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Natasha Nicholes of We Sow We Grow Farm in Chicago, IL
Natasha Nicholes wearing our Diversity and Equality in Agriculture Tee
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Tell us about your farm!

Our farm is a 1/4 acre urban farm serving the south side of Chicago. We established in 2016 after a successful season gardening in our backyard. We wanted to create a space for community members to learn how to grow their own food, while also being a resource for those who didn't have the ability to do so. We REALLY love when children come through and hang out with us on the farm to learn how their food grows. They bring their family members back and we get to grow the community through the love of food.
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Natasha Nicholes of We Sow We Grow Farm in Chicago, IL
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How did you get into farming?

I could give the generic answer of working with a local farm bureau here in Illinois. But I really think that I was bitten back in my youth from seeing my grandmother's kitchen garden. We would often be tasked with going back there to pick okra and green beans for dinners during the summer, and I found that entire experience to be amazing. I'm pretty sure she thought I was hilarious, but she humored me every single summer, and then I was in charge of picking tomatoes. After working for a year with the Illinois Farm Bureau, I was fully invested in growing my own food AND owning chickens, and now, here I am.
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Natasha Nicholes of We Sow We Grow Farm in Chicago, IL
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What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a farmer?

Being taken seriously enough as a black woman. Also being acknowledged as a farmer by those living in rural areas. The BIGGEST challenge though is having enough land to meet the vision that I have for the south side of Chicago. Especially since we aren't seen as a food producer in the city.
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Natasha Nicholes of We Sow We Grow Farm in Chicago, IL
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What are your thoughts and beliefs on farming in the face of climate change?

I feel like we can all do our small part in fighting climate change with backyard farming. Little changes by everyone can make a big difference in our climate. I'm focused on the educational aspect of growing food and not shaming folks into seeing things my way. It's quite important to me through the work of the We Sow We Grow Project to provide several choices and what they will do without pushing future growers one way or the other, while also sharing the truth about climate change and the effect it will have on our future generations.
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Natasha Nicholes of We Sow We Grow Farm in Chicago, IL
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What are some misconceptions you hear about farming and agriculture when it comes to climate change that you'd like to address?

That farmers are a big contributor to climate change, and the reason that it exists in the first place when we're less than 10% of the carbon emissions in the United States. Through proper practices from large scale farms to those smaller urban ones, farms may be helping the problem with carbon reduction practices through soil.
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Natasha Nicholes of We Sow We Grow Farm in Chicago, IL
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What future are you farming for and how do you think your farm can make a difference?

I'm farming for the young people in our community. Those who don't think that farmers can be from a large city, black, or female. I think that my farm can make a difference through outreach and visibility since a large portion of farms are in areas of Chicago that are affluent or teetering on gentrification. The black farms in Chicago don't get nearly enough spotlight, and I'd love to be a catalyst for that.
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Where can we follow along and support you?
Instagram: @wesowwegrow