The interviews, pictures and abundant information gathered from farmers of color this spring and summer are underway to be transplanted and transformed into the Color of Food book.
But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about making all that work possible, over the next estimated year, while trying to keep my own head above water.
For the past two years I’ve been making my way, trading farm work for room and board, working odd jobs, living off my minuscule savings and taking the occasional open couch invitation from family and friends. All because I have been driven to dig.
An insatiable hunger for digging into the food system has consumed me. Digging my hands into the soil; digging into the lives of our forgotten farmers; digging down into the true meaning of community, sovereignty and justice; and digging underneath the many layers of ugliness, intertwined with resilient beauty, which comprise our agricultural system.
The journey it’s led me on is comprised of its own layers; layers of success and excitement along with those of worry and hard times.
With the state we’re in today, it’s no secret that society puts value on the wrong things. Hardly anybody wants to truly help our farmers. Young farmers are struggling to find money for land. And it’s as if folks are trying to get blood from a stone when applying for funding with amazing projects in agriculture and urban food systems that would change the world.
So you can imagine my despair over the years in asking myself if I could really find the support to do this work. I’ve been caught in the impossible Catch 22 that so many of my fellow activists, farmers and dreamers are caught in: clawing for the time and support to realize our movement’s dreams while facing the nightmares of its reality.
In short, since Brown Girl Farming and the Color of Food’s inception, I’ve been asking myself “how the hell am I going to pull this off with impact, living as a dirt poor, land-less farmer with no voice to be heard?”
Then, somehow, you all gave me a voice. A collective voice growing with every farmer and food sovereignty-passionate person that showed interest. You all eased my worry and gave me hope for these crazy project ideas. The support for this documentary getting off the ground poured out in a huge way.
And just when I returned home, trying to make impossible calculations like Mitt Romney on how to close the gap in what is needed to complete this project and publish the Color of Food book, the voice you all created was heard.
I’m writing all this to say that today the Color of Food received funding that will ensure the completion, the printing and publication of the photo documentary book on farmers of color across this country! Farm Credit has gotten behind us, and I can’t thank them enough.
A huge thanks to all of you donors, readers and media who have showed interest and helped spread the word about this blog and the Color of Food.
I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to keep on diggin’.