When refugees come to America, they bring with them a great wealth of gardening and farming expertise. Unfortunately, being re-settled into urban areas has not often provided opportunities for them to practice their trade. But with the recent surge in enthusiasm for urban gardening, refugees are emerging as leaders in this new-old endeavor.
While we entertain some dreams of sustainable agriculture and small-scale agri-business production, we take great satisfaction in our primary garden product: Community. Nothing says “friendship” like working alongside each other, learning from one another’s techniques, and sharing space together in a collaborative and creative way. And nothing says “dignity” like having access to a piece of land and being free to do with it what you like.
Many have observed that gardening can be powerful therapy for those who have experienced trauma and psychological pain. We have such hopes for our friends who are gardening with us.