The 206th recipients are Andrew Green and Antoine Wilson of Regeneration Farm @regenerationfarm in Woodinville, WA.
They write, “The invitation to join the other recipients of this recognition is both an honor and a challenge, as it comes during trying times. We are constantly in a struggle to care for ourselves and center our community in our work, and it would be disingenuous to downplay the difficulty of that. Simply living in the era we do is challenging as a baseline, and attempting to live and work in ways that counter the dominant and destructive norms of our society is a huge undertaking.
Forging ways of living that are community centered, inter-dependent and respectful, while also doing work (farming) which has its economic viability here wholly built upon stolen native land and enslaved African peoples, leaves us faced with countless decisions that often feel like a long slow series of resignations or compromises. The present day economics of farming are still concretely tied to this legacy, now upheld by more recent iterations of exploitation and colonization. Yet here we are, in this complex context, still striving for something better.
Stewarding the land that we are currently responsible for is also an incredible privilege, and it offers us continuous gifts. We attempt to share these things with as much of our community as we can. The question of what support looks like to us is a funny one though, because we routinely receive support in the simple-to-define ways. We regularly see therapists for our mental, physical, spiritual & emotional support. But this is a baseline necessity for us. What deep support looks like is so much more than that; it is communal, consistent, considerate and committed.
If you are reading this, please consider the times we are living in. The real support that we see a need for requires deepening with the community you have, wherever and whatever form that may be. It requires taking on a role that fits you, and shouldering a responsibility to support what is needed in your life and world. We ourselves need it. And so many others do as well.
We farmers and farm workers are not just stewards of the ways in which humans are part of nature, but many of us are the students, teachers and keepers of ways of being that are needed to survive the present crises we are living through and the ones that will come next as well. Maybe someday again we will see the lands, waters, air, and all that lives here thrive. But we must come together on the path of living a culture and society that can survive into this future. So to everyone reading this on instagram: get with those who matter most to you in the real world. That is what real support looks like to us, and where the deep care we all need can most impactfully happen.”