Leah Penniman decided to relocate from the South End of Albany when she found it difficult to find fresh, healthful food. There were no conveniently-located health food stores or grocery stores that carried fresh and locally grown produce. There were no farmers markets or food delivery services that would service the local area, and there were also no community gardening locations. As a result, she found it difficult to find healthful food to feed her family. She and her husband began to save money to purchase land in order to build their own farm so that they could have access to fresh and healthfully-produced produce and foods. Eventually, they developed Soul Fire Farm, which according to the farm’s website, is an
Afro-Indigenous centered community farm committed to uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system.
Her goal in relocating was to cultivate food for her family and the local community and also to address what she saw as the problem of declining Black ownership of land and minority involvement in farming, as well as to help develop and train others in sustainable farming techniques.
She created a nonprofit entity in 2016 that owns the farming business of Soul Fire Farm. In addition to farming the land, Soul Fire Farm also offers the Black & Latino Farmers Immersion program, which is a beginner's course designed to train people in sustainable farming techniques.