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Black Soil: Our Better Nature – Black Women Agriculturists in the Bluegrass

May 2018

By Co-Founders Trevor aka Farmer Brown tha MC and Ashley aka Jazzy Ashley

Black Soil: Our Better Nature has been fortunate, honored and blessed to connect with black female agriculturalists throughout the state of Kentucky. These resilient, energetic and purposed women contribute to an industry that often attempts to erase their blackness and womanhood at the same time. This article is dedicated to highlighting the women Black Soil: Our Better Nature has grown to love and respect in our beginning stages.

Join Black Soil: Our Better Nature in saluting their dedication to the tradition of farming in Kentucky:

Tiffany Bellfield and her daughter, Kayla of Ballew Estates are situated on 26 acres of land in rural Madison County. This 3rd and 4th generation mother and daughter team tend their land that hosts a pollinators conservation in conjunction with their cousin and Urban Gardening legend, Jim Embry, retreat and conference space and a gallery of original paintings of rural Madison County farm life by matriarch, Bessie Johnson. Ballew Estates was the 3rd and final stop for the launch of Black Soil’s Farm Tour and Farm to Table Dinner for the 2018-19 season on Sunday, April 15. Save the Date and join in the fun for the duo’s 3rd annual Women’s Retreat on June 29,30 and July 1, 2018. Off the farm, Tiffany leads in the agriculture sector as the Northeastern Farm to Table Coordinator for Community Farm Alliance (CFA). Learn more by visiting Ballew Estates on Facebook.

                Kenya Abraham of SlakMarket Farm located in rural Lexington-Fayette County is a specialty producer. A mom of 5, Kenya tends over 80 acres of farmland of goats, chickens, sheep and milking cow, Gerdy. Her halal meat and raw milk shares have been met with increased community awareness and support as more and more consumers are seeking out alternative sources of dairy products. In addition to managing and growing her herd shares, Kenya is active in the community providing educational workshops on her areas of expertise. New to the state of Kentucky, Kenya, has been a strong and supportive Partner Host Farmer to Black Soil by presenting at events such as Off Season Workshops and What’s the Beef happening on Sunday, May 6 at 12pm at the Bluegrass Stockyards. Learn more by visiting SlakMarket Farm on Facebook.

Dr. Nancy Dawson based in Logan County leads the Russellville Urban Gardening Project, is a leading gourd grower, and serves as the Recording Secretary of Kentucky Gourd Society. Dr. Dawson is extremely involved within the Russellville and greater agricultural community through her advocacy work through lobbying on land use and agricultural policy and outreach efforts into historically marginalized populations. Black Soil is pleased to host our Sunday, September 16 Farm Tour and Farm to Table Dinner in partnership with Dr. Dawson and her many wonderful contacts in the region. Learn more about her passion for all things agriculture on the Russellville Urban Gardening Project page on Facebook.

Carmella Conner of Stoner View Farm Bed and Breakfast located in North Middletown, Ky leads with the mantra, “if I can farm, ANYONE can farm!” She stumbled upon a fresh farm egg operation selling at retail outlets in Bourbon, Clark and Montgomery Counties. She and her husband, Bill manage over 10 acres on beautiful Stoner Creek in rural Bourbon County. In addition to her booming fresh egg operation, Mrs. Conner manages an always booked Bed & Breakfast that has hosted guests from all over the country. In March, Black Soil hosted Mrs. And Mr. Conner at our final Off Season Workshop. Farm Tour and Farm to Table Dinner with the Conners and Black Soil on Sunday, May 27 at 2pm, visit www.blacksoil1.eventbrite.com to secure your seat today. Visit Stoner View Farm Bed and Breakfast on Facebook to learn more.

Susan Miller is a 4th generation black farmer/grower/producer based in Lincoln County on 10 acres of diverse crops. Using traditional and sustainable methods of growing, Mrs. Miller along with her husband, George Miller, lead an operation of more than 20,000 bees, high tunnels for growing of popular crops such as kale, spring mix, and cabbage. In February, Mrs. Miller led a packed Wild Fig Coffee and Books through her process of returning to the farm, raising a farm family and the resilience practiced to maintain and become successful as a Kentucky based Black agriculturalist. Black Soil concludes its 2018 Farm Tour and Farm to Table Dinner season on the Millers property on Sunday, October 7. Learn more about Miller Family Farm by connecting with Susan Miller on Facebook.

More information about Black Soil: Our Better Nature may be found online here.

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