Agrarian Trust

How we catalyze the commons 🌱

Agrarian Trust Summer Newsletter | June 2024

Whether the solstice found you basking in the sun or keeping cool in the shade, we trust you’ve been enjoying the bounty of local farms. It’s been an abundant season for the commons with new partnerships and four new farms helmed by next-generation farmers on the way.

We got a wonderful response to the “Letter from a Land Donor” by Callie Walker in our spring newsletter. In case you missed it, Callie, Duron Chavis, and Renard Turner also graced us in a video to share their vision for the land and their community—see below!

On a personal note, whenever I feel overwhelmed by the scale of the work before us, I often think of their words and examples as a reminder of what’s possible through collective effort. We hope you’ll be moved to watch and share it. We never know when or where a generous spirit might be inspired to help catalyze a new commons.

A GIFT OF LAND JUSTICE

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SUMMIT 

Save the Date: Indigenous Peoples Summit, September 13-15th 

Agrarian Trust is honored to serve on the planning committee for the Summit as a supporting organization. Our team will be in attendance again this year! We look forward to seeing our fellow organizers from around the country as we gather in Omaha, NE. 

Organizations and donors are welcome to sponsor the event. Registration is open to the public. >> Visit this page for more info

FAITHLANDS NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Register: FaithLands National Conference, August 6th – 8th

Since 2017, farmer advocates and faith community leaders across the U.S. have collaborated to shine light on farms and gardens on land owned by religious organizations. For many years, this work has been happening ‘below the radar’ both in rural communities and large cities. FaithLands aims to approach it from a national perspective to help advance food sovereignty and land justice. 

Many thanks to the Methodist Theological Seminary of Ohio (MTSO) in Delaware, Ohio for hosting the event.>> Learn more and register here

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: PLANT IT FORWARD

On June 20th, Plant It Forward (PIF), Chef Rafi Nasr of Craft Pita, and Chef Evelyn Garcia of Jun, hosted a beautiful event for World Refugee Day and share the bounty of local farmers. Attendees enjoyed a delicious, 3-course meal featuring fresh, seasonal organic produce from Plant It Forward’s farmer network in the company of PIF farmers and farming apprentices. Chef Rafi, Sharifa Shakirah of the Rohingya Women’s Collective, and PIF’s new President, Nirjhor Rahman, shared heartwarming and powerful stories of their work in the food system. We again congratulate Nirjhor on his new role at PIF and look forward to working together!

FUNDRAISER FOR LAND REMATRIATION

Agrarian Trust and an Indigenous collective are raising funds to support the long-term viability of a land rematriation project within the ancestral homelands of Nipmuc People in an area known as “Bogastow Farm.” Thanks to hundreds of supporters and donors, the P8guaso Land Rematriation project has now achieved over 93% of their goal of raising $1,875,000. With around $119,000 left to fundraise, we invite you to show your support for Indigenous-led land rematriation and community-based stewardship. >> Learn more and join us in giving to achieve this goal

In our last newsletter, we shared plans to establish Agrarian Commons farms in New York, Texas, and Nebraska. Thanks to everyone who wrote in with words of support and invitations to local events!

As we begin this multiyear effort, please join us again in welcoming our friends at Alianza AgrícolaMaya Economic Development CorporationPlant It Forward, and the Somali-Bantu Community Organization—all uplifting examples of caring for the commons.  

With Admiration,

Jean Willoughby with the Agrarian Trust team