Jon Gray, Strategic Ad

A multi-racial farmer rooted in abolition — who also plays free, improvisational jazz drums with a band called odon — Jonathan Wilson has worked to make farming a thriving site for education as well as production, sharing tools for self empowerment, reconnecting to the land, and reclaiming stolen traditions.

Jon was initially turned on to agriculture while teaching service-learning programs to high school students on the border of Brooklyn and Queens in 2008. There he built his first raised beds and witnessed the transformational power of growing food at a public high school. He went on to work with Project EATS as program manager and later became Director of Agriculture at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. He has also been an active voice and leader in workforce development opportunities, working with the New York City Department of Probation to train young adults with the hard and soft professional skills that they need to successfully enter the job market. Wilson conducted several 16-week training sessions for Food Bank member organizations across the city building capacity for many communities to be able to autonomously grow their own food. In 2019, Wilson transitioned into independent farming consulting through his company, Rogue & Vigor. 

Jon utilizes a dialectical pedagogy as a foundation for creating the farm as a self-empowered space, connecting the traditions and practices of our ancestors while working to emerge a future where, “many worlds fit”. He also keeps bees and tends to cook meals for loved ones while listening to Alice Coltrane.