Our 103rd Real Farmer Care recipient is Roxanne Masters and her family of Roots n Earth Farm @rootsnearthfamilyfarm in Cottage Grove, OR.
Roxanne writes, “Roots n Earth is our small family farm. We’re a big Mexican-Jamaican family of nine living in Oregon. We practice sustainable, ancestral gardening and love doing things with our hands like crafting and woodworking. Our vision is to have a safe, sustainable community space on the land, and help our children, and others, gain practical skills. One of our ongoing goals to decolonize sustainable agricultural practices and relearn some of our ancestral ways of farming. We come from farming families and cultures and always dreamed of having land to steward. We currently farm on 10 acres in a rural town in Oregon, where we are one of the few families of color. We grow food with a goal to feed ourselves year round, and we also have various livestock. We sell raw cow’s milk, raise St. Croix sheep (who were originally taken to the Caribbean from West Africa, on ships with our enslaved ancestors), and meat rabbits. Being Black and Indigenous/Latinx farmers gives us a different perspective when learning about sustainable farming, because much of it is colonized and stolen/capitalized knowledge. It is frustrating to be involved in the ‘regenerative agriculture’ movement and see firsthand how Indigenous methods are repackaged as cutting edge innovations, without respect, acknowledgement, or a real understanding of these traditions. It is frustrating to be seen as strangers in your ancestral practices and homelands. We need to be surrounded by more people of color who don’t second guess our experience. We’re trying to pay off our mortgage to be debt free so that we can have more time for farm and family. As BIPOC, we lack the generational wealth that lets some farmers jump right into full time farming. Our existence is resistance.” Venmo @ RootsandEarth #realfarmercare