Dr. George Washington Carver
"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God's speaks to us every hour, if we tune in." ----- Dr. Carver
Botanist, Scientist, Inventor, Teacher, Artist, Hero
George Washington Carver was born into slavery in Diamond Grove Missouri during the end of the Civil War. His owners were German immigrants, Moses and Susan Carver. After the death of young Carver's mother, Moses and Susan became Uncle Moses and Aunt Susan to young George and his brother.
As a child George had a helpful spirit around the house, but when he wasn't working he would take long walks to explore the fields and woods on his way to the hidden private nursery where he would learn to care for his plants, and flowers. He soon became known in his community as a plant doctor at the age of ten. His spirit of resolve and passion for learning lead Dr. Carver to become one of the most prestigious scientists of his time.
Through soil chemistry, Dr. Carver understood that growing the same crop was depleting the nutrients from the soil, creating a low yield in cotton (the cash crop of the South). He introduced the concept and benefits of crop rotation to Southern farmers, rather than the practice of mono cropping. He taught them that planting cotton one year, then sweet potatoes, soy beans and peanuts the next year, would replenish the soil and help them to get maximum yield from their crops.
While the farmers loved the high yields from crop rotation, they ended up with a lot of peanuts, sweet potatoes and soybeans.
Dr. Carver went back to the lab to discover alternative uses for peanuts, sweet potato and soy bean. This lead him to discover and create over 300 products.
Carver also designed a mobile classroom to educate farmers. He named it the "Jesup wagon" after the New York financier and philanthropist Morris Ketchum Jesup, who provided funding to support the program.
Meet Our Farmers
A Piece of Heaven
Blue Ridge Ranch is a 66 acre family-owned farm led by Mr. Gaskin in the town of Guinda in Yolo County, CA. “I love the land and I love growing. I have an appreciation of what God creates from the land. I want to be a part of that.”
Mr. Gaskin is deeply rooted in Yolo valley, having grown up, with frequent visits to his family home down the road from the land he currently stewards. As a child, he learned to grow food and hunt in the Yolo valley. He learned to swim and fish in nearby Cache Creek. In his twenties, “before all the machines”, he worked “knocking almonds” (shaking them from the trees) in the orchard he now owns.
The goal at Blue Ridge Ranch is to sell its bounty of naturally grown produce in CSA boxes, farmers markets, food banks, in schools, to chefs and in grocery stores.
Beautiful Blue Ridge Ranch is an ideal location for memorable special events. The farm holds a broader vision to create an Eco Village on the land that offers Airbnb stays, surrounded by the majestic mountain ranges and open skies.
Summer watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melons, peaches, okra, purple hull peas, tomatoes
Fall pomegranates, sweet potatoes, olives
Spring strawberries, onions
Mr. Fields spent his youth and formative years watching his father, a Black cowboy, farm and manage a horse riding academy on their family's land in Fresno. In 2020, Mr. Fields started his own farm, Fields Produce. The mission of Fields Produce is to provide quality produce, service, and products at an affordable price.
Working for the Fresno Irrigation District, Mr. Fields developed a fervent hunger to grow food with his family on their land to make change in their community. “I don’t like the foods that our people are eating, related to poor health conditions. I want to provide fresh fruits and veggies for the community. I want to use farming as an education tool. Farming is a way to create generational wealth for my family and friends, to establish something based upon service. Some people farm for quantity. We focus on quality.”
Okra is a signature crop of Fields Produce. Mr. Fields is a farmer who is also a product developer and an entrepreneur, producing value-added products from the crops that he grows. He’s currently working on a baby food line and a forthcoming condiment produced from one of their high yield crops.
Above all, affordability is the goal for all of Fields Produce’s products. They aim to grow quality crops and create nutritious value-added products at a price the Fresno community can afford.
Spring Cabbage, zucchini, yellow crooked neck squash, eggplant
Summer Okra, purple hull peas, watermelon, jalapeño peppers, habanero peppers.
Feeding Our Community One Yard At A Time
Amor Backyard Farm is an urban micro-farm located in Bakersfield, California, founded by Dr. Young Spath.
Amor, the Spanish word for love, guides the farm’s mission to support the evolution from individual food insecurity to community food sovereignty, one yard at a time. Dr. Young Spath hails from a long legacy of farmers and preachers – people divinely called to feed the body, spirit, and soul. A defining feature of her childhood was the family’s small but bountiful backyard garden where her mother grew tomatoes, okra, beans, peas, peppers, collard greens, and a variety of melons.
Amor Backyard Farm uses ancestral practices to build a regenerative farm ecosystem to withstand future climate challenges and utilizes diverse market opportunities. As a home-based family business, the farm is operated principally by Dr. Young Spath, and family members assist with planting, harvesting, and delivery. Dr. Young also collaborates with other female small farmers in the region to share knowledge, mutual mentoring, and support for the sake of building a sense of community and connection between local, small, underserved farmers.
The farm's mission is to eliminate food insecurity in Bakersfield, with goals that include:
Providing fresh, affordable, locally-sourced produce to underserved families.
Establishing direct-to-consumer and farm-to-family connections.
Providing Bakersfield families with a direct link to the source of their food, and giving small farmers a direct link to their customers.
More broadly, they aim to create a more equitable food system by providing affordability and access to fresh, healthy food for all Bakersfield residents, regardless of their income level. They do this by fostering community, trust, and transparency between farmer and consumer. Success for Amor Backyard Farm is to create a source of income for themselves and a sustainable model for small, underrepresented family farms to be resilient, thrive, and grow.
Spring garlic, onions, strawberries
Fall carrots, potatoes, beets, radishes, snap peas
Winter collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, broccoli, cabbage
Eat For Health. Eat For Pride
The Franklin’s thank God for inspiration and directing their pathways to do what they love. Franklin Family Farms is led by generational knowledge of farming, canning, and the restaurant industry. Mr. Franklin has been farming most of his life. Mrs. Franklin was raised watching her grandmothers exercise their God-given talents farming, food preservation and in restaurants. They passed down the love and skills.
Their mission is honoring their ancestors’ to further their natural food production legacy through educating future generations. Their goal is to provide fresh produce, jams & preserves directly to consumers, urban food markets, and restaurants.
Winter carrots, mustard, collards greens
Summer okra, peppers, blueberries, plums, peaches, heirloom tomatoes
Value added jams & preserves
40 Acres and Mule
Family owned Le Mule Ranch is on a mission to sustain its rich family tradition of sustainable farming for future generations. Le Mule Ranch stewards 65 year old almond trees, pomegranates, peaches, and apricot trees. The Ranch produces premium almond butter sold in regional markets from heritage almond trees without preservatives, chemicals, and no added sugar. The Ranch is also home to a herd of 150 Rambouillet sheep.
Le Mule Ranch’s long term goal is to transform their Northern California land from an old forgotten almond orchard to a productive, diverse, healthy agroecosystem. Their near term goals include selling their variety of legacy crops, lamb and almond butter in more local markets.
Winter cabbage, collard greens, turnips, red potatoes,
Summer tomatoes, sweet potatoes, lavender
Value added almond butter and raw almonds
Where Organic Food is Grown
Louise Country Garden, located on 2.5-acres of land in Bakersfield, is managed by Mr. and Mrs. Hosey. Mrs. Hosey's passion for farming traces back to her childhood days in Kentwood, Louisiana, where she cultivated a variety of crops alongside her grandparents. “We grew everything.” Inspired by those cherished memories, she embarked on her own gardening journey when she relocated to California. Together with Mr. Hosey, they reaped bountiful harvests and expanded their practice of growing food . Transitioning into full-fledged farmers, the Hosey’s focus on growing an array of Legacy Food crops, such as turnips, mustard and collard greens, black-eyed peas, purple hull peas and crowder peas, okra, and various peppers and onions.
While the Hosey’s may not cultivate as much as they used to because they’re “up in age”, their dedication to keeping the tradition of nourishing their family and community with Legacy Food crops remains unwavering. Their primary goal is to offer their loved ones a continuous link to the spiritual and physical nourishment provided by Legacy Foods. In addition, they wish to connect with buyers in Bakersfield and Los Angeles interested in purchasing their produce this coming fall for their local community markets.
Photo by Michael Santiago
2nd Generation Pig Farmer
After serving in the Army in the 1970's, Mr. McGill had the desire and a plan to return to his family legacy of pig farming. Since then, he's encountered several bouts of injustice that he continues to face towards triumph. In spite of the many challenges, Mr. McGill continues to farm and is inspiring and training a 3rd generation of pig farmers in his family.
Living That Spice Life
Ms. Crumpton's family farm legacy roots in her grandfather's farm in North Carolina. Based in Los Angeles, Micro Greens & Spicy Things is inspired by her devotion to health and wellbeing. "It's about nature being our guide". Ms. Crumpton's backyard farm is one food enterprise in an umbrella of family businesses owned by her and her brother. Her Micro Greens & Spicy Things specializes in non gmo, chemical free micro-greens and value-added signature spice blends. Her brother grows the chilis used in her spice blends on his farm in Nevada. "I started an urban farm so I could participate in growing. Micro greens and hydroponics is something that I could accomplish where I am." Her goal for the upcoming season is to sell her flavorful nutrient dense products online, in local CSA’s, at farmers markets, boutique grocery stores and restaurants.
The Farm’s greater mission is to serve the local underserved with garden and nutrition education.
Year round Micro greens
Value added Signature no & low sodium spice blends
Support Mr. McGill and his efforts to raise funds to purchase a livestock trailer to haul his pigs
DONATE to his Go Fund Me Campaign today!
People of the Soil
Los Angeles County
Mrs. Iyamah's farming roots begin with her father and their family’s agriculture community in the delta state of Umunede, Nigeria. Their family’s cultural identity is deeply intertwined with caring for land and growing food.
“It physically makes me feel good coming out here and digging and making changes to the landscape. It invigorates both my mind, my body and my soul … I’m able to really touch all parts of myself when I'm out here.”
In 2020, Mrs. Iyamah started Momiyama Farms but didn’t actually consider herself a farmer until she met Farms To Grow. In answering specific questions about her crop yields, the amount of fruit trees she tended to, and realizing just how much food she was growing, she started to recognize herself as a farmer.
Mrs. Iyamah is currently learning more about the economics of farming. As a caretaker of the soil, “I was only looking down at the soil and not looking out seeing the [economic] potential of what I was growing.” Aside from fruit trees, and root crops, her specialty is lavender and other ornamental crops. She likes to say that she grows beautiful crops you can also eat!
The vision and mission of Momiyama Farms is to be a social and community enterprise. “I would love to have enough lavender that people would come here to see it. I would love to have a full blown lavender farm … five acres minimum somewhere here in Southern California.” A critical piece of her vision is directly linked to her land-loving Nigerian roots and engages in ongoing community dialogue about the value of land and it’s potential to help people invigorate and nourish themselves, especially in the cities where so many people are disconnected from it. “No one talks about renovating their land. I want us to think about more than just the house we live in, I want us to renovate, rejuvenate and restore the land we live on by planting trees, removing concrete, rebuilding soil carbon stocks and other rejuvenating practices."
Producing Naturally Grown Food
for Future Generations
San Bernadino County
Patrick Family Farms is owned by Mr. & Mrs. Patrick, established in 2020 in Newberry Springs in San Bernardino County. Their mission is to offer produce and healthy food in the high desert region. The 17 acres farm is operated with the support of their five children and other family members. They produce in three growing seasons, in three 3,000 sq ft high tunnels. They have additional acreage allocated for future pistachio and pomegranate orchards. Their products are grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Their greater near term plan involves working with their local school district, "sharing what we've learned in an urban and rural education center for school age children to learn a trade and leadership skills" through growing food sustainably.
Spring garlic, collards, romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, spinach
Summer tomatoes, peppers, black eyed peas, pinto beans
Fall sweet potatoes, pumpkins, watermelon
San Bernadino & Riverside County
Plant Odyssee is a woman-led and minority-owned boutique wellness company specializing in culinary & medicinal plants, herbs, and flowers. Their mission is to team people about different medicinal plants and their uses. On their quarter-acre farm in Jurupa Valley, CA, Plant Odyssee grows over ten different plant types and produces a variety of value-added products including jams and preserves, custom tea blends, tea infusion kits, seasonings, and bath salts. Their goal is to sell their products primarily online and in select local markets. At both production locations, and in a local community garden, Plant Odyssee offers classes on plant production, food preservation, and value-added processing.
Winter crops green onions, mint, culantro, Vietnamese coriander, culinary sage
Summer crops green onions, mint, basil, oregano,
Fall & Spring Nettles
Value added jams and preserves, custom tea blends, tea infusion kits, seasonings, bath salts
Rooted in Growing Food Where You Are
In 2013, Pollinate Farm & Garden opened as a plant nursery, urban farm supply, demonstration garden and learning space in the Fruitvale District of Oakland, CA. In 2020, they closed their brick-and-mortar shop. They scaled down their retail operations to focus primarily on supplies for your backyard farm or edible garden. They offer consulting, mentoring and edible garden design and installation services.
Pollinate Farm & Garden's founder, Yolanda, is a mother/wife, entrepreneur and urban farmer. Yolanda has been active in the SF East Bay community, having volunteered on many projects concerning youth, food and community-based agriculture. At Pollinate Farm she grows seasonal produce and provides honey as part of an African American collaborative community supported agriculture (CSA) program.
She is a UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener, and a WaterSense labeled irrigation professional. She is a member of the Alameda County Beekeepers Association, Women of Food and Agriculture, and a former project leader with the Montclair/OakTown (Oakland) 4H Club.
For her, it’s about, “growing food where you are, whether it’s in a pot on your porch or terrace, in your back (or front!) yard, or on some acres outside of the city”.
After working in agriculture for many years, Ron Kelley decided to start his own small farm to become a better advisor to growers to whom he served as an Agricultural Production Consultant and Pest Control Advisor. In the early 1990s, he leased land and started R. Kelley Farms in the Sacramento River Delta, about ten minutes from Sacramento, California. What started as a 2 acre-hobby, for Ron and his wife Ella, has turned into a 60-acre u-pick farm with a thriving farm stand.
Mr. Sherman’s passion for farming is rooted in Louisiana, the birthplace of his parents and older siblings. He’s the youngest of 13 brothers and sisters. Their family saved money, moved west, and purchased land in Fowler, CA., where he caught the farming bug from his mother, who grew all the produce they ate from their home garden and the adjacent lots of land they owned. “Mother grew everything and had books all over the house about gardening. She kept a big rose garden and a big vegetable garden.” What he didn’t learn about growing food from his mother, he learned from his older brothers.
“I am a farmer because of my family history and the love that I developed over time. When I was young, it was work. As I got older, I started to look at it differently. Farming feeds people. It keeps people alive.”
Inspired by his family farming legacy, Mr. Sherman grows on 16 acres in West Fresno where his farm's mission is to feed and take care of the community there, with fresh, pesticide free “A-1” fruits and vegetables. A vision for his farm is to grow double, then triple in size, while educating new Black farmers; teaching them how to manage farms. “I’d love to see more Black farmers growing table grapes and tree fruits. There’s not enough of us into that.”
Winter mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, chard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
Spring red onions, strawberries, zucchini, green beans
Summer watermelon, peas, okra, tomatoes, summer squash, crookneck squash, zucchini
Fall hard squash (butternut, etc.)
Eat Healthy. Be Healthy. Act Healthy
DBA Scott Family Farm
Mr. Scott is the owner of Scott Agriculture, LLC in Fresno, California and serves as President of the African American Farmers of California. The farm is operated by Mr. Scott, his children, and his brothers. Mr. Scott is a California transplant, whose family moved to California from Oklahoma in 1952, when Scott was a teenager. Scott is the oldest of 15 siblings and comes from a long lineage of farming. His grandfather was a sharecropper, and his father picked grapes and cotton in California's Central Valley.
Their farm's mission is to reintroduce Southern specialty crops, part of the traditional African American diets, into all communities in ways that help end the obesity and diabetes epidemics. Their goals include providing naturally grown, culturally relevant produce in farmers markets, CSA’s, grocery stores, to chefs, restaurants and institutions.
Scott Family Farms produces and distributes naturally grown, chemical free legacy crops. “We are currently in the process of developing a demonstration site to teach how to grow under high tunnels and to extend a growing season. The apprentices will also learn crop rotation, land preparation, and irrigation techniques.”
Winter cabbage, kale, broccoli, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens
Summer black-eyed peas, crowder peas, purple hull peas, corn, tomatoes okra, plums, watermelon, chili peppers, eggplant, peaches, cucumber, nectarine, squash and zucchini
Fall greens, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, sweet potatoes, strawberries
First To Dirt
Mr. Thomas is an experienced grower who, together with his wife and three sons, owns and operates Thomas Family Farms located in Colusa County, CA. Tucked away on a majestic hillside, this ten-acre farm will produce an impressive array of Legacy Food crops, ranging from juicy watermelons to flavorful okra, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and tomatoes all sustainably grown and nurtured with care.