Freedom farmers in Detroit challenge current definitions of resistance. Their work demands that movement scholars reconsider what resistance looks like and how it is performed. Farming and gardening are not directly confrontational with the power structure, however freedom farmers define gardening as a resistance strategy. Their work is internally transformative not only for themselves, but for their families and their communities in three ways: healthy living and the production of healthy food, building community through the food system and cooking as resistance.
Growing up, my mother always told me to be conscious of those who prepared your food. Their energy, she said, would be transferred to you. I remember a scene in the book, Like Water for Chocolate where the emotions of the chef were transferred through the food to the consumer literally!! If you look in the kitchens of many restaurants people work in challenging conditions, they are often not treated with respect. They do not earn a living wage and there is often an impermanence in their employment. Can you imagine the
I have always found the garden as a place of peace and tranquility. I love that the garden is a site for resistance and the act of gardening, now defined as a resistance strategy. It is powerful to witness people create systems and structures that work to their benefit instead of participating in systems that were developed to oppress them. I’m sure that in many ways this gardening revolution and the creative strategies that people enact in order to transform urban spaces will have academics coming up with new questions and innovative ways to address them.