This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the 2017 Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners National Conference at the Georgia State University Student Center. Black Urban Growers or BUG is an amazing organization dedicated to supporting and connecting urban growers throughout the nation through advocacy and food education.
This year was my first attending the conference. I was excited to arrive and see so many growers, especially millennials, coming together to expand their knowledge about plants and food.
I attended three Saturday conference sessions — Spirit-to-Spirit: Deepening Your Relationship with Plants and Reclaiming African Crops, Abolition Strategies: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Food Systems, and Eco-Design as Creative Resistance. In these workshops I learned more about
- The importance of communing with plants and nature
- The positive role plants can play in healing mental and physical trauma through
- physical interaction
- general communion
- The dichotomous relationship between the United States prison and food systems, specifically in relation to
- big agriculture’s use of prisoners as inexpensive labor
- rehabilitative farming programs that equip prisoners with job skills
- How communities can use imaginative thinking and mythology to prepare for natural disasters
Overall, I had a great time learning and growing at BUG. I met some great, likeminded folks, and ran into a few familiar faces from my time at Howard. I encourage ALL to attend the next BUG conference and I am looking forward to seeing everyone next year!