RE: community_garden.gardening with refugees
It seems that this conversation is serial: I met Mike Salinas from the
Milwaukee Urban Gardens for lunch today ( he was in town to see some of the
real experts, Gerald Lordahl of the Council for the Environment and the
Neighbohood Open Space people - I guess he needed some comic relief at
We discussed governance with refugees and new Americans. One of the best
ways to help in the transition to American life is to get people involved in
the everyday running, decision making and governance of a community garden.
Welcome to America! You can get elected to something here and also be held
accountable by the folks who elected you to the job.
The democratically elected steering committee, garden committee structures
on the basic ACGA website work. Don't give gardening space out for nothing -
you get this space, you have to participate in running it, raising money for
it and if you are here legally and not a felon, register to vote.
Believe me, when the politicians realize that you're doing voter
registration at your gardens, shall we say, every other Saturday at 2:00 in
the afternoon, they'll learn to kiss refugee babies real fast. The kids
should learn to work on political campaigns, get those recommendations for
college. Learning to become a special interest group ( like everyone else
in America) can start in your gardens.
Good luck, let us know how it works out for you all,
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ginger Ogilvie [SMTP:email@example.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 12:38 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: [cg] 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
> for teaching children about gardening through experiential education, as
> well as our Youth At Market (YAM) program which offers business training
> 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
> help us identify such a group that may be near our garden. We envision
> group utilizing the land for their own economic gain, such as taking their
> produce to market, or producing marketable products, such as vinegars,
> 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
> would like - as the idea was conceived within our organization, rather
> 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
> 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 - email@example.com
community_garden maillist - firstname.lastname@example.org