The 152nd Real Farmer Care recipient is Kellee Matsushita-Tseng @bravenewseed, a seed steward @secondgenerationseeds in Santa Cruz, CA. Kellee writes, “My name is Kellee (they/she) and I’m a Yonsei, 4th generation queer Japanese-Chinese American, living and farming on unceded territory of the Awas-was speaking Uypi-tribe. Though my ancestors farmed in California before WWII, I did not grow up farming, and came to farming as a practice of reclaiming ancestral knowledge, and building community health and sovereignty, with seed stewardship work at the heart of that with our seed growers collective Second Generation Seeds @secondgenerationseeds. Currently I am growing Asian vegetables and herbs with a collective of AAPI queers, called #BitterCotyledons, and working to increase access to culturally important foods in an area with little access.
Farming has been one of my greatest teachers. In some ways, my entry points to farming were through exploitative and harmful white spaces. Despite the initial joy of connecting to and working with land, it was only when I started to create my own growing spaces farming began to feel possible as a place of care, restoration, and hope. It’s through farming that I can understand the way that I want to build community, be in relationship with and care for land, as well as better understand how to care for myself. I feel that mental health care is so important as a farmer, and in some ways we as a farmer community still glorify relentless working. I am working to build a more healthy relationship to work/overwork, as well as the expectations we create for each other.”