SAAFON (short for the Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network), is the first and only network of its kind of over 120 primarily African American farmers, working across seven states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. While there has been a recent resurgence in the grassroots movement for healthy soil across the U.S., SAAFON collaborator Black Dirt Farm Collective (BDFC) is pioneering a unique approach to sustainable farming: known as “afro-ecology,” this movement grounds modern farming in historical wisdom and techniques, providing an opportunity for Black farmers — and young farmers in particular — to connect to their cultural traditions while developing healthy food for their communities.
In addition to growing this movement, SAAFON and BDFC are working to launch a new initiative to engage, train and educate Black farmers in the southeast who are either currently farming organically or seeking to transition to more sustainable methods. Given the re-emergence of the Southeast as an agricultural center in the face of climate/weather-related disruptions in the Central and Western United States, this especially timely effort will help build more resilient local food systems.
Within just one hour of Atlanta specifically, SAAFON member Bread and Butter Farms is a family operation that aims to educate its community on sustainability and provide nutrient-rich organically grown food. The farm has also participated in local events in support of fellow farmers and to discuss food safety techniques.
Would you be interested in connecting with SAAFON’s Executive Director Tamara Jones, and leaders from the BDFC to learn more about the work they’re doing on the ground and the potential of afro-ecology to transform our food systems? If you’d like to set up a time to talk or arrange a visit to a local farm, just let me know and I’d be happy to help.