Plant the future of farming
Providence Farm Collective (PFC) supports Black, immigrant, refugee, and low-income farmers in Western New York who cannot otherwise access farmland. The farmers grow fresh, nutritious produce with cultural significance for their families and communities. Thanks to you, we were able to meet the joint fundraising goal of $2.3 million in 2022. PFC will now be able to purchase the farm in Orchard Park, while the Land Conservancy will place a conservation easement on it, keeping it farmland forever.
Empowering Equitable Fresh Food Access
Providence Farm Collective has its roots in the Somali Bantu Community Farm. In 2020, seven other unique Black and new American communities joined the Somali Bantu to come together as a collective. In its inaugural year, PFC’s 275 farmers grew and harvested 23,000 pounds of organically grown traditional produce for Erie and Niagara County residents. This new collective is the only regional, non-profit farm program offering hands-on mentorship and secure land to underserved farmers.
"Farming at Providence Farm Collective gave us a sense of meaning and ownership, and a feeling that we can do this on our own and be successful. I was most proud to see I have a piece of land and see my crops, like I used to grow at home. I was so proud that I could start something from the beginning and see it growing well. And I can produce something to put food on my table. We want to be with Providence Farm Collective for the long term. We want to have a permanent place.” - Dao Kamara, Incubator Farmer
Cultivating Vibrancy and Preserving Traditions
On a summer day at Providence Farm, there’s activity in every corner. Rosa is methodically recording that morning’s harvest of mustard greens and bean leaves in her ledger. Osman and Mageney are surrounded by rows of African maize deftly examining the stalks, silks, and ears to determine if they are ready for Kulimbula, the harvest celebration. The elders will build a bonfire, and everyone will roast corn while sharing stories of Somalia. Women of the Congolese Farming Project are infusing the atmosphere with joy and sisterhood as they sing beautiful songs among the beans, corn and amaranth, fully immersed in the music and their work. Billy and Brandon from Buffalo Go Green are harvesting collard greens to distribute through their mobile market in the city. Dao is sharing farming traditions that he practiced in Liberia with his son, Daoda. Nininahazwe is taking a study break from her college courses to help her brother Faz plant, weed and harvest in the Burundian community plot.
“The benefits have been tremendous: getting fresh vegetables for our community; earning money to support the Somali Bantu’s afterschool program. The health benefits have been important for our community. Many of our elders work at the farm. They do not stay home but now spend time outside farming. Everyone is eating fresh vegetables that are important to our traditions. In addition, our teenagers are learning our farming traditions and culture, which is very important to their parents and grandparents.” - Mahamud Mberwa, Farm Mentor and Incubator Farmer