The farming system that we have right now is replicated from slavery times.”Amber Tamm
How can growing food heal us and ground us in a world that seems to have gone crazy?
After the devastating trauma of her father murdering her mother while she was in school, Amber Tamm lost herself, and then found herself, in the world of farming. Today she’s a floral designer, horticulturist, and farmer in New York City focused on nourishing a better food system, one plant at a time.
In this fearless conversation she shares:
- Why so many modern farming practices persist despite not being environmentally or economically sustainable.
- What working on farms taught Amber about the prevalence of racism and sexual assault in agriculture.
- Why Black farmers are often left out of the narrative of farming in America.
- What changes she seeds as necessary to improve our food system for better and for always.
If you’re looking to understand agriculture, race, or American history in a new way, this episode has a lot to offer you.
Episode Show Notes:
- Amber’s headshot is by Safiyah Chiniere. Check out her Instagram here.
- Learn more about Amber Tamm on her Instagram page and her website.
- There were nearly 1 million Black farmers in 2020 but there are just 45,000 today.
- Black farmers won 1.25 billion dollars in the Pigford racial discrimination lawsuit against the USDA.
- We discussed the book “Farming While Black” by Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm.
- Amber admires Indian scholar and food sovereignty activist Vandana Shiva.
- Amber recommends learning more about the story of activist Assata Shakur.
If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more about urban farming and gardening, check out our interviews with Ron Finley and Princess Haley. If you want to keep exploring the history of race and the environment, listen to our conversation with Leah Thomas.