Jonathan McRay

Grown up in East Tennessee with deep roots like Mary Kingsley, Jonathan McRay shares his day-to-day as he works in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. With an MA in Conflict Transformation and Restorative Justice, Jonathan has worked with Vine and Fig, Speakers Collective of Soul Fire Farm, and the Cambium Collective. He founded Silver Run Forest Farm along with his partner Cornelius Deppe, where he grows plants and is committed to cleansing the pollutants from our souls, society, and soil. An advocate of land care, transformative racial justice, and renewable energy sources, Jonathan sits down with Mary and Emma to discuss how his love of trees started it all, restorative justice, and collective land trusts.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podchaser, Podtail, Youtube, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Topics Discussed

Appalachian tradition of "planting by the signs"

• How a Childhood in Central Appalachia Fostered a Love of Land

• The Riparian Nursery

• Collective Land Trusts and Decommodification of Farm Land

Restorative Justice, its Critiques, and How to Practice It

• Questions to Ask Ourselves; What's Happened Here, Whose Responsibility is it to Make it Right, Who Needs to Participate to Bring Healing, and What are the Root Causes?

• Food Sovereignty and Ecological Restoration,

• Storytelling through Plants & Honoring Their Indigenous Partners

• Uprooting Racism in the Food System Trainings

• Land Ownership and Food System's White Supremacist Roots

• Supporting Black Farmers

Mariame Kaba's Hope & James Hal Cone's Whose Earth Is It Anyway?

• The False Idea of Human Supremacy over Nature

• Jonathan's Native Plant Nursery & Folk School


Watershed Health


Episode Resources:


This Episode is Sponsored by Pinetree Garden Seeds!

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🌻 About Lady Farmer:

Original music by John Kingsley. Editing and podcast production by Fast Forward Production.