Do you have a farmer elder in your past? An agrarian ancestor? A parent, grandparent, great grandparent, or someone even further back who worked the land? What do you know about that person? What was their life like? What is their story? Our farm to school team was recently asked these questions by Onika Abraham, director of Farm School NYC at the Massachusetts Farm & Sea to School Conference.
Sharing the stories of our ancestors and their relationship to the land and to each other is powerful. Not only does the sharing of our stories build community, but also these stories shine a light on the roots of oppression of our current food system, strengthening our resolve to change the system to make it more equitable and just for all people.
What are your stories? What can we learn from our collective past to help us build a more equitable and just food system going forward? Onika shared some amazing stories with us...
We heard about a 3 acre plot of Nipmuc land, the only remaining land in Massachusetts that has never been owned or occupied by non-native people.
We were surprised by the origin story of the National School Breakfast Program, which has its roots in the Black Panther movement.
Our own stories and the stories above can be shared with students and colleagues to dig deeper into the history of our food system. By sharing stories that aren’t part of the dominant narrative, we can create new narratives of farm and food education and transform the culture of food in our schools and communities. What are your stories and how do they fit into the history of our food system? Please email us your stories—we would love to hear them!