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Real ingredients should be accessible to all: Soul Fire Farms

Real ingredients should be accessible to all: Soul Fire Farms

We believe taste is everything, nature gets it right, and real ingredients should be accessible to all. Farming makes this happen. Through the hard work of dedicated farmers, access to wholesome, healthy, real produce improves for all. 

We've been supporting the work of Soul Fire Farm since 2020, but this year a few members of our marketing team had the opportunity to experience their mission in-person by attending one of their community volunteer work-learn days. There, they were able to experience the true impact of Soul Fire Farm's farming practices for themselves.  

Soul Fire Farm is an Afro-Indigenous centered community farm committed to uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system. Their mission is powerful: "We raise and distribute life-giving food as a means to end food apartheid. With deep reverence for the land and wisdom of our ancestors, we work to reclaim our collective right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system. We bring diverse communities together on this healing land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health, and environmental justice. We are training the next generation of activist-farmers and strengthening the movements for food sovereignty and community self-determination." 

 


Soul Fire Farm's sovereignty programs "reach over 35,000 people each year. Through farmer training for Black and Brown growers, reparations and land return initiatives for northeast farmers, food justice workshops for urban youth, home gardens for city-dwellers living under food apartheid, doorstep harvest delivery for food insecure households, and systems and policy education for public decision-makers."  

With their dedication to farms, education, improving their local communities, and more - Soul Fire Farm has taught us how local farming can directly impact and improve the greater community. Their work embodies so much of what we strive to achieve at Spindrift.  

Soul Fire Farm uses Afro-indigenous agroforestry, silvopasture, wildcrafting, polyculture, and spiritual farming practices to regenerate 80 acres of mountainside land, producing fruits, plant medicine, pasture-raised livestock, honey, mushrooms, vegetables, and preserves for community provisioning, with the majority of the harvest provided to people living under food apartheid or impacted by state violence. Their ancestral farming practices increase topsoil depth, sequester soil carbon, and increase biodiversity. The buildings on the farm are hand-constructed, using local wood, adobe, straw bales, solar heat, and reclaimed materials.   

On June 4th, several members of our marketing team headed west to upstate New York to Soul Fire Farm for a community volunteer day, where they learned ancient and sacred farming practices and put in hard work alongside Soul Fire Farm staff and fellow volunteers. From mulching fruit and berry trees to liberating plants from suffocating weeds or old growth to supporting vegetal growth and ensuring soil's moisture levels, to preparing coriander and other goods to be harvested and distributed to local communities with food apartheid and  sold in their farm store.  

A photo from the evening before volunteer day. Melissa, Maggie, Colleen, Bruna and Jerry picking up provisions for volunteer day lunch potluck. Bringing some Spindrift and snacks of course!  

 

Liberating the beds of broccoli, squash, and kale during the annual liberation. (photo credit: Clara from Soul Fire Farm)

Newly liberated plants, now free of surrounding weeds, freshly covered with hay to retain moisture. (photo credit: Clara from Soul Fire Farm)

 

Soul Fire Farm practices silvopasture, a sustainable method of farming where goats and chickens roam free to naturally fertilize the land. 

Soul Fire Farm raises goats and laying hens as part of their silvopasture system. The animals are rotated regularly to fresh pasture, consume the vegetation and deposit manure which provides fertility to the 100+ fruits trees, 200+ fruiting bushes, and native flowering plants that are found in their silvopasture orchard. The chickens also help with pest control and provide the community with fresh eggs.” Source.

 

For the first half of the day some of our team worked in the orchards on the farm, where apple, currents, blackberries, and peaches were beginning to blossom. In each field, Soul Fire Farm practices and promotes rotational grazing, where their mulgoats and chickens are moved through paddocks to graze and improve the soil health. (photo credit: Clara from Soul Fire Farm)

Later in the day, teammates washed and scrubbed the bins used for storing freshly-picked herbs and plants. (photo credit: Clara from Soul Fire Farm)

Teammates also garbled coriander for Soul Fire to re-plant, re-grow, or package for sale in their farm store. 

Others helped unload 8 caged-crates filled with firewood, and stacking them one cord at a time, up to about 8 feet in height.  (photo credit: Clara from Soul Fire Farm) 

Everyone at Soul Fire Farm spoke with intention and profound respect for the nature around them, “we must work in collaboration with nature. Nature serves us, so we must serve nature.” A core tenet to our work is working in partnership with nature – this thinking was inspiring and a great reminder that we must also serve it with utmost respect and honor. 

The team had an amazing day and walked away filled with gratitude for the hard work, thoughtfulness and rigor that goes into farming by the farmers, alongside newfound knowledge of sustainable farming practices and a deep appreciation for the inextricable relationship we have with nature.  

 

The entire group of volunteers & Spindrift teammates who participated on the June 4th volunteer and learn day!  (photo credit: Clara from Soul Fire Farm)

We're proud to support Soul Fire Farm's mission and encourage others to support local farming initiatives near them. Supporting organizations like Soul Fire Farm is how we can ensure farming for generations as well as improve accessibility to wholesome, healthy produce for all. We encourage you to learn more about their inspiring mission, and seek out opportunities to support their work or the work of farms in your local community through purchasing local produce or farmers markets, monetary donations, or volunteering time or resources. 

 

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