Olivia is currently farming in Portland, Oregon, and has been farming since March 2020.
What brought you to farming?
I wanted to learn skills that could sustain me and my family and community.
Creating food sovereignty for my people would be a major win and would open so many doors for great change in our world.
Farming at my current farm is a dream because I am not business focused, I am laboring and that is what I provide. It’s where my strength is but I could never imagine running a farm by myself. I choose to work for at my current farm because I have the freedom to grow as a farmer without having to burden starting a farm from scratch.
I have witnessed differences in opinions that can lead to tension but also outright racism from non-Indigenous people when we tell them: yes, we are growing this thing you call a weed and yes, it is food and no,your idea of what is and isn’t food is not the end all be all.
I come back (to farming) because I feel like I’m the closest I’ve ever been to creating food sovereignty for my people, yet we are so far still.
I feel like I am closer to divesting fully from capitalism and really making food more accessible.
I’m kept up at night because there is still so much work to do and I am able to live in the PNW and work here yet all I want is to wake up back South with my family on a big piece of ancestral land away from everyone else and just go feed my horses and feed my community, but it’s hard to give up what I have here because this is so hard to find where I’m from.
I have this dream job and yet this key piece is missing.
What type of support is helpful for farmers not on their own farms?
Freedom to know their body and their mind and know what needs to get done and be able to do it without pushing to the limits.
Getting to choose our community members, too.
Being able to freely speak about racism and being able to say we aren’t going to take this person’s money and feed them because they are violent and we don’t need to take crumbs from these people anymore.