Week 23, 2020｜Kristin Kimball ｜June 5, 2020
It has been a week of reckoning for our nation, and here, with myself. I’ve thought of myself as the type of mother who doesn’t shield children from hard things. Our kids have seen birth and death and decay, the cycle of life and loss, and we’ve never hidden or softened these things. But this week, I realized how much of the hard stuff I have left out. The girls asked me to explain what was happening in the world, having heard the news of protests and of looting. “People are marching because a police officer knelt on the neck of an African American man for more than 8 minutes, until he died,” I said. Their look of confusion, then shock, told me more than words could have. I have neglected that part of my job. We live in a bubble on this farm, but we are not exempt. Our food supply is built into a racist system, historically, and in the present. I was quiet on this all week, mostly for fear of saying the wrong thing from inside my bubble. And maybe the best thing to do is just step aside and amplify the voices of people of color, especially farmers of color. One of the places we follow and learn from is Soul Fire Farm in Petersburg, NY. Their co-founder, Leah Peniman, is the author of the book Farming While Black. This is Soul Fire’s mission:
“Soul Fire Farm is a BIPOC*-centered community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. We raise and distribute life-giving food as a means to end food apartheid. With deep reverence for the land and wisdom of our ancestors, we work to reclaim our collective right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system. We bring diverse communities together on this healing land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health, and environmental justice. We are training the next generation of activist-farmers and strengthening the movements for food sovereignty and community self-determination.”
So, all sales revenue from the Essex Farm store this week is going to Soul Fire Farm to support this crucial work. If you want to do more you can find a donate button on their website, at soulfirefarm.com.
-Kristin & Mark Kimball
*Black, Indigenous, People of Color