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Wassup with Kindred CRAFT!

Updated: May 12

We have been busy this past year working on all aspects of Kindred CRAFT in partnership with various individuals and organizations supporting our efforts.

"The Braiding Seeds Fellowship a project of Soul Fire Farm Institute in collaboration with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, carries on the legacy of the braided seeds by providing beginning farmers with resources, professional development, and mentorship to support their livelihood on land.”  Soul Fire Farm

We are grateful that Roberto was accepted into the Braiding Seeds Fellowship for 2023-2024 cohort through SoulFire Farm.  The mentorship and community support we have received thus far has helped guide us through the many challenges faced by a new organization still in its infancy. Kindred CRAFT is building a firm foundation, growing deep connections and roots, in the local and regional community of growers and food justice activists, through participation in the fellowship program. Sarah Sohn and Lulu Moyo have been amazingly supportive and insightful thought partners guiding us to additional resources and opportunities to further Kindred's mission and goals.

Building financial transparency and sustainability

The fellowship has given us access to the services of A Bookkeeping Cooperative (ABC Financial) to help us organize our finances, teach us how to use Quickbooks to get a clear picture of how we are doing so far, and make sure we are creating a transparent and healthy process as we grow and bring on new members. We look forward to continuing our work with Annie at ABC Financial through this fiscal year. Carolyn of The Cooperative Fund of the Northeast (CFNE) has continued to meet with us regularly on our financial projections as we plan for the future. 

Sarah has helped us find an alternative to Tentrr, once that company folded, to host Kindred campsites. There are several sites now listed on Hipcamp and the first campers came for the April 8th solar eclipse. (Roberto took some amazing videos of the 3 minutes of darkness that we are excited to share on the website.) 

Sarah has also helped connect us to the Legal Food Hub and encouraged the formation of a non-profit organization to help raise funds for educational programing. As a result we have officially formed Apprentice Earth Inc. as a Vermont based educational non-profit seeking 501 c3 status. We have assembled a Board of Directors and will be updating the website to include their Bio’s and CV's. Once we are able to accept donations we will be able to begin fundraising to support Kindred CRAFT’s educational programing and offer scholarships for BIPoC and LGBTQIA+ as well as food, materials, and supplies for participants. 

Serving the community and making connections

One of the first educational events scheduled this summer will be the 2024 Clubhouse Youth Peer Leadership Summer Camp in partnership with Titan Potter and Khonsu X of Ezili’s Respite Farm and Sanctuary, and Kai Hillman, Director of @C2Clubhouse in Catskill, NY. We will be welcoming back to Kindred 10-15 teen mentors for a week of workshops and programming related to the activities happening on the land. We are excited to be teaming up with Shane Eazor, Brian Hsiang, and Najat Croll to work with the teens to complete the shed build started last fall during the “Fundamentals of Carpentry” event.

Revising, reorganizing, & rebuilding a cooperative structure

We have been meeting regularly with Andrew Stachiw of Cooperative Development Initiative (CDI) to revise and formalize Kindred CRAFT as a multi-stakeholder cooperative, with clear membership benefits and responsibilities, forming our worker member manuals, and decision making processes. We look forward to having the framework completed in the next few weeks.

Formation of an Advisory Board

In the meantime we have asked friends and community members, Lea Ann Macrery, Harlan Mack, and Elsa L. Wentling, to volunteer as a part of Kindred CRAFT’s Advisory Board. The board will provide needed community input and be thought partners to help us move forward in alignment with our mission and values to:

  • Establish accountability strategies within our governance structure.

  • Identify needs in the local and regional community. 

  • Identify and recruit new members to our cooperative, based on our defined goals, values, and mission, as well as for needed skills and knowledge. 

  • Identify local farmers markets or food vendors for distribution. 

  • Identify investors and grant funding.

Theory of Change

Our theory of change centers creatives, educators, and activists modeling sustainable homesteading through regenerative agriculture, community outreach, and nature centered S.T.E.A.M. education.  

We can demonstrate the potential transformation of “modern life” by creating a micro-economy that is self-sufficient and self-sustaining. Kindred Creative Residence + Agro-ForesT (Kindred CRAFT) is a BIPOC led,  LGBTQIA+ welcoming space where we recognize the power of education and action to transform our current relationship to our natural world.  We are learning about the sustainable practices of our Afro-Indigenous ancestors and agro-ecology, while incorporating a more balanced approach into our daily lives. Our goal is to build an ecologically sustainable village, acknowledging our responsibility to steward the land collectively, to protect and preserve it for future generations of Black-Indigenous-People-of-Color (BIPoC).

What's Up Next

We will continue our outreach efforts through VT Releaf Collective and VT Professionals of Color (VTPOC). This spring Roberto was invited to participate in the "The Soul of the Soil" Skill Share sponsored by VT Releaf, Saturday, May 4th from 11am-3pm.  Roberto will be leading part of the first portion of the skill share focused on building a bucket compost toilet system and a general discussion and overview of toilet maintenance and humanure composting. The second part of the skill share will include a compost structure building workshop and Roberto will be providing Spanish language translation. 


This summer we will be hosting the first cohort of WOOFER’s (World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers) . Eight WOOFER’s  will be joining us starting the end of June and it is a diverse group that all share a commitment to creating racial equity, ending food apartheid, dismantling white supremacy, and building a more just and healthy future that honors the earth. These aspiring farmers will help build out the agro-forest food system, repair and maintain existing infrastructure, while learning about living closer to nature and building democratic and inclusive community.  We look forward to inspiring and being inspired by this impressive group of folx.

WOOFER’s will be assisting in:
  • Repairs and maintenance of existing infrastructure.

  • Building additional planting beds on contour.

  • Expanding the agro-forest food system.

  • Clearing and marking trails.

Through our WOOFER listing and our outreach to VT Releaf Collective and VT Professionals of Color (VTPOC) we have been making new connections and forming partnerships with people of various backgrounds, ages, and interests.

"We are grateful to have so many people reach out to us to support our work and help in what ever way they are able." Nina & Roberto


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