Sowing Seeds of Sustainability and Regeneration at Remagination Farm in Lake County
Community members gathered on May 6 in Lake County, CA, to celebrate the launch of the Remagination Farm and its commitment to sustainability and regeneration. Founded by Dr. Robyn Rodriguez, her husband Joshua Vang, and their son Zee, the Remagination Farm implements intergenerational, ancestral land knowledge in farming techniques and honors the legacy of Rodriguez and Vang’s eldest son Amado Khaya Canham Rodriguez.
The launch welcomed 40 guests and opened with brunch served by local small businesses and caterers.
“Welcome to Remagination Farm. We are all here to help and love the earth. Right when I got here, I knew I liked this place. We are doing this for my brother and you,” Zee said.
The Rodriguez and Vang family led the guests on a tour of the farm, where they learned about the physical space. The farm sits on eight acres of land with trees, growing crops, plants, goats, and chickens.
“Once you choose a life like this, you can’t rush mother nature,” Rodriguez said. “She has her own timeline. You just have to watch, listen, and learn. We don’t know what we’re doing, but we’re learning.”
After the tour, Rodriguez continued sharing her family’s vision of the farm in honor of Amado Khaya.
“Lots of us lost so many things in 2020. We lost the sense of normalcy. Many of you know I lost my older son, Amado Khaya. He was biracial — Black and Filipino. So much about his personal experience really led him to seek out justice,” she said.
Rodriguez highlighted the history behind the farm’s name, inspired by Chinese American community organizer Grace Lee Boggs.
“We reimagine everything and where we hope to share our experiments with new ways of living and being with our beloved community. We feel our journey to making this bold decision to radically shift our entire lifestyle has been guided by our ancestors, especially Amado and including the ancestors of this land.”
Multi-disciplinary artist Jo Bulaong conducted an altar-making ceremony and guided folks in a gentle grounding session at a Prayer Circle in a Sacred Grove at the farm’s highest point. The altar was made of flowers, sunflower seeds, branches, and other compostable materials from the land. Guests were invited to participate by offering photos of ancestors, art, influential books, and personal belongings.
During the grounding session, Bulaong asked participants to stand in a circle and close their eyes.
“Imagine roots growing out of the soles of your feet, diving deeper and deeper into the earth beneath us. Send your prayers and love to the land that supports us,” Bulaong said. “What does liberation look like for you? What does liberation feel like? What is your role in cultivating this liberation?”
Filipinx small businesses and artisans such as Studio Damili, Masaya Kape, Magpie Alchemy, Malaya Botanicals, and Crafti Babii showcased their products throughout the day. Rodriguez and Vang plan to open a “sari-sari” store featuring the work and artistry of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), artists, and makers.
“The farm will serve as a social enterprise. Surplus resources from our programs and offerings will be reinvested in local and global Indigenous people’s causes, the Amado Khaya Foundation, and other non-profit and grassroots groups,” Rodriguez said.
During the launch, artist Shawntay Gorman of Taysty Art live-painted a portrait of Grace Lee Boggs and released the design of a mural for the farm that she will complete in the near future. Lunch was Kamayan style with vibrant colors, prepared by Chef Roline Casper of Roline’s Uniquely Filipino from Vacaville, CA. During lunch, musical duo Kat and Kris Burce of Åna Tri inspired and empowered guests with songs about liberation and the food sovereignty movement.
Guests were able to build community, network, be with the land, and learn more about the farm’s growing future.
“Remagination Farm will be a retreat and learning center which will curate and facilitate deeply transformative learning experiences informed by racial justice movements, Indigenous and land-based knowledge, the arts, and radical love and healing,” the farm’s organizers said.
The Remagination Farm Launch is the pinnacle of what is to come, with endless possibilities for reimagining a world where BIPOC communities can heal and thrive.