The FarmPlate Young Farmers Series: Desi K. Robinson From DeVyne Crown Farm
Jeff Gangemi Jun 14, 2012 Young Farmers 0 comments
NAME: DEsi K. Robinson
FARM: DeVyne Crown Farm
Can you provide some brief background information about your farm? In your opinion, what makes it special or unique?
Though I've had a few growing seasons, I've recently named my little urban plot DeVyne Crown Farm because: DeVyne: I'm a diva gardener (stylish and polished with boots and rake :-), Crown: I live in Corona which means crown in Spanish!
DeVyne Crown is unique in that it serves as a resource for my various projects as a journalist, educator and foodie. I use my crop to facilitate my cooking program, "What's Cookin' in the World, Miss Desi?" What's Cookin'© is an arts-based international cooking program (using maps, language, music and dance) to address the bevy of health issues plaguing today’s youth, including childhood obesity. What’s Cookin’© explores culinary cultural landscapes and fosters in students new cultural experiences while “pushing” their palates, offering them options for healthy eating.
DeVyne Crown is a simple and humble urban farm, but I've been able to use basic ingredients like oregano, basil, mint, dill, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, onions and chili peppers to transport students through simple world cuisine.
As the host of Women in the Making: Tomorrow’s History Today (WIM), a health and lifestyle show for today’s girl, I use my show for a media campaign to continue the conversation as an urban farmer on food education in underserved communities. I produced the WIM Health Series addressing obesity and morbidity diseases in youth featuring health chefs; an NYC Urban Farm show highlighting youth and shero farmers; produced the WIM Health Summit for Girls, sponsored by Whole Foods; and hosted a WBAI live audience screening of TEDx Manhattan: Changing the Way We Eat.
Why do you believe farming is important, particularly for the younger generation, and why did you decide to become a farmer?
It's very easy to tell people they should be eating better. EVERYONE already knows that. The real conversation is "HOW does that fit in my life?" When farming found me, I became interested in talking about how we fit fresh produce into our budget and into our shopping schedule if we only shop once a month. How do we incorporate fresh produce into our lives culturally and still enjoy the things we like to eat? Supporting urban farms, particularly in food deserts that exist in my city, can help address so many of these issues and questions. As a young urban farmer I want to make people excited, particularly young people in communities of color, about putting their hands in the ground (or even a small pot on the stoop!) and knowing where their food comes from, sustainability, food justice, using farming to understand science, math, colors, trying new things, being physical, and enjoying friends and community in the sun and showers.
Note: This post is part of FarmPlate's new series about young farmers. If you want to be included, know someone we should profile or have comments/questions about our series, please contact Jeff Gangemi at email@example.com.