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Apr 7, 2016 9:37 EST

Mid-Atlantic Wellbeing Diaspora Herbs – The Diaspora Herb Project brings together rural farmers, urban gardeners of color and allies to grow and market medicinal herbs

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 7, 2016

Mid-Atlantic Wellbeing Diaspora Herbs

The Diaspora Herb Project brings together rural farmers, urban gardeners of color and allies to grow and market medicinal herbs that treat illnesses experienced as a function of intergenerational structural racism.

Vanguard Ranch Owners, Renard & Chinette Turner

the project

The Diaspora Herb Initiative brings together African American rural farmers, urban gardeners, and allies to grow and market medicinal herbs which treat health conditions chronically experienced as a function of intergenerational exposure to structural racism. People of color experience serious health issues at exponentially higher rates than do whites, including breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory illness, depression, PTSD and a host of other stress related conditions.

The Diaspora Herb project is facilitated by the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH), a six-state regional network of environmental activists who catalyze the Great Transition to Earth-conscious living. MATH, in collaboration with local growers and the Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO)cooperative developers, is establishing a producer-worker, organic agricultural cooperative that directly addresses health disparities.

The Diaspora Herb Initiative intends to, 1) put increased control over health, and the ability to treat illnesses that chronically plague the Black community directly into the hands of local African American growers and workers, and, 2) foster agro-economic self-reliance in African American communities.

The Diaspora Herb Initiative intends to include farmers and gardeners in every Mid-Atlantic State. Year-one anchors the project at the southernmost and northernmost ends of the region: in upstate New York at the Breathing Space, and at Vanguard Ranch, the Southern Exposure Seed Exchangewithin the Acorn Community, Louisa County, Virginia and other neighborhood grow-sites in Charlottesville, VA. 

the steps

Scope of Work:

Herbs:  Mid-Atlantic Diaspora Herbs will grow root herbs during year-one in accordance with the criteria of: addressing key health conditions, ease of quality control standardization for start-up production, market value, and local growing conditions at our grow- sites. Year-one priority herbs are turmeric/curcumin, valerian, dandelion and yellow dock.

Phase I – Year One

  1. Initiate small scale herb production, matching growing space availability and resources.
  2. Document herb cultivation, processing, distribution and sales lessons and best practices.
  3. Distribute “Diaspora Herbs” in local communities where they are produced.
  4. Distribute “Diaspora Herbs” to a targeted market segment via initial, ground level e-commerce delivery system.
  5. Initiate development of an online product line of bulk herbs and tea blends.
  6. Develop feedback, evaluation and project assessment loop (s).

why we’re doing it

The Diaspora Herb Initiative brings together African American rural farmers, urban gardeners, and allies to grow and market medicinal herbs which treat health conditions chronically experienced as a function of intergenerational exposure to structural racism. People of color experience serious health issues at exponentially higher rates than do whites, including breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory illness, depression, PTSD and a host of other stress related conditions.

To date, environmental movements focused on resilience-building over the long-haul have not attracted the enduring commitment of people of color. Yet African Americans are disproportionately impacted as climate change, resource depletion, and economic instability accelerate.

The Diaspora Herbs project is therefore designed to create culturally relevant pathways which invite African Americans into an environmental conversation. It offers safe spaces for African American self-organizing at the local level, and cross-pollination, – unity-in-diversity at a broader scale among environmental affinity groups after robust activity at the local level has gained traction and momentum.

Contact Information:

Pamela Boyce Simms

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