LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A lot of us don’t really think about where our food comes from or what work it takes to grow it, but that could all change this week.
“Eat local year-round. That, to us, is not only something that is trendy and easy to say, but it’s a lifestyle that we can practice,” Ashley Smith, co-founder and COO of ‘Black Soil: Our Better Nature,’ said.
That’s part of the reason why Smith co-founded the Lexington Farmer’s Market. Another reason is the disproportionate number of Black people she saw represented in agriculture.
“If Mother Nature can’t see who puts the seed in the ground, then why do we have such enormous disparities in agriculture,” Smith asked.
She said it’s a question that directly relates to another issue: food deserts in minority communities.
That’s where ‘Black Soil’ comes in.
“By pairing these underrepresented farmers and communities that are struggling to access seasonal produce, local meats and healthy food options, Black Soil really does play the role of match-maker and liaison,” Smith said.
She said she used to host farm tours and farm-to-table dinners. Now, with the pandemic still disrupting everyday life, she says she’s glad to be a part of the week-long Kentucky Proud Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair going on until February 28. The event is virtual for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.
“It allows Kentucky producers to really make those connections and build relationships with consumers,” Smith said.
She says ‘Black Soil’ partners with 13 farms across Kentucky and sells weekly shares on their behalf – everything from farm fresh eggs, beets, carrots, meat and more.
Customers can have it delivered or pick it up from one of ‘Black Soils’ several Lexington partner locations.
Smith said the fair is already bringing in new enrollment. It’s something she expects for many farms as people are becoming more mindful of their food choices.
“COVID-19 heaped upon us this awareness of where is our food coming from,” Smith said. “We saw grocery store aisles bare to the bone.”