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Black History Highlights: Mo

Welcome back to another round of Black History highlights! Today we meet Mo who invited me into her home to show me her backyard garden. What started as a couple of five gallon buckets has grown into a beautiful collection of raised beds and other containers. Mo says she has dreams of turning her spacious backyard into a food forest one day. As she showed me around we saw rosemary, mint, and a few varieties of lettuces still growing into February. Mo says her father was a gardener and she fondly remembers cantaloupes growing in the backyard while growing up. She wanted to continue on with that tradition and was able to start her own garden when she and her husband moved into their home in 2017. Mo says she started with self assembled raised beds made of wood and cinder blocks but saw that they weren’t permanent enough for what she wanted to accomplish so she transitioned into metal raised beds and other sturdier container garden set ups. Mo spoke passionately about the importance of growing ancestral foods and said she started off by painting Maya Angelou quotes on the sides of her okra containers. Besides okra, collards, and other southern staples, Mo says she’s a “basil aficionado” and told me about how she has grown upwards of twelve different varieties. She went on to say she loves getting to see the whole life cycle of plants and often starts plants off in a hydroponic system before transitioning them to the garden beds outside. 

Mo also said she sees gardening as “very grounding” and a great way to support good mental health. She then spoke about the importance of growing food as a Black woman saying, “this is something we’ve always been capable of doing.” Mo went on to say how saturated with white growers online spaces can be but that she has found a wealth of knowledge from Black growers and other growers of color on Tik Tok-specifically sharing that “Black Girl Tik Tok” has been incredibly helpful in learning more about gardening. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and story with us, Mo! You can follow Mo on Instagram @Dope_Plantz


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