As the co-founder and Director of the Black Urban Farmers Association (BUFA), Reatha Hardy Jordan, found the motivation to grow food for the African American community due to health disparities. When asked how she became involved in agriculture she said it started with wanting to bring a garden to her church.
“I have personally eaten a plant-based diet for the past 18 years and I had a desire to grow my own food,” Hardy-Jordan said. “The only way to start was to get my hands in the dirt and that is exactly what I did.”
BUFA was founded by twelve people in 2015 who shared a vision for supporting and growing a healthy diet in minority communities. BUFA’s mission is, “To positively impact health and hunger by providing locally grown pesticide-free fruits and vegetables. We highlight African American Cuisine and a plant-based diet.”
The BUFA farm is located in San Joaquin Valley in the small town of French Camp, California. The Association sells produce boxes and market produce from their farm. They have goals to be financially stable enough to give back to their community.
Since working with BUFA, Hardy-Jordan said that urban agriculture takes a commitment. But the value outweighs the hardship which is worth the effort. She tries her best to focus on education and the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables when working with underserved communities.
“We are inspired by the history of Black farmers in the United States and the contributions they made and continue to make in the arena of healthy food,” Hardy-Jordan said.
Hardy-Jordan said the best way to support the mission of BUFA is to volunteer. The association is constantly welcoming help to work on the farm, with different avenues to focus on. You can also make a donation to support their goal to impact health and hunger while highlighting African American cuisine. Reatha encourages others to find a community farm in their area and get their hands in the dirt! To learn more about the Black Urban Farmers Association and sign up for their newsletter, please check out their website or contact the team here.
Reatha’s Recipe for Cooked Greens
· 6 bunches of various greens i.e., collards, mustards, Bok Choy, and kale
· 4 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 bunches of green onions
· 4 cloves of garlic
· 3 tsp smoked sea salt
· 1 tsp red pepper flakes
· 1 tsp black pepper
· 1 tb chicken bullion
· Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot add green onions red pepper flakes, garlic, smoked sea salt, and bullion cook until soft
· Add greens and lower heat until greens are tender