Nonprofit Spotlight: Soil Generation

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In December, PennyLoafer donors collectively gave to Soil Generation!

The Rundown

  • Years founded: 2013

  • Leadership: Kirtrina Baxter is a Black community grower and organizer. She’s certified in permaculture, serves as the Farm Manager at Urban Creators, and has been a community organizer for Soil Generation since 2014.

  • Issue they address: food insecurity & land access in communities of color.

  • What they do: advocate for food justice, equitable land access and use, and to preserve + support urban agriculture.

  • How they do it:

    • Organizing and Policy: Most recently around the Threatened Gardens campaign for the growing loss of green spaces.

    • Community Education: convene monthly meetings to discuss a variety of topics from storm water management to zoning processes. Just released an Agroecology manual.

    • Support gardeners in the city: organize volunteers (a Farm Brigade) to work on gardens or farms in Black and Brown communities; help them gain land access and resources.

Why they were chosen

Soil Generation is a Black and Brown-led coalition of gardeners and farmers who are saving community gardens in Philadelphia. They serve as an important voice for underrepresented urban gardeners, advocating for equitable land use policies and against the displacement of urban farms due to outside developers. Because of their advocacy efforts, they were chosen to work with the Department of Parks and Recreation to develop the city’s first Urban Agriculture plan.

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🌿  With its grid of broad, intersecting streets and a central square surrounded by four satellite squares, Philadelphia was designed to be a “green country town”, affording even the smallest lots space for a garden.

🌱  Today, Philly dubs itself America’s garden capital, with over 30+ public gardens in a 30 miles radius of the city.

🍅  Residents of some of the city’s most disinvested neighborhoods (primarily Black and Brown communities) have transformed vacant lots into gardens to grow fresh produce. These not only beautify the neighborhood, but help communities regain agency over their food system.

📜  With gentrification and rising land prices, the city started selling these lots off to developers via sheriff sales and displacing many community gardens.

🌳  Soil Generation’s work is rooted in agroecology, an ecological approach to agriculture that “supports both the existing environment and the communities supported by agriculture.” It’s been referred to as “a science, a movement, and a practice.”

If you enjoyed this and want to get involved, you can support the Racial Justice cause on PennyLoafer, starting with as little as $5/month. Each month, you’ll support and learn about a different nonprofit creating a more equitable world.