Hi! This is Erin Holden with Fangboner Farms, and I'm here with our CEO Elizabeth Richardson. Hi Liz, how are you?
Hi, Erin! I'm good, thank you for interviewing me.
Absolutely. So to kick off Black History Month, we're going to be discussing Fangboner Farms, not only as a family owned business in Northwest Ohio, but as a Black-owned business in this area. My first question for you is, how common is it in Northwest Ohio for farms to be Black-owned businesses?
I noticed that there are a handful of Black-owned businesses in the farming industry between produce and herbs and perennials. But, in the general population - Black-owned farms in the United States - it's only 1.4%. So our community is growing from the inner cities to the country, but we are still a small percentage in the United States.
And why is it important for you personally to promote sustainable farming practices and natural products for the Black community here and for the community as a whole?
Absolutely. It's important to me to promote sustainability practices and farming because reducing our contribution to the ecosystem around us, depending on what our future will have for us as human beings, and just to be aware of our surroundings and the contribution that we make to them, is an important part of practicing sustainability and farming.
And I want to speak up about sustainable farming for the decomposition of materials that we use to pour life back into the soil and the ability to feed more people using just one single seed that can really yield a big crop, just from one seed. That can actually help for years and years to come in the future. Producing natural products allows us to show others and inspire movement for more people of color to jump on the repurposing bandwagon and the sustainability practices that fit into their own personal lifestyles.
Right. And do you think people in the Black community generally are becoming more empowered to open their own agriculturally based businesses like Fangboner Farms and what trends are you seeing in that regard?
I feel like people of color are getting more curious and interested in providing food and plants for themselves on their own, trusting the soil from which they get the food and drinks they make and end up consuming. Knowing that it's being made from plants, which are similar to us humans in that our environment shapes our output.
So farming is a work in progress when we put out an effort to feed ourselves for survival and to contribute to the economy with a small business. I'm seeing a lot more viral content around people of color farming and the curiosity around it. Even though it's small, it's growing rapidly.
That's really exciting. Thank you so much for sharing your insights on this topic. I think this is a great way for us to open up a dialogue during the start of Black History Month, so thanks for sharing with our readers and our listeners.
Absolutely, thank you for such great, relevant questions!