News From the Farm | June 8, 2020

My name is Hannah Muller and I am a second generation Full Belly Farmer. I also run Instagram accounts for both the Farm and our floral business. In light of the killing of George Floyd, and our ever-growing concern towards police brutality and racism we believe that food and flowers aren’t the only things we should be sharing. I have been using our social media platforms to encourage others to support the Black Lives Matter movement, to listen to the voices of black farmers and activists, and to learn how to be a better ally.  In response, someone told me I shouldn’t use our platform to express personal beliefs, because flowers are supposed to be happy. This was my response.

If you think flowers are always happiness, clearly you don’t know them like I do. 

Maybe it’s just that you haven’t seen how quickly a Poppy can lose its petals.

Or maybe you haven’t seen the lonely Cosmo popping up through a sidewalk crack, begging for a bit more soil to grow. 

Maybe you haven’t realized how quickly a wildflower can fade in a California drought. 

Maybe you haven’t seen whole flats of transplants fail or bouquets wilt between your hands. 

Maybe you don’t know flowers like I do. 

Maybe you’ve never made a bouquet for a friend whose sister died too soon. Those flowers are not happiness. They are grief. They lay witness to tears from their vase and then die along with those that they honor. 

Maybe you’ve never placed spring flowers onto your grandmother’s grave or brought Daisies to your cousin after her tumor had returned. 

It may be because you’ve never seen the altars that mourn the victims of the bombings and mass shootings in France or a vigil that grieves after another black man is killed by police in America.  Those sites hold flowers in various states of decay. They are not happy. 

Maybe you’ve smelled a lilac and it took you back to a sweet childhood moment when you felt loved. But has the smell of jasmine ever made you feel as unsafe as that late night when you were followed home on the dark streets of Eugene? 

Maybe you haven’t grown Cotton as a white woman and reflected on the centuries of enslavement of Black people with every harvested stem. Cotton isn’t happy, it is intertwined with oppression. 

Maybe you don’t know flowers like I do. 

I don’t know them to be happiness. I know them to be my life-blood and humanity’s way of both celebration and sadness. When our world suffers, the flowers can feel it. Just like the sunflowers, who turn their heads towards the sun each day, so too do I. Towards injustice, towards the unknown and the uncomfortable, towards the fear and the privilege I carry. Towards those who need to be heard. 


Farmers have a responsibility to speak out. To use their voices to remind people that farming has a history of oppression that is still present to this day. Full Belly Farm stands with the Black Community. We stand against police brutality and we are committed to continuing to learn, listen and grow. 

If you would like to join us in that commitment, we encourage you too to speak up. Make your voices heard. Peacefully protest, vote, donate, and do whatever you can to help amplify the voices of those less privileged than yourself. If you would like to donate, these organizations work to lessen the racial divide in farming and beyond. 

Soul Fire Farm 

National Black Farmers Association 

Acres of Ancestry 

National Black Food and Justice Alliance 

The Rural Coalition  

Black Urban Growers  

Farms to Grow  

— Hannah Muller