Chantel V. Johnson oral history interview, 2019 April 3
Chantel Johnson, owner of Off the Grid in Color farm in Salisbury, North Carolina, recounts how she first entered agriculture and homesteading in 2016 as a way of healing after the tragic death of her youngest brother to gun violence in Chicago. She shares how she integrates agriculture into her community to educate people on where their food comes from and to teach homesteading as a way of life. Ms. Johnson identifies a disconnect between people and their food, and works to bridge this gap as well as make positive changes for young, new and minority farmers. She utilizes financial support from her community by hosting many events, such as inviting the community to "meet their food," farm-to-table dinners, and Easter egg hunts. She reflects on how the expansion and urbanization of local areas such as Salisbury and Charlotte have affected her farm, and the ways in which she sees herself sustaining and expanding her operations in the future. Ms. Johnson covers topics such as non-GMO farming, organic farming, experiences of minority farmers, farmers markets, and community outreach. She also offers her advice for those interested in entering agriculture or who are interested in homesteading.