In the fall of 2021, Food for the Spirit recruited five Black farmers in the Genesee Valley Region to develop a collective marketing campaign for their farms and farm products.
We wanted to let the world know about the beautiful work Black farmers are doing in this region and connect the farmers with values-aligned markets and consumers for greater prosperity.
Why collective marketing?
Throughout history, people have found power in coming together in collective action. This means sharing resources and knowledge, amplifying each other’s work, and finding what we have in common in a world that makes us feel apart.
Why the Genesee Valley Region?
First, big thanks to the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets who are supporting this project. Second, we want to make sure the work Black farmers are doing in this part of New York State is seen, recognized, and connected to resources.
Is this for me?
Farmers were eligible who identify as Black (from African American ancestry) and either farm or sell their products within any of these nine counties of the Genesee Valley Region: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates.
How can I get involved?
Contact Rebekah Williams at Rebekah (@) foodforthespirit.org for more information and to get involved.
More details about this project and the farmers who participated can be found in this blog post. Click through to get the details.
Request supplies and materials for a Freedom Garden at your home by completing this form by Friday, May 7, 2021.
Through Freedom Gardens, 50 households in Buffalo will be supported in starting backyard or front-yard raised-beds and container gardens in their own homes at no-cost. If you are a resident of Buffalo living in any of the following zip codes- 14215, 14213, 14211, 14209, 14208, 14207, 14204- you are eligible to receive supplies and materials for a Freedom Garden at your home.
To request supplies and materials for a Freedom Garden at your home, please complete this form by Friday, May 7, 2021.
In 2019, we hosted Buffalo Food Sovereignty Week and it was a wonderful way to galvanize around the good work Buffalo Food Equity Network members and partners are doing in the community. (Click here to read about last year’s events). So this year we are doing it again!
In October 2020, during harvest season, local organizations are collaborating once again on several events to improve the health and economy for communities of color in Buffalo. With an emphasis on Black and Indigenous community members and food systems leaders, the events will bring Buffalo communities together to learn with and from each other.
- Gardening Days – On Saturday, October 10, Food for the Spirit will partner with Freedom Gardens, the Lincoln Memorial Church Garden and Food Pantry, Neuwater & Associates, and the CopperTown Block Club to host a Gardening Days event at two community garden sites stewarded by African American garden leaders in Buffalo. The virtual event will include stories of the garden and information about these important initiatives. All are welcome to join the virtual event, which will take place online on Saturday, October 10 at 10:00 AM. To register, visit http://bit.ly/GardeningDays2020.
- Freedom Gardens Harvest Celebration – On Tuesday, October 13, everyone is invited to join Freedom Gardens and Food for the Spirit for a celebratory event with Naima Penniman of Soul Fire Farm. This participatory and poetic event will feature inspiring solutions from Freedom Gardens, Soul Fire Farm, and solutions from other BIPOC-led organizations and movements, both past and present. All are welcome to join us on Tuesday, October 13 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. To register, visit https://bit.ly/3lxNLJh.
- Building Foundations for Food Sovereignty: Collective Leadership & Storytelling – On Wednesday, October 21, the Nexus Community Leadership Learning Initiative will co-host a “virtual visit” with members of the Buffalo Food Equity Network to learn about shared decision-making and leadership processes that are advancing food sovereignty in Buffalo, NY. All are welcome to join this virtual event, which will take place online on Wednesday, October 21 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM (EST). To register, visit http://bit.ly/BfloFoodStories2020_Registration.
Everyone is invited to these free and engaging public events! Come out to learn what is going on to make healthy and sustainable diets available and affordable to everyone.
[Click here to learn about the first session held on July 14, 2020, and click here to learn about the third and final session held on July 28, 2020.]
On Tuesday, July 21, we hosted the second 2020 session of Conversations on Race & Racism with over fifty people in attendance. A video recording of the second session is embedded below.
Two special guests were invited: Alison Espinoza of Rootworker’s Croft in West Bloomfield NY; and Jessica Gilbert from Rushville NY, who is also a PhD Candidate at the SUNY University at Buffalo and a food justice activist.
In 2020, Conversations on Race & Racism are sponsored by 13 libraries in the Pioneer Library Systems. A list of the sponsoring libraries are below.
For further inquiry, participants are encouraged to view a presentation by Chris Bolden-Newsome, an urban farmer and youth educator from Sankofa Community Farm, which is a part of Bartram’s Gardens in Philadelphia, PA. A link to the presentation and some questions to ponder are below.
For those of you who were unable to attend last Tuesday’s program, here it is on YouTube:
The link to the homework presentation is here: “Chris Bolden-Newsome” and here are some questions to consider while viewing or afterwards:
- How has your personal discomfort or hopelessness regarding the suffering of others led to apathy in your life? In what ways do you tune out to the suffering of others? In what ways might you tune in more to the suffering of others in a way that is productive and leads to action?
- What might be some opportunities that can emerge from this current racial and social crisis that we are in?
- What might it look like to willingly and intentionally engage in suffering or struggle together with those that are different then ourselves?
Here is a list of the libraries that sponsored this event:
- Naples Library
- Newark Public Library
- Wadsworth Library
- Marion Public Library
- Palmyra Community Library
- Lyons Public Library
- Geneva Public Library
- Livonia Public Library
- Victor Farmington Library
- Sodus Community Library
- Clyde-Savannah Public Library
- Gorham Free Library
- Macedon Public Library