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community_garden.gardening with refugees

Adam, thank you so much for your insight on gardening with refugees. Great
suggestions - esp. thinking about traditional customs such as using
nightsoil for fertilizer! It is so helpful to know that there are other
people out there who are doing similar things. We are a non-profit,
currently operating four gardens in Salt Lake City. We have a large program
for teaching children about gardening through experiential education, as
well as our Youth At Market (YAM) program which offers business training for
teens who grow produce and sell it at our local farmer's market. We have
traditionally worked with several different refugee populations, though
numbers have waned over recent years. We are facing the effects of
gentrification around our gardens. This past season one of our largest
gardens reached a point where none of our current community gardeners were
returning. We decided to use the available space to open up to a group of
refugees in the area.

We envision the land being used communally, rather than rented out plot by
plot like our other gardens. We have not yet identified the target
population. I would like to work with a group that is already established,
either a specific ethnic group or a multi-ethnic group in the area. We are
currently working with local agencies who provide assistance to refugees to
help us identify such a group that may be near our garden. We envision this
group utilizing the land for their own economic gain, such as taking their
produce to market, or producing marketable products, such as vinegars, jams,
or 'culturally appropriate' foods. We are very excited about the future of
this program, although I realize that our approach is more 'top-down' than I
would like - as the idea was conceived within our organization, rather than
in the garden or surrounding neighborhood...

I have a few more questions for this group:
1. Do you know of anyone else who might be doing something similar?
2. Does anyone have suggestions for making successful partnerships with
other agencies?
3. Any suggestions for positive leadership structures in the garden, such as
a garden committees?


Ginger Ogilvie
Community Gardening Coordinator
Wasatch Community Gardens
350 South 400 East Ste 101B
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 359-2658

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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