Our 104th Real Farmer Care recipient is Ashanti Williams @ashantiii23.
Ashanti writes, “My name is Ashanti Williams and I am a landless Black farmer. I'm currently stewarding land in a community garden founded by my parents called Taqwa Community Farm in the Bronx. Taqwa was developed in the early 90’s in an effort to provide a safe haven for community members with access to local fresh fruits, vegetables and eventually fresh eggs. I’ve been passionate about raising animals for the past five years, and my passion became the most pronounced after taking over raising the layer hen operation at Taqwa. About three years ago I was presented with the opportunity to transition from urban to rural farming through an apprenticeship raising icelandic sheep in Minnesota. I knew I had found my calling after having the opportunity to live life on the farm and my desire to work with and learn about other species of livestock took off. I continue learning and seeking out different opportunities moving forward. Overall I am grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way over the past few years but they have come at a cost and I've been struggling to figure out how to address these issues. As a Black woman farming in the rural predominantly white spaces where most of these apprenticeships have taken place, I’ve been the only Black person/Person of Color involved which has led to a range of negative experiences for me from culture shock, microaggressions, and a lack of diversity in the curriculum being taught. To say the least it's been hard. My dream in life is to operate a farm of my own working with a collective of folk who work together to teach BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) farming techniques and history through a more truthful lens about the history of agriculture in America. We remain resilient in spite of the horrendous history of the enslavement of African peoples, and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. I want to teach a curriculum that uplifts the resilience that was developed as a result of and in spite of those experiences.” Venmo @ Ashanti-Williams-5 GoFundMe link @ashantiii23