5 Black female farmers feeding Rural America

You and I both saw it. Felt it, too. Hard. COVID rampaged through Planet Earth. Unapologetically rocking everyone’s lifestyles around the globe — the way we dress, work, socialize. But it didn’t prevent some of us from rolling out brilliant plans to sustain our neighborhoods. On Instagram, I’ve learned about, watched and rooted for a few remarkable, Southern darlings. Since Day 1 of the virus, each has made sure their local communities continue to produce healthy eating options. And guess what: They haven’t stopped, yet. I simply had to open 2021 shouting out my top farm gal influencers. Their innovative approaches to surviving as essential small-sized agribusinesses (and looking naturally fabulous while doing so) deserves digital applauds.

 

Gabrielle E.W. Carter | @gabrielle_eitienne

This afro-voguing agriculturalist co-founded Tall Grass Food Box, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) service in North Carolina. She collaborated with Derrick Beasley (artist, left) and G.C. Harris (university admin, right) to pull off the project in the middle of the global pandemic. Saw a local need for more nutritious foods and filled it. How dope is that? The bi-weekly, subscription-based service (with pickups) provides fresh produce to Durham and Raleigh community members. Boxes feature crops from Black farmers around that region — everything from eggs and herbs to leafy green and potato varieties. Through Tall Grass, Carter serves as a model for small farmers to connect directly and creatively with consumers. Photo courtesy Tall Grass Food Box

 

Jermila Norman | @patchworkcityfarms

I actually received the opportunity to interview and feature Norman on USDA grant project Black Farmers’ Network summer 2020. She’s the Atlanta queen of pop-up markets, especially during COVID-19. Her CSA curbside service and years of work in urban farming recently earned her a slot on new broadcaster Magnolia Network. Owner of Patchwork City Farms, Norman’s newest documented journey, “Homegrown,” airs on Magnolia’s digital series “Road to Launch.” Watch as she uses her original farming skills to help families convert their backyards into working farms. Photo courtesy Black Farmers’ Network

 

Samantha Winship | @mothersfinesturbanfarm

She’s the bees knees of all-purpose agriculture in the South. The North Carolina native, certified beekeeper and master gardener developed a multipurpose 2.5-acre farm that’s winning in the Age of COVID. Mothers Finest Family Farm includes CSA subscription boxes, basic farming, beekeeping, vermiculture, poultry care and processing value-added products. She’s all about providing communities with natural immune system support products that combat COVID. You must try her popular organic raw honey and wellness tonics — elderberry syrup and fire. Photo courtesy Mothers Finest Family Farm

 

Kaneisha Miller | @em_farms

Southern belle on a backroads mission. That’s the only way to describe Culloden, Georgia, farmer Kaneisha Miller. In the middle of rural nowhere, she’s created an agritourism and on-site farmers market that attracts customers from all parts of the Peach State. Her go-with-anything jams, homemade cakes and innovative attitude are what keeps traffic coming to her family land turned agribusiness, EM Farms. Celebrating her grandmother who knew how to throw down in a Deep South kitchen, EM Farms makes every guest feel at home — even while social distancing. Photo courtesy Black Farmers’ Network

 

Farmer Cee | @greenheffafarms

Farmer Cee’s agricultural story is so power Oprah’s O Magazine had to feature her. She’s one of the first Black women to earn a hemp license in North Carolina. Originally from Anne Manie, Alabama, the fifth-generation farmer went from an award-winning fundraising and marketing career to the face of legalized industrial hemp. Her farm, Green Heffa Farms, shares what organic farming practices looks like. On Instagram, she’s brilliant about updating followers about Green Heffa’s newest developments in growing medicinal herbs, outdoor classroom experiences and live demo days. Photo courtesy of Green Heffa Farms

About Author /

An award-winning feature writer, internationally published brand blogger and digital content creator. The fourth-generation cowgirl and veteran journalist pioneered digital platform Southern Styles & Steeds to share sincere stories from her agricultural upbringing.

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