She is black.
She is female.
She is a farmer.
Amber’s farming story starts long before she first set foot on soil.
Amber believes all of the land farmed today has a story too which is why it is imperative to not stop the regenerative conversation at the soil but to dig down deeper and understand the history of the land on which we are farming today and how that has created injustices for young, black and indigenous farmers like her.
Today Amber speaks of the injustices still woven into the root systems of society and farming. She has yet to see a successful way to do regenerative agriculture as a young, black, female farmer, which honors the land, the people, giving low income communities access to fresh produce while also taking care of herself.
Minority kids come to learn and experience the urban farm and she would see their joyful hearts and hopeful eyes as they dug their hands into the soil. She could see in their excitement what comes from nurturing the land and what it produces, and yet her heart would sink because there isn’t a future or successful career in farming for them based on the current system. Amber is here to change it.
She feels most people think being a “farmer” means you own your own land and operation, but that’s not the case.
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
“I recently had the opportunity to farm a small plot of acreage on a large farm in Vermont that was owned by a couple who wasn’t utilizing the land. I wanted to farm the land and produce food and we created a win-win through a collaborative effort. No loan needed, no debt incurred, just land utilized to produce nourishing food and the benefit shared with the community.
When we can collaborate in this way, there is a solution that benefits the land, the minority farmer and the farm operation owner. This is what we need to move toward.”
MOTHER + MOTHER EARTH
For Amber, it was a single moment when her father murdered her mother. At the age of 18 she lost both parents with her mother gone and her father in jail. Along with them she lost her housing, income, food and healing. Little did she know farming would provide her with all of these things. For months Amber mourned, devastated in silence. And then there came a day when she felt called to get outside, into nature.
“As I laid my mother’s body into the earth, the earth literally became my mother.”
Amber, not knowing how she was going to support herself, got a job at a nearby rural farm and hasn’t left the soil since. Every seed she has planted since the loss of her mother, she plants in the name of her mother to remember and honor her mother and mother earth.