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Soul Fire Farm

Posted 6/21/2020 9:31pm by David Zemelsky.


Hope its been a safe week for everyone. Is there anyone out there that thinks that social distancing is an ineffective idea?

Here's a few things. First off, we're at the end of the tomato selling season and have a super sale for those of you who haven't yet planted toms and want to.  $6 for 3 plants (we choose, and you won't be sorry!). The week after next (June 28-July4th) we'll have our store on Wednesday and Friday only.  Those of you who are used to getting their order on Saturday, should choose either Wednesday or Friday.  Since the Cityseed Market is closed, there won't be any special mushrooms, honey or chevre that week.

I want you to know that it is a privilege to be able to write this letter every week.  I've received many wonderful letters of support.  Its not like I believe that I've got more to say than most; far from it, it just happens that I've got a platform.  Makes me realize that such a platform is perhaps missing in many of our lives and if it did exist, there'd be more written expression getting out there.  Tell you what, if you write something about what you're thinking, I'd be honored to read it.  Send it.

One thing that seems more true than ever these days- we are all connected to each other in so many ways.  And what has come to light for me over the past month is how we are all connected to the systematic racism in our country.  Every big industry that you can think of has come out with a position against racism.  CVS,REI,WNPR,, CBS, all of them have taken strong stands (on paper) on the subject.  Let's look at a very brief summary of African American farming and I'll try to illustrate what I'm talking about.

At the turn of the last century roughly 15% of farmland was farmed by African Americans.  Today, that number is  but a whisper of that.  Chased or bullied off the land by white supremacists, many Southern Black farmers headed to northern urban areas and gave up on farming.  In urban centers, Black and Brown people alike encountered food aparthied, which simply put is the inability of a whole race of people being able to access good, whole and nutritious food because of either price or access (no supermarkets in their neighborhoods.)  This lack of real food for so many black or brown people has resulted in dire health issues.  It feels like a crime without there really being a law that has been broken.  

I'm talking about two things. One, the extinguishing of farming practices  by black families and the subsequent lack of decent and available real food for those black/brown families who have over the generations left the rural farming life for urban settings and in so doing found themselves without any good sources of fresh vegetables and fruit.

I believe that our country will be a stronger place if there are venues for people of color to again do what they knew so well in the past-to farm. This is an idea that is going to take hold (I hope) in a very big way in the coming years.  Please check out Soul Fire Farm website soulfirefarm.org  and you'll begin to understand this very important movement.  The co-founder of the farm, Leah Penniman was recently interviewed on NPR's Living On Earth.  You can find the interview here: https://loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=20-P13-00025&segmentID=5  It is highly recommended.  And I believe that it will give you much to think about.  Would love to hear your reactions.

Lastly, as noted in earlier newsletters, there's been a rash of unsubscribers since my subjects have become more global.  In a way, this is an honor because it tells me that I'm really talking to some vulnerable spots in some people.  I hope that people stay subscribed and invite them to think about the subjects that we're talking about in this letter.

OK. Great food this week.  They're be sun golds in larger supply for early birds.(still not the huge amount that we need for everyone to get their fill, but you can tell-its coming.  Heirlooms are still a few weeks off.  Ah patience.  Meanwhile, the kale, salad, lettuce heads, bok choi (to name but a few) are awesome. And we have a delivery service.  If you're not sure we'd get to your area, just email us back and we'll let you know.  New Haven,Cheshire,Wallingford, Middletown, Durham are good-to name a few.  I hope you enjoy our food.

And a shout out to our Governor for freeing up funds(2.5m) to help the undocumented in this hard, trying times.  It is a great start.  Thank you.

Have a great week