Mid-Atlantic Agroecology Encounter:Reflections of a Teenager

By Manny Coreano

If you asked me a year ago if i’d be interested in camping out in the wilderness for an entire weekend I might have thought you were insane. Something inside of me changed when I started learning about my culture and who I was, who my ancestors were, and how we could use the world around us to naturally benefit from its resources. The earth has all of the answers, we just have to look within it to truly find it.

Before arriving to the campsite I was facing a lot of anxiety; that all went away when I met the person carpooling me to the campsite and the rest of the Philly crew. I was immediately immersed in a community of different colors of the rainbow, people just like me that shared an interest in agriculture.

I was not aware of what the term Agroecology was until I participated in this encounter. I enjoyed every aspect of of the training, getting to fully invest myself on the soil of Black Dirt Farm and learning the history of the land that we resided on. I now feel more prepared than ever before to speak on certain issues, and my passion for food justice has truly increased. I went from being a queer Latinx individual, living in North Philly and knowing nothing about gardening, to becoming someone who is so passionate about agroecology and food justice.