March 21st was the International Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and those working in the food justice space are aware that it's a long term, deeply rooted problem that needs to be constantly fought. Where's the starting place? Ahem - Admitting there's a cultural tradition deeply rooted in property acquisition and dependency culture, through food and medicine, that comes from the others "not-owning-property".
In fact, food has both been a tool for racial discrimination, as well as a liberating force against it.
Decentralized food systems automatically need local employees, local distribution, and local nutrients in order to supply the needs of those nearby. If it were centralized, the people would have no method to guide its development for themselves. We recognized this and built into the Asante Microfarm a plan to supply its food within 2 sq miles of its location. Located in a predominantly Black American neighborhood, it's juxtaposed between a low-wealth and high-wealth area. This provides the perfect opportunity to source internally, both with talent nearby, vendors, and customers who support our mission. In the future, we plan to open other Microfarms in neighborhoods that serve their unique composition of residents, food, staff, and supporters.
Some foods, generally indigenous ones, are more healthy than other foods. In fact, many indigenous veggies, like corn, have tested to have as much as 35% more protein than typically grown varieties. It also makes sense that things that naturally grow here (SoCal) would be the best adapted to carry high nutrient value for consumers. Let's go with it!
It all stays in the family. From who owns the land, to who works on it, to who distributes the food, and to who receives that food. There's no problem supporting those closeby when you will get supported, too.
Nobody can regulate you - growing food is a right. We control our destiny, not the grocery stores that may have other incentives, or worse close down creating a food desert.
Below is an image of Trainees of Crop Swap LA learning as they help build the Asante Microfarm. We are proud to have local leaders step forward to lead this early mission, and plan to continue seeking local leaders who see where this is going.