The sun was shining on Yes Farm, a part of Seattle’s Black Farmers Collective. It was Earth Day, after all.
People gathered to fill cups with earth meant to feed new plants and to create “seed bombs” to spread flowers and joy in unexpected places. Rows of planting beds and a greenhouse filled the space.
In this season, farmers are growing collard greens, kale, beets, radishes and cabbage, among other plants, said Ray Williams, right, the managing director of the Black Farmers Collective. There are more than 20 varieties of plants in all.
“We’re sending what we are growing to mutual aid networks,” Williams said. Some of the food also goes to markets. The farm employs two farm managers and four people who are farmers in training, he said.
The farm, situated above Interstate 5 and just off of Yesler Way, is in its third growing season. Earth Day celebrants came to plant crops, water the beds, and take part in the community that the Black Farmers Collective provides.
The first Earth Day occurred on April 22, 1970, when an estimated 20 million Americans turned out to fight for the environment. The world is still on a precipice, however. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in 2022 that cuts to greenhouse gas emissions are necessary as soon as 2025 to avoid “catastrophic” climate events.
More than 1,000 climate scientists protested to bring attention to the IPCC’s report a few weeks before.
Read more of the Apr. 27-May 3, 2022 issue.