Registration Cut‐off: Thursday, 05 November 2020 08:59 AM
Come to see the two acres that inspired the article, "Martin Acres is the Place to Be" in the Middle Tennessee Local Table Magazine’s Annual Guide [https://digital.localtable.net/index-2020annual.html#page=20]. On this walking tour we will talk about the history of our beloved Martin Acres, how our paths led us to where we are today, and the dynamic transformation of our two acres from 2013 until now.
It’s the Fall and past time for us, individually and collectively, to reconnect with Nature, to restore our health and vitality, and to have peace and serenity. Nature is one of the best healers and it can help restore our bodies innate ability to heal itself. We all come from Nature and sometimes just being out in it can help to trigger healing within us.
And a 2009 study by Japanese researchers, that was published in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, said that the Japanese philosophy of shinrinyoku, or forest bathing, can decrease stress hormones, fortify immunity with an increased number of natural killer cells, speed postoperative healing, and improve concentration in children with an attention‐deficit or hyperactivity disorder.
The registration for Reconnecting With Nature: Walking Tour has closed.
Martin Acres has the highest point and the lowest point in Muhlenberg
County, Kentucky and has been used for timber, hunting, coal mining, oil & gas extraction, and agriculture. It
has been in a state of transition since the untimely death of Herbert L. Martin
and the migration of many people in this black family to the north for factory jobs. Since the
late‐1980s, this family has not practiced agriculture. However, some acreage is leased by a neighboring farm. In addition some of the farm is under a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
but most of Martin Acres is maturing forests. And a creek runs through a portion of the the property, there are two
ponds, and other places where water flows.
In the late 1990s, twin brothers (sixth generation descendants of
Lorenza/Lourenza and Minnie Martin) Irucka Ajani and Obiora Embry,
tried unsuccessfully to encourage their family to grow food organically as a means of generating farm income.
After a few years of making no traction they decided to put their ideas on the back burner. However in 2012
they decided to quit talkin’ about it and be about it (Obiora’s motto since the 2000s).
In December 2012, they sought two acres of farmland on Martin Acres to develop an edible
forest garden. The two acres were previously used for cow grazing, but had been left fallow for 40 or more
years. On it were mature trees, bramble, grasses, and bushes. In early 2013, the area was cleared and
bulldozed. This left exposed soil and barren land, two large brush piles, uprooted trees, and plants that
looked like they were dying. In March 2013, they went to visit the area for the first time.
Irucka and Obiora planted stakes in the ground, took photographs and video, discussed how it would be an
uphill battle to turn the desolate looking land into a thriving edible forest garden, but they had nothing
to lose and were up for the challenge!