An obligatory year in review from the crew at Happily Natural Day. We did things. Alot. Here are 52 of those things in non-sequential order…

Farm Sites

Sankofa Community Orchard

Brook Road Youth Farm

8th District Mini Farm

5th District Mini Farm

Petersburg Oasis Community Farm

Trinity Family Life Center Greenhouse

Sankofa Community Orchard

New hugelkultur beds established this fall

Sankofa Community Orchard

We started Sankofa Community Orchard 2 years ago. The land has sat vacant for over 60 years. As a result of our work; the space now serves as a 2 acre food justice and climate resiliency demonstration.

  • Installed Electricity at Sankofa Community Orchard
  • Bought a port a potty for Sankofa Community Orchard
  • Planted 10 trees at Sankofa Community Orchard
  • Expanded grow space at Sankofa by 3,600 square feet

  • Installation of High Tunnel at Sankofa Community Orchard
  • installation of Compost Area at Sankofa Community Orchard
  • Installation of Bar & Seating Area at Sankofa Community Orchard

  • Installation of Solar Arrays by Bridging the Gap Virginia

  • Put Bee Hives at Sankofa Community Orchard

Brook Road Youth Farm

Garlic popping

Brook Road Youth Farm

We established Brook Road Youth Farm last year 2021. 2022 we launched our first youth gardener training. We also added more rows for growing. Most importantly we were able to get a water line installed thanks to the amazing leadership at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church! Looking forward to 2023

  • Launched Brook Road Youth Farm – Spring Training – over 3 months sixteen 12 – 18 year olds learned how to garden at the half acre space

  • Launched Garden Literacy Series
  • Water Line Installation at Brook Road

8th District Mini Farm

New Greenhouse

8th District Mini Farm

We built a new production space on Southside! 8th District Mini Farm features a 20 x 50 greenhouse. Our first year growing peppers, tomatoes solely in the high tunnel plus we tried to grow hibiscus but it wasnt the variety the seed company said it was so…

  • installation of High Tunnel at 8th District
  • Installation of Rainwater Catchment at 8th District
  • Solar Installed at 8th District

5th District Mini Farm

Expansion for Forest Farming

5th District Mini Farm

We contacted lotscapes to help us clear the understory behind 5th District Mini Farm to make way for forest farming.

  • Expansion of 5th District Mini Farm by 1/4 an acre
  • Installed drip irrigation and landscape fabric

Petersburg Oasis Community Farm

Incubator Farm in Petersburg Virginia

Petersburg Oasis Community Farm

The credit for the work at the Petersburg Oasis Community Farm really goes to the comrade Tyrone Cherry (follow him on social media); we have been working to build this incubator farm since our partners at the Agrarian Trust helped us fundraise to purchase it this past summer. So far two farmers are on the land including Tyrone.

  • Started Community Kitchen
  • Legacy Landscapes contracted and installed a Chicken Coop on the Petersburg Oasis Youth Farm
  • Petersburg Oasis Youth Farm Launched Intentional Sundays – a community meditation and mindfulness space
  • Petersburg Oasis Youth Farm planted 30 native trees
  • Petersburg Oasis installed youth learning gardens
  • Two Farmers signed up to grow on 1/4 acre plots on the Incubator Farm

  • Applied for and received conservation easement for Petersburg Oasis Community Farm

Trinity Family Life Greenhouse

We got seedlings for days!

Trinity Family Life Center Greenhouse

We would have been able to do any of our urban ag work without the Trinity Family Life Center Greenhouse. We literally grew thousands of seedlings across our eco-system this year in this 20 x 50 greenhouse. Seedling Donations from organizations like Shalom Farms and Greater Richmond Fit 4 kids came in clutch for the fall growing season.

  • Added Additional Grow Space at Trinity Family Life Greenhouse
  • Installed Solar Power at Trinity Family Life Center Greenhouse
  • Did site prep for tree planting on 3/4 of an acre at Trinity Family Life Center Greenhouse
  • Grew Thousands of Seedlings for Community Gardens and Farmsites across the city of Richmond


Featured in the seed catalogue for High Mowing Seeds

We in a seed catalogue!

Press for the Year

Getting the word out about our work is always a good thing and 2022 talked to us nice. We had a couple high profile features this year that really helped connect us to new audiences

Working With

The Agrarian Trust

Northside Food Access Coalition

Afrikana Film Festival

National Black Food Justice Alliance

Victoria’s Kitchen


Iron Prep Academy

Cultural Roots Home School


Maggie Walker Community Land Trust

Girls For A Change

Science Museum of Virginia

Bridging the Gap Virginia

Northside Food Access Coalition Cold Storage

We helped launch the Northside Farmers Market

Collaboration is the key

Collaborations were abundant this year, meaning we worked with alot of organizations to move the needle forward on equitable food systems for Black and Brown communities this year. From land acquisitions, to launching the Northside Farmers Market we are looking forward to even more partnerships in the new year!

  • Acquisition of Petersburg Oasis Community Farm in collaboration with the Central Virginia Agrarian Commons and the Agrarian Trust
  • Donation of Amelia County property by Callie Walker 70 acres to the Central Virginia Agrarian Commons in collaboration with the Agrarian Trust
  • Joined the National Black Food Justice Alliance
  • Launch of Northside Richmond Farmers Market
  • Installation of Cold Bot Shed at Northside Richmond Farmers Market
  • Launched Season 2 of Black Space Matters with the Institute of Contemporary Art @ VCU

  • Coordinated produce for Chef BJ Dennis for Afrikana Film Festival Dinner
  • Coordinated produce for Victorias Kitchen Teen Cooking program

  • Hosted home school students/organizations at Sankofa Community Orchard (iron prep and cultural roots)
  • Held Building Beyond Nice Racism Series with Michael Carter Jr
  • Awarded USDA Planning Grant for Bensley Agrihood

  • Dine & Discuss at Bensley Agrihood


Feast De Resistance Dinners

We held 3 of these this year

We had a bunch of events

Events were abundant this year. Feast De Resistance Dinners introduced Sankofa Community Orchard to several dozen community stakeholders in an intimate dinner setting, plus we held the 19th Annual Happily Natural Day featuring Ron Finley. Excited about hosting more organizations at Sankofa Community Orchard this year – reach out if you are interested in having your event at our space!

  • Hosted 3 Feast De Resistance Dinners
  • Spoke at the Black Street Conference
  • Hosted the 19th Annual Happily Natural Day featuring Ron Finley
  • Yoga at Sankofa with Jay Miles of Maha Vira Yoga twice

  • Hosted the Central Virginia Young Farmers Coalition Launch
  • Held the 19th Annual Happily Natural Day featuring Ron Finley
  • Held Death Day at Sankofa
  • Celebrated the 10 year Anniversary of McDonough Community Garden
  • Hosted the RVA Gardening Club Seed Swap


We Grew Food (aka the point)

We Grew Food Across the City

This year was a prolific year for production at our farm sites. We estimate to have grown over a thousand pounds of food (based on the amount of square feet under production) – much of which was distributed to the Northside Farmers Market or picked by community members. Next year we plan on keeping much better records as we refine our distribution systems with cold storage and CSA farm shares.

  • Active production at Sankofa Community Orchard including cabbage, onions, peppers, eggplant, garlic, leeks, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries, daikon radish, sorrel
  • Active production at 8th District Mini Farm including tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, hibiscus, okra, squash, greens
  • Active production at Brook Road Youth Farm including lettuce, herbs, garlic, tomatoes, hibiscus, watermelon, onions, cabbage and native flowers


We spoke at a couple events


We participated in a few talks this year; several of which were in person while most were on zoom. I love giving talks. One of my favorite things to do is engage in discourse about this work and how it iterates in the real world. We arent just talking about food justice we are practitioners.

  • Did 2 talks in one day at University of Richmond
  • Spoke at Facing Race with Ebony Walden on Black Space Matters
  • Gave a talk to The USDA Law Library about Emerging Alternatives to Land Access about our work with CVAAC
  • Gave a talk to the Land Justice Project a group of catholic nuns working to give land back to black and brown people as reparations
  • Spoke at the ICAVCU for the Richmond Racial Justice Equity Essay Event


We won the Social Vision Award from the MBL

We Got Some Awards

Being recognized for our work in our city means ALOT. Especially because it helps us to further establish the value of the work we do. We got a couple awards this year, one from the Metropolitan Business League for Social Vision and another from the International Society of Arborists for our work at Sankofa.

  • Won Social Vision Award from MBL
  • Won the Gold Leaf Award from International Society of Arborists for Sankofa Community Orchard


We are training future farmers and environmental stewards

We trained Community Members in Urban Farming

Training community is a central pillar to our work in transforming the built environment. This year we trained over 40 individuals in how to grow food in community. Our Southside Growers Academy Bootcamp launched twice, we engaged young people for 12 weeks at our Brook Road Youth Farm and launched the Central Virginia Urban Farm Fellowship this year as well

  • Launched the Southside Growers Academy Launch Twice
  • Launched Central Virginia Urban Farm Fellowship
  • Launched the Brook Road Youth Farm Training in Spring 2022