On July 10, 2021, my husband Sheldon and I spent a sunny afternoon at a very inspiring program held at the Gill Tract Community Farm in Albany, CA. The Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, an urban, Indigenous women-led land trust that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people, and Justice Outside, which sponsors transformative career development training for BiPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) youth, co-sponsored the program. Land Trust Team Member Nazshonnii B-A led us through the interactive event, which included discussing our relationships to nature.
She asked: when you think of a favorite plant, what comes up? Both thoughts and feelings did. Participants recalled with fondness plants grown at their homes during their childhoods. We were able to tour the Farm, meandering down rows of flowers—sunflowers everywhere—squash and greens and fragrant herbs. Appreciation of and care for the land was in bloom at the Farm, which is a collaborative community project between the University of CA Berkeley and the local community, including the Land Trust, and focuses on food justice and urban farming. Sheldon and I left with a handful of spicy bay leaves, expertly harvested by Naz.
While the Farm is not open for public tours during these COVID times, it does host a pay-what-you-can or pay-nothing-at-all farmer’s market on Sundays @ 3 pm during growing and harvesting season. Come by and enjoy!