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EP. 30: Happy 70th Birthday Karen Washington! Food and Plant Stories about our Queen.

EP. 30: Happy 70th Birthday Karen Washington! Food and Plant Stories about our Queen.

Join us and 15 of Karen Washington's dear friends, family, mentees, and collaborators in wishing her a very happy 70th birthday with this episode featuring food and plant stories about our Farmy Godmother. Karen has been instrumental in the creation and guidance of neighborhood organizations such as Garden of Happiness, La Familia Verde Coalition and Farmers Market, and Bronx Green Up, as well as Farm School NYC, Black Urban Growers, and the Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference. She serves on the board of Soul Fire Farm, the Black Farmer Fund, and the Mary Mitchell Center and has been a part of so many others such as Just Food (where we first met) and New York Botanic Garden, and was once the president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, organizing to protect the gardens from development. She is one of the four co-founders and owners of Rise & Root Farm in Chester, NY. More importantly, Karen is a fierce fighter for gardens and justice and loves her friends and families with gusto and grits. We hope these stories reveal her love and knack for investing in community and her life-long commitment to rising and rooting for justice. 


  • Karen Washington
  • Lorrie Clevenger - Rise and Root Farm, Black Urban Growers, and Farm School NYC; formerly of Just Food and WhyHunger.
  • Leah Penniman - Soul Fire Farm
  • Cheryl Holt - Karen's neighbor, Garden of Happiness
  • Kendra Washington Bass - Karen's daughter
  • Kady Williams - Taqwa Community Farm, Iridescent Earth Collective; formerly of Bronx Green Up
  • Ashanti Williams -Taqwa Community Farm, Black Yard Farm
  • Julian Bass - Karen's grandson
  • Nicole Ndiaye - NAHE, Bathgate Community Garden
  • Gabriela Pereyra - Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust 
  • Aleyna Rodriguez - Mary Mitchell Center
  • Ursula Chanse - Bronx Green Up, New York Botanic Garden
  • Michael Hurwitz - Landing Light Strategies; formerly of Added Value and Greenmarket
  • Kathleen McTigue - AmeriCorps; formerly of Just Food and New Roots Community Farm
  • Frances Perez Rodriguez - Farm School NYC
  • Jane Hayes Hodge - Rise and Root Farm; formerly of Just Food and Farm School NYC



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.




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Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden



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  • I love this episode so much!! So wonderful to hear all of these familiar voices come together to honor Mama Karen! ❤️❤️❤️

    Lil sis / tay tay on

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