Today: FoHVOS and Outdoor Equity Alliance Partner to Produce Black Farmer’s Market for June 19 Commemoration

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A popular WWI song asked – How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?)”

The lyrics feared that the soldiers would want to join their family farms after experiencing the life and culture of Paris.

No one could ever confuse Paris with Trenton, but expect farmers to take advantage of the capital for a June 19 celebration at Mill Hill Park. And not just any agricultural enthusiasts, black farmers, with dark skin and a history as rich as the land they till. The Juneteenth Celebration Black Farmers Market, presented by Outdoor Equity Alliance (OEA) and Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FOHVOS), promises the cultivation of energy and the germination of ideas to help the development of urban gardening.

Excitement is blooming today for a 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. event that delivers agriculture to downtown Trenton.

“As part of the biggest celebration on June 19, 2022 in Trenton, the Outdoor Equity Alliance will showcase the Black Farmers Market,” said Lisa Wolff, co-founder of OEA and executive director of FOHVOS. “Trenton’s Mill Hill Park, while serving as the hub of the festival, has dedicated an area of ​​the park to the work and mission of this group of people who make up only 1.4% of the farmers in this country. The OAS founded the Black Farmers Marketplace to focus on agriculture and its importance to African American and marginalized communities.

The number of black farmers in America peaked in 1920, when there were 949,899. Currently, of the country’s 3.4 million farmers, only 45,508 are black, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Blacks own only 0.52% of US farmland. In comparison, 95% of American farmers are white.

Wolff explained, “The Black Farmers Market culminates the work of the OAS Agriculture Internship Program which inspires high school students to become involved in our land both as a profession and to solve problems such as food insecurity. Most of the teachers were local black farmers who served as both role models and subject matter experts. OAS teacher farmers and Agrihood trainees will be at the Juneteenth Black Farmers Market where visitors will have the opportunity to “ask a farmer” about farming, or even how to start their own garden or community garden where they live. live. Other discussion issues such as the historic deprivation of land for many people of color, health disparities and lack of environmental commitment will be addressed by farmers.

The Juneteenth Black Farmers Market was made possible by OAS sponsor and new Trenton resident Princeton Hydro.

Renata Barnes, a New York native who grew up in Hopewell Valley, is the OAS coordinator. A graduate of Mercer County Community College and New York University, Barnes is passionate about issues of racial equity, equality, and justice. She joined FoHVOS in 2020.

Barnes has listed an interesting list of farmers in the Trenton area and others like UJAMAA Cooperative Farm Collective. “Run by Bonetta and Hassan Adeeb of Baltimore,” she said. “They focus on seed cultivation, educating future farmers, gardeners, and growers who grow heirloom seeds and grow culturally relevant plants for food, healing, and textiles. They offer programs on community sustainability, land ownership and sovereignty.

Then there is the Trenton South Ward Neighborhood Association Lamberton Street Garden. .Barnes said this group “grows vegetables and creates a culture of sustainability, community responsibility and ownership while cultivating a thriving garden to combat the health effects of food insecurity and the food desert by working with a growing and engaged group of residents.

Participating farmers include:

Central Love Garden – Les Summiel, Jr. – Farmer – Ewing NJ – Grows vegetables to provide the seniors in our community with fresh, free produce. (Editor’s note: Summiel is also Chairman of the OAS Board).

wildflower farm – Tomia MacQueen – Pennington, NJ – Chicken, turkey, duck, geese, sheep, vegetables

Roots, flowers and blossoms – Iby Ikotidem – Farmer, Flemington NJ – Flowers, Vegetables.

GeoGreens – Desmond Hughes, Farmer – Trenton/Hamilton – Hydroponically grown vegetables.

Smith Poultry Farm – Kyle Smith, farmer – Williamstown NJ – Chicken, pork, eggs, vegetables.

Ujamaa Cooperative Agricultural Alliance – Bonetta and Hassan Adeeb – Baltimore Maryland/Northeastern USA Region – Focused on seed cultivation, educating future farmers, gardeners and growers who grow heirloom seeds and cultivate culturally relevant plants for food, healing and textiles. They offer programs on community sustainability, land ownership and sovereignty.

Trenton South Ward Neighborhood Association – Lamberton Street Community Garden – Tyrell Smith – Farmer – Trenton, NJ – Growing vegetables and creating a culture of sustainability, community responsibility and ownership while growing a thriving garden to combat the effects on the health from food insecurity and the food desert by working with a growing and committed group of residents.

Reprinted with permission from L.A. Parker at https://www.trentonian.com/. Parker is a Trentonian columnist. Find him on Twitter @LAParker6 or email him at [email protected]

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