We are living in a watershed moment where movements to dismantle systemic racism are gaining traction nationwide, and Nevada County is a part of this story. As a local food advocacy organization, it is our responsibility to recognize the many structural inequities throughout our food system and promote community solutions for food production and availability. For over a decade, Sierra Harvest has worked towards equitable access to nutritious, local, fresh food and we are committed to examining and undoing our own biases as we continue these efforts in our community. Our staff and board have committed to participate in a comprehensive food justice training this fall to help identify concrete actions we can take to better address systemic inequities within our organization and service area.
We invite you to join us in this work.
When looking at agriculture as a whole in this country within the lens of racial justice, there is certainly work to do, and it can be hard to know what concrete actions we can take to make a positive change. Like climate change, thinking about personal actions in the face of huge issues can be daunting and it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some ways to get started.
10 actions you can take to support food justice in Nevada County
1. Commit to learning about the problem. See our Food Justice Reading List for articles and organizations who are actively doing this work.
2. Buy food and products locally from farms owned by BIPOC. Treat your family to some goat’s milk soap and lotion from Nightingale Farms, contact Tony and Sara from Calmil Teoyotica to order a big box of summer favorites like tomatoes, melons and specialty items like chayote and medicinal herbs. Contact Brianna Abundiz from the Posh Squash to schedule a family U-pick, or get takeout from Watershed at the Owl, where they buy from Brianna. Purchase a “Friend of the Farm Card from Riverhill Farm, or patronize some of our local restaurants like Heartwood Eatery who get produce from Son of Something Farm, or when you’re at the BriarPatch Food Co-op, pick up some organic veggies grown by JSM Organics.
3. Donate to Black Hives Matter, a fundraiser helping to bring a local area apiary under new BIPOC ownership.
4. Ask your farmers how they ensure equitable working conditions for people of color, let them know this is important to you.
5. Tip your food-service staff (often there may be people of color washing dishes that you may not see).
6. Buy Fair Trade products. It’s difficult to know if farm workers are being exploited for your chocolate or coffee, but fair-trade certification lets you know workers are being treated fairly. Did you know that often farm workers here and abroad live in substandard housing, working excessive hours without breaks, having pay withheld and being threatened with deportation. Locally, Crumbunny Coffee sources single origin fair trade coffee.
7. Follow Creating Communities Beyond Bias, a local anti-racism organization who offer workshops, and trainings and puts on a yearly Love Walk. See if your school or organization is interested in participating in a workshop.
8. Consider making a monthly “rent” donation to CHIRP (California Heritage Indigenous Research Project) an organization working to support the Federal tribal recognition of the Nisenan people and to protect local indigenous culture and traditions, or find ways to support the Maidu. We live on Nisenan and Maidu land which was taken from these tribes forcibly and without payment or reparation.
9. Check in with your workplace– ask what they are doing to support BIPOC. How are they implementing diverse hiring practices?
10. Follow the @coalitionforracialjusticenc and attend peaceful protests. Get in touch with them and see if you can donate extra garden goodies.