S2E57: Farming While Black: race and regenerative agriculture—w/ Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farms

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Regenerative agriculture is sometimes branded as a new idea. But the tradition of maintaining soil carbon and honoring the earth, of leaving the land better than we found it, has been part of indigenous traditions for thousands of years. So, what can we do to re-center the stories of Black and Native American growers and give credit where credit is due?

Leah Penniman is the Co-Director and Farm Manager at Soul Fire Farm, an Afro-Indigenous-centered community farm committed to uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system. Leah has 20-plus years of experience as a soil steward and food sovereignty activist, and she is the author of Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation of the Land. On this episode of Reversing Climate Change, Leah joins Ross and cohost Rebekah Carlson to explain George Washington Carver’s work pioneered modern regenerative agriculture—two decades prior to J.I. Rodale.

Leah describes the work she has done to reclaim a connection with the land (beyond the oppression of slavery and sharecropping) and offers advice on reconnecting with your own indigenous roots. Listen in for Leah’s insight on the shift among Black Americans from rural to urban farming and learn how you can support Soul Fire Farm’s work to promote social and environmental justice.

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Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation of the Land by Leah Penniman

‘Why Farming Is an Act of Defiance for People of Color’ in Healthyish

Owen Taylor on The Table Underground Podcast EP030

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty

The land-healing work of George Washington Carver at Grist

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon

The Justice for Black Farmers Act

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