Episode 45: Celina Ngozi


by Rodney Wilson

Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good with Celina Ngozi

Celina Ngozi is a Black/Igbo agrarian and the founder of Ala Soul Earthworks/Dry Bones Heal Bottomland, joining Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good today to talk about her food-sovereignty work and earth-based practices.

Hear about the Central Texas land that has been in Celina’s family since 1876 and how she, her mother and other members of their family are coming together there. Learn about heirs property and the complexities of owning, enjoying and improving the land, particularly for Black land stewards in the South. Celina talks about her work as a Land Advocacy Fellow with National Young Farmers Coalition, land access issues in the Farm Bill and why that is so important to the future of small-scale farming.

Get some advice on starting a garden from scratch with no motorized equipment, as Celina has done on land that hasn’t been farmed in a few generations. Celina talks about adapting her farming practices from Colorado—where she learned about growing—to this new land, climate and community. She also talks about growing culturally relevant crops on subsistence farming and market gardening scales.

Stay tuned until the end to hear about community building in rural areas and—something a lot of listeners can identify with—Celina’s favorite farm meal.

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More About Celina Ngozi Esakawu

Celina’s work with Ala Soul Earthworks/Dry Bones Heal Bottomland promotes connection to the earth through Afro-Indigenous practices, creativity and nurturing community. 

For a decade, Celina has grown food and worked with frontline communities to develop creative solutions to inequities in the food system. Her work includes food distribution, coordinating community agriculture programs, living on farms, promoting SNAP at farmers markets, advocating for land access, teaching African Diasporic nutrition courses and supporting local food economies across Texas.  

Her multi-ethnic background informs her earth-based practices. She focuses on growing culturally relevant foods of the Global South on land that has been in her family for 150 years. She is currently developing a program for people of color that promotes (re)membering ancestral knowledge in order to support future generations of agrarians. Celina is a 2022-2023 Land Advocacy Fellow with the National Young Farmers Coalition.


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