Our 88th @realfarmercare recipient is Christina Chan of Choy Division @choydivision of Chester, NY.
Christina writes, “Choy Division started out as a small idea three years ago while I was urban farming in NYC and now I am in my first full season growing in the rich black dirt of the lower Hudson Valley. We specialize in growing Asian vegetables and fruits using organic and regenerative agricultural techniques, but also act as stewards of our soil, our land, and all the creatures who live upon it. Farming has been a way for me to re-connect with my heritage through the complex language of food. I spent years struggling between my American and Asian identities, and often felt that I had to sacrifice one in order to succeed. As an adult, I learned that this duality was a cause for celebration and the shifting society around me made me finally feel this was true.
But after Covid-19 hit and the anti-Asian racist and hate crimes began, I was painfully reminded of why I felt that struggle all those years ago. The idea that if I could shed the "otherness" that I would be accepted. When others seek to remind us that we do not belong, that we have never belonged, despite the fact that this is the only home we've known, we lean on each other for comfort and resiliency. It pushed me to pivot from chef sales towards a CSA model for NYC so I could directly serve my community, one that was in need of support and love. The members of my CSA have told me how our CSA is a source of comfort and joy to them, and how they finally feel recognized in the local food scene. To me, this is the greatest success I can hope for - to shine a light in the darkest of times, and to lift ourselves up through hope and kindness.”