Soil: The Blog 


Partnership expands market share for local farmers

LEXINGTON, KY (March 16, 2021) – Keeneland and Black Soil KY, an agritourism social enterprise that fosters a greater market share for Black farmers in Kentucky, today announced a strategic partnership in advance of Keeneland’s Spring race meet.

Black Soil KY Co-founder and COO Ashley Smith and Keeneland Hospitality Executive Chef and Managing Director Marc Therrien lead the culinary-centric collaboration.

Black Soil KY Meal Kits in Partnership with Keeneland Hospitality

Inspired by Keeneland Hospitality’s belief in using high-quality, simple ingredients to craft timeless dishes, the Black Soil KY Skillet Frittata Meal Kit includes a selection of thoughtful ingredients grown and harvested by local farmers. Each meal kit can serve up to four people and is available for pre-order via or in person at the Julietta Market at Greyline Station in downtown Lexington starting Sunday, March 21 from noon–4 p.m.

Watch a video of Black Soil KY’s Ashley Smith and Keeneland Hospitality’s Chef Marc Therrien creating the Black Soil Skillet Frittata here.

Keeneland Spring Meet to Feature Black Soil KY Produce

During the upcoming Spring Meet (April 2-23), Keeneland Hospitality will incorporate local produce from Black Soil KY farmers and producers into Keeneland’s rotating dining menus. This Spring’s featured offering, the Kentucky Farm to Table Salad will include lettuces grown by Black Soil farmers.

“Keeneland was founded with the mission to continuously reinvest in the community and that vision extends to our culinary program,” Therrien said. “We take pride in using locally sourced ingredients in our culinary offerings and it is a privilege to be able to collaborate with Black Soil KY on this initiative. We look forward to growing this partnership and showcasing the expertise of these talented Kentucky farmers and artisans.”

“This collaboration is a celebration of a shared history found within the farming and equine sectors,” said Smith. “We’re thrilled to partner with Keeneland in supporting Kentucky farmers throughout our 31 county service area.”

Since 2017, Black Soil KY has invested over $300,000 in grants, institutional contracts and procurement opportunities for Kentucky farmers. Representing less than 1.4% of Kentucky producers, Black farmers achieve greater market share and opportunity through partnering with Black Soil KY.

About Black Soil KY

A statewide social enterprise with a charitable fund, Black Soil KY fuels rural leadership development and entrepreneurship through intentional economic investment into over 60 Kentucky-based Black owned farm, culinary, and food entrepreneurs and artisans. An award winning and nationally recognized agribusiness, Black Soil KY presents programming dedicated to education, economic development and empowerment. Its mission of reconnecting Black Kentuckians to their legacy and heritage in agriculture has been realized by hundreds since its launch in August 2017 through Farm Tours, Farm to Table Dinners, Education and Outreach Initiatives, and Off Season Workshops.

About Keeneland

For more than 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. The world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland conducts four sales a year, in January, April, September and November, and presents online auctions through the Keeneland Digital Sales Ring. Graduates of Keeneland sales dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015 and 2020 and is holding the event again on Nov. 4-5, 2022. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a privately held company with a not-for-profit mission that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses and millions of dollars donated in support of horse industry initiatives and charitable contributions for education, research, and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. Keeneland also maintains the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned public research institution with the mission of preserving information about the Thoroughbred industry. To learn more, visit


Press Contacts:

Ashley C. Smith

Black Soil Co-founder, COO

Amy Gregory

Keeneland Director of Communications

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"Food connects us, art tells the story of these connections"

Black Soil: Our Better Nature is pleased to share our platform with local change agents leveraging the land to unite, feed and sustain their communities.

We turn Soil: the Blog over to Marley Johnson, our Community Photographer in Resident to share a new initiative inspired by our mission of reconnecting Black Kentuckians to their heritage and legacy in agriculture. Join us in supporting this endeavor.

(TSCxM) = The Sunny Collection x Misguided

Fishing to Feed 🎣

by Marley Johnson, Community Photographer in Resident

The last few months in 2020 has revealed many truths. Some that we were already aware of and some that might come shocking to others. Nevertheless, this is the time that WE must remember love is the answer to all this madness. If you’re like me, having a BIG heart sometimes feels as if it will be the death of me. I always find myself wanting to save everyone that I can, helping as much as possible, be a voice to those without a voice and etc.

Since meeting Marley Carter, late 2018, we’ve both expressed how important it is to get involved within our communities. Jay Kristoff once said “An avalanche starts with one pebble. A forest with one seed. And it takes one word to make the whole world stop and listen. All you need is the right one.” We might not have the resources or reach to save the world. However, if we can make even the SMALLEST change in the place we call home - that’s a start.

As of June (TSCxM) = The Sunny Collection x Misguided is committed and dedicated to - donating, providing, serving, educating, feeding, teaching, the people within our community.

When Misguided was founded in late 2018, the foundation was built off the love for music. The music will always be here, but there’s more to our lifestyle than music. Misguided is a lifestyle full of culture ranging from - music, art, culinary, fashion, philanthropy, agriculture, social activism, financial literacy, and visual art. All with the hopes of growing and expanding more. As we continue to build we couldn’t help but notice that our platform began to grow. (TSCxM) is committed to using our platform to uplift and serve our community in any way that we can.

Starting July 26th, 2020, (TSCxM) will be feeding those in our communities in need of a home cooked Sunday dinner. Founder of The Sunny Collection, Marley Carter is recruiting 10 - 15 young men who are available the last Saturday of each month to reel in enough fish to prepare 100 meals (goal). For anyone wanting to volunteer their time but is without a permit, please email - your first and last name, age, phone number, any fishing experience.

All fish will be gutted/cleaned and prepared at Food Chain, 501 W 6th St #105, Lexington, KY 40508. Any donations can be dropped off at this location as well between the hours of : and :

We are reaching out to local chefs/restaurants seeking a donation of a side OR discounted price to purchase a side large enough to prepare 100 meals. Any chef/restaurant donating any side(s) to Fishing to Feed, please email your logo + social media handles to for recognition of your support and social media promotion.


Fish Dinner includes two (2) sides + bottled water

Option A: fish + 2 sides / Option B: fish + 2 vegan sides / Option C: 3 sides

Location Breakdown:

  1. 25 meals downtown Lexington - Courthouse area/Alfalfa

  2. 3 meals to 5 single mothers (=15 meals) - must email W/ name, address and phone number

  3. 15 meals to medical workers at hospitals

  4. 15 meals to The Hope Center

  5. 15 meals to the Arbor Youth Center

  6. 15 meals to our elders in the community - must email w/ name, address and phone number

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"If you really wanna know something, learn how to grow somethin'!"

-Farmer Brown tha MC

This quote has become the battle cry of nearly 5 years of community focused urban agriculture programs and initiatives led by Farmer Brown tha MC. Free presented programming including: Fresh Op Urban Gardening Workshop, Hood2Farm and Basics4Young Bosses offer year round, holistic approaches to breaking down systems including farming, urban agriculture and financial literacy.

This foundation has led to Farmer Brown and Friends to present: Grow Hard Garden Challenge presented by Fayette County Conservation District. FREE Registration opens next Monday, May 18 and closes on Monday, May 25 or until the challenge reaches its capacity of 50 youth participants. Learn more about the Grow Hard Garden Challenge and sign up here.

Are you curious about growing your own? Looking to make that thumb a little more green?

Don't miss this series of education videos on diverse growing methods and techniques as a part of Fresh Op Urban Gardening Workshop.

Week 1: Peat Moss Pods Seeding Activity

Week 2: Potting Activity

Week 3: Tiling Up Backyard Garden Bed

Week 4: Watering

Week 5: Container Garden Activity

Looking for new titles to add to your library? Shop books written and illustrated by Farmer Brown aka Trevor Claiborn. Did you know he has authored over 9 books? Shop great titles like, Pudgies: First Foods or Grow Harder. Click here to start shopping!

Advancing the Work

Support the ongoing work of Farmer Brown tha C via a tax deductible donation to The Black Soil Charitable Fund held at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center:



Send friends and family with The Black Soil Charitable Fund 


Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center

300 E. Third St. 

Lexington, KY 40508

Memo on check: Black Soil Charitable Fund