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Celebrating Black History at Black Seeds Urban Farm

Posted by Suzanne Pender, USDA Strategic Communications Coordinator in Equity Farming
Feb 14, 2024
Bobby and Derravia Rich at Black Seeds Urban Farm, a USDA People’s Garden

Black History Month is a time of celebration, education, and reflection at Black Seeds Urban Farm, located in Memphis, Tennessee. Bobby and Derravia Rich started the community garden to provide local, organic fruits, vegetables, and nuts to neighbors with little or no access to fresh, nutritious food.

“Black History Month is a time to reflect on the rich agricultural heritage ingrained in our culture,” said Bobby. “Being urban farmers, we see ourselves as custodians of sustainable foods that have nourished our communities for generations, reaching back to ancient history.”

Educational events and workshops during Black History Month highlight agricultural practices deeply rooted in Black culture. “We take pride in growing varieties of produce that honor our ancestors like a variety of greens, black walnuts, okra, pecans and more; while recognizing the essential role these foods have played in sustaining and nourishing our communities throughout history,” said Derravia. “The struggles and triumphs of our ancestors motivate us to continue cultivating sustainable foods and maintaining a connection to our agricultural roots. Each crop we grow is a testament to the resilience and resourcefulness embedded in our cultural history, serving as a living tribute to those who came before us.”

Bobby and Derravia Rich with their daughter at Black Seeds Urban Farm

Black Seeds is more than an urban farm, it is a local food movement that underscores the power of people working together for the common good. It embodies the principles of the People’s Garden, inspiring people to join, grow, and teach.

Wellness is about more than healthy food. It includes strong community ties, space to relax, and shared concern for the health of our planet. The farm’s visitors are invited to use the space in whatever way nourishes them the most, -- from picking their own produce, to enjoying a quiet space for meditation, to relaxing in the hammocks surrounded by nature, to gathering for a picnic or event.

Derravia Rich teaching the youth about growing food at Black Seeds Urban Farm

“Black History Month serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring legacy of our community,” said Derravia. “It fuels our passion for urban farming, inspires us to contribute meaningfully to the People's Garden Initiative and fosters a sustainable, thriving future for generations to come.”

Bobby Rich at Black Seeds Urban Farm
Category/Topic: Equity Farming