farmers market for the Back of the Yards neighborhood of south Chicago.

 

Love and blessings,

 

The Soul Fire Farm Family

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.