This year's lineup begins with the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area's best farmers and chefs are paired together to create delectable bite-size dishes that inspire and amaze. The event is a celebration of our local food community and the people who work so hard to bring delicious local foods to our plates year-round.
Not only are the Farm to Fork Events delicious, they also benefit a great cause. All proceeds support beginning farmer programs at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). Please join us at one or both events - we look forward to seeing you there!
Photos from the 2019 picnic.
10 Year Anniversary video, courtesy of Big Dog Little Bed Productions.
Lavender Oaks Farm in Chapel Hill
Dr. Monica M. White is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the President of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. Her research investigates communities of color and grassroots organizations that are engaged in the development of sustainable, community food systems as a strategy to respond to issues of hunger and food inaccessibility. She is the author of Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement.
After Dr. White's lecture we'll enjoy a delicious meal prepared Billy Cotter of Dashi and Toast, Roberto Copa Matos of Copa, Thomas Card of Counting House, all in Durham; Brendan Cox of Oakleaf in Carrboro; Andrea Reusing and Miguel A. Torres of Lantern in Chapel Hill; and Angelina Koulizakis-Battiste and Sarah Sligh of Angelina's Kitchen in Pittsboro. The evening will also feature libations from Fullsteam Brewery and The Haw River Wine Man, and live music by the John Brown Jazz Trio.
We are honored to welcome Dr. Monica White, Assistant Professor of Environmental Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as our annual sustainable agriculture lecturer. Dr. White teaches courses in environmental justice, urban agriculture and community food systems, and is the first African American woman to earn tenure in both the College of Agricultural Life Sciences and the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Her research investigates Black, Latinx and Indigenous grassroots organizations engaged in the development of sustainable, community food systems as a strategy to respond to issues of hunger and food inaccessibility. She has presented widely on these subjects, from University of Western Cape in South Africa to UC Berkeley to the Detroit Public Library. She is the author of Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement.
In May 1967, internationally renowned activist Fannie Lou Hamer purchased forty acres of land in the Mississippi Delta, launching the Freedom Farms Cooperative (FFC). A community-based rural and economic development project, FFC would grow to over 600 acres, offering a means for local sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and domestic workers to pursue community wellness, self-reliance, and political resistance. Life on the cooperative farm presented an alternative to the second wave of northern migration by African Americans--an opportunity to stay in the South, live off the land, and create a healthy community based upon building an alternative food system as a cooperative and collective effort.
Freedom Farmers expands the historical narrative of the black freedom struggle to embrace the work, roles, and contributions of southern black farmers and the organizations they formed. Whereas existing scholarship generally views agriculture as a site of oppression and exploitation of black people, this book reveals agriculture as a site of resistance and provides a historical foundation that adds meaning and context to current conversations around the resurgence of food justice/sovereignty movements in urban spaces like Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, and New Orleans.
"Freedom Farmers is an incredible love letter helping Black people return to and reclaim our true agrarian, radical, collective selves. Through this important book, Dr. White brilliantly disrupts the disempowering narrative that Black communities have a painful relationship with farming and land. While Black people have suffered tremendously via exploited labor and the violence of slavery in this country, that is not the summation of our history with land. Dr. White documents important historical lessons for us and shows us what we've known and at times forgotten--that the land both heals and frees us. This book is an urgent reminder and an absolute must read for all of us."
-Dara Cooper, National Black Food and Justice A
Signed copies of Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement will be available for purchase at the event.
Tickets for this event are $45 per person.Buy Tickets
Farm to Fork is an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) and a fundraiser for the beginning farmer programs at CEFS. Farm to Fork fundraising efforts operate under the auspices of the NC Agricultural Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization.