How to turn a church into a garden

It was only after Rev. Dr. Heber Brown decided to turn his church’s third courtyard into a paradise that he began to remember the connection with farming. The pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore grew up picking beans and tomatoes from his grandparents’ backyard. He shares stories of how his grandparents used to store food in mason jars to share with rural Virginia. Today, he is moving forward as the founder of the Black Church Food Security Network, which connects those states with farmers in many states. His goal? To create alternative diets that address strategic issues such as racism and climate change.

In addition to building relationships and teaching black churches to produce their own food, the Brown Church regularly hosts markets where tomatoes, pumpkins, summer pumpkins, radishes, okra, and other products are sold at affordable prices. They even grow their own herbs and make aromatic syrup to serve together in conjunction with the usual canned juice.

In the wake of last year’s global epidemic and nationwide racism, Lizo and Dua Lipa were among the celebrities to conquer the Black Church’s food security network, attracting partnerships and a significant increase in public donations. I was honored to learn more about the motivation behind the network, the legacy of the black churches, and the outdated nature of our current diet.

I really started paying attention ten years ago..For an example I saw in my conference: People who go to the hospital for dietary issues. In addition to the usual spiritual support for the pastor, I wanted to do something about it. So we took a room from the front yard of the church and took about 1,500 square feet and started making our own products.

The death of Freddie Gray.He was arrested by Baltimore police five years later. In the midst of the riots, we saw the city government and social support agencies returning from the black community. Public transportation ceased for a few days. The school system is closed and 80,000 black students who depend on school cafeterias for breakfast and lunch are unable to get that support. And so, we began to meet with black farmers so that we could feed ourselves by destroying the existing properties of the black churches – their kitchens, vans, people, place. This is how I started the Black Church Food Security Network, hoping to connect black churches with black farmers. Word spread beyond Baltimore. Today, we have more than 60 black farmers supplying fresh produce to the congregations in our network.

Our current diet is based on … It has a plant economy and a deep legacy of slavery and oppression. There is little that can be done to completely fix and change that system, and for me, a little motivation to try to change such a brutal system that has been oppressing me for so many years on this earth. What I want to do is not only because of racism and oppression in the modern food system, but also because of the challenges of climate change, growing concerns around geopolitics, and co-op alternative micro-food systems. -19, shows us how weak our current diet is.

There is a lot of emotional turmoil … In the black community around agriculture and gardening. Historically, many black families have been forced out of the south. The effects of that tragic crisis can be passed down from generation to generation, and the idea of ​​farming can bring back some difficult memories. We had to make room to make sure that the ground never shook. Corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and melons have never been honored or violated. The earth is not the source of our suffering; It can be our source of energy if we organize those resources and resources together.

I know I fell..If this effort is no longer here. In every black church, food is a sacred symbol. I often tell people that after spirituality, the second most holy place in the building is the kitchen. Black Church has been around for a very long time. To have something that lasts longer than our age, our biggest bullet is to plant it in the ground and watch it bloom.

It first appeared on Bon Aptit

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