Posted on May 6, 2016 By BBnomics With 5 comments

Top Five Black Farmers, Black Farming is back on the rise!

After a Century in Decline, Black Farmers Are Back and on the Rise

These Black farmers don’t stop at healthy food. They’re healing trauma, instilling collective values, and changing the way their communities think about the land.
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Blain Snipstal, second from left, with members of the Black Dirt Farm Collective. Photo courtesy Blain Snipstal.

Blain Snipstal and Aleya Fraser
Farm:Black Dirt Farm Collective
Location: Preston, Maryland
Number of Years Farming: 7
Revered Elder: Harriet Tubman

About 80 miles southeast of Baltimore, Black Dirt leases 2 acres that long have been home to the Black freedom struggle. Harriet Tubman once rescued her parents and nine other people from enslavement in this place, which was one of the first stops on the Underground Railroad.

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Vegan farmers JoVonna Johnson-Cooke and Eugene Cooke raise corn and other native crops at their Stone Mountain farm. Photo by Nicole Bluh.

Eugene Cooke and JoVanna Johnson-Cooke
Farm: Grow Where You Are Collective
Location: Atlanta and Stone Mountain, Georgia
Number of Years Farming: 14
Revered Elder: Wangari Maathai

Collaboration is also key for the nine members of the Grow Where You Are collective, who operate a 3-acre farm and food forest in Atlanta, as well as a 5-acre farm in the nearby rural community of Stone Mountain.

Yonnette Fleming holds a Rhode Island Red hen at the Hattie Carthan Community Garden. Photo by Quincy Ledbetter.

Yonnette Fleming holds a Rhode Island Red hen at the Hattie Carthan Community Garden. Photo by Quincy Ledbetter.

Yonnette Fleming
Farm: Hattie Carthan Herban Farm
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Number of Years Farming: 16
Revered Elder: Hattie Carthan

Yonette Fleming’s passion for agriculture comes through in the poetic urgency of her words. So it’s surprising to learn she once tried to escape it. She was raised in Guyana, where her family cooperated with indigenous communities to grow coconuts, sugar, rice, and other crops. She took a detour into corporate America before finding her way back to the land.

Lindsey Lunsford gathers peppers at TULIP’s community garden. Photo by Wil Sands.

Lindsey Lunsford gathers peppers at TULIP’s community garden. Photo by Wil Sands.

Lindsey Lunsford
Farm: Tuskegee United Leadership and Innovation Program (TULIP)
Location: Tuskegee, Alabama
Number of Years Farming: 2
Revered Elder: Booker T. Washington

The educator and activist Booker T. Washington once sent a letter to every resident of Tuskegee’s Greenwood neighborhood, encouraging them to grow home gardens in order to build self-sufficiency. Through her work with TULIP, Lindsey Lunsford is continuing his legacy.

Chris Bolden-Newsome shows off a basket of marshmallow root he grew at Bantram’s Garden. Photo by Owen Taylor.

Chris Bolden-Newsome shows off a basket of marshmallow root he grew at Bantram’s Garden. Photo by Owen Taylor.

Chris Bolden-Newsome
Farm: Community Farm and Food Resource Center at Bantram’s Garden (a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative)
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Number of Years Farming: 12
Revered Elders: Rufus and Demalda Newsome (his parents)

Before the “food justice” movement existed in the United States, Black farmers in the Mississippi Delta were cooperating to feed the community. Raised by farmers in that movement, Chris Bolden-Newsome assumed that growing food was something everybody did and was shocked to find otherwise when he moved north. He now manages a 50-bed community garden in his current home of Philadelphia, where he reconnects Black people to their agricultural heritage.

Source: Leah Penniman wrote this article for YES! Magazine. Leah is a farmer and educator based in the Albany, New York, area.

 

 

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5 comments

  • Dorothy Butler

    HELLO I’M INTERESTED IN BUYING WITH THE BLACK FARMERS BUT I ALSO NEED TO SPEAK WITH SOMEONE ON A CHILDREN GARDEN.

    PLEASE CONTACT ME AT
    267-414-9808

    February 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm Reply

  • bbellmarykay@hotmail.com

    Keep me posted, I would like to shop with the farmers in Atlanta

    July 11, 2016 at 1:21 pm Reply

  • Roy Walker Jr

    Black Farmer from CA

    May 19, 2016 at 10:44 pm Reply

  • DJ

    Anyone can be a farmer, but can you be a non-gmo organic farmer??? Now that’s revolutionary!

    May 15, 2016 at 9:55 pm Reply

  • Debra Brooks

    Yeah! Sometimes I think I am alone. Trained by farmers in Eagle Lake, TX, on their nature farm, I have been promoting healthy living via backyard gardening for 10 years. I am so proud of you “YOUNG BLACK ENTREPRENEURS”

    May 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm Reply