Celebrating Jubilee Justice
February 1, 2023
This year for Black History Month we are celebrating Jubilee Justice, an initiative and innovative collaboration with Black farmers to work with regenerative System of Rice Intensification (SRI) practices in the US South. SRI, what we call More Crop Per Drop®, is a holistic, regenerative approach for sustainable rice cultivation, that was developed to improve rice yields of low-income farmers to alleviate poverty and improve food security.
One of the many goals of the Jubilee Justice Black Farmers’ Rice Project is redistributing wealth and ownership in order to increase collective self-determination and to provide BIPOC farming communities with a specialty market leading to secure and improved outcomes while repairing systemic harm and discriminatory age-old practices; based on good environmental stewardship and sustainable farming practices.
Another is restoring and accelerating Black land ownership and stewardship, creating thriving generational wealth and improved quality of life for Black farming communities.
Jubilee Justice’s question for 2022 was “How can we build and protect our soil, nurture soil biology in support of plant health and productivity, and keep weeds and diseases in balance with biological processes?”
In their 2022 Annual Review, Jubilee Justice highlighted their experimental and pioneering regenerative work with cover crops, identification of varieties that are starting to shine through, and the gift of a building for their rice mill.
Jubilee Justice grew its experimental farm from one acre to five acres where they divided the new land into three plots: an experimental plot, a systems research plot, and a production plot. This separation assisted in new research, implementation of past research, and taking best practices to share with other farmers.
The rice mill, now in its new food-safe renovated building, is expected to be up and running by March of 2023, coinciding with an exciting new rice season. This equipment is state of the art, including professional dryers, cleaners, dehullers, and a color sorter. In addition, the mill has been equipped with solar panels making it the first solar powered rice mill in the state in addition to already being the first Black Cooperative Rice Mill in the country.
In a letter from the President, Jubilee Justice Founder Konda Mason states: “The roots of the plants that we grow in the soil our hands touch everyday are connected to the roots of our ancestors who also worked the soil and were fed by these same plants. Our work serves as an agent for healing both the land and the people who steward the land.
The four pillars that guide our work: Land, Race, Money & Spirit are the hard places where American systems of oppression live. With an open heart and mind, we move directly into the center of these challenges, bringing innovation, persistence and hope.
Our Black farmers rice program is addressing the systemic racial disenfranchisement that rural Black farmers and communities have faced since the founding of this country while simultaneously bringing balance back to the soil upon which all life depends.”
Soil First! Regenerative Rice recognizes that every aspect of producing healthy, nutritious and organic food starts with a healthy soil!
Teaching, training and building the capacity for Black and BIPOC farmers in the SRI method of growing rice and rotation crops can help solve our two most pressing problems: Economic Justice & Climate Justice.
Lotus Foods’ long-term goal of working with Jubilee Justice is to support their efforts to reverse systemic racism and inequality. We were instrumental in introducing them to SRI, the regenerative farming methods used by our More Crop Per Drop® farmers, and look forward in the near future to connecting Jubilee Justice farmers to our existing distribution channels so we can market their rice.