Sisters, Joyce and Carol, making each other laugh on their farm in Burgaw, NC
Carol Jackson and Joyce Bowman are the coolest sisters farming this side of the Mississippi. As soon as I met Carol – nicknamed “Sensei” by those that know her well, for her bad ass jiu–jitsu skills – she invited me into her home and we sat and talked for hours, sitting stretched out on her wood floor petting her dog Sasha. We talked of the joy growing food gives her and her sister; we talked of the discrimination her eyes have seen growing up in the South; we talked of her frustration with the way her family’s farm land has changed since the city built a highway cutting off the natural drainage path, resulting in constant flooding of the soil.
Carol is a strong Aries woman (why we got along so well!) who taught self-defense classes for 15 years in Harlem. (And taught me a few moves there in her living room.) Both her and her sister, Joyce, are retired special needs teachers; both raised in Burgaw, North Carolina on the family farm.
When Carol returned from NY to NC and saw her sister gardening, they had the idea to expand onto their empty family land to start My Sister’s Farm. They are growing certified organic produce and are active members of the Southeast African American Farming Organic Network.