Black Soil: Our Better Nature
We're glad you're here for the Black Soil experience! These year round events include Farm Tours, Farm to Table Dinners and Off Season Workshops where you are connected Kentucky's black farmers/growers/producers. Black Soil events allow attendees to celebrate and educate themselves on the narratives, experience, and expertise of our partner black farmers.
Representing 1.4% of the primary farm operators in the state, black farmers account for less than 600 of the more than 76,000 agricultural operations in Kentucky.
The mission of Black Soil: Our Better Nature is to reconnect black Kentuckians to their legacy and heritage in agriculture.
By bringing together urban families with rural and urban based black farmers/growers/producers across the state, we help introduce opportunities in agriculture that promote self-sufficiency, encourage healthy living, and activate cooperative economics.
Our vision is to help foster a greater market share for black farmers and producers as they provide healthy food options to a larger consumer base.
Let our Host Partner Farmers give you an exclusive look at their operation and the hard work that goes into making it happen. Various activities and mini workshops give ticket holders the chance to create their own farm experience! Shop with Host Partner Farmers straight from the farm before heading home.These tours occur across the state of Kentucky within a 3 hour radius of Lexington-Fayette County from April-October.
Farm to Table Dinners
Introducing to some and familiar to many- the Farm to Table concept celebrates locally sourced food. Featuring menu items from Black Soil Host Partner Farmers to showcase the growing talent found in the state. Presented as an upscale, signature buffet prepared by a Kentucky based black culinary artist. The locally sourced menu features seasonal produce and meats inclusive for ticket holders with dietary restrictions. These dinners occur on the Host farm location from April-October.
Off Season Workshops
From December to March on the 2nd Sunday of each month, Black Soil continues educating on topics related to agriculture. Topics include but are not limited to: how community shared agriculture (CSAs) differ from Buyer's Clubs, comparing growing methods in urban areas, and preservation techniques of food. These mixers occur in Lexington, KY.
Trevor Claiborn was born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Lexington, KY. Known fondly and widely as Farmer Brown tha MC, Claiborn has led hundreds of children, youth and adults in presentations on food production, sustainable systems, and outreach regarding agricultural occupations using culturally relevant education via hip hop and statistics. As Farmer Brown tha MC, Claiborn promotes awareness of occupations and careers in agriculture. These presentations focus the audience and empower them in knowing where their food comes. Holding degrees from Bluegrass Community & Technical College in Environmental Systems and Kentucky State University in Agriculture, Food and Environment where he works as an Extension Assistant in the Land Grant Program. In his spare time, he administers original programs, Fresh Op, an urban gardening workshop, and Basics for Young Bosses, an after school production camp that produces a collection of original children’s books
Claiborn has received the recognition from the Central Kentucky Diversity Consortium, awarded the 2016 MOAIIC Award at MOSIIAC Conference, 2nd Place in Community and Outreach Research-Oral Presentation at the Association of 1890’s Research & Development Research Symposium, Rising Star Award from Kentucky Association of Environmental Educators (KAEE). He is 2018 ee360 Green Fellow and KAEE Board of Directors member.
A native of Lexington, KY, Ashley C. Smith graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Smith currently serves as Director of Education and Governmental Affairs. Combing her 16 year career spanning diverse sectors, Smith will led the agencies efforts in educating and supporting key stakeholders on Fayette Alliance’s pillars of advocacy. Previous to joining The Fayette Alliance team, Smith has worked for such brands as KentuckyOne Health, Bluegrass Hospitality Group, Community Ventures, NetGain Technologies, Smiley Pete Publishing, and The Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center.
Smith is an Ethical Redevelopment Salon member under the leadership of Theaster Gates, Secretary for Kentucky State University’s Extension and Research Advisory Council, and 2016 Scholarship Chair for the Bluegrass Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In addition, her leadership also includes serving on the Management Team for the crave food + music festival and Steering Committee member for the Kentucky Rural Urban Exchange. Her professional portfolio also includes voice over and Mistress of Ceremonies duties for City of Lexington 2017 and 2018 Martin Luther King Holiday Celebration, Stage Emcee for 2017 and 2018 crave lexington food + music festival. She earned an Emmy nomination for KET’s Kentucky Life episode, A Kentucky Christmas, voicing the work of Kentucky native, writer and poet, Effie Waller Smith.
Trevor and Ashley are the proud parents of Caroline and Trevor, Jr.
Black Soil Events
What's included in my ticket?
- Farm Tour
- Farm to Table Dinner with upscale event experience
- Transportation (select dates, advise calendar)
- Workshop, presentations and learning experiences led by Host & Partner Farmer(s)
- Networking with fellow Kentucky community leaders and members
What does my ticket support?
- A robust network of black Kentucky based home cooks, chefs, and catering companies raising awareness on Kentucky foodways based in black cultural heritage
- Opportunities to build financial capacity, leadership cultivation and development, strengthened community relations for operations owned and managed by Kentucky's black farmers/growers/producers
Black Soil trips are designed to...
- Grow new and sustain strong, lasting relationships amongst statewide audience and partners in the urban and rural communities
- Provide site based education that illustrate the diverse opportunities in agricultural production
- Reach new audiences with locally sourced food options that aid in sustainable, healthy lifestyles
- Pay homage to the legacy and heritage of black Kentuckians in agriculture