Producers/Hosts: Holli Cederholm and Clare Boland
Editor: Clare Boland
Common Ground Radio is an hour-long discussion of local food and organic agriculture with people here in the state of Maine and beyond.
In the April 2023 episode of MOFGA’s Common Ground Radio, host Holli Cederholm discusses “Black Earth Wisdom: Soulful Conversations with Black Environmentalists” with Leah Penniman, farm director/co-executive director of Soul Fire Farm and author of “Farming While Black,” and Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro and author of “Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors.” “Black Earth Wisdom” is a newly released book of essays and interviews that explores Black people’s spiritual and scientific connection to the land, waters, and climate.
Topics this episode include:
– “Black Earth Wisdom: Soulful Conversations with Black Environmentalists” by Leah Penniman.
– “Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land” by Leah Penniman.
– “Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors” by Rue Mapp.
– Contributions of Black people to environmental thought and agroecological practices.
– The importance of representation to access and inclusion.
– Why centering BIPOC voices is critical to environmentalism.
Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol farmer, mother, soil nerd, author, and food justice activist who co-founded Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, in 2010, with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim our ancestral connection to land. Penniman is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs — including farmer training for Black and Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for communities living under food apartheid, and domestic and international organizing toward equity in the food system. In addition to “Black Earth Wisdom,” she is the author of “Farming While Black.”
Rue Mapp documents her personal experiences while pioneering and shifting a new visual representation of Black people in the outdoors. An outdoorswoman, she transformed her kitchen table blog into a national nature-inspired enterprise and movement, called Outdoor Afro: where Black people and nature meet. Mapp is the founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, and she is also the author of “Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors,” which was published in 2022. Her words about nature and Black joy can also be found in conversation with other Black environmentalists in the newly released “Black Earth Wisdom.”
“Black Earth Wisdom: Soulful Conversations with Black Environmentalists” by Leah Penniman
“Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land” by Leah Penniman
“Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors” by Rue Mapp
Soul Fire Farm
About the hosts:
Holli Cederholm has been involved in organic agriculture since 2005 when she first apprenticed on a small farm. She has worked on organic farms in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Scotland and Italy and, in 2010, founded a small farm focused on celebrating open-pollinated and heirloom vegetables. As the former manager of a national nonprofit dedicated to organic seed growers, she authored a peer-reviewed handbook on GMO avoidance strategies for seed growers. Holli has also been a steward at Forest Farm, the iconic homestead of “The Good Life” authors Helen and Scott Nearing; a host of “The Farm Report” on Heritage Radio Network; and a long-time contributor for The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, which she now edits in her role as content creator and editor at MOFGA.
Caitlyn Barker has worked in education and organic agriculture on and off for the last 17 years. She has worked on an organic vegetable farm, served on the Maine Farm to School network, worked in early childhood education and taught elementary school. She currently serves as the community engagement coordinator for MOFGA.