InFARMation: Racial and Food Justice Series – September 29, October 22, November 5 & 17  

Although we would love to gather in person, our InFARMations are back and coming to you from the comfort of your own home. This fall session is put on in collaboration with the Small Farm School.

This year, OSU’s Small Farm School will occur as a series of evening, online sessions running from mid-September through mid-November. FoFF and Small Farm School are collaborating to present a four part Racial and Food Justice series. This portion of Small Farm School is FREE and open everyone. 

Sept 29th, 6:30 – Equitable Food Access: Hear from BIPOC Farmers in the Field – RSVP here

The last six months have allowed us to acknowledge our weaknesses personally, professionally and systemically, and for many of us this is the beginning of much needed transformative internal work. It is a privilege for those of us that get to educate ourselves about racism instead of experience it. This will be an open, honest and inspiring conversation between three BIPOC farmers working towards a more equitable farming system in Oregon.

A common frustration for every small, sustainable farmer is the reckoning between the low wages and long hours it takes and the high cost of the food produced. A cost that is unobtainable by those most in need in our community or even the farmer themselves. Join us Tuesday to hear from Indigenous and Black farmers who’ve come up with creative and successful solutions to make a livable wage while also ensuring they can support and feed their community. What have been their challenges, successes, and failures? This is an opportunity for the farming community at large to listen and learn from the experience of Black and Indigenous farmers dedicated to serving their community. And a chance for all of us to leverage our resources to support these creative solutions.

Speakers for the evening:

Michelle Week, Good Rain Farm

x̌ast sq̓it (hast squeit) translates to Good Rain in the traditional language of the sngaytskstx (Sinixt) the Arrow Lakes Peoples. Farm Founder Michelle is of Sinixt ancestry. Good Rain Farm has two sites located in Camas, WA and Gresham, OR.

“The Farm has always held food sovereignty, empowerment, concern for community and honorable stewardship of the land as our founding principles. At x̌ast sq̓it Farm we explore our relationship with this land, we decolonize and question our notions of ‘food” and ‘nourishment’. To better serve our community and insure inclusivity the farm celebrates our diversity, through highlighting this endangered native language, cousin to all the tribes of the Pacific Northwest. This language so muddied by Chinook Jargon and often used so casually that residents of the PNW forget that some common day words and names are remnants of a displaced people. We begin conversation, build awareness, and look forward to a Good Rain that will feed our ecosystems, community and self.”

Malcolm Hoover, Black Futures Farm

Malcolm is the Co-Director of Black Futures Farm which is located in SE Portland. The farm is a group of Black identified/Diasporic and Continental African people working together, growing food and community.

“Our aim is to implement the best methods of growing food, taking the best of what we can from our ancestral practices while being a part of innovation. We are Black people determined to be self sufficient, self reliant, cooperative, and prosperous – food sovereignty for Black people is a crucial step in that journey. We are using agriculture and farming to organize and grow community, because asserting control over our own food systems is a basic step in self determination. We are also Futurists in that we are working to create a  world  where healthy, delicious food is accessible to everyone.”

Spring Alaska Schreiner, Sakari Botanicals

“My name is Upingakraq (time when the ice breaks) Spring Alaska Schreiner is the owner and Principal Ecologist-Indigenous Agriculturalist managing all things glorious on our farm related to growing, giving, teaching and keeping our beautiful farm in order.  Born and raised in Valdez, Alaska and the daughter of Chief Helmer J. Olson of the Valdez Native Tribe.  Inupiaq lineage allows a unique/diverse cultural perspective of use of historical food systems ranging from Alaska to Oregon and regional tribal lands on Turtle Island.”

Sakari Botanicals is located in Tumalo, Oregon. The farm works in collaboration with the Central Oregon Seed Exchange as a unique Deschutes County based cold climate seed bank, offering free seed and agricultural education to the public. They also host Sakari Botanicals, a Value Added Product culinary and healing tribal business. They specialize in growing Native American Tribal Foods, offering technical assistance, classes, implementing research-based tribal seed production, and contract and wholesale growing.

October 22nd, 6:30pm – Equitable Food Access: How to Contribute to Oregon’s Food Sovereignty Network – RSVP here 

Now that you’ve gathered a few ideas from listening to the experience and needs of BIPOC Farmers, where do you fit in? What can you do that’s tangible, meaningful, and immediate beyond the basics of communicating with your representatives and signing a petition? We will explore practical examples of financially sustainable ways to make locally farmed food more accessible in your community this season and beyond. Learn from Black and Indigenous farmers on the ground about actionable steps you can take to further build capacity to achieve a more equitable food economy. Together we can work in solidarity towards strengthening and broadening the economy and reworking our social structures from the ground up.

Please still join us even if you missed the first of the four sessions!

Speakers for the evening:

Michelle Week, Good Rain Farm

x̌ast sq̓it (hast squeit) translates to Good Rain in the traditional language of the sngaytskstx (Sinixt) the Arrow Lakes Peoples. Farm Founder Michelle is of Sinixt ancestry. Good Rain Farm has two sites located in Camas, WA and Gresham, OR.

“The Farm has always held food sovereignty, empowerment, concern for community and honorable stewardship of the land as our founding principles. At x̌ast sq̓it Farm we explore our relationship with this land, we decolonize and question our notions of ‘food” and ‘nourishment’. To better serve our community and insure inclusivity the farm celebrates our diversity, through highlighting this endangered native language, cousin to all the tribes of the Pacific Northwest. This language so muddied by Chinook Jargon and often used so casually that residents of the PNW forget that some common day words and names are remnants of a displaced people. We begin conversation, build awareness, and look forward to a Good Rain that will feed our ecosystems, community and self.”

Malcolm Hoover, Black Futures Farm

Malcolm is the Co-Director of Black Futures Farm which is located in SE Portland. The farm is a group of Black identified/Diasporic and Continental African people working together, growing food and community.

“Our aim is to implement the best methods of growing food, taking the best of what we can from our ancestral practices while being a part of innovation. We are Black people determined to be self sufficient, self reliant, cooperative, and prosperous – food sovereignty for Black people is a crucial step in that journey. We are using agriculture and farming to organize and grow community, because asserting control over our own food systems is a basic step in self determination. We are also Futurists in that we are working to create a  world  where healthy, delicious food is accessible to everyone.”

Spring Alaska Schreiner, Sakari Botanicals

“My name is Upingakraq (time when the ice breaks) Spring Alaska Schreiner is the owner and Principal Ecologist-Indigenous Agriculturalist managing all things glorious on our farm related to growing, giving, teaching and keeping our beautiful farm in order.  Born and raised in Valdez, Alaska and the daughter of Chief Helmer J. Olson of the Valdez Native Tribe.  Inupiaq lineage allows a unique/diverse cultural perspective of use of historical food systems ranging from Alaska to Oregon and regional tribal lands on Turtle Island.”

Sakari Botanicals is located in Tumalo, Oregon. The farm works in collaboration with the Central Oregon Seed Exchange as a unique Deschutes County based cold climate seed bank, offering free seed and agricultural education to the public. They also host Sakari Botanicals, a Value Added Product culinary and healing tribal business. They specialize in growing Native American Tribal Foods, offering technical assistance, classes, implementing research-based tribal seed production, and contract and wholesale growing.

November 5th, 6:30pm – White Farmers and Food System Members Forming an Anti-Racist Affinity Group: Experiences from a Portland Farmer Development Group – RSVP here

November 17th, 6:30pm – Documentary Watch Party and Discussion. Stay tuned for more details.