Today, Wanda Stewart is an urban farmer and homesteader, educator, mother of twins and comrade to many in the movement to educate and inspire others to grow their own food and communities. She believes that the skills to grow food and medicine, to maintain a healthy body, mind and spirit, and to live cooperatively and communally, are essential to our collective survival. She is committed especially to working with other African Americans to reframe our shared history, trauma, and greatness through the act of legacy gardening. As current program director for the Victory Garden Foundation, former Executive Director of People’s Grocery, long time schools administrator, Master Gardener and certified permaculturalist, Wanda blends her professional skills in community outreach and program development with her personal passions for people and urban farming. She seeks to model, galvanize, and support whole life transformation – in individuals and in community – through the act of gardening and the lens of African American culture and traditions.
Starting with (permaculture) Zone 00, Wanda is creating Obsidian Farm – her land in the flatlands of Berkeley, CA that models a new way of living in an urban environment. With landscaping that is nearly 100% edible and 20 chickens in a side yard, it is part food forest, part oasis, part community center and all home. Everyone is welcome to learn and grow in the diverse, intentional community effort that celebrates gardens and the soul of Black folk. Drawing on past lessons while moving Into the future, her fearlessness in stepping forward, speaking and acting in ways that disrupt the status quo, work across culture and insure that folks actually eat well is only emboldened. Specializing in garden-centered wellness, visionary program development, and the facilitation of courageous conversations about race and our environment, she knows in her heart that we must “grow the power.”