On this episode of the Regenerative Rising Elevating Stories, Activating Change Podcast, Seleyn DeYarus, Founder of Regenerative Rising, sits down with CheFarmer Matthew Raiford, author of BRESS’N’NYAM: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth Generation Farmer. Matthew grew up breaking the dirt and trading crookneck squash for sweet potatoes, raising hogs and chickens, and only going to the grocery store for sundries. After a military career followed by graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Raiford returned to the farm in 2010 to continue the traditions of his Gullah-Geechee heritage and to create an authentic farm-to-fork experience for locals. He received certification as an ecological horticulturalist from the University of California’s Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. In 2015, Raiford opened The Farmer and The Larder on Newcastle Street, helping jumpstart the revival of Brunswick’s historic downtown.
Gilliard Farms is a centennial family-run organic farm, growing under the watchful eye of sibling farmers Althea and Matthew Raiford since their return to the farm in 2010. Gilliard Farms was first established in 1874 by Althea and Matthew’s great great grandfather Jupiter Gilliard, a former slave who bought this land after his emancipation. The farm has never used chemicals to grow any crops and is a member of Georgia Organics, SouthEastern African American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON), Farms to Grow and Georgia Grown. Althea and Matthew Raiford are the sixth generation to farm this land.
We invite you to tune into Seleyn and Matthew’s conversation on everything from Matthew’s BRESS’N’NYAM cookbook, plants as models of coexistence and the acknowledgment that mutual thriving is spurred by diversity rather than the lack of it, and even CheFarmer Matthew’s bucket challenge. Matthew explains why it is necessary to pay homage to generational knowledge that is rooted in place and recounts the story of the Gullah-Geechee people. They even touch on the importance of having an agreed overarching intentionality on what it means to be stewards of the earth and how to think globally and act locally.
Listen. Learn. Share.