Welcome to our new segment on the blog .. Crop of the Week! This week, we're focusing on Black Eyed Peas, a popular crop at our farm. It's widely loved by staff and students. Also called the cowpea, Black Eyed Peas has been a popular food since the middle ages! Contrary to its name, it's a bean that grows wildly in Asia. The most common commercial black eyed pea is called the California Black Eye. It is also one of the most widely dispersed beans in the world! It's widely used in soul food, especially in the Southern US. You may have heard that they bring good luck. In the South, eating them on New Year's Day is considered very good look. They're cooked with greens - the beans symbolize prosperity because they swell when cooked and the green symbolizes money.
Here's some benefits of the black eyed pea.
- Excellent source of calcium, protein, fiber and Vitamin A.
-Nourishing to the soil.
-Helps with cell formation.
-Helpful during pregnancy
Did this teach you anything you didn't know? Tune in next week to hear about a new crop!
I'm sure you've always wondered what it is on a day to day basis for interns at the farm? Well, I'm here to give you the run down!
Our weeks start off with Monday of course, and due to quarantine, most of our work is online based. Our two leaders named Gianna & Andrea send out five assignments every week on Google Classroom that are due by Friday night. They include writing journals on our goals, documenting our at-home garden beds, and coming up with projects to better our communities!
Tuesday is when the Green team (about 12 students) comes in bright and early along with the staff at 8:30AM. There are quick snacks like bananas, granola bars, & fruit snacks to bring up everyone's energy if they didn't eat breakfast! All students are expected to come prepared with a water bottle, a pen, mask, & clothes to get dirty in, of course! We do work such as helping Ms. Laquanda (our chef and fellow farmer) prepare bags for the Friday cooking class, weeding, planting, harvesting, and the other daily duties of a farmer!
Wednesday is a day just for everyone to work on their assignments at home, work on their home garden beds, and stay inside! We still have to make sure we're staying safe.
Thursday is when the Red team comes in to do basically the same duties at the Green team. On one of these days, Mr. Chris (co-founder & fellow farmer of Sankofa) will give his lesson where he teaches the interns about African-American History, or as we call it "The New Freedom School". We wrote a whole article about Mr. Chris & his life last year, so go back to our posts and check it out if you're interested!.
Friday is an exciting day because all interns come together on two zoom calls! The first one is led by Gianna & Andrea (mentioned above) to talk about Wellness & personal goals while the other is later in the day & led by Ms. Laquanda. Using the bags filled with ingredients given to everyone, students get on the zoom call to watch an online cooking class! There is also an assignment on google classroom where students can reflect on this experience. The class is important because it's setting students up to know how to cook fresh, home-grown ingredients and learn how to basically take care of themselves & learn independence.
For me, Saturdays & Sundays are for writing! I take all the information I gathered during the week and write a story to share with you all! I edit pictures, create stories, dissect interviews and keep up with our social media platforms such as instagram!
I hope you enjoyed this look into our lives and got a better understanding of what exactly it is we do! Below are some pictures from this past weeks' farm work. Enjoy!
Welcome back to the farm! It's been a while since we've posted, but our youth program is still fully up and running! It's a little different this summer due to the craziness of COVID-19, but we are managing for sure.
So, as always, we have a group of 24 students from around Southwest Philadelphia who were selected from over 40 other kids to participate in our paid internship here at Sankofa this summer. However, they are split into two teams (Green & Red) with each team only coming in once a week on separate days. This is to minimize the contact everyone has with each other. Don't worry though! All the students get to know each other during the zoom calls we have once a week. Students are given their very own cooking kit filled with seasonings, spices, and other ingredients. On the zoom call, our personal chef and farmer, Laquanda Dobson, teaches everyone how to make a specific dish for the week that they can share with their families! We knew that we couldn't let COVID stop this amazing opportunity, so we had to make some changes around the farm.
With all that being said, our farm is still flourishing and we're so excited to see what the rest of this summer holds for us. Take a look at a slideshow of the work we've done in the first week!
Keep reading to find out how we did it!
This is a poem written by Nafees Fields, a student who works at the farm. It's his "love letter to the land".
Why is it important to me?
Because my ancestors worked so hard on one knee
Because they worked while waiting to be free
This land is me
This land is home to some saints
As Mr. Chris would say, they worked from can to can't
This land has really opened my eyes
The same land that was my ancestor's demise
Not because of the work they did or the plants they picked
Being someone else's property just wasn't it
With that being said, I still love this land
Because it is truly what makes me a black man
Sankofa's youth interview Chris Bolden-Newsom, co-founder of Sankofa Community Farm, about his life and his experience on the farm.
Chris Bolden-Newsom, better known as "Mr. Chris" to his students, is the co-founder of Sankofa Community Farm. He talks about why he wanted to start the farm, where it got its name, the importance of healthy eating, and plenty more.
Want to know more about how our food gets from the ground, wrapped up prettily, and into your hands? Keep reading!