Liberation Farm organized its annual fall Black vegan camping retreat in quiet rural South Kortright, New York. After years of developing New York City’s appetite for a more just and compassionate world through their curation of Black VegFest, a literal Black and vegan oasis in Brooklyn, Omowale Adewale and Nadia Muyeeb secured the largest Black and vegan space in the state of New York through community support.

On 340 acres of gorgeous meandering streams, clear lakes, living forestland, and wide-open flat plains, plus a mountain or two, Liberation Farm is a healing Black space that teaches liberation and rest. In the spirit of Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer, and James Weeks, Liberation Farm has created a space for the weary and the dreamers. A Black space. A space where Black people can begin reconnecting, rejoicing, and reestablishing traditions and rituals, as well as decompressing from systemically and culturally oppressive institutions.

More than a vacation from microaggressions of white America, Liberation Farm is a grower of beets, tomatoes, okra, kale, red lettuce, spinach, zucchini, herbs, and other produce. The land stewards teach food and land sovereignty through their vegan farm workshops and various cultural gatherings. 

On October 6–8, 2023, Liberation Farm held Harriet Fannie Outdoor Camping, an event in partnership with Black VegFest and sponsored by the Mercy For Animals program The People’s Fund. Most campers were new to the outdoors, and the hosts accommodated those who required camping equipment, such as warmers, tents, mattresses, blankets, and sleeping bags. Guests camped in tents near the house or inside the barn, and four brave campers chose to set up tents a half mile from the house.

The workshops, activities, and presentations were all designed to share lessons in liberation and on options for rest and healing. A group discussion helped guests understand the importance of Black liberation in the 21st century.

Omowale conducted a 60-minute presentation on cows and the dairy industry. Participants learned how cows are reduced to “livestock,” their bodies used and killed for milk, meat, and “value-added products”—jackets, belts, luggage, candy, additives, and lots more. On the property is a retired old dairy barn where cows slept, ate, gave birth, and were milked and mutilated so people could profit from their bodies and secretions. Liberation Farm plans to repurpose the dairy barn in 2024 to process fruits and vegetables as part of its regenerative farming program.

Nadia held an evening event, Paint & Sip, inside the barn where some campers slept. Guests designed ceramic flowerpots and used their experience and Nadia’s direction to craft beautiful cultural or abstract pieces. Campers listened to music, orchestrated choruses to their chosen songs, and danced to rhythm and blues for a couple of hours. Led by Haitian mom and artist Waline, campers painted their names and markings on the barn. 

The esteemed yogi Lena Di, an educator and nurturer in the vegan community, led a powerful journal-writing workshop by the firepit before movie night. She held her yoga class in the main house where everyone sprawled out in the office, dining room, and living room so everyone could stretch. On Sunday morning, Lena Di sent campers home with a memorable meditation by the lake.

Follow Liberation Farm on Instagram or Facebook to learn more. 


*This article was written by a grantee of The People’s Fund and reflects their original thoughts and perspective. All questions or impressions of their work can be directed to their online platforms.