Listen: Leah Penman, Seoul, New York City discussed on The Takeaway
"You get up there. It's harvest season. Right. What do they farming? When I was there. There were taking these giant sweet potatoes. Does it doesn't matter of this stuff is pierced Verity mode. Most of it. You don't have to worry about the vines. And so and this is all happening. Right. You know, right outside of New York City. It was fascinating. So you talked to Leah penman, and she's the co founder of soul fire farms. Let's into what she had to say. We are a people of color led community farm, that's dedicated to ending racism and injustice in the food system. That sounds like a pretty ambitious thing to want to do are. How are they going about doing that? It is ambitious. It's a huge project. And I think that Lia the way she described it they tailor it to three specific focuses. The first is to grow food in a sustainable afro indigenous manner and provide that food to over four hundred members and our community who otherwise would not have access. The second thing is education. We're trying to train up the the next generation of black and Brown farmers and the third and final project that we're working on his reparations of land and resources what they're really trying to address is the question of access to food and even more than that they're trying to address like how this agriculture system reflects the. Seem racial disparities that we see cross any other American institution. That's what strikes me as so interesting the philosophy behind what they're trying to do. And who they're trying to encourage to get involved in far more. I think for these farmers. You can kind of see how race impacts every aspect of life and food is something that because so many of us take for granted. I think it's easy not to see the injustice there. But the injustice is there I talked to assist far manager Dennis Miller. She told me that this was a big driver of her getting into agriculture in the first place on the challenges community that gets really invisible is dilated illness and disease the leading cause of death amongst black folks, especially in communities of color, and so then eating nutritious food has to matter to you know, when you go to visit Seoul fire farm, there's volunteers when I went there there were community members stopping by to drop off homemade jars of jam besides from just attractive people in terms of actually giving young people the technical training that they're going to need to make agriculture. Ah career. I talked to people like sesame Panetta who before this was living in New York City and Letitia Wyatt. From South Carolina. I done a program here. Full fire runs. These programs called the black and Latino farmers emergence expanded to include other people of color, but who are interested in learning more deepening their farming skills, or I've realized for a lot of people. It's also going deeper into food Justice and they start to work on other issues. Maybe it's policy or working on like community, Trish and community health. I just a black line next farmers immersion two years ago. And that's what got me started farming. I definitely still continuing my education, and we do so much work around acknowledging effort business routes and farming social inequality produces health inequalities in different populations of people. So rob, what's your reporting is showing basically is that there's a big disconnect between who's eating food and who's growing food. Exactly. And you know to better understand that gap. I sat down with soul fire. Farms. Co-founder Leah penman who you heard back at the top of this interview. And she started out by explaining how fire got it start. So fire farm the land itself chose us in two thousand six and then we spent about four years building the house building up the soil, which was badly degraded the barn and so on. So we opened Seoul fire and moved here onto this land in twenty ten when I started farming, and I was all about because it seemed like the perfect intersection of social Justice and environmental Justice. I would go to all these farming conferences, and the presenters were white mostly white men all the books written by white, folks. So I really believe that or Ganic farming was invented by Europeans. And I started like a race traitor and felt pulled to other causes, you know, maybe I should get involved in in housing issues. Police violence those really a big myth that black and Brown, folks.."