LOVE NOTES – miracle veggies, Van Jones kind words, and coming alive!


Harvest Gratitude


The people of color caucus of our 1st ever multiracial Uprooting Racism in the Food System Immersion, discusses identity and belonging while giving love to the turnips. ~Oct 2017.

As the frost bites back even the hardy plants and outdoor programs give way to off-farm community organizing, the stillness invites us to offer gratitude. Since we last sent you a love note, we have experienced many blessings for which we give thanks.

Thank you to the ~90 folks that come out each month for our community farm days, blessing the land with your hard work and laughter. Thank you to the institutions and collectives that have invited us to speak, mobilize, and organize on the mic – namely Omega Institute, Skidmore College, Widening the Welcome, and Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference. Thank you to our incredible farm and program team – Damaris Miller, Amani Olugbala, Larisa Jacobson, Jonah Vitale-Wolff, and Leah Penniman, 100% of whom are sticking together for 2018. Thank you to WHYY for powerful radio spot and BALE for making a documentary that includes us. Thank you to everyone who donated to our sibling farm, Finca Conciencia in PR, still recovering from Hurricane Maria. Thank you for all the love and support you have been offering as we undertake the monumental task of writing Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Definitive Guide to Liberation on Land. And most importantly, thank you to the Land for bringing forth astounding bounty for our community. We hope you enjoy a few images from our autumn!

When I get my box of vegetables, I pick up each one in my hand and think how much hard work is required. I look at each one and say “This is a miracle.” ~Jun San 2017 (Image of Week 20 Ujaama Farm Share box)

“We had those people from Soul Fire up here. I notice when they were doing their thing, that they are expressing a higher civilization than the one I live in every day. It’s roots go back much further in terms of the history that’s present for them, the healing is much more present than this fight I’m in on television each day, and the vision is much more powerful. Just like a seed, they are very small right now, but I don’t know if they don’t contain some future that’s viable just like a seed does. I would have to sit in the front row and listen to them talk for a couple of weeks before I could begin to catch up to where they are.”  Van Jones, Being Fearless Conference, October 2017

“The 2017 BUGS conference was one of my most powerful experiences in my recent work around anti racism and food justice. It completely reignited my flame as winter approaches and gave me a chance to honestly reflect on my unique role and vision several transformative project seeds that I am eager to water into a world where folks are more fed more filled and more free. I️ am most grateful to have had the honor of attending. My biggest takeaway was around the power of myth and the stories we tell ourselves. My goal is to inspire the next cohort of laypersons turned Food Justice Advocates through creativity collectivism and imagination and to enact new stories that center empathy and healing.” ~Amani Olugbala, Soul Fire Farm Assistant Program Director, (Photo of Soul Fire Alumni having dinner after Black Farmers Conference, Nov 2017)

“According to African-American philosopher and Civil Rights leader, Howard Thurman, your task is not to ‘ask yourself what the world needs; [rather to] ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’ I believe that the thing that makes you come alive is integral to your destiny and will manifest if you put your prayers up and your hands to work. Do not be intimidated by the entirety of the journey, just take one step in the direction of your dream and let your ancestors help you with the rest.” (Except from Farming While Black, Chapter 2, To be published by Chelsea Green Fall 2018.)