The vision of Tierra Negra Farm is to develop a community-based, sustainable food system by reshaping the relationships that surround food. Our dominant food system is globalized and industrialized, while Tierra Negra Farm seeks to create a personalized and sustainable food system.
Through our work individually and in partnership we have a deep understanding of the community aspects of this work. We are committed to our communities and understand that listening and responding to community needs around food will be the key to our success.
Cristina Rivera Chapman, Programs Leadership
Cristina has been working in rural and urban communities around land and food for the past 10 years. She came to North Carolina from NYC and continues to teach farming and work with young people to build more just food systems. Cristina believes in collaborative work to address systems of oppression by creating supportive spaces for reflection, healing, and self-determination.
Tahz Rufus Walker, Farm & Garden Leadership
Tahz has spent the past nine years working on small organic farms in North Carolina and Kentucky, community gardens in Durham and Greensboro, and in community food settings across the Piedmont. Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Tahz has witnessed a dramatic shift in cultural food traditions as well as access to healthy food choices in many urban and rural communities that he has lived in. This has fueled his work and awareness around sustainable agriculture, ecology based education, and food justice. He envisions a food-system where farmers are diverse and are made up of many races, class backgrounds, genders, where youth have a voice in the food they consume, and where there is honor and justice in putting your hands in the dirt. Tahz has most recently been managing the 70 acres of the Stone House as well as maintaining 2 acre organic farm, which includes vegetable production, bee keeping, orchard, and managing egg-laying chickens.
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SANTOS FLORES, Communications Leadership
Santos is the great grandchild of farmers from Puerto Rico. His focus in Durham, NC has been education in social development, youth leadership, sustainable agriculture and food justice. Serving as a liaison between community organizations and community stakeholders has inspired him to look for more effective approaches to sustainable and non-hierarchical social change. Santos believes in the rights of people to define their own food and agriculture systems and has witnessed members of communities experience inequalities in their local food system, economic development plans, educational institutions and health outcomes.
Santos hopes to develop strategies that promote equity, empowerment, good health, and spiritual healing in under-served communities. Integrating a new understanding of “social movement” and ecological agriculture to plan small scale-level food systems that provide accessible, fresh, healthy, locally sourced “food for all.” Santos holds a B.S. in Philosophy of Law and Plant Biology from North Carolina State University.