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EP. 14: Iris Brown: Afro-Puerto Rican food and culture in Philadelphia

EP. 14: Iris Brown: Afro-Puerto Rican food and culture in Philadelphia

In this episode, we hear from Señora Iris Brown of Loíza, Puerto Rico, who grew up learning to cook and use herbs from her grandmother and the strong women of her hometown. She came to New York in 1967 for economic reasons, and moved to Philadelphia in 1970 when she fell in love with the back yards here. She said “I saw the possibilities of planting flowers, hanging a hammock, and looking at the stars!!” 

In the 1980s, she and her friend Tomasita Romero co-founded Grupo Motivos, a collective of Puerto Rican women that worked with West Kensington residents to establish the historic and award-winning Norris Square gardens on many blighted, vacant properties that had been used for selling drugs. Now part of Norris Square Neighborhood Project, these spaces are filled with life and beauty and Puerto Rican culture.

SEED STORIES TOLD IN THIS EPISODE:

MORE INFO FROM THIS EPISODE:

Please Support Hurricane Relief in Loíza, PR:

Resources and organizations mentioned:

ABOUT:

Seeds And Their People is a radio show where we feature seed stories told by the people who truly love them. Hosted by Owen Taylor of Truelove Seeds and Chris Bolden-Newsome of Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden.

trueloveseeds.com/blogs/satpradio

 

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FIND OWEN HERE:

Truelove Seeds

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FIND CHRIS HERE:

Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden

 

THANKS TO:

  • Iris Brown
  • Norris Square Neighborhood Project
  • Luz Maria Orozco
  • Akoth Tutu
  • Maebh Aguilar
  • Tania María Ríos Marrero and Grimaldi Baez

SEED STORIES TOLD IN THIS EPISODE (CONTINUED):

  • Oregano de Puerto Rico (Lippia micromera)
  • Avocado, Aguacate (Persea americana)
  • Papaya, Lechosa (Carica papaya)
  • Annatto, Achiote (Bixa orellana)
  • Vicks (Plectranthus tometosa)
  • Leren (Goeppertia allovia) 
  • Red-Stemmed Yuca, Cassava (Manihot esculenta)
  • Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)
  • Rue, Ruda (Ruta graveolens)
  • Basil, Abahaca (Ocimum basilicum) 
  • Lemongrass, Limoncillo (Cymbopogon citratus)
  • Life Plant, Oja de Bruja (Kalanchoe pinnatum) 
  • Soursop, Guanábana (Annona muricata)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Plantain, Llantén (Plantago major)
  • Krapao, Thai Holy Basil (Ocimum spp.)
  • Pigeon Peas, Gandules (Cajunus cajun)
  • Aji Dulce, Seasoning Pepper (Capsicum annuum)
  • Peppermint, Menta (Mentha piperita)
  • Ornamental Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)
  • Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
  • Black Eyed Peas, Frijol de Caritas (Vigna unguiculata)
  • Cleome (Cleome hassleriana)
  • Castor, Higuereta (Ricinus comunis)
  • Coconut, Coco (Cocos nucifera)

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