My name is Sadé Black and I am a youth farmer at the Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden. I first found out about the farm during my freshman year of high school when my teacher Mr. Thomas referred me. My first day I was very nervous and I didn’t know anyone except my friend Lamiyah. I remember being embarrassed about working on a farm because I was afraid of what people were going to say and I don’t like being judged.
Working at the farm I have learned about responsibility, the history of my people, and how to move forward in life. I think learning about what the farm represents, Sankofa, has helped me understand important things about my history that are not taught in school. This includes information about black inventors and heroes that aren’t included in history books or taught to young black kids in public school. I believe the farm is a place to feel your ancestors and to communicate with them about how grateful we are through the food we grow.
The food we grow does not get put in boxes and shipped off to other states: it is grown and sold right here in the Southwest community. The farm is a place where people can feel safe and confident that the food they are consuming is not going to harm them because we don’t use pesticides or other chemicals when growing our produce. The food our neighbors consume is grown with time, love, and by people who are dedicated to food justice and justice for the community.
Southwest Philadelphia deserves healthy, organic produce. This kind of food is hard to find in our community and wasn’t available nearby or at affordable prices until the Sankofa Community Farm came along.
The Sankofa Community Farm is a family of youth and elders working together to heal the Southwest community. Working on the farm is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had and I would not choose to be a part of any other community.