In Conversation with Kofi Thomas
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Kofi Thomas is the son of West Indian parents. He is a community organizer, farmer, educator and builder. His inspiration and intentions are guided by nature. His current focus is restorative food justice and community land ownership. He recent focus is the Good Life Garden. GLG is a collaborative effort by community residents to create a green space in Bushwick that is dedicated to serving the community in areas that include education, agriculture, healthy living, community pride and community ownership.
What's your current theme song? If you have a reason, please share.
Black Roses by Barrington Levy, Tonally Barrington Levy allows you to yell at the top of your lungs. Lyrically he states to keep and care it you got to water it.. I take that was guidance for my health and the health of my relationships
What are you working on?
The Good Life Garden: A collaborative effort by community residents to create a green space in Bushwick that is dedicated to serving the community in areas that include education, agriculture, healthy living, community pride and community ownership.
Collaboration on a Compost Project: Creating a regenerative eco system within our community. Local Food scraps processed on site, led by neighbors and youth. Once finished redistributed back into community gardens, tree beds, backyards.
Food To The People: Rapid Response team getting excess food from restaurants and produce from farmers to families in need. Long term we are working on a series of workshops that teach people the how and why of growing their own food.
Tell me about your journey to now. What impactful moments led you to your work?
My journey starts and continues with listening. Growing up in a Caribbean house I was not speaking while grown folks were talking. I try to come from a place of humility. One day I walked into The Peoples Garden on my block and I met a Puerto Rican elder named Hernan Pagan, a funny old anarchist and activist who demonstrated what it meant to look out for those who are most vulnerable. Now when I enter new green spaces I listen for the people whose lives have been marginalized. I speak to seniors and immigrants and ask them what they want to see in their community and then try to build it.
Who and/or what motivates your passion each day?
Good people, Good music, my grandma was a badass.
How do you define Radical Self Care?
Being honest with yourself and others about your limitations. You have to say no to say Yes.
What rituals do you have to help maintain homeostasis of mind, body, and spirit?
Go for a walk early in the morning when I can her nothing but birds singing and see what new plants have grown. It grounds me and reminds me of how lucky I am.
How do you incorporate plants into your well being routine? How is the cannabis (THC, CBD, CBN, etc) a part of your plant ritual?
My well being routine includes the inhaling of aromatic herbs, digestion of fresh vegetables. Part of my well being routine is sharing. I share CBD ointments and teas with the elders in my neighborhood. I also use plants as a means for taking out toxins. Physical toxins in my blood. Part of my plant ritual is returning and reconnecting with what is natural. I have to remove all of the racist propaganda around the plant and then I come to a calm place and see the beauty and power in it. I spent 20 minutes yesterday looking at the nodes on a cannabis plant and calling people over to ask if they knew it grew 2 at a time.
Who would you like to experience an altered state (dream elevation + discussion) with and how would you achieve this flow state?
Pam Grier, A black woman in film in the 70s.. If anyone has advice on how to survive and flourish it’s her. I think she pulls a blunt out of her hair and says Baby lemme tell you how it really went down.
Love the phrase "slow down to speed up", what does that mean to you personally and within the present global pause?
I am not sure what that phrase means. I do love to slow down tho.
What is the gift you bring to community?
Passion and Focus.
What has been the most challenging for you during this time?
Not being able to interact with my community.