The 184th recipient is Tolu Igun @tmicreative of Owls Nest Farm @owlsnestfarm in Upper Marlboro, MD. Tolu writes, “Reconnecting with the land over time has allowed me to return to myself and feel more closely connected to those I share this home, Earth with. I am a child of Nigerian immigrants returning to work alongside nature in the footsteps of my Yoruba ancestors, and I am beyond blessed for all the love and light farming has brought into my life.
Becoming the farmer I am today has been a long, arduous journey. I was first introduced to the urban agriculture movement in 2013 in Detroit where I was born, but it wasn’t until 2020 that I committed to a career in farming wholeheartedly after moving to Washington, DC. Ever since, I’ve been distributing, growing and having the most wonderful conversations about food with my newfound DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) community and hope to continue to do so for years to come.
Balancing my mental health and wellbeing with my commitment to full time farming in the society we currently live in is a daily fight. The pressures of farming under racial capitalism are often not in alignment with my desires to farm in a more fair, just and equitable world. I know it takes time to build the better world I want to live in because progress is a process. That is why I’m eternally grateful for the support I have in my life in this moment. This grant will allow me to treat myself to a massage and a nice meal to celebrate the wins, big and small, that I’ve made thus far in 2022.
I’m already planting the seeds of the dreams I can and will build one day. From selling seedlings throughout my local community with guidance on how to take care of these plants, to hosting educational opportunities in the city for BIPOC, women, queer folks and other marginalized people like myself, I want growing your own food to be easy and accessible to all in the near future. I know I’ll reach where I’m going one seed at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time. Thank you for this offering which will take me one step further to building my own food and farm dreams.”