A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Every Problem Has A Solution Quilt Project. The illustrated quilt-like square here is the result of my query, “how can I best use my skills as an illustrator and graphic designer to be useful in the time of the pandemic, climate change – and now also – racial inequality?” After reviewing and answering the queries for SPICES (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, stewardship) as best I could, integrity stood out … soon the answer came in loud and clear by way of an Essex Farm Note by Kristin Kimball of Essex Farm.

In her Week 23, 2020 note, Kristin guided readers to Soul Fire Farm, a community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. And just like that, a focus to use art to support sustainable agriculture, the environment, and racial equity presented itself. I am not sure where this will lead, or what I can do, but I hope this post can be a first step in raising awareness of Soul Fire Farm and other Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) – run farms.

Soul Fire Farm’s co-founder, Leah Penniman, wrote, Farming While Black. I ordered a copy and look forward to reading it.

Another organization that strongly supports BIPOC farms is Future Harvest: Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. Their mission: to advance agriculture that sustains farmers, communities, and the environment. Their emails provided additional information and guidance. Because of them, I learned about the amazing human being, George Washington Carver. Why had I not studied him in school?

Stay strong in love.

A few years ago, a super talented artist friend Penny Hauffe, suggested we collaborate on an art show called, “Everyday Saints”. One sketch I made was to celebrate migrant farmers who labor with back-breaking effort in intolerable weather conditions, for long long hours, and for very little pay – so we can walk into an air-conditioned grocery store and grab a bag of frozen produce in a minute’s time.

Now, the real challenge, how can I use my skills to help improve the working conditions, civil rights, and pay for migrant farmers?

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The above quilt-like square, based on the Everyday Saints sketch to honor migrant farmers, was made by cutting out scans of fabric into shapes of the illustration in Photoshop.