Farming Status and Plans
Years actively farming:2-5
Description of farming status, plans, and practices:
MISSION I am a grandmother, author, permaculturist and national spiritual leader who is called to build resilient communities. The emerging Soil & Souls native and Medicinal plant nursery provides leadership training and community education in resilience in communities along the Eastern seaboard. The farm in the Hudson Valley and the mobile educational events are expressions of Christian ministry and a land based spirituality. (I am ordained in the United Church of Christ and maintain Baptist and Indigenous affiliations) We hope to identify property by September 2020.
Rev Dele HISTORY I learned organic growing while a student at UC-Riverside. I raised my children on medicinal herbs and now want to produce them. I am modeling for future leaders a shift from consumer to producer. I've taught permaculture at College of William and Mary and to master gardeners in Virginia. My 10 years on family land in Southern Virginia were spent restoring soil, growing vegetable guilds and teaching environmental programs to youth. From this land I was called out of the forest to "Teach the Church How To Model Sustainability". After attending the Climate Reality Leadership training in Johannesburg, I spent 6 years of field research and pilot projects along the Eastern seaboard to create a business model that will teach communties that need the most help how to thrive during climate chaos. Sponsors have included REVDELE Ministries, Audubon/Toyota, Interfaith Power & Light, Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation for Humanity & Nature and RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International) I currently supervise college interns in permaculture practices on leased land in New Paltz.
BUSINESS MODEL Soil & Souls is an emerging cooperative with business partners in New Paltz, Dallas and Durham. Our fiscal sponsor is the Permaculture Association of the Northeast. We desire that the Hudson Valley nursery host a Mic Mac eco village to embed Indigenous expertise in our land management. (I am of Mic Mac lineage) The nursery will also serve as a national training center for the people leading the resilience hubs we have organized. Our ultimate goal is to train 300 resilience leaders in 30 communities so that we ALL may thrive during social and weather climate crises.
PRACTICES I have completed the Grow NYC Beginning Farmers Class and plan to dedicate this year to a nursery apprenticeship and trial crops on leased land until permanent land is available, I use regenerative practices including agroforestry, guilds, no- till, integrated pest management. I am working with interns from SUNY New Paltz to complete our business plan as well as plans to perform restoration and permaculture demonstrations on 9 forested acres in New Paltz.
Description of marketing method:
TBD. Marketing will include health and wellness education; and outreach within environmental and faith based networks where I operate
Our partner in Dallas is a farmer who organizes and manages farmer's markets. She teaches wellness using an urban personality.
Does this farmer have a business plan?In progress
- Hudson Valley
Infrastructure required:Onsite housing
Description of infrastructure:
I expect to provide the hoop house/green house for the nursery operation.
There will be some natural building on site.
I will have clarity on further requirements once the business plan is completed in the 2nd quarter.
Crops and Livestock
Primary crops:Fruits, Hay, Other Crops
Primary Livestock:Goats/Sheep, Poultry
Description of livestock/crops:
Primary crops will be native plants and medicinal herbs. We are beginning with St. John's Wort and Elderberry. The greenhouse will probably grow transplants for farmers, etc. Medicinal mushrooms will be added as feasible.
Our partner in North Carolina produces a soil amendment that is currently sold by the truckoad. We plan to assist in packaging and distributing.
Tenure options desired:For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement
Description of tenure options desired:
Lease to own is an option. A land trust model of land tenure complements our cooperative values.
Will this farmer's operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?Yes
Experience & education:On farm work experience, Farmer training or workshop
I have provided permaculture consultation to urban farmers in D.C. to effectively suppress weeds and diversify crop yields.