Nonprofit. Community-led. Sustainable. Liberated.
Who is NEFOC?
The Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC), fiscally sponsored by Soul Fire Farm Institute, Inc. serves the Northeast region of the U.S. (New England/upstate NY.) NEFOC is working towards a collective vision of advancing land and food sovereignty in the northeast region through permanent and secure land tenure for POC farmers and land stewards who will use the land in a sacred manner that honors our ancestors dreams - for sustainable farming, human habitat, ceremony, native ecosystem restoration, and cultural preservation.
We’re comprised of two part-time, paid Co-Coordinators; volunteer Interim Council; growing membership of over 220 northeastern farmers and land stewards; and will be establishing a 100% Black, Indigenous, Lantinx, and Asian (POC) volunteer Board of Directors in the next 3 months.
We are establishing a nonprofit land trust that will acquire land or easements for the purpose of conservation and permanent affordability/access for POC farmers.
Remembering & Reclaiming our Original Instructions
We as Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian people have developed covenants with the land rooted in mutual respect and belonging, and invented technologies for sustainable and regenerative stewardship of the land. Some of us have inherited these covenants and technologies directly from our ancestral lineages, while others of us are in a decolonizing process and finding our way home to sacred relationship with land. The settler colonial projects of genocide, slavery, war, lynching, forced migration, broken treaties, exploitative trade agreements, and capitalism stand in the way of the restoration of that relationship with earth. White landowners currently control between 95-98% of the farmland in the United States and nearly 100% in the northeast. This is not an accident of history.
The food system is built on the stolen land of Indigenous people and the forced labor and forced displacement of Black & Brown people from our ancestral territories. Access to land has been named as the #1 barrier for farmers of color to advance our work to feed the community and for Indigenous people to maintain our culture and sovereignty.
It is also no accident of history that the health of the land that we are supposed to be in a reciprocally sustainable relationship with has declined to the point of urgency as colonial settler capitalism has overtaken, much like an insidiously rabid invasive species, our forests, gardens, and waters, cutting off Indigenous stewards from the homelands we are responsible for caring for.
The solution to our climate crisis lies in the hands of our Indigenous people and the Diaspora of Indigenous folks who still remember and carry our original instructions in our DNA. Opening access to the lands heals not only the land, but our relationships as human beings. Rematriate land, decolonize “ownership,” and acknowledge the land as a respected elder.
We Indigenous Black and Brown folks are ready, and are reclaiming our responsibilities to the land, picking up our inherited covenants with our ancestors at our backs. There is no other time than now.