Browse Tag


1 min read

From The NFL To The Farm On a Mission To Combat Hunger

At age 26, Jason Brown signed a $37.5 million contract–one of the largest at the time for any NFL lineman. After the St. Louis Rams cut him from the team in 2012, Brown took a long, hard look in the mirror.

“God told me he had something greater in store for me.”


Instead of fighting for a position on another team, Brown decided to walk away from it all. He moved his family from a mansion to an old farmhouse and he gave up material wealth to go into a hard industry he knew very little about.

That’s how First Fruits Farm had its beginning. First Fruits Farm is also a ministry, donating tons of produce to local food banks and shelters over the years.

“People tell me that I’m crazy, they downright tell me that I’m stupid–OK?–to walk away from millions of dollars. Because if you have the opportunity to play in the NFL, it’s supposed to be a no-brainer,” Brown said on the Tamron Hall Show.


“A big inspiration from my story comes from my older brother. He was slain in service, serving our country over in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Since 2014, First Fruits Farm has provided more than 1.6 million servings of fresh produce.

Tony O. Lawson

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1 min read

Black Farmer Finds Success During Uncertain Times

Despite the challenges now faced by many small business owners these days, a Black farmer in Seatlle is managing to survive and thrive.

Ras Peynado is the owner of Seattle based, Herban Farms. He is following the footsteps of his father, a fourth-generation farmer who lived and died in Jamaica.

In 2010, Ras began growing herbs on an urban farm while developing recipes with his friends and family. He now produces a range of sauces, seasonings, and spices.

In this interview, we discussed the importance of learning how to grow food and the relationship between old school farmers and new school farmers. We also discussed how the new wave of Black business support has impacted his business.

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Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

This Black Owned Pepper and Spice Farm Wants To Bring The Heat To Your Kitchen

Like many other Black owned businesses that have taken a hit in the past few months, Herban Farm is navigating how to survive and still serve the community.

We spoke with owner and operator, Ras Peynado to see how things are going.

black owned pepper farm
Ras Peynado, owner of Herban Farm

What inspired you to start a farm?

I was inspired by the story my mother told me about her and my father’s dream to own/operate an urban farm in Seattle, Wa. My parents never were able to realize this dream since father died in Jamaica, a poor rastaman.

I later took part of his humble lifestyle (farming) and turned it into a profitable lifestyle. I’m also inspired by my own passion for growing medical marijuana.

black owned pepper and spice farm
Ras and his late father.

How has the Coronavirus outbreak affected your business?

GREATLY! The Coronavirus completely devastated my business sales. I operate at Pike Place Market 4-7 days a week year-round depending on the season with a small sales agent team.

We primarily depend on tourism. Tourists that come into the city and even more on cruise ship tourism from April-October. Tourism accounts for 85%-90% of my sales and since March have not been able to set up at market due to the statewide lockdown in Washington.

Black Owned Pepper and Spice Farm

How has it affected your lifestyle?

It’s been hard however I have been able to keep busy living on my urban farm. Spring is always a busy time of year with the start of the farm season also a very expensive time of year.

I am continually investing in infrastructure, supplies, kitchen and farm expenses. It’s really hard to continue to do that without cash flow or capital during these times.

I keep a good spirit and stay to my work. I’m not the only one experiencing this. I miss being at my market surrounded by a community of over 100 farmers and 300 craftspeople.

What new strategies have you implemented or do you plan to implement in your business?

Working with local partners like Savor Seattle and the Atrium Kitchen At Pike Place to come up with creative ways to reach the locals. I create seasonings, sauces, vinegars and other infusions like my Hot Honey Sauce.

All new fresh flavors to use in the kitchen! This is the time when people are spending more time in the kitchen and needing to stay satisfied avoiding the same old stale flavors from the grocery store.

My partners have been able to gather other fresh local producers to create weekly boxes/bags that can be curbside picked up or delivered throughout the city services hundreds of customers so far.


If you had one ask of your community right now, what would it be?

To be patient with each other, to protect each other, to love each other, and to support each other.


Tony O. Lawson

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6 mins read

This Black Woman Owned Farm is Adapting and Thriving During a Pandemic

If you’re looking for a Black Woman-Owned Farm in Charlotte, NC, look no further than Mother’s Finest Urban Farm. We caught up with the owner, Samantha Foxx to find out more about how she and her business are doing these days.

Black Woman Owned Farm
Samantha Foxx, owner of Mother’s Finest Urban Farm (photo credit Allison Lee Eisley)

What inspired you to start a farm? 

I was inspired to get back in touch with nature after realizing the importance of self-sufficiency for me and my family. I think growing your food is a major step to having better health as families and an entire community.

Also, the aspects of self-sufficiency and having a good understanding of where our food comes from is so key. Working and learning together helps us create solutions that will decolonize our health and preserve our lives.

Black Woman Owned Farm

How has the Coronavirus outbreak affected your business?

We’ve been busy! I’m seeing more people grabbing hold of the messages I have been spreading since I started. People are investing more into their local farmers and seeing food as a source of wellness and having access to fresh quality produce is becoming more relevant.

We are working hard daily, to make sure that our community has access to quality produce. The beauty of supporting small family-owned farms is that in most cases there is only one set of hands that touches the food before it goes to your table.

Larger agriculture producers can travel for long periods and produce passes through several hands before it hits store shelves. We also have had more people signing up for CSA shares and investing to help us expand and supply as much produce to our community as possible.

Essentially, I believe farming is a community-centered task and I am happy to see more people becoming involved. Some individuals may not have space to plant or grow their food, but a CSA share is a good way to still have that access for their family to quality products and more.

Photo Credit – Christine Rucker

How has it affected your lifestyle?  

We are now essential workers, so stepping up to keep our community healthy has become a daily driving force. We have been adding beehives and more chickens in hopes of increasing production and getting more food on people’s tables. It’s a big responsibility and a lot of work, but passion gets us through it each day.

Food is comforting to many people and knowing where their next meal is coming from is so important. Seeing the smiles on a family’s face, when we drop off a box to their doorstep is worth all of the hard work.

That family has a healthy meal and at least one less worry during this trying time. That’s a beautiful thing. We need each other, now more than ever as we hope more people see the importance of planting seeds.

What new strategies have you implemented or do you plan to implement in your business? 

We have been using technology more to communicate with our supporters and have added delivery for seniors and families that may be taking care of someone with disabilities. We believe this is a huge part of our social responsibility and helping those that may be more at risk as much as possible.

I’ve started sharing more informational videos on beekeeping and farming to encourage others. I have also started to share more recipes on how to cook with the produce we offer and encourage other families to try new ways to eat healthy balanced meals.

If you had one ask of your community right now, what would it be? 

Please support small family-owned farms and understand the importance of knowing where your food comes from. CSA boxes are also a major way to support a local farmer.

They can also visit or IG @mothersfinesturbanfarms to learn more and how they can get involved. Also, I encourage families to create seed banks and start with what they have to produce the food they eat as a family themselves. I hope to see more families, becoming as self-sufficient as possible.


Tony O. Lawson

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1 min read

Black Woman Hemp Farmer Creates Hemp Tea To Help Promote Healthy Immune Systems

Clarenda Stanley is a fifth-generation hemp farmer originally from Alabama’s Black Belt region. She is also the owner of newly rebranded Green Heffa Farms (GHF), a company that produces boutique quality hemp and herbs that are processed into premium botanical tea blends.

Black Woman Hemp Farmer
Clarenda Stanley

Founded on its 4Es guiding principles of Economic empowerment, Education, Environmental stewardship, and Equity, Green Heffa Farms is committed to building a cadre of women small farmers, with a focus on women of Black/African American descent.

GHF is also dedicated to putting out premium products while leveling the planting field for underrepresented farmers.

As one of few black woman-owned boutique medicinal plant farms, in North Carolina and nationally, GHF recently launched Brenda’s Balm, the market’s first hemp flower + holy basil botanical tea blend.

This premium tea pairs certified organic hemp flower with sustainably-grown holy basil, known as the “Queen of Herbs”.

Black woman Hemp Farmer

The result is a flavorful cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid-packed synergy that boosts your immune health while providing neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits. Savor each sip of this balmy brew as it helps you deal with daily stress and promotes an overall sense of well-being.


Place an order from their website.


Tony O. Lawson

2 mins read

How One Man Turned His Backyard Garden Into a Community Farmers Market

When Jamiah Hargins moved to the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2015, he planted a backyard garden so he and his family (wife Ginnia and daughter Triana) could enjoy fruits and vegetables.

But that small plot produced more than they could eat. Not wanting all the herbs, lemons, and beans to go to waste, Jamiah posted on Nextdoor, the hyperlocal social network, to gauge his neighbors’ interest in a crop swap.

The turnout was substantial. Fifteen people showed up, bearing armfuls of artichokes, kale, onions, and pumpkins from their small backyards and container gardens.

Farmers Market

“I was delighted by how many people were willing to meet strangers on a Sunday morning,” Jamiah says. And they ended up exchanging thoughts as well as crops: Kristin Kloc figured she’d offload some oranges and be on her way. “But then we started talking about growing food and the importance of social equality,” she recalls.

The group steadily expanded to include about 100 people, and Jamiah created an official organization, Crop Swap LA. This past December, the group transformed an empty parking lot into a farmers market, complete with 10 stalls, food trucks, live music, and free yoga.

Members also help neighbors start their own urban gardens, and they’re investigating ways to use nearly every arable square inch of West Adams—business rooftops, parking lots, front yards—to grow more food. The goals are to transform an area thought of (by some) as a food desert and encourage resident involvement.


Source: Real Simple

Related: The Ultimate List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens


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10 mins read

The Ultimate List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens

Black owned farms make up less than 2 percent of all farms in the United States.

According to a recent report, Black farmers lost 80 percent of their farmland from 1910 to 2007, often because they lacked access to loans or insurance needed to sustain their businesses.

The report mentions the “long and well-documented history of discrimination against Black farmers by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).”

It goes on to state that “The unequal administration of government farm support programs, crucial to protecting farmers from an inherently risky enterprise, has had a profound impact on rural communities of color.”

It is clear that that Black farmers need help now more than ever. We also need fresh produce they provide. Here is a list of Black owned farms and food gardens that you can support.

Black Owned Farms


black owned farms
Darden Bridgeforth & Sons Farms/ Credit: News Courier

Darden Bridgeforth & Sons (Tanner, AL)

Bain Home Garden (Rehoboth, AL)

Binford Farms (Athens, AL)

Datus Henry Industries (Birmingham, AL )

Fountain Heights Farms (Birmingham, AL)

Hawkins Homestead Farm (Kinsey, AL)


MillBrook Urban Farms

Millbrook Urban Farms (Phoenix, AZ )

Patagonia Flower Farms (Patagonia, AZ)

Project Rootz Farm (Phoenix, AZ)


black owned farms
Will Scott of Scott Family Farms/ Credit: AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka

African American Farmers of California demo farm (Fresno, CA)

Farms to Grow, Inc. (Oakland, CA)

Corky’s Nuts (Northern CA)

Scott Family Farms (Fresno, CA)

Rancho de Rodney (Fresno, CA)


Root Life (New Haven, CT)

The DMV Area (DC, MD, VA)

black owned farms
Soilful City/Facebook


Good Sense Farm

Good Sense Farm (Washington, DC)

Three Part Harmony (Washington, DC)

Soilful City (Washington, DC)

Sylvanaqua Farms (Washington, DC/Norfolk, VA)


Cherry Hill Urban Garden

Cherry Hill Urban Garden (Cherry Hill, MD)

Deep Roots Farm (Brandywine, MD)

Dodo Farms (Brookeville, MD) 

Four Mother’s Farm (Princess Anne, MD)

Jenny’s Market (Friendship, MD)

The Bladensburg Farm (Riverdale, MD)

Tha Flower Factory  (Baltimore, MD)



Haynie Farms (Reedville, VA)

Berrily Urban (Northern VA)

Botanical Bites Provisions (Fredericksburg, VA)

Boyd Farms (Nathalie VA)

Broadrock Community Garden (Richmond, VA)

Browntown Farms (Warfield, VA)

Brunswick Agriculture and Cultural Model Homesteading & Equestrian Center (Warfield , VA)

Carter Family Farm (Unionville, VA)

Cusheeba Earth: A Soil Culture Farm (Onley, VA)

Fitrah Farms (Central VA)

Go Greens Farms (Suffolk, VA)

Haynie Farm (Reedville, VA)

Mighty Thundercloud Edible Forest (Birdsnest, VA)

Mor-Cannabis (Scottsburg, VA)

Vanguard Ranch (Gordonsville, VA)

Verde Hemp Farms (Surry County, VA)


Griffin Organic Poultry

Harvest Blessing Garden (Jacksonville, FL)

Fisher Farms (Jonesville, FL)

Griffin Organic Poultry (Harthorne, FL)

Infinite Zion Roots Farms (Apopka, FL)

Ital Life Farm (Tampa, FL)

Marlow Farms (Kissimmee, FL)

Seed Mail Seed (West Palm Beach, FL)

Smarter By Nature LLC  (Tallahassee, FL)


black owned farms
The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm /Facebook

Swanson Family Farm (Hampton, GA)

Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (Atlanta, GA)

The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm (Royston, GA)

Semente Farm (Lithonia, GA)

Patchwork City Farms (Atlanta, GA)

Local Lands (Dublin, GA)

Miller City Farm (Fairburn, GA)

Nature’s Candy Farm (Atlanta, GA)

Noble Honey Company (Atlanta, GA)

Restoration Estates Farms (Haddock, GA)

Semente Farm (Lithonia, GA)

Tea Brew Farm (Central Georgia)

The Green Toad Hemp Farm (Metter, GA)

Truly Living Well (Atlanta, GA)


AM Lewis Farms (Matteson, IL )

Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Living (Pembroke Township, IL)

Chi City Foods ( Chicago, IL)

Dusable City Ancestral Winery & Vineyards and Dusable City Botanical Farms

Roots & Vine Produce and Cafe (Chicago, IL)

Salem Hemp Kings (Salem, IL)

Urban Growers Collective (Chicago, IL)

Your Bountiful Harvest (Chicago, IL)


The Russellville Urban Gardening Project (Russellville KY)

Barbour Farm (Canmer, KY)

Ballew Estates (Madison Co, Kentucky)

Cleav’s Family Market Farm (Bonnieville, KY)

Slak Market Farm (Lexington, KY)


black owned farms
Harper Armstrong, owner of Armstrong Farms/ Facebook

Armstrong Farms (Bastrop, LA)

Cryer’s Family Produce (Mount Hermon, LA)

Grow Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Laketilly Acres (New Orleans, LA)

Mama Isis Farm & Market (Baton Rouge, LA)

Oko Vue Produce Co (New Orleans, LA)

Provost Farm (Iberia Parish, LA)


Agric Organics Urban Farming (Springfield, MA)

Urban Farming Institute of Boston (Mattapan, MA)


Annabessacook Farm (Winthrop, Maine)


D-TownFarm (Detroit, MI)


Earcine (Cine`) Evans, founder of Francis Flowers & Herbs Farm

34th Street Wholistic Gardens & Education Center (Gulfport, MS )

Francis Flowers & Herbs Farm(Pickens, MS)

John H. Moody Farm (Soso, MS)

Morris Farms (Mound Bayou, MS)

RD & S Farm (Brandon, MS)

Field Masters Produce (Tylerton, MS)

Foot Print Farms (Jackson, MS)


black owned farm
Will Witherspoon, CEO of Shire Gate Farm

Shire Gate Farm (Owensville, MO)

New Hampshire

New England Sweetwater Farm and Distillery (Winchester, NH)

New Jersey

Free Haven Farms (Lawnside, NJ)

Hawk Mountain Earth Center (Newark, NJ )

Hyah Heights (Newark, NJ )

Jerzey Buzz (Newark, NJ )

Morris Gbolo’s World Crop Farms (Vineland, NJ)

Ward’s Farm (Salem, NJ)

New York

Karen Washington, Co-Owner of Rise & Root Farm./ Twitter

Rise & Root Farm (Chester, NY)

East New York Farms (Brooklyn, NY)

Brooklyn Rescue Mission Urban Harvest (Brooklyn, NY)

Soul Fire Farm (Petersburg, NY)

North Carolina

black owned farms
Mother’s Finest Urban Farms

Mother’s Finest Urban Farms (Winston Salem, NC)

Abanitu Farm (Roxboro, NC)

Fourtee Acres (Enfield, NC)

First Fruits Farm (Louisburg, NC)

Yellow Mountain Garden (Franklin, NC)

Pine Knot Farms (Hillsborough, NC)

Savage Farms (Durham, NC)

Green Heffa Farms (Liberty, NC)

black owned farms
Green Heffa Farms


Rid-All Green Partnership (Cleveland, OH)


Mudbone Grown (Portland, OR)

Rainshadow Organics (Sisters, OR)


The Philadelphia Urban Creators /Facebook

Mill Creek Farm (Philadelphia, PA)

The Philadelphia Urban Creators (Philadelphia, PA)

South Carolina

Fresh Future Farms/ Adam Chandler Photography

Fresh Future Farm (North Charleston, SC)

Gullah Farmers Cooperative (St. Helena Island, SC)

Gullah Farmers

Morning Glory Homestead Farm (St. Helena Island, SC) 

Rare Variety Farms (Columbia, SC)

SCF Organic Farms (Sumter, SC)


We Over Me Farm (Dallas, TX)

Bonton Farms (Dallas, TX)

Berkshire Farms Winery (Wilmer, TX )

Caney Creek Ranch (Oakwood, TX )

Fresh Life Organics (Houston, TX)

Lee Lover’s Clover Honey (Houston,TX)

Lettuce Live Urban Farm (Missouri City, TX)

Long Walk Spring Farm (New Boston, TX)

Uncommon Bees (Jasper, TX)


Clemmons Family Farm

Clemmons Family Farm (Charlotteville, VT)

Strafford Creamery (Strafford, VT)

Washington State

black owned farms
Clean Greens Farms/ Camille Dohrn

Sky Island Farm (Humptulips, WA)

Clean Greens (Seattle, WA)


Mwanaka Fresh Farm Foods (London)



-Tony O. Lawson

Special thanks to Ark Republic, whose Black Farmers Index was used to update portions of this list!

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(Feature Image: Adam Chandler Photography)