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Natasha Bowens' Posts

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The Color of Food

Brightening up the dark farming history of the Sunshine State

Earth 'n' Us, in Miami's Little Haiti, has a plethora of turkeys and other animals running around. Photos: Natasha Bowens This is the last installment of Natasha Bowens' Color of Food series for Grist. She will continue to explore agriculture, race, and class on her blog, Brown.Girl.Farming. I eagerly wandered up and down the streets of Miami's Little Haiti looking for any sign of a farm. If you're familiar with Little Haiti -- or any neighborhood in Miami, really -- you're probably thinking that a farm is the last thing I was going to find. Then I knocked on the …

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Windy farmy city

Chicago has got it growing on

Exhorticulture: Growing Power's inspiringly artsy garden in Grant Park.Photos: Natasha Bowens The Color of Food series is about my experiences searching for black and Latino farmers in the sustainable food movement. As I glided smoothly above Chicago's streets on the L and looked out at the crisp city skyline, I wished I were staying in the city longer. But as soon as I stepped off the L and into the 28-degree weather of November, I was glad I was only in Chicago for a few days. I'd hoped to spend a few months interning for Growing Power Chicago, but due …

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The Color of Food

Postcard from the first annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference

Attendees at the Black Farmers ConferencePhotos: Natasha Bowens The Color of Food series is about my experiences searching for black and Latino farmers in the sustainable food movement. On the same day black farmers gathered in Brooklyn for the first annual Black Farmers Conference, the Senate finally voted to award $4.5 billion in damages to African American and Native American farmers for discrimination. The long-awaited settlement funding -- three decades in the making -- was an outgrowth of the Pigford vs. Glickman class action suit over how processing times for loans to black farmers from a long-ago U.S. subsidy program …

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The color of food

Food justice: It's not black and white in Detroit

Photos: Natasha Bowens The Color of Food series is about my experiences searching for black and Latino farmers in the sustainable food movement. From what I'd been hearing about Detroit all year, when my train rolled into the station I was expecting to walk out onto a scene from I Am Legend. However, I quickly discovered that the grapevine had given me nothing but over-exaggerated rumors. Of course there are parts of the city that have seen their fair share of neglect, but this city, in my opinion, is anything but abandoned. I think what you see in Detroit depends …

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Worming my way in

Hitting the Big Apple's food-justice buffet

Good neighbors: East New York Farms! manager David and Afroza, an intern.Photos: Hugues Anhes The Color of Food series is about my experiences searching for black and Latino farmers in the sustainable food movement. I knew I was far from the apple orchards of West Virginia (where my farming journey began) when I found myself smack in the middle of the Big Apple, sitting on the subway between a man holding a live turtle in a five-gallon bucket and a man preaching the words of Ras Tafari to no one. This, I thought, can only happen in New York City. …

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The color of food

In search of black and Latino farmers in the sustainable food movement

Raking it all in: Getting my hands dirty. Don’t hat me for having fun! At the Claymont Community farm in West Virginia. I'm stuck on this concept of blending contrasts. It may have to do with being the only brown girl I know interested in farming (although this really shouldn't be a contrast at all); or maybe it has to do with going from D.C. political advocate to farmer-girl overnight. Either way, blending things that aren't expected to go together is my thing, always has been. After all, I'm a girl born of blended love: young hazel-eyed Catholic girl from …

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