When the pandemic started in March, Navi Johnson and her family were busy putting in a garden behind her mother’s house in Church Hill. They planted okra, cucumber, squash, kale, cabbage and tomatoes into the three raised beds, filling up the entire backyard.
“As it grew and progressed, I started to notice that more African Americans were growing gardens after the pandemic. It seemed to spike during the protests and riots, when stores were looted or had to close early. It seemed like people were learning how to be self-sufficient,” Johnson said.
“I thought, Let’s celebrate it. Pool our resources together and put it in one place so that we can take care of one another,” she added.
And that’s how the RVA Black Farmer’s Market was born.