The little town of Conetoe, North Carolina, population 300, is predominately African American and surrounded by farmland. But it’s also a “food desert,” the nearest store is 10 miles away. So, after doing funeral upon funeral because of poor access to health care, education on health and healthy food, Reverand Richard Joyner asked the Lord what he could do and God reminded him he was surrounded by LAND. 1


However, Joyner didn’t like farming,

“Now, I didn’t like farming, and I almost paused and said, ‘Is there anybody else up there I can talk to?’ But it was almost like my eyes opened up, and so that’s what we started doing. I didn’t have a good experience with the soil growing up. My family, we were sharecroppers. We grew up eating from the garden. But it was more of a process of pain. I can literally see this guy getting out of this pickup truck, telling my father that he didn’t make any money for the year. It was so painful to watch my father be oppressed, to watch him walk away with nothing. That’s why I did not like the land.”2


Every year, more than 80 young people help Rev. Joyner “plan, plant, and harvest nearly 50,000 pounds of fresh food” 4 (the majority of which is given away to locals). The students also sell the food, which includes their own brand of honey, “Bee Blessed“, to raise money for school supplies and scholarships!


Sources and References

  1. Black Doctor, October 6, 2017.
  2. Black Doctor, October 6, 2017.
  3. Black Doctor, October 6, 2017.
  4. Black Doctor, October 6, 2017.