Mini-Market Opening on June 1st!

The Mini Farmer’s Market is not so “mini” anymore!  The market is expected to have 13 vendors at its opening on tomorrow, June 1st, 2011!  The Mini-Market is a collaborative effort between the Wayne County Health Department and the City of Goldsboro.  The market will be open from 9:30am-2:30pm each Wednesday through the fall and is located near the Herman Park Center at Herman and Pou Streets.

The Market Opening Day Celebration will feature fresh veggie songs by Dillard Academy Charter School along with fresh, local produce from your Goldsboro neighborhood farmers!


Local Grower Spotlight: Barnes Farms

Tucked away off the main highway in Dudley, you’ll find a homestead.  This oasis of local food belongs to the Barnes family.  This family of 4–Jennifer, John, Isabell and Eloise – owns and operates Barnes Farms.  Their primary goal is to feed themselves and to feed the community.  Barnes Farms has donated hundreds of transplants to area community garden projects like the ones at the Goldsboro Library, The Freedom Farm and Dillard Academy.  Additionally, they offer food plants for sale to companies, orgs and individuals, all in an effort to get good food to the people!  Below is a price list.  Contact Jennifer Barnes if you’re looking to get something good growing in your own backyard!

Barnes Farms

Contact: Jennifer Barnes (919) 539-1439;

Price List of Items

Food Plants:

  • 4 pack…….$2
  • Flats (8) ……….$8
  • Buckets ………………$15


  • 4 pack…….$3
  • Flats…………$15

 Tomatoes:   Roma, Homestead, Marglobe, Cherokee Purple, German Johnson, Pineapple

Herbs:  Basil, Thyme, Dill, Cilantro, Arugula

Peppers: Green peppers, Jalapeno peppers

Flowers: Petunias, Marigolds

Plum Tree Market Place Set to Open!

Spending your food dollars locally just became a little easier in Wayne County with the Opening Friday of Plum Tree Market Place!  On Friday, April 8th, Plum Tree market debuts it’s 2nd season of local art and local food.  This time around, every 1st Friday, there will also be local music!  Check out the info below and support!  We’ll see yall at the marketplace!

Farmers Market/Community Gardens

 104 South George Street ~ Historic Goldsboro
(between Walnut & Chestnut Streets)

Opening TODAY, Friday, April 8, 2011
4pm-7pm – Open Every Friday thru Fall
Local Produce ~ Local Artists ~ Home Produced Items ~ American Indian Artisans

First Fridays ~ Music & Food!

For more info:
Dreamweaver or Lotus Blossom @ (919) 736-9412

New Season, New Energy at the Freedom Farm

Meet Charles McNair, new grower at the Freedom Farm, formerly known as the Urban Farm, at Washington Park.  Check out his story below and stay tuned for more info on the growing community connections happening at the FREEDOM FARM!

Here is Charles’ story in his own words…

this is the Freedom Farm!

Grew up in a rural environment until attending college in 1988. While growing up we lived next door to our grandparents, who owned the land we lived on, as well as rented out other land they owned to local farmers who planted on a large scale. We raised our own pigs and chickens and planted, harvested, and stored the bulk of our own food, only having to purchase certain items for consumption. My grandfather and grandmother taught me about farming and agriculture from preparing the land for fertility, to breaking up the land, to planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, and storing (canning, freezing, drying ,etc). We grew butterbeans, greens, peas, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, etc. We also had fruit trees and plants such as strawberries, pears, apples, cherries, scuppernongs, purple grapes, plums, watermelon, cantaloupe, etc.

During the summer months, grandfather would come to the window to call my brother and I to awaken and get started to “water the collards” before it got hot. We also would pick cucumbers for money for our cousin, who was a large scale farmer. My grandparents also modeled and taught us about being good neighbors by sharing and/or trading what we had grown with our neighbors.

Graduated BA in Religious Studies with a minor in Anthropology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1993. Trained grassroots organizer through the Childrens Defense Fund and Midwest Academy. Helped to open and establish Dillard Academy Charter School in 1998. Worked there until 2003 as an Executive Administrative Assistant. Returned to work at Dillard Academy in 2008 and was surprised to see the garden initiative and WFI. Being able bodied and young and experienced with agriculture, I jumped at the opportunity to start working with the earth again and teaching the youth what my grandparents taught me about the earth and proper respect for it and the value of working smart and working efficiently and when needed, working hard. When the opportunity came open for Washington Park, I was overexcited to have a larger, more independent project to throw my energies into while teaching grownups the value of organic and sustainable agriculture.

On the Fight for Food Equity, by CEFS intern Elena Wertenbaker

The ideas of food justice and community development have been very prevalent in my internship experience over the past two weeks. Both of these terms are nebulous and difficult to concretely define, as they refer to complex and shifting ideas, but I will give it a shot. Food justice is indiscriminate access to safe and healthy food, and involves the breaking down of existing barriers to that access, which include physical, economic, and paradigmatic barriers. Community development, as I am beginning to understand it, is the development of whatever a community needs to be successful and productive according to its own standards.

We have had numerous discussions about food access in low-income communities and about the role that “alternative food” advocates and practitioners have been trying to play in such places. The overwhelming tendency in this movement has been to try to implant the ethics of sustainably raised, healthy, local food into these communities preformed, as in to take ideas about food that have risen out of other contexts and needs and “teach” them to folks in low-income areas. This tendency is born of very good intentions- many of the areas in question presently have little or no access to fresh or unprocessed foods, and the want to change things that are currently unjust is natural and common. The trouble is that it makes the assumption that people in very different communities with different needs and resources all want to see the same kind of changes in available food. The situation in an area that currently only has access to conventionally grown food from the global food system is different than that of an area that currently doesn’t have access to fresh food at all. The former community is hungry for the ability to make choices about the kind of the food system it chooses to support, while the latter may actually just want what is perceived to be normal and standard. One of the articles that we read quoted a person in an area with limited food access saying that the change they wanted was to have a Safeway built in their neighborhood.

So then my question is what to do. I have had this conviction for years that connecting with food and land has the capacity to make people feel good in some deep and fundamental way, and my plan has always been to take this idea to places where people may not have ever thought of it, and to groups that might particularly benefit from something of that nature. After having had all of these conversations about not imposing the ideas that one community has about food on others, and acknowledging that my truths are my own, I feel steeped in the question of how to proceed.

My ideas about the healing potential of engaging with food and the earth mostly revolve around the idea of a return to the most basic- bodies and food that nourishes and the land that we slowly and continually draw our very lives from. To me this has the potential to cut through the complexity and franticness that is threaded through our lives and culture, to be a metaphorical deep breath, an opening.

What I keep hearing from folks with more experience actually working with food and people is that to figure out how to be of service to other people and communities, the trick is to listen. To trust that people actually know what they need and that they can let you know what that is. To me this translates as taking on a certain quality in oneself, which really is just a matter of being open, which is really the foundation of the whole healing farm idea to begin with. So what I’ve come around to is that the quality that I need to cultivate in myself in order to have a shot at being successful in this work is the same quality that I hope to inspire in others through the healing farm, which is a very interesting “full-circle” experience.

-Elena Wertenbaker

Statement from the People’s Movement Assembly on Food Sovereignty, US Social Forum 2010

The below is the resolution from the recent US Social Forum, held in Detroit this June.  It is a powerful collaborative statement, drawn up by the Food Sovereignty working group.  Never doubt that what the Wayne Food Initiative and other local, community based groups are doing is part of a world wide movement.

Over a half-century ago, Mahatma Gandhi led a multitude of Indians to the sea to make salt—in defiance of the British Empire’s monopoly on this resource critical to people’s diet. The action catalyzed the fragmented movement for Indian independence and was the beginning of the end for Britain’s rule over India. The act of “making salt” has since been repeated many times in many forms by people’s movements seeking liberation, justice and sovereignty: Cesar Chavez, Nelson Mandela, and the Zapatistas are just a few of the most prominent examples. Our food movement— one that spans the globe—seeks food sovereignty from the monopolies that dominate our food systems with the complicity of our governments. We are powerful, creative, committed and diverse. It is our time to make salt.

A movement for food sovereignty – the people’s democratic control of the food system, the right of all people to healthy, culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems – is building from every corner of the globe.

We find that our work to build a better food system in the Unites States is inextricably linked to the struggle for workers’ rights, immigrant’s rights, women’s rights, the fight to dismantle racism in our communities, and the struggle for sovereignty in indigenous communities. We find that in order to create a better food system, we must break up the corporate control of our seeds, land, water and natural resources.

Because at a time of record harvests and record profits we have over one billion hungry people on the planet; because poverty is the root cause of hunger; because the world’s oceans are being polluted and plundered, because industrial agriculture contributes one third of all greenhouse gas emissions, because increasing inequality, poverty, hunger, a global land grab, and environmental destruction are threatening the livelihoods of family farmers, farmworkers, fisherfolk, and marginalized communities worldwide; and because community based food systems and agroecological farming can cool the planet, build resilience to climate change, and eliminate poverty;

We therefore commit to re-building local food economies in our own communities, to dismantling structural racism, to democratizing land access, to building opportunities for the leadership of our youth, and to working towards food sovereignty in partnership with social movements around the world;

We call on others in the US to demand an end to the global land grab, to end both corporate and military land occupations, to demand fairer trade, aid and investment policies, land reform, and support for sustainable peasant and community agriculture and sustainable community fisheries;

We endorse actions that include: the liberation of land and water resources for the production of food and sustainable livelihoods; the creation of new structures for cooperative ownership of land and food production, processing and distribution; the integration of labor rights, immigrant’s rights and food justice; the valuing of women as primary food providers, and the denouncement of false solutions and false partnerships addressing climate change, hunger and economic development;

We demand a world in which everyone has control over their food and no one has to put food in their mouth that hurts people or the environment.

Organizations and individuals among us have therefore committed to the following actions:

• Launching a campaign for food sovereignty as a right of the people
• Growing and harvesting as much food as we possibly can everywhere
• Liberating land through reclaiming urban and rural spaces for the production of food for communities; demanding the use of public lands for food production
• Participating in a global campaign against land grabs, in which corporations and governments grab up the lands of communities
• Carrying forward the people’s agenda coming out of the Cochabamba climate summit — including popular education around food and climate justice and promoting sustainable agriculture as a solution to climate change
• Standing with the people of Haiti, Palestine, Honduras, and other countries whose food sovereignty is threatened by political, military, and/or corporate occupation
• Hosting collective meals in our communities as a way of connecting people across generations and cultural backgrounds and as a tool for dismantling racism in the food system
• Forging new models of collective control of land and waterways; assuring legal protection of the commons
• Building the leadership of the next generation; providing opportunities for urban and rural youth to have a future in food and farming
• Rejecting GMOs and other forms of the corporate takeover of our food systems
• Creatively and strategically working to dismantle the corporations who have hijacked the world’s food systems
• Affirming the sovereignty of indigenous peoples in North America and throughout the globe
• Committing our food movements in the US to be active participants in the global movement for food sovereignty and to work to stop our government and corporations from practices that undermine food sovereignty globally.
• Challenging US food and agricultural aid and development policy (e.g., Monsanto and USAID’s recent “donation” of seeds to Haiti)
• Working towards a people’s food and farm bill based on principles of food sovereignty
• Hosting community seed exchanges
• Engaging communities in popular education on GMOs and the role of corporations in our food system
• Engaging communities in popular education on community nutrition and public health
• Creating more community farmers markets that are accessible and affordable to all; affirming everyone’s right to food that is good, safe, healthy, and fair
• Helping everyone understand where their food comes from and who helped bring it to their table
• Highlighting the common struggles between farmers and farmworkers in the US and their counterparts throughout the world