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Sustainable Farming 

Black Futures Farm is a community farm, staffed by volunteers and two resident farmers. Located on the grounds of the Learning Gardens Lab, Black Futures Farm was created as a place of  connection and healing for Black people to grow food and community together. The farm sits on 1.15 acres with 17 different fruit trees, vegetables, flowers, medicinal and cooking herbs.

At Howell Territorial Park Farm on Wapato (Sauvie) Island, Black Food Sovereignty Coalition collaborates with Metro, Village Gardens, African Family Holistic Health Organization, Native American Youth and Family Center's First Food program, and other BIPOC farming groups to steward land and build capacity for organic agricultural production by BIPOC growers. This includes planning, facilitation, community building, and market training.

Capacity Building

Beginning in fall 2020, we will launch a BIPOC Food Systems Leadership Fellowship. Through this program, a cohort of 10-15 fellows will be trained to build their capacity to develop and lead projects that support soil regeneration, habitat restoration, and green infrastructure. The program will include a community of practice that will allow fellows to connect, explore new possibilities, solve challenging problems, and create new, mutually beneficial opportunities related to regenerative agriculture, environmental education, soil regeneration, & resource conservation. The fellowship will approach this topic in a culturally-responsive way that empowers us as Black people to tap into our own ancestral heritage and cultural connections to reclaim agroecological growing practices that regenerate soil, produce nutritious food, & mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration. Project partners include Mudbone Grown, Ecotrust, OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems, and Multnomah County Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program.

PNW Regional BIPOC Grower Network Building

Black Food Sovereignty Coalition's signature program is the annual Back to the Root conference, which we launched with Mudbone Grown in 2019. This historic regional Black growers conference, the first of its kind in Oregon, was funded by a USDA NIFA grant and provided over a 100 BIPOC growers, farmers, producers, educators, advocates, and ranchers the opportunity to gather, network, learn about our history, discuss experiences, and build strategies. This culturally rooted event also served as a call for participation in the annual OSU Small Farms Conference held the next day in Corvallis where a cohort of sponsored participants attended detailed technical workshops on soil science, producer skills improvement, market development, and farming infrastructure.

In 2020, BFSC and Mudbone Grown hosted the second annual Back to the Root gathering. In its second year, it expanded to a two-day event that drew over 135 people from across the region including California, Oregon, and Washington. The first day of the conference featured two panel sessions (climate justice and hemp); a keynote session from Black farmer Renard Turner of Vanguard Ranch; and a variety of breakout sessions on land justice, starting a farm, herbal medicine, seed growing, land-based healing, urban food justice, and more. The second day of the conference included visits to local projects including Black Futures Farm, Unity Farm, and Wapato Island Farm, and a tour of Ecotrust’s Redd West co-led with New Seasons.

Community Nutrition and Intergenerational Learning

BFSC partners with Rockwood CDC to implement the Grandma’s Hands program, which seeks to pass on Black cultural food traditions to the next generation. The program delivers free meals and recipe kits featuring produce from local Black Farmers to Black families in Rockwood (Gresham) and provides hands-on, online cooking demonstrations led by three Black grandmothers.