Shiny Flanary is a queer Black farmer living in so-called Portland, Oregon. Shiny wears a lot of hats. She runs her farm and herbal products business, Scrapberry Farm, and is a member of a collective business venture, Raceme Farm Collective where she works in partnership with other Black and Brown farmers to build a co-investment farm business model. She also supports Black and Brown entrepreneurs as the Director of Markets at Black Food Sovereignty Coalition and is the founder and manager of Come Thru Market, a Black and Indigenous incubator market.
Shiny grew up in Oakland, California – not a place traditionally known for inspiring little Black girls to grow up to be farmers. Despite trying (and mostly not succeeding) to grow carrots and sunflowers as a little girl, it never occurred to her to pursue farming. She imagined that “growing things” was the purview of wealthy white people.
A meandering 20-year journey as a telephone operator, tow truck dispatcher, community worker, and librarian/teacher in community colleges eventually brought her full circle to growing carrots, sunflowers, and medicinal herbs. Add in a little community and a lot of sweat and she now proudly calls herself a farmer, food justice worker, and farmers market manager.