Black Farmers x Black Youth
We are humbled to announce that we have been awarded a "Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (FASLP)" grant from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to "address community-identified needs, including opportunities for socially disadvantaged African American youth to participate in on-farm experiential learning and related off-farm agricultural activities; gardening; nutrition." We are excited to work with several Black farmers in our region who will "host and provide on-farm educational experiences for youth." We are excited to be partnering with Africulture, Carter Farms, Woodbox Farm, Nisani Farm, and BLISS Meadows for this project, and look forward to engaging Black homeschooling youth in the DMV. To read more about the project and sign up for updates, click here!
OurSpace is honored to be able to expand is co-op development work (via The Ujima Initiative) to beginning Black & Indigenous farmers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Starting in 2022, OurSpace will host co-op study circles that will culminate in an on-farm gathering for beginning and aspiring farmers. We appreciate Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture for the opportunity to partner!
OurSpace is excited to be granted the opportunity to put together a public online repository of resources containing materials representative of Black/African and Latinx youth of color, centered around agriculture, farming, food, health, environmental health and environmental justice. The online repository would aim to meet the needs of parents, educators, librarians, farmers, and youth program staff seeking to integrate these materials into their program activities and better serve Black youth. The effort will "enhance existing on-farm and library-based youth programming and provide a foundation upon which to develop and expand outreach efforts among Black farms, public libraries, and Black and Latinx youth and families." As part of this project, we'll also be building five health-focused Little Free Libraries (at satellite and partner farms in our network) to increase access to quality and culturally-relevant health information. Special thanks to Region 1 of the NNLM for the opportunity!
Introducing: On-Farm CommunityJAM
Beginning in August 2021 until it's too cold, OurSpace will host CommunityJAM every other Sunday, from 9am-ish to 2pm-ish (depending on the weather). Volunteer on a satellite community farm and learn about growing food (planting, harvesting, pest and weed management, and much more!). There will be occasional building projects during CommunityJAM as well. Sign up here for updates!
OurSpace has launched its bulk-buying club as part of The Ujima Initiative. The club will start with non-perishables like rice and other grains, dried beans, nuts, non-dairy milks, oils, soaps / detergents, and paper products like paper towels and toilet paper. By leveraging collective buying power, the club will save on each bulk order purchased from the Frontier co-op whole sale store & Azure. Who knows, it might grow into a co-op grocery store one day!
Just a few days shy of Kwanzaa 2020, OurSpace was humbled to receive its very first foundation grant, from the Greater Washington Community Foundation! We were one of 19 nonprofits chosen to help address equity needs in Prince George's County, MD. We will use the awarded funds to bolster our Project Teach22 work training young people in the skills of green jobs (regenerative small-scale farming and natural building). Read all about the grant here.