PWP Staff Sends Out New Roots In City Heights
Written by Plant With Purpose on July 18, 2012 in General
This morning, the Plant With Purpose staff took a few hours to volunteer at the International Rescue Committee’s New Roots Community Farm in City Heights. The New Roots Farm is a space of green in the midst of suburbia San Diego where 85 refugee families grow tastes of home or produce to sell at the farmer’s market.
We cleared weeds and cleaned up a greenhouse, making the common space look neat and tidy for the garden’s third birthday celebration taking place on Saturday, July 21st.
Relishing a chance to see the sun, pull some weeds, meet some bugs, and swing a pick ax, everyone enjoyed the change of pace.
The IRC rep. Priya took us on a tour of the garden where we saw the diversity of produce grown by four unique culture groups. We brushed up on our botany picking out sugar cane, habanera peppers, kale, tiny eggplants that grow on trees, along with the more traditional corn and tomatoes.
Samples of some garden grown chard were tasted as lunch was shared together in a grass-thatched gazebo. The garden is a place that brings people together. On this plot of land true community can take place as people interact, speak common languages, and work together.
The New Roots Farm is very similar to the many gardens tended by Plant With Purpose farmers in the countries where we work. The refugees who plant in the garden have added food security, and it is produce that they recognize from home. They can also sell surplus at the market for additional income. IRC farmers face some of the same challenges as our farmers, in that the garden plots are small, so the trick is to grow as much as possible using the limited space.
It was good for our office staff to identify with our farmers as we got dirt under our fingernails and called it work today. In the end, our half-day of being gardeners went all too quickly, but we went back to the paperwork, budgets, research, marketing, and fundraising with a fresh reminder of the life giving dirt in the gardens of our farmers all across the world.
To take a virtual tour of New Roots Community Farm, click the image below.