Umoja Agriculture Program
The Umoja Agriculcuture Program is located on a property in Everett, ON. It is the base for our workshops and it is here that we teach at a basic level, agricultural education which involves teaching students and adults the science of growing and preparing foods. Connecting students of color with this knowledge supports healthy communities.
Many food trends of today emerged only 50 years ago. It’s important for children to learn that while you can get an apple from a supermarket, you can also grow one. We also offer this program to Black families to encourage them to cultivate their own produce. Agricultural education also helps low-income communities of color access healthy food. In the mid-twentieth century, supermarkets became the predominant way for Canadians to buy food.
Less healthy food translates to worse health and Black youth have a significantly higher prevalence of chronic conditions due in part to food inequality. Food injustice denies children of color the right to develop physically and mentally in the healthiest way they can. It’s a particularly insidious form of systemic oppression on low income communities.
This is why teaching students and families from the Black community about agriculture and how to grow healthy foods shows them that they can be part of solutions to food injustice. Access to organic foods is costly and so with the education that we offer and the facilities to cultivate their own produce we make it possible for Black families not only to grow for themselves but also step into the next stages of agri-business.
Our vision for the Umoja Agriculture Program is to create a viable non-for-profit business that creates jobs in the agri- business for young people from our community and to create opportunities of investment for Black families in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sector.