On March 21-22, 2023, we brought together a few of our friends to join us on a field trip to Happy Dirt in Durham, North Carolina. Pastor Carolyn Cavaness of Bethel AME in Ardmore, Pennsylvania and two food ministry leaders from Kingdom Fellowship AME Church in Maryland; Brother Marcus Jean and Karima Davis joined this delegation which provided us an opportunity to learn more about food distribution, logistics, and farmer relationships through a justice and equity lens. Happy Dirt, based in North Carolina, specializes in all of this and more. Sandi Kronik, CEO and Founder of Happy Dirt, is a dear friend not only of the Black Church Food Security Network, but of food justice organizations across the nation as well. She is a leader in this field. Her advocacy, organizing and insights about how to orchestrate a values-based food ecosystem are essential for our time.
In addition to learning from our Happy Dirt family, we also toured Hawk’s Nest Healing Garden which is farmed by Hector Lopez and Phoebe Gooding. Like us, they believe that “Food sovereignty and self determination are foundational for liberation.” It was powerful being on this sacred land and learning not only about their growing, but also about their approach to farming which encompasses healing along with nourishment. We envision a time when all of our church gardens will be founded upon the principles that help to shape Hawk’s Nest Healing Garden.
We organized this field trip to provide continuing education, professional development and relationship-building to BCFSN member churches. Sandi and her staff at Happy Dirt allowed us the gift of being able to glean from their experience and wisdom. We are excited to be in a position to deeper our partnership with them and can’t wait to see what the future holds for our joint efforts.
Let us know if you’re interested in joining one of our field trips or Black Farm Tours.