Forage + Black

The Intersection of Black Culture + Green Thumbs

Who is Forage + Black?

Do you smudge sage and have a hood playlist? You cuss and you compost? We get you. 

Forage + Black is the space where Black culture and green thumbs meet. When we talk about Read, Black and Green, we mean Read-those who are educated (college is not the only education), Black-any part of, or ally to, the African Diaspora and Green-in love with Mother Earth.

As a semi-crunchy wife and mom of two with a background in agriculture, I know that I am not the agricultural archetype. The average farmer in America is a 66 year-old, white male. Only around 5% of American Farmers are BIPOC, and less than 2% are Black. 

There are many of us doing our part to change the narrative that has been co-opted. We've been doing this growing food thing since the advent of agriculture, some 10,000+ years ago. We brought our knowledge with us when we were forced to the stolen land of the Americas. That knowledge continued through chattel slavery and grew with us as we developed the New Farmers of America as sharecroppers.

We stand—whether in community gardens, container gardens, backyard gardens, homesteads, or large production farms. We do this. Where our Black and Brown hands meet the soil grows the sustenance for another day. 

Welcome and Ashe.

My father taught me that the fate of a seed can be predicted by the health of the soil where it takes root...We all need a healthy environment and a community that lets us fulfill our potential.

Will Allen
Growing Power

Meet the Chief Cultivator

Yolanda Owens

Chief Cultivator

Yolanda grew up in Columbus, Ohio. An unsuspecting participant in 4-H and In-School Scouting, she developed her connection with the land very young. Growing up with a garden in her backyard was only the beginning of her journey that took her to Ghana, West Africa, where she discovered that food is life. 

Yolanda is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences where she served as the first Black and Latina President of the Alumni Society Board. An active participant in her community, she along with four other women helped to found Black Lactation Circle, a breastfeeding support and advocacy group for Black mothers in Central Ohio. 

Yolanda is a wife, a mother of two little boss ladies (no, really, their initials are CEO), and a supporter of those trying to do right by the people and the land. She believes in the saying, "There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." 

~ Victor Hugo