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Archive for June, 2012

Beverly and granddaughter, Allayla, with seedling on Three Sisters Farm

I found myself in Shannon, North Carolina, home to the Catawba and Carolina Siouan tribes and where Beverly Hall of American Indian Mothers and her family of Iroquois, Algonquian and Siouan peoples have been living and farming for generations.

It was when Beverly began to see the elders in her home health work not receiving enough food or receiving unhealthy food from government programs that her and her community started the food bank and community garden programs. “ We don’t want to be dependent on others,” says Beverly.

Out of this work came the farm, Three Sisters Farm, where beans, corn and squash are grown according to the Iroquois Three Sisters practice which is rich in mythological, botanical and cultural history and serves as a trio of complimentary nutrition.

American Indian Mothers has various programs in the garden, helping the community and preserving and portraying the contributions the Native community (as well as other communities) have brought to agriculture and food in the area.

These posts are just small excerpts from the upcoming Color of Food / photo documentary book.  The COLOR of FOOD/ photo documentary tour is currently en route through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona! Please remember to keep $upporting this journey and the farmers’ stories!
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Tahz Walker and Cristina Rivera Chapman run Tierra Negra Farm , NC

I could write a book solely based on my visit with these two inspiring, beautiful souls. Their work, knowledge, experience and practices in community and land is priceless. I left Tierra Negra Farm with a hope that more young farmers like them will lead the way for the future of agriculture and community healing.

Tahz and Cristina are deeply involved with their community, both with fellow young people of color passionate about growing food and sustaining the land, as well as the elders and Natives of their area. “We have to understand when working the land here that people have their people beneath our feet,” says Cristina, “[their] mentorship and eldership is everything.”

Cristina and Tahz have helped start some great community initiatives, like their Just Us dinners, where they get together with their community for potlucks and a space to test out food/farming ideas and workshops. The need for the Just Us dinners was realized when they saw the food movement in Durham excluding people of color.

In an effort to save the many gems of information Cristina and Tahz shared for when the Color of Food book is out, I’m going to keep it short here (sorry! I will actually start shortening all the farmer profiles I post while on the road, it’s hard to type and drive!), though I would otherwise spill over here with their ideas and perspectives on race, community and farming.

‘Until the book! 😉

These posts are just small excerpts from the upcoming Color of Food / photo documentary book.  The COLOR of FOOD/ photo documentary tour is currently en route through Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico! Please remember to keep $upporting this journey and the farmers’ stories!

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