Sunday, July 26, 2009

Justin and Jackie redefining farming in Northampton

Meet Justin (left) and Jackie (right), two lovely queers and friends of mine that are serious about growing their own food. While they don't have what you might think of as a stereotypical farm, they grow an amazing garden at their home as well as 4 plots at the Northampton Community Garden in Northampton, Massachusetts. This project has really made me question what it means to be a farmer- if you are growing most of your food but you don't have land are you still a farmer? If  your are maintaining your food sovereignty by growing the majority of what you consume in a community garden or in your own back yard, does this mean you aren't a farmer? Jackie and Justin are two self-identified queer farmers that are clearly challenging the stereotypes around what farmers look and act like, as well as where and how they grow food. 

They showed me around the Northampton Community Garden, which was one of the most beautiful that I have ever been to. There were people growing all kinds of fun things, like grapes, and brussel sprouts, and these amazing dark red and orange Zinnia's I had never seen before. 


Here's Jackie at one of their plots with a giant hops plant in the background. 

Egyptian Walking onions.  

Justin and Jackie harvesting some herbs. 

Justin and Jackie are partners and co-conspirators that have always been inspirations to me- living in Western Massachusetts where the growing season is short, they take full advantage of the few months they have and pump out a seriously large amount of food. They do a lot of food preservation- and have a whole pantry stock full (still in July!) of food that they grew and canned. Justin said that they have at least one thing that they grew with every meal, year round.

Some photos from the garden.

Oh, and check out these wild looking cabbages I spotted at the Northampton Farmers' Market! 

1 comment:

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