LOVE NOTES – Joyous MLK Day, and Registration OPEN for 2018 Immersions, Farm Share, and more!

“At the very same time that America refused to give the Negro any land, through an act of Congress, our government was giving away millions of acres of land in the West and the Midwest, which meant that it was willing to undergird its White peasants from Europe with an economic floor. But not only did they give the land, they built land grant colleges with government money to teach them how to farm. Not only that, they provided county agents to further their expertise in farming. Not only that, they provided low interest rates in order that they could mechanize their farms. Not only that, today many of these people are receiving millions of dollars in federal subsidies not to farm and they are the very people telling the Black man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps. This is what we are faced with and this is a reality. Now, when we come to Washington in this campaign, we’re coming to get our check.”

~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1968 (watch the video)

REGISTRATION IN OPEN!!!

  • Ujaama Farm Share (CSA): Soul Fire Farmers will lovingly grow and deliver 20 weeks of fresh vegetables right to your doorstep in our partnership neighborhoods in Albany and Troy. The cost is sliding scale and we accept SNAP.

  • Black Latinx Farmers Immersion: Spend a week at Soul Fire Farm learning how to grow food and reclaim your personal food sovereignty. There are 5 sessions to choose from, including a Spanish-interpreted immersion in the fall.

  • Community Farm Days: Once every month, this sacred land is open to the public for “konbit” – a collective work party, potluck lunch, and tour. Open to all ages and ability levels.

  • Youth Food Justice Programs: Bring your youth group to the farm for a day or overnight visit to learn skills in food justice leadership, farming, cooking, and connecting to nature. The program is free or sliding scale, based on organizational capacity.

  • Save the Date: The dates are set and registration will open soon for the Builders Immersion, Black Latinx Youth Immersion, BLFI Reunion Campout, Uprooting Racism workshops, and more. Stay tuned!

These brave land warriors traveled through wind and snow, from PA, NY, MA, NH, and RI to be in community with other regional farmers of color. We cozied up around the wood stove to share stories of triumph and challenge during our 2017 season and continue to make connections of mutual aid between us, sprinkled with interludes of song, ritual, and laughter. We are birthing an exciting reparations project to catalyze the transfer of land and resources to the next generation of farmers of color. Stay tuned for how you can get involved.

This winter has been about focus and joyful productivity. With the plant roots resting under a frozen crust of snow, the programs thin out and the infrastructure projects resume. In just a few months, we have nearly finished the carpentry shop and canopy lodging, installing the wood stove and burning the first fires. We installed plumbing to bring water to the greenhouse and for new outdoor showers that will serve the campers coming for programs. We repaired railings, cabinets, and shelves worn out from the 1000’s of visitors to the “hive.” Thank Goodness for toe warmers, because the weather has not been gentle.

This winter has also been about community organizing! We hosted a series of Soul Food dinners in Troy to cook heritage meals together and discuss food justice. We spoke at the local Kwanzaa and MLK celebrations as well as the NYS Health Foundation and the Young Farmers Conference where our alums took a stand, demanding that the food “movement” be accountable to communities of color. We are working with youth in the local schools on personal food sovereignty and deepening our support for our alumni network through consultations and resource hook ups.  Finally, we are collaborating with AVillage and other partners to strengthen the South End Community Farmers Market.

Photo Credit: Jamel Mosely

More!!!

  • Check out Soul Fire Farm calendula seeds at TrueLove Seeds, a radical seed keeping business with a mission to keep alive our sacred seed heritage and promote community food sovereignty. Buy your garden seeds from TrueLove this year!

  • We are almost done drafting Farming While Black, Soul Fire Farm’s Definitive Guide to Liberation on Land. This book will be published by Chelsea Green in the fall of 2018. Stay tuned for updates.

  • Defeat the new Bracero bill that would cut farm workers wages and rights. Those that grow our food deserve dignity and protection under the law.

  • Thanks to YOUR resistance, we temporarily halted a draconian prison package policy that would prevent incarcerated New Yorkers from receiving fresh vegetables, among other essential items. Don’t sleep though – keep pressuring to humanize the system.

  • Check us out on NPR! We are so grateful that the media is centering the food and land movements. To free ourselves we MUST feed ourselves.

  • Finally, be sure to check out our Annual report. We worked with over 4,500 people last year toward community food sovereignty and are so grateful for all you did to uplift this sacred effort.

 

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