Han Smith, Just FACT Mobiliser discusses the podcast, Cultivating Justice.
I’ve just finished listening to a new podcast that challenges stereotypes of who farms and grows plants, and what connection to the land looks like – it’s called ‘Cultivating Justice’.
It’s a podcast made in the UK by black people and people of colour (BPOC), by queer, trans, non-binary or gender queer people, by women and by people who are neurodivergent. The series is a partnership between Land In Our Names (LION) who are reconnecting black communities with land in Britain, and Out On The Land (OOTL) who are an organising group in the Land Workers Alliance (LWA), building solidarity and raising the voices of queer and trans landworkers.
Exploring our connection to the land, to growing, to nature and green spaces.
The podcasters explore our connection to the land, to growing, to nature and green spaces. Some episodes explore experiences of being marginalised inside a dominant white, heterosexual and gendered culture of farming, of gardening and of enjoying wildlife. Stories and interviews are interwoven with music and soundscapes, like the sound recordings from inside a compost heap and wormery in East London at the start of episode 4!
Maymana introduces us to Misery Medicine Plant Magic; free healing and foraging walks for queer and trans black people and people of colour, on the first Saturday of every month until March 2023. Organised by Maymana and Rasheeqa Ahmad (a community medical herbalist in east London), the first ever walk took place in March 2022 at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park!
Maymana tells us:
“I do have knowledge from my sort of Bangladeshi heritage and from my grandparents and my mum and my dad are both really keen growers and they always have been, and that’s something that’s been passed down to me.
“And I just feel like it’s actually quite rare that you are able to share that knowledge with other people who also come from a history of kind of erasure or kind of like that estrangement that people sometimes have with their own heritage because of colonialism”.
[Maymana on a foraging walk]
I listened to the group walk around Tower Hamlets Cemetery, meeting new plants and tasting medicinal tea and I thought about how every human has their own way of connecting with nature, how good it can feel, and how important it was for there to be spaces for black people and people of colour and for trans and queer people, to be able to share and find that with one another and for themselves. You can watch a video of the walk too but I loved the podcast episode, with all the sounds of the outdoors and Rasheeqa and Maymana’s voices.
The group find Wild Garlic, which won’t come back again until very early Spring, but it reminded me that in only a few months’ time, just down the road here in Tower Hamlets, there’ll be carpets of Wild Garlic to be smelt, tasted, cooked, and healed with.
Find out more on Instagram @miseryparty or by contacting [email protected]. You can register to join a monthly walk on Eventbrite – the walks are a different locations around London, they are free and for black people and people of colour only.
There are 6 episodes in the Cultivating Justice series each lasting 50 minutes, and you can find them all through the Land Workers Alliance website, through the Farmerama website, or wherever you get your podcasts. Farmerama Radio is a podcast sharing the voices behind regenerative farming, which is farming that also improves the environment and considers the climate crisis.