Supporters Gather at Nurturing Roots Farm
Neighbors and community members rallied on Sunday to support Nurturing Roots, an urban farm in Beacon Hill that is facing eviction at the end of the month. The farm works to support the community through both resources and education surrounding food justice and agriculture.
Nurturing Roots leases the land the farm is located on from Bethany United Church of Christ. The Church says they plan to take the land back and use it for purposes which ‘better fit their vision’.
“I think a lot of what their ambitions are, which they haven’t been very clear about, is that they can use this space as their own and push out the community that actually built it,” Nurturing Roots founder Nyema Clark said. “I think this community, South Seattle, has been displaced far too often.”
Clark says she contacted the Church about offering to buy the land last year, but those discussions ended.
“When we were thinking about even the ideas of the church, this is what you’re supposed to be about. You know, this is the work that you say is important. This is the faith that a lot of us believe in,” Clark said.
For it’s part, the Church claims that Nurturing Roots isn’t being evicted and that they failed to provide their 90-day notice of intent to renew the lease. They also say they’ve subsidized Nurturing Roots through reduced rental rates over the years.
David Reyes, of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands, says that the movement that Nurturing Roots is part of is critical to the community.
“What Nyema of Nurturing Roots is doing is just part of a broader network around how we’re creating a space for people of color and to really show what resiliency and equity is about in terms of getting fresh foods.”
Supporter Omi King voiced sadness that Nurturing Roots may lose the land they worked to clear and develop into a community resource.
“It’s really disappointing that they may lose the space and that, you know, we all came out just to show them that we’re supporting them, that whatever they needs to to do to be able to save the business and the farm, we’re here to help.”
Watch the video above for more from the protest.
Reporting by Cesar Canizales.
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