This Black History Month, the farm stand would like to highlight one of our partners of almost 2 years now: Beatrice Shimirimana. Beatrice is a Burundian farmer who grows a variety of crops on Horseneck Farm in Kent, WA. From beautiful swiss chard to abundant amaranth, Beatrice personally delivers our produce orders every Saturday morning—often bringing her baby Ibrahim with her. This busy, hard-working mother always greets us with a comforting smile, an evident sign that she genuinely loves what she does. However, growing produce as a BIPOC immigrant farmer reaps its own challenges.
On top of raising children and farming, Beatrice also works a day job. She currently farms on a ¼ acre of land, sharing the space with 4 other farmers. This means she doesn’t have the capacity to grow her desired amount and ultimately can’t pursue farming full-time yet. While she is extremely thankful that the IRC (International Rescue Committee) has provided her with this land, her long-term goal is to acquire more acres and have her own farm business one day.
In addition to obtaining more land, Beatrice says that equipment such as tractors, coolers, and storage would all be crucial in order to expand her operations. When we mentioned the idea of supporting her with the produce deliveries, she said it would mean “I’d be able to have breakfast with my family in the mornings”. As RBAC convenes the Food Policy Council and Mobile Food Hub, we hope to provide assistance such as picking-up produce from farms and sharing financial resources to help farmers like Beatrice succeed. Without them, our farm stand wouldn’t be able to supply Rainier Beach with the culturally relevant produce loved by many.
To learn more about Beatrice, check out this video created by King County Natural Resources and Parks!