Prior to the passing of Kala Washington, he and I, were both chosen to serve as experts on Food Justice through a grant that would promote nationwide activities in alignment with the theme. We would then spearhead activities at Sugarloaf Moringa Farm that would exemplify the principles of food justice while building awareness of the relationship between nutrition and sickle cell anemia. Fast forward almost two years later and we held our first food justice gathering at the World Beat Center. In Memory of our good brother, Kala Washington.
It was at this location that I arrived once my family and I left Sugarloaf in the summer of 21'. We would travel from northern California in a forty - foot Monaco Dynasty on the ravaged interstate five highway to sunny San Diego to expand on our Moringa knowledge. After championing through the climate changes that separate the Pacific Ocean from the mountains of the Mojave desert. It was the World Beat Center that I was first informed would be the first step along the path of progress and when I entered the doors and witnessed the detailed symbolism I was reminded why.
All the information our ancestors imagined for us became available within the esthetics of the environments that was intentionally put into place by Makeda Dread, in her attempt to highlight the glory of antiquity, while also bring into the present moment the grace our ancestors implored in raising a fallen world culture. At our Food Justice Center Of Expertise Gathering we carried on tradition in a way where we revisited the sacred plants that served humanities eons before Hippocrates gave birth to a philosophy that would guide western medicine.
During our all day conference we would cover many scientific ingredients that make Moringa a nutritional powerhouse. Its benefits on different continents as a staple food as well as its ability to combat climate change as a tree that absorbs twice the amount of carbon emissions in the air, in comparison to native trees in California. After the first presentation by Dr. Waterman in which she touched on a few of the United Nations sustainability development goals as it relates to the cultivation, production and consumption of Moringa.
From this presentation we entered into the garden at the world beat center. It was here that two summers ago my family and I would complete a Moringa harvest in which I would need to actually climb the tree to finish the task. This Moringa tree was planted over two decades ago by Mariko who is the founder of Moringa for life. This organization is the reason I know about the world beat center and Bro. James Brady is the reason I know Mariko. While touring the garden we were able to see that the Moringa trees here in Southern California were already coming into fruition which, is different than what we are experiencing up north. We will be waiting at least another two months until we can expect the leaves to begin to 'pop' as we like to call it. The garden offered us all a deep spiritual effect. I was able to feel all the vibrations that the plants were emitting while we were in their aura. Mariko took this moment to bridge our understanding on the constant music that plants continue to introduce our hearts to..In the garden we immediately felt the presence of the spiritual communities that exist beyond our comprehension.
Issac a former software engineer turned soil biologist delivered a vast amount of knowledge on the micro biology that exist within a healthy soil chemistry. Black gold as he described it , the processed fecal matter of worms that end up recreating a complex balance of microorganisms.
As we traveled through Issac's demonstration on soil health, we learned about the different types of worm species that produce healthy soil, that consequently create healthy food options.
Beings so small and busy that they can only be shadowed through a microscope and searched for in a speck of soil. All this activity happening within dirt, is out of sight and out of mind, in the average persons life. Most of us never navigate the unseen dimensions of this vast soil universe that seems so ancient but, anonymous.
Nonetheless , our choice of location is not called the World Beat Cafe for nothing. After hearing about the benefits of worm poop and other soil eating microorganisms, we were ready for lunch! All plant based options, a vegetable stew served over riced with spinach Jamaican patties and desserts to satisfy the sweet tooth. We were practicing what we preached, through our food selection we were respecting the co evolution of plants and people, both species honoring one another through growth and consumption. The meal was throughly enjoyed and I would have taken a third plate with me en route to the airport had I believed it would have made it. Send my bests to the chef, Brother Rob and nem!
Cheryl Branch gave a insightful presentation on the process of getting projects funded through grants. Her twenty-two years as a grant writer spilled through her power point as she gave an in-depth analysis of what is needed to be taken serious as a non profit organization and get ideas off of paper and into the community, reaching the people who need it most.
Eco Bro Con10u2farm Founder , James Brady was instrumental in bringing us all in alignment with one another. Over the last two years he has strategically connected individuals within the Moringa community with one another to broaden the scope of what each of us know is possible with the plant. It has been said that a ally in the market is better than money in your pocket and James has proven this to be true.
Where our Global Food Justice center of Expertise goes from here? My hypothesis is addressing the systemic needs of the sickle cell community, while developing a plan of action in a direction that continues to place food as a pathway to healing the nutritional deficiency we have grown to know as Sickle cell disease.
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