A Black & Brown-led coalition of growers
Soil Generation is a Black & Brown-led coalition of gardeners, farmers, individuals, and community-based organizations working to ensure people of color regain community control of land and food, to secure access to the resources necessary to determine how the land is used, address community health concerns, grow food and improve the environment. Soil Generation reaches these goals through relationship building, honoring culture, community education, organizing, activism and advocacy: a People’s Agroecology.
Soil Generation’s work is guided by four pillars:
* Shared Black and Brown Leadership
* Racial and Economic Justice
The coalition works together towards a vision of
- Community Self-Determination. We believe communities know what is best for their neighborhoods and should lead efforts to envision and plan for their land and their food system.
- Community Self-Representation. We believe decisions about policy, land use and resources should be informed by those most affected.
- Supportive Policies. We believe policies should encourage community-driven green space and food systems, including community gardens and farms. To this end, we advocate for an equitable, accountable and transparent process for accessing, preserving, and tending land for community gardens, farms and green spaces.
- Healthy Neighborhoods. We believe gardens, farms and green spaces are integral pieces of a healthy neighborhood, yielding many benefits such as: improved public health; opportunities for education; access to and consumption of healthy, affordable, local and culturally appropriate food; self-reliance; safer, healthier and greener neighborhoods; resilient and sustainable environments; community building; leadership development; job training and economic development; and recreation.
- Food Justice. We believe in a food system that encompasses health and equity at all stages of production, distribution, consumption, and disposal.
- Environmental Justice. We believe in preserving safe and healthy built and natural environments so that every community has access to gardens, farms, green spaces, wholesome foods and clean water.
Threatened Gardens Campaign
From Soil Generation: “COMMUNITY CONTROL of LAND is the foundation of our collective struggle towards liberation. Whether the issue is food, education, or housing, community control of resources, REQUIRE community control of the land… Our gardens are not just extracurricular spaces–!! They are community-driven acts of resistance and resilience by communities of color in their historically underinvested communities.
We are calling to attention changes that need to happen to create real and transparent pathways towards community control of land. WHO controls land and HOW it’s being used dictates what our communities look like. In the urban agriculture community, we’ve seen too many community gardens and farms lost to Sheriff sales & development in the waves of gentrification across the city.”
Check out organizations, gardens and farms throughout Philadelphia who support the mission and values of Soil Generation.
Philadelphia Urban Roots Collective
The Masters Garden
The Public Interest Law Center is proud to partner with Soil Generation as their fiscal sponsor, in addition to working with them on joint initiatives like Vacant Land 215 trainings for the urban agriculture community. Historically, the coalition started off as the Healthy Food Green Spaces.
Note: Soil Generation members show up as individuals with their own political and personal opinions.
SG is about community, knowledge, and solidarity. It’s about solid relationships serving as a the foundation for sharing information, offering support, and strengthening the connections between racial, food and environmental justice. There is a spirit in our gatherings that I miss in other political groups, and a political awareness that I miss in other food/plant/earth-focused groups. It’s the coalition that makes me the most excited to keep growing roots in Philadelphia.
The Soil Generation are people born at the right time in history. They are groupings of individuals brave enough to explore the full spectrum of their joy and their sorrow. These are a people that have chosen to find their people, to connect with each other by any means necessary. We have decided to inherit the earth, treat it as precious and honor all of the creatures of this planet with the greatest love possible.We are a people willing to investigate the past in order to create brilliant future.
This document is meant to be a living document of resources and recommendations for those growing food for themselves, their neighbors or others. If you would like to add a resource to this page, or if you see something on this page that appears to be inaccurate, please contact Jonathan McJunkin.
More resources for joining the urban agriculture community or buying local
Learn best practices and the latest updates on COVID-19 and urban agriculture in Philadelphia.
The Neighborhood Gardens Trust is a crucial resource for the preservation of gardens and community green space, providing a trust for public land in Philadelphia.
Urban agriculture is recognized as a valid use of land in Philadelphia under the zoning code. Find out what you need to know about zoning in Philadelphia.