What has Africa brought to the United States in terms of produce and farming knowledge?

Today on the Thriving Farmer Podcast we’re proud to be hosting Karen Washington, Founder of Rise & Root Farm, located in The Bronx, New York. Rise & Root Farm is a women owned and collectively run farm. They grow top notch vegetables, flowers, herbs & seedlings. Since 1985 Karen has been a community activist, striving to make New York City a better place to live. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, Karen worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens.  She also co-founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Join us today to hear about Karen’s long journey improving her community with pure, nutrient rich produce!

In This Episode:

How Karen got into agriculture 1:44

What prompted Karen to start Rise & Root Farm 2:55

What food insecurity looks like in the Bronx neighborhood 5:36

How American history has impacted the African American community’s role in farming 14:07

What crops were brought to America from Africa 18:06

What plants Rise & Root Farm raises 30:51

What marketing strategies does Rise & Root employ 38:55

What Black Urban Growers is all about 45:25

What advice Karen has for newer farmers 55:40

What Karen does in addition to farming 56:34

About the Guest:

Karen is a farmer and activist. She is Co-owner/Farmer at Rise & Root Farm in Chester New York. An activist, food advocate; in 2010, Co- Founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS) an organization supporting growers in both urban and rural settings. In 2012, Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country and in 2014 was the recipient of the James Beard Leadership Award. Karen serves on the boards of the New York Botanical Gardens, Mary Mitchell Center, SoulFire Farm and Black Famer Fund.


Website: www.riseandrootfarm.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karwasher

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karwasher/


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We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, What to Look for in a Farm Property, etc), which you can download here.