Where Are Our Black Farmers?

Land has always been the basis for wealth creation and with wealth, comes power.  Over the last 40 years, Black farmers have lost more than 10 million acres of land, which is a major a loss of wealth and power in the Black community.  These farmers didn’t just grow crops in isolation, but many played an important role in the civil rights movement as their land served as collateral to bail out the many who went to jail. Without that land, Black farmers would not have had the wealth and power to bail out those that were jailed during protests and demonstrations.

In order to help rebuild some of the wealth and power lost, the Land Loss Prevention Project has provided legal assistance to countless Black, land-owning farmers in the south who have been systematically removed from their land, oftentimes due to heir property rights. Through their work, they have helped keep a little less than 1 million acres of land in the hands of Black farmers. One of the most public legal battles about systematic discrimination and undermining of Black farmers is the class-act discrimination suit filed by Black farmers against the US Department of Agriculture in The Pigford Case.

The struggle for the control of land has not been confined to rural farmers in the South. In New York City, it manifests as the struggle urban gardeners face in transforming vacant lots and abandoned spaces into thriving community spaces that provide new sources of food and create community. Karen Washington, a community activist and urban gardener, faces similar struggles in her fight to protect the rights of NYC community gardeners.

Current data speaks to the discrimination and subsequent loss of land by Black farmers. In 2017 over 74% (24,466) of African American farmers in the United States resided in the Southern states of Texas, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, and Louisiana. According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, there are only 19 Black farmers in the state of New York. The struggle for Black ownership of land is part of the struggle for sovereignty, racial equity and the shifting of power in the decision-making process. In recognition of this struggle and our commitment to these values, we shared our vision to transfer ownership of the Corbin Hill Road Farm to the community. We ask you, our Shareholders, to JOIN US in achieving this vision.

- Dennis Derryck, President

 

No, your share wasn’t sourced from Mars this week. The weird, alien-looking veggie is called kohlrabi, and it was sourced from Dagele Brothers Produce in Florida, NY. Kohlrabi is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s brilliantly sweet with a mildly spicy flavor profile. Impress your family by mastering this peculiar little veggie with this crisp, refreshing Thai salad

Ingredients 
1 tablespoon sugar, less if it sounds too sweet
3 tablespoons or more of fresh lime juice
2 ½ cups kohlrabi, peeled and shredded, can use food processor
1 or more minced garlic cloves
1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce. No fish sauce? Try using an extra bit of lime juice
½ teaspoon of more crushed dried red chili peppers
Desired amount of halved cherry tomatoes
¾ cup of green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup shredded carrots, if desired
2 tablespoons toasted crushed peanuts or almond slivers, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
For extra crisp flavor, try adding green beans
 

Directions 
1. Shred, grate and chop kohlrabi, carrots and green beans and put into a large mixing bowl
2. Mince garlic and put in a separate bowl
3. Add sugar, fish sauce, red pepper, and lime juice to the bowl with garlic to make the dressing
4. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half and add into dressing. Gently smash tomatoes with a fork to release some of their juice. 
5. Pour the mixture over the prepared vegetables
6. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle nuts over the top, if desired
7. Pop it into the fridge to marinate, toss again before serving
8. The longer the mixture sits, the hotter and tastier it becomes-experiment with the amount of red pepper and garlic if you are sensitive to spicy food