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      Excited for the Southern Foodways Alliance 17th Annual Symposium next weekend! The ultimate gathering for food and farm storytelling in the South.

      Honored to be attending as part of their first class of SFA Symposium Fellows alongside Michael W. Twitty, Evan Mah and Darnella Burkett Winston. Looking forward to speakers like Ta-Nehisi Coates!

      Can’t wait to share The Color of Food book with everyone!

      10/17/14

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      The Color of Food is a Finalist in the IYFF Photo Competition!

      The Color of Food has had the honor of having two of its photos (the two at top left) selected as top 20 finalists across North and Central America in the International Year of Family Farming Photo Competition!! The photos of these Powerful Black Female Farmers (across generations!) were taken at My Sister’s Farm and Marshview Community Farm in the Carolinas. Both farms are members of the Southeastern African American Farmers Organic Network and both have their stories and portraits featured in The Color of Food book!

      Woot! Thanks #IYFF and Thank You Amazing Farmers!

      10/10/14

    • The 'Sioux Chef' Is Putting Pre-Colonization Food Back On The Menu

      Check out this chef and member of the Oglala Lakota tribe who has been on a quest to identify the foods his ancestors ate on the Great Plains before European settlers appeared on the scene…LOVE it

      Read More »

      10/08/14

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      I’m back ya’ll! And The Color of Food book is ready for pre-orders! 

      I have been on radio silence and under the radar all summer working to finish this amazing book of stories and portraits from farmers of color across the country. (And also moving across states, pulling off a DIY wedding and getting married! whew!) But I’m back and have big news: the Release Date for the Book is April 10, 2015!

      And You Can Pre-Order Your Copy Today!! 

      :)

      Look out for a lot more from me to come!

      10/02/14

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      Happy Juneteenth! Reposting this favorite painting from last year’s post:

      Celebrating the seeds our ancestors planted to start our current agriculture system, and those still being planted today.

      Celebrating Emancipation and continued Freedom. Happy Juneteenth!

      Art by Gullah artist, John W. Jones

      06/19/14

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      "Foods are our Teachers" from Valerie Segrest, Muckleshoot Tribe

      I just wrote the last farmer chapter for The Color of Food book!! And as if I’m not already feelin’ good about that, the last line of the chapter, entitled Foods are Our Teachers, poses a question that has me shutting off my computer for the day feeling even more charged. Valerie Segrest of the Muckleshoot Tribe in western Washington asks:

      "How can we live our lives like our teachers, the plants and foods around us? How do we grow and thrive in diversity and be big medicine in the world?”

      photo from ravenredbone.wordpress.com

      05/30/14

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      Yes I just found them. Yes I have fallen in love. And yes there is more to their mission than their bad ass & hilarious flavor of healthy food.

      Thug Kitchen is “getting readers to think about what kind of behaviors they attribute to people who try to eat healthy food. Everyone deserves to feel a part of our country’s push toward a healthier diet, not just people with disposable incomes who speak a certain way.” 

      CHECK THEM OUT 

      05/14/14

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      Kristyn Leach, Namu Farm, San Francisco, CA

      From Generation Rising, a chapter in The Color of Food's upcoming book!

      “I wanted to grow something distinctly Korean and I sort of stumbled upon the seeds for perilla (known as deulkkae or ggaennip in Korean). It’s a staple Korean herb. I brought some into Namu Gaji, a Korean American restaurant in SF. And their response to it was magical. Now I farm for the restaurant. It’s interesting how it’s turned out, having been adopted away from Korea and raised out of my culture, now coming back to my roots through food. It’s very validating.” - Kristyn Leach, 33 , Namu Farm

      05/13/14

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      “There’s an epidemic of sickness among my people, my community. It has a direct correlation with the food, the food that we eat and the food choices that are available to us. It’s important for people to know how important their diet is to their life.” - Manny García, 25 years old, 2012 AFSC Farmer Training Student, New Mexico

      #The Color of Food Book  #Latino Farmers  #Young Farmers

      04/23/14

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      A Reflection on Teaching Youth Agriculture, an excerpt from Generation Rising, a chapter in The Color of Food book!

      “I wanted to work in the garden with people who grew up like me and didn’t necessarily have a connection to land or growing food, and thought of dirt as something that you wash off of you and not something you put your hands in. The little ones, they get revelations as magical. Just digging in the dirt and eating new things would blow their minds, it was so powerful. To question where our food comes from, to question where anything comes from, like our history books or authority, I wished I’d had that in my pocket as a seven year old. It’s about food but it’s also about deep change.” - Cristina Rivera-Chapman, Tierra Negra Farms

      04/21/14

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      The Color of Food has a Publisher!

      New Society Press will be publishing The Color of Food book in 2015

      I am excited to announce that after four long years since the idea for The Color of Food was born, after much travel interviewing and working hard to put the stories and portraits of farmers of color into a book over the last two years, The Color of Food now has a publisher! It’s official - I just signed a contract with New Society Press to have The Color of Food published! And I could not have made it to this point without your support from the beginning. 

      It has been a long journey to find a publisher, one that has been quite a learning curve for me. After much research, writing and sending many book proposals, the responses came in with overwhelming interest from presses including: Beacon Press, Cornell University Press, Columbia University Press and University of Georgia Press among many others. The decision to sign with New Society Press was ultimately made based on their progressive, activist-centered ideals, their deep understanding of this book’s mission, their experience with books on farming and their sustainable printing methods. New Society’s capacity to print all of the colorful portraits in this book was significant - and they will print them with eco-friendly inks on eco-friendly paper.

      I look forward to updating you as this journey to the book launch unfolds. Still a lot of work ahead, but look out for pre-order information a little further down the road!

      With the biggest grin - thank you!

      Natasha 

       

      04/07/14

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      Food Network called me about joining this show, I declined, but told them I’d help outreach! Want to start a food truck in your community? Check it out! And hit me up if you’re serious.

      03/18/14

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      Happy Women’s Day from The Color of Food!! #womensday

      03/08/14

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      In honor of Women’s History Month and Women’s Day tomorrow, here’s to women in Ag and the female farmers of our future! #womensday

      03/07/14

    • Praxis Center | Black Farming, Self Determination and Resilience: An Interview with activist and researcher Monica White, PhD |

      An Interview with my favorite activist and researcher Dr. Monica White

      As an activist working on food justice, I have a very personal experience with systemic poverty, disenfranchisement, violence and Black land loss. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents owned land in the south, grew food, and experienced relative material success; then had their land either stolen or burned down by the state and racist vigilantes. Unfortunately, narratives like this are far too common among Black communities in America leaving many of us with memories of sharecropping, wage theft, violence, and lynchings. As I work to reconnect people of color with food production, I have come to realize how important it is to also remember the resistance and agency of Black farmers historically and present day…Read More

      02/25/14

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      Celebrating Our Black Farmers for Black History Month

      © The Color of Food

      02/20/14

    • Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition - Bracero Program, Mexican American Farm Workers 1942-1964

      This exhibition about Braceros, ag workers from Mexico recruited and exploited for farm labor during the 40s and 50s, sounds like the Smithsonian did a little sugar coating over the hard truths, but I’d be interested in checking out the history they are documenting.  http://www.sites.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibits/bracero_project/main.htm

      02/12/14

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      WFU Divinity School presents Half the Earth, Half the Sky: A Conference on Women, Food & Faith

      Excited to be presenting portraits and stories from The Color of Food at this women’s food conference on March 19 at Wake Forest University in NC! Honored to be speaking alongside women such as my mentor Cynthia Hayes of Southeastern African American Farmers Organic Network!

      02/07/14

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      Oral History of a Black Agrarian New Orleans, from The Color of Food

      Jenga Mwendo in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans:

      Gardening and growing your own food was just a part of the life in the Lower Nine. People would forage in the bayou for wild onions and pepper grass or take their dogs out to hunt or catch crawfish when the rivers would flood. People in this neighborhood have always been more connected with the land, hunting and fishing in the river, because the Lower Ninth Ward was kind of rural and cut off from the rest of the city when they dug the Industrial Canal in the 1920s. This area used to be one of the few places during segregation where black people could come and buy property and build communities, it was like a safe little bubble for black people to grow and prosper.

      Despite that connection to the land, folks never really think about themselves as gardeners or part of urban agriculture - nobody uses those terms, it’s just what they do. It’s a cultural tradition and this work is about encouraging and supporting that.

      -Jenga Mwendo, Backyard Gardeners Network

      Oral History pulled from The Color of Food book currently in production!

      © Artwork “Bayou Fishing” by Knute Heldner 

      02/06/14

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      Eugene Cooke in Atlanta, Gebsite featured on HGTV Gardens!

      "Some people like to talk about being a farmer, but the way things are shifting, we have to do so much more to make people want to deal with the land." 

      How does Cooke describe what he does? “I create food abundance systems,” he says, “which means grow food wherever you are, and in a way that’s abundant.”

      - See more at: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/gardens/urban-farmer-hero#sthash.7QSEYjkA.dpuf

      02/03/14

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      Pang Chang, PEC Tropical Farm, Fresno CA

      Pang, a Hmong farmer who fled from Laos in the ’70s when the Hmong came under attack throughout Laos and Vietnam, found refuge in California and started doing what had been passed down to him from generation to generation: farming. 

      He now grows rare tropical fruits like papaya, guava and jujubes (Chinese dates) right in the heart of the dry central valley of California and sells them to Asian markets throughout the state.

      thecolorofood.org

      01/30/14

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      Working on reorganizing stories/chapters for The Color of Food book! 

      #SharingtheProcess #DocumentingtheDocumenting #GotMyOwnGoogleGlass :)

      01/22/14

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      The Color of Food Prints!

      When not exhibiting The Color of Food portraits they happily live on the walls of my office :) I particularly like my power wall of women for inspiration!

      Check out some available prints in my shop

      01/15/14

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      NYers: Join The BLK Projek and the Libertad Urban Farm in the South Bronx!

      So proud of this sister, mother and friend for all her work with The BLK Projek and their upcoming Mobile Market, Food Buying Club and Urban Farm in the South Bronx. If you haven’t heard of Tanya Fields, check a sistah out. 

      01/08/14

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      Happy New Year! What are your hopes and dreams for this year? What are your goals for your work, garden/farm, health or peace of mind? What lessons did 2013 bring you? 

      2013 for me was definitely a year of growth, even if not so much from the soil. Not only did I grow personally and in my relationships, but I grew stronger in my work, passions and health.

      I grew to become more knowledgeable about practicing natural/herbal healing (my bathroom is beginning to resemble a tincture lab). I grew into a stronger cook and deepened my knowledge in health and nutrition (for fun I like to make nut milks and butters and homemade protein bars). And I finally fell in love with exercising and kept a consistent work-out routine for longer than I ever have (people know my name at the gym now, that’s never happened). 

      I challenged myself in my work, embarking on things I’d never done before, riding the steep learning curve and accomplishing more than I thought I could.

      I found myself at gatherings surrounded by inspiring mentors and felt honored to be there, presenting my work at places like Purdue and Tuskegee. I also grew into a stronger woman after being in empowering circles of women, like when at the Women of Color Retreat.

      I completed all of my interviews for The Color of Food and at the end of last year I sent the book proposal to many publishers and received a lot  of amazing responses!!

      So 2014 is looking bright for The Color of Food getting published! I’ll also be getting married this year! My other goals are to continue my love affair with food, earth and health. Specifically deepening my knowledge and practice of preserving foods (I got a dehydrator for Christmas!), continuing to learn in the garden(I manually pollenated all my squash for the first time!) and continuing my practice of natural healing (I <3 tamanu and oregano oil).

      Basically, I’m thinking 2014 will be my year to glow from the inside out. I hope the same for you :)

      01/07/14