John Jamerson and Denise Greer Jamerson live and farm in Lyles Station, Indiana - an historic Black farming community. For years, they have been tapping into their connections and their roots to sell fresh produce in Indiana food deserts and to educate others about farming and nutrition. The Jamersons recently joined Elise Koning and Eric Pfeiffer on the CCSI-HAT Soil Health Podcast to discuss the history of Lyles Station and their endeavors to reach underserved farmers. Listen here.
Lyles Station, Indiana
Denise Greer Jamerson grew up on a farm in Lyles Station where her family had originally settled in 1855. Lyles Station is the last remaining African American farming settlement in Indiana. Denise’s father is one of the last remaining African American farmers still farming family ground to this day. Her family raises produce and row crops. There is a rich history surrounding the community. The Lyles Station Historic Preservation Corporation (LSHPC) was formed in the late 1990s to preserve and celebrate this history. You can learn much more about this historic community here.
The farm at the museum at LSHPC has implemented multiple conservation practices including a hoop house, the use of cover crops, diverse crop rotations and many education programs for youth. The Jamersons are passionate about healthy soil and healthy plants because those things provide the foundation for healthy families!
Legacy Taste of the Garden
The Jamersons have long been concerned about the decline of the Black farmer. Realizing how out of the norm fresh produce had become for many families, it became their mission to give families access to produce and the tools to prepare the food. Together with their son, DeAnthony Jamerson, John and Denise created Legacy Taste of the Garden to help bring fresh produce to underserved communities, along with the knowledge needed to grow and prepare the fresh food. They are passionate about teaching kids the opportunities available in agriculture and the importance of food to their overall health and the health of their families. You can learn much more about Legacy Taste of the Garden here.
Indiana Black Loam Conference
Along with their many local partners, the Jamersons launched the Indiana Black Loam Conference in 2021. One of the primary goals of the Indiana Black Loam Conference was to connect underserved farmers with the resources available to them on the local level. With events in Evansville, Ft. Wayne (see photo above), Gary, Bloomington, and Indianapolis - the Black Loam Conference reached hundreds of people, providing information and connections about farming, entrepreneurial skills, conservation programs, grants - and of course, soil health.
With their infectious passion about growing healthy food, supporting local farmers and providing equal access to government programs, this is a must-listen podcast!