we’ve said see-ya-later to peaches and the rest of the fruit season is almost all about pears. we are still harvesting cucumbers, apples, peppers, and eggplant, and i have been having some of my favorite personal moments harvesting figs for a couple hours at a time listening to the new frank ocean, blonde. if you haven’t listened, you gotta. it’s an amazing album and as a pop culture and white supremacy/patriarchy-smashing enthusiast, i feel excited about the masculinity ocean brings into the mainstream: queer, black, emotionally vulnerable, and resilient.
the seasons are changing. i find myself wearing long sleeves in the mornings and evenings, and when eli and i sleep outside on the dreamy daybed, we bundle up under the covers. still, we have some days in the 90’s and make time to go to the lake. now that peaches are officially ended, i only work at the farmers’ market in the bay every other week.
i have been following the standing rock tribe’s resistance against the dakota pipeline, and the intense violence and repression around it. the coverage of the pipeline’s security company unleashing attack dogs on the tribe was so intense — i can’t imagine watching the footage instead of just listening, as i did — and i hope the public pressure on the pipeline corporations (and the supporting/funding corporations) continues to build in spite of the obama administration’s temporary halt to building. i want to share an interview with ladonna brave bull allard (real name: Ta Maka Waste Win, Her Good Earth Woman) i found extremely touching in its clarity and humanity:
“I don’t understand why we are expendable in America. I keep telling people, we do our best. We have always been here. This is our land. Why should we fight to live on our own land? Why should we have to do that over and over again? We start our lives. We do our best to live. Why? I would never hurt anybody. I have always done my best to do good things in my community. Why can’t they just let us live? We love this land. And half of the time I feel bad, because they make us feel bad for loving this land.
But most important, we love the water. Every year, our people sacrifice. We go four days without drinking water, so that it reminds us how important this water is. And I ask everybody: Do you go four days without water? What happens to your body on that third day? Your body starts shutting down. So, we remind ourselves every day how important. We say mni wiconi, water of life. Every time we drink water, we say mni wiconi, water of life. We cannot live without water. So I don’t understand why America doesn’t understand how important water is. So we have no choice. We have to stand. No matter what happens, we have to stand to save the water.”
you can watch the full interview here:
i have previously written about what i’m working toward in trying to stay connected to and supportive of social justice movements even though i am in a relatively isolated place. i am far from having it figured out. and while i am not making a ton of money as a farmer, i am privileged to have a low cost of living at the moment, and have committed to dedicating a portion of my income to grassroots groups doing crucial movement work, as well as fundraisers around peoples’ survival and sustaining themselves. i am excited about the groups i’ve committed a monthly donation to and urge you to check them out if you might also be in a position of redistributing some of your funds:
- planting justice: this organization seeks to make nutritious food accessible to people in urban areas (specifically the bay area) by creating community gardens for low-income communities of color. they employ and train formerly incarcerated men from san quentin state prison to landscape and garden, whose work in turn serves the many bay area residents who benefit from the aforementioned community gardens. i so appreciate the intersection of justice for incarcerated people and food justice that this organization focuses on.
- forward together: this multi-racial organization has a lot of different programs, but its main focus is to serve and empower women, youth, and families by sharing resources, developing leadership, and pushing powerful campaigns into the public eye.
- sins invalid: this organization is a performance/arts project that centers and uplifts disabled folks, particularly POC, queer, and gender-variant artists. they aim to create opportunities for people with disabilities, and showcase performances that highlight intersectional disability justice to broad audiences.
i received a lot of helpful and inspiring suggestions and ideas from folks i am connected to on facebook as far as what organizations to donate to and what the best strategies are around making contributions like this. very grateful for those insights and connections!
on a personal note, i turn 28 next thursday and am feeling kinda like a grown up! my last birthday was my first one as a sober person, and i was feeling a little reclusive at the time so didn’t do a ton of celebrating among friends. but now as i continue to heal and grow and come into myself, i will be hosting a little gathering with some people who are very special and sweet to me at the farm. it feels good to be here, and home, whatever that means! even though there are times when the work (physical and emotional) is demanding and hard. grateful to have made it through another year, and looking forward to what’s next.