In the early 1920s, almost 1 million Black farmers owned 14% of American farmland, but that story is vastly different today. According to the Baltimore Sun, Black farmers lost an astonishing 90% of their land over the years, and today fewer than 50,000 African American farmers, out of a total 3.4 million farmers, remain in business. Farming as a strong source of livelihood for people of African descent is now a distant memory.
That’s why our next guest, Ashanti Williams, is such an inspiration to us. As a Black female farmer, raised and nurtured by activists and land stewards of the Carolinas and the Bronx, Ashanti is passionate about working and learning alongside animals in an effort to create sustainable farm systems that are accessible to Black people. The access to safe learning environments around raising animals as a person of color has not been readily available to her which propelled her to work towards creating them with the Black Yard Farm Collective.
The Black Yard Farm Collective was created by five young Black and Latinx farmers/entrepreneurs in the Bronx working together to build a supportive community for Black farmers and creatives. In their words: It's no coincidence that the people in this country who are most affected by food insecurity have the least access and control of the production of our food. This needs to change. It is crucial that we have autonomy over our food system. The Black Yard Farm Cooperative is dedicated to disrupting the racist and exclusionary spaces that prevent Black farmers from connecting to the land and healing.
In this episode we discuss:
Thanks for stopping by Green Willow Homestead! From chicken rearing to composting, we've got our hands full and we love sharing what we've learned along the way. Follow along as we turn the 80 acres we call home into a farm that serves its community and a homestead that nourishes us throughout the seasons.
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Favorite Books of 2022
2. Braiding Sweetgrass
3. As Long As Grass Grows
4. The Small Scale Poultry Flock
5. The Zero Waste Solution