Love Notes – climate justice, tomato suckers, and living as if we have arrived

Soul Fire Farm Love Notes, September 2017



What does lettuce intercropped with broccoli have to do with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Katrina? So much. The impacts of global climate chaos are disproportionately impacting people of color and communities without wealth and societal power. Immediate disaster relief and spiritual support for people is imperative. We also need to halt and reverse climate change now as a matter of survival. Our Indigenous-African ancestors gave us the technologies to farm in harmony with the atmosphere and ecology; intercropping, mulching, reduced tillage, and cover crops actually trap carbon in the soil, where it belongs. Agriculture is the #1 driver of climate change and producing food correctly can be at the root of the solution.



  • We hope to see you at one of our upcoming public events, Harriet’s Apothecary Healing Village on September 17, a food justice discussion at Columbia University on September 25, and our fall community farm days.

  • Help us end all forms of state-sanctioned violence by attending the CAAMI Forum to End Prison Abuse Sept 11 and the Weaving a World Without Violence conference Sept 14-15. Our sibling activist organizations in the Capital Region are making these events possible, and Soul Fire Farm salad will there to taste!

  • We are thrilled to welcome our newest farmer, Damaris, to the Soul Fire Farm team. She has experience working on the land from the Carolinas to the Himalayas and brings a deep love of justice and reverence for the earth.



We have had the honor to train and learn from 93 new farmers, 313 youth, and 552 community activists so far in 2017. The summer programming season is so intense, there is not always time to reflect on its power and magic! We finished up our first ever Black Latinx Farmers Immersion 2.0 for more advanced growers, and one participant earned university credit for their work through Goddard College. We offered 1:1 consulting sessions with every participant to help them access the resources needed to manifest their community food sovereignty visions. We are taking power back!


We are learning lessons in pruning by following the example of the tomato. In this skit, BLFI participants demonstrate how the suckers (succulent side shoots) of a tomato mirror the enticing overcommitments of modern life. While it’s painful, the suckers must be removed for the plant to thrive. We also have to choose fewer foci so that we can do this social justice work from a place of wholeness and self-love.



Everyone belongs here on this land, in this community. We have intensified our efforts this year to make sure that our actions align with our values to include people in our programs regardless of documentation status, age, gender, ethnicity, and other intersectional identities. This has meant self-education as well as action to update safer space guidelines, provide childcare, and fundraise for #solidarityshares to get food to families of immigrants and refugees. If you have not already spoken up to save DACA, please take a moment to act now.




Finally, please check out the beautiful alumni photo cards created by our Board members Taina and Kristin, with volunteer support. We are so honored to be connected to these powerful individuals.



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Times are challenging. This is not new, but perhaps the awareness of the struggle is intensified through our online interconnectedness. Even as we continue to work for our dignity and sovereignty, we need to live as if we have arrived.


Look up at the sky. Dance. Love.


In solidarity,


Leah, Jonah, Larisa, Amani, Damaris