Our Soil to Sanctuary Community Markets aren't just about buying and selling, but it's about committing to transformative interpersonal and institutional relationships through the interface of the Black Church. It's about modeling a cooperative economic relationship that's not propped up by extraction, exploitation, and domination. We're inspired by meaningful connections and sustainable partnerships - themes that were front and center at our August 2018 Soil to Sanctuary Market in Baltimore. (Currently our markets take place every first Sunday of the month from 12Noon - 2PM at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church.)
Check out the 5 steps we employed in our Food Value Chain Partnership and some of the meaningful connections it helped to cultivate.
Members of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church prepped everything Saturday night for the Soil to Sanctuary Market which would take place immediately after worship the following day.
It started with us calling "Aunt" Maxine White in North Carolina at the Coalition for Healthier Eating to place an order for watermelon, free range eggs and cornish hens which she secured from the farmer co-op she's a part of.
We let our "Cousin" Zachari Curtis at Dreaming Out Loud know that an order was heading up from North Carolina and she and our Brother and BCFSN Core Team Member, Eric Jackson from the Cherry Hill Food Co-op put in orders to support their markets as well in D.C. and South Baltimore respectively.
After a rousing worship experience at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, we held our Soil to Sanctuary Market in the church multipurpose room which featured local vending partners like The Greener Garden, Vegan Juiceology, Strength to Love II Farm, and 10-year-old, Naima who earlier this year won the National Healthy Kids Cookoff Competition!
Aunt Maxine drove up from Greenville, North Carolina last Saturday and delivered the farm fresh produce to Cousin Zachari (pictured right in the beautiful melanin) who in turn filled her orders at All Souls Church Unitarian in D.C.
Aunt Maxine then kept on coming up I-95 and met us with our orders at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore. After a 6 hour drive she was hungry so we unloaded the watermelon, corn, and eggs and took her to lunch.
Not only did we pay the farmer, but we fed the farmer!
We took her to Neopol Smokery where she met co-owner, Dorian Brown. Introducing the two of them was beautiful because Aunt Maxine supplies the free range eggs that we in turn sell to Dorian for his restaurant. It was the first time that they met.