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Category — Horticulture Therapy

UK: The Manchester allotment where refugees and asylum seekers are growing vegetables together

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“I think the main things people get from Growing Together Levenshulme are a supportive community and a space to take time away from their difficult and often chaotic lives as asylum seekers.

By Lucy Lovell
Manchester Evening News
Aug 13, 2017

Excerpt:

” In future we’d love to be able to grow the project by opening the garden to participants on more days of the week, which is something they’re really keen for us to do, but in order to do that we’d need more funding and more volunteers.

“At the moment we’re just looking for funding to secure the long term future of the garden so it can continue to benefit asylum seekers and refugees for years to come.”

And what about the future for Emilie?

[Read more →]

August 19, 2017   No Comments

Salt Lake City: Two blocks from the Rio Grande homeless shelter, these women found peace and purpose on an urban farm

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Eve top dresses a row of tomatoes with fresh compost at the Wasatch Community Gardens’ Green Team farm. (Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune)

That once-blighted 1.5-acre parcel has become a thriving urban farm, and Nikki is back for the first full, 10-month season of Wasatch Community Gardens’ Green Team.

By Matthew Piper
Salt Lake City Tribune
Aug 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Team members earn $9 an hour for a minimum of 20 hours per week and attend Friday classes on job skills. The land is leased by Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency at a cost of $1 per year, and the produce is sold at a cut rate to the Head Start program for disadvantaged children.

Nikki was able to leave the nearby shelter after teammate Ira obtained housing and invited her to become her roommate. For those who are still homeless, The Road Home makes an exception to its 30-day turnout policy and allows them to stay for the full season, uninterrupted.

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August 15, 2017   No Comments

Holland: Schoffelen en zaaien met azc’ers

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Click image to see larger file. zc’ers en buurtbewoners tuinieren samen bij de Bijlmerbajes.
Foto Simon Trel

Op het terrein van de Bijlmerbajes worden moestuin-workshops georganiseerd om azc’ers en Amsterdammers met elkaar in contact te brengen.

By Kirsten Dorrestijn
NRC
28 April 2017

Excerpt:

Bij de entree van de voormalige Bijlmerbajes voetballen drie jongens op een voetbalveldje van kunstgras. Erachter loopt huisbioloog Theo Coolen met een kruiwagen tussen de moestuinbakken. Hij zet materialen klaar voor de tweede moestuin-workshop van dit jaar. De houten bakken en langgerekte ‘akkers’ met houten omlijsting steken vrolijk af tegen de grijze gevangenismuren. In de verte razen metro’s bij station Spaklerweg af en aan. Sinds augustus 2016 biedt de Bijlmerbajes onderdak aan zo’n 500 vluchtelingen die wachten op een status of op huisvesting.

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July 15, 2017   Comments Off on Holland: Schoffelen en zaaien met azc’ers

On Cleveland’s Largest Urban Farm, Refugees Gain Language and Job Skills

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The Refugee Empowerment Agricultural Program expects to harvest 22,000 pounds of produce this year, while helping refugees find a community.

By Chris Hardman
Civil Eats
07.05.17

Excerpt:

Since Donald Trump took office in January, the United States has become a less friendly place for people born in other countries. But various community groups across the U.S. have long supported refugees—often through efforts focused on agriculture.

In addition to REAP in Cleveland, projects such as Plant It Forward in Houston, New Roots in San Diego, and the Refugee Urban Agriculture Initiative in Philadelphia have found that refugees and urban farming are a good fit, and despite the hostility at the federal level, they remain committed to their work.

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July 11, 2017   Comments Off on On Cleveland’s Largest Urban Farm, Refugees Gain Language and Job Skills

Refugee farmer puts down Halifax roots

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Data Ram Humagai is the first employee of Common Roots Urban Farm that emerged from the Deep Roots program.

“I learned how to grow in different seasons because it’s very cold compared to my home country,” said Humagai.

By Ben Cousins
Herald News
June 7, 2017

Excerpt:

Humagai is originally from Bhutan, a small country just west of Nepal, where he honed his craft as a farmer. From there, Humagai moved to a refugee camp in Nepal where he worked on a much smaller garden.

“My life was very difficult in the (refugee camp) compared to now in Canada,” he said through a translator.

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June 13, 2017   Comments Off on Refugee farmer puts down Halifax roots

Peace, plants and hip-hop in Colombia, South America

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Hip-hop and agriculture might seem like a strange mix. But El AKA believes it’s the perfect partnership to unite the community. “Hip-hop attracts young people, and agriculture the older ones,” he told DW.

By Katharina Wecker
Deutsche Welle
May 11, 2017

Excerpt:

With big Creole earrings, a bandana, and the crotch of his trousers hanging between his knees, Luis Fernando Alvarez looks more like a rapper than a farmer. Actually, he’s both.

Luis, or “El AKA” as he is known in Colombia’s biggest city of Medellin, has brought his two passions together with the initiative Agro Arte – agricultural art.

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May 21, 2017   Comments Off on Peace, plants and hip-hop in Colombia, South America

Canada: Immigrant showcases gardening talents at urban farm in Halifax

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Amber Bhujel, a Nepali-Bhutanese immigrant, has been growing mustard greens, kale, and cilantro in his two handmade greenhouses during the winter at the Common Roots Urban Farm in Halifax. Photo Haley Ryan.

Amber Bhujel uses make shift greenhouse to keep his garden plot at Common Roots Urban Farm growing throughout the winter.

By Nicole Gnazdowsky
Metro
May 07 2017

Excerpt:

This winter the Nepali-Bhutanese immigrant successfully grew a garden of mustard seed and cilantro, by building a makeshift greenhouse out of sheets of plastic, sticks and bricks.

Bhujel comes from a long line of farmers in Bhutan; he lived as a refugee in Nepal for almost 20 years before moving to Canada in 2011.

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May 15, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Immigrant showcases gardening talents at urban farm in Halifax

Goat Yoga at a Detroit Urban Farm

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Claire Dossin of Kalamazoo does yoga as her new friends Butterscotch and Copper, kids that are 1 1/2 month-old, rest on her yoga mat during a Goat Yoga class.

People come in with a straight face and leave grinning ear-to-ear,” says Pingree Farms manager Holly Glomski of Detroit. “What’s really interesting is the therapeutic benefit of the animals.”

By Ashley Zlatopolsky
Detroit Free Press
May 12, 2017

Excerpt:

In Detroit, though, goat yoga is not only a hilariously good time, but a way to improve the surrounding community. All proceeds from goat yoga classes go toward efforts such as turning blighted or vacant land into urban food oases. Pingree Farms, which is a nonprofit group, aims to revitalize or impact neighborhoods and educate youths through urban agriculture.

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May 13, 2017   Comments Off on Goat Yoga at a Detroit Urban Farm

It’s a season of renewal at a farm in downtown Salt Lake City

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The Green Team farmers start their workdays with yoga and meditation. It’s been life-changing for the women who often suffer from stress and anxiety.

By Sandra Olney
KSL
May 5th, 2017

Excerpt:

Last August, Long started working on the Green Team Farm, a 1½-acre urban vegetable garden in downtown Salt Lake. And that is when Long says she started to feel like “there’s a spiritual healing in here (the farm).”

It has taken a combination of faith and hard work to transform this once garbage-strewn vacant lot into what farm director James Loomis calls an emerald eden.

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May 12, 2017   Comments Off on It’s a season of renewal at a farm in downtown Salt Lake City

Gardening, once done for survival, takes a therapeutic turn for refugee in Nebraska

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For Lamya Ali, gardening is a refuge.

By Dan McCann
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
Mar 26, 2017

Excerpt:

Lamya enjoys growing tomatoes, bell peppers, okra, eggplant and herbs. She also likes to “plant some seeds from back home.”

Back home is Iraq. Lamya is a refugee. She and her family fled the war-torn country in the early 1980s when she was a child, resettling in a couple of Middle Eastern refugee camps before arriving in Lincoln in 1999. Surrounded by uncertainty growing up, gardening brought a sense of peace.

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April 3, 2017   Comments Off on Gardening, once done for survival, takes a therapeutic turn for refugee in Nebraska

Plot 29 : A Memoir – Therapy from an Allotment Plot

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Allan used Plot 29 to make sense of his childhood. Credit: Andrew Crowley

When I am disturbed, even angry, gardening has been a therapy. When I don’t want to talk I turn to Plot 29, or to a wilder piece of land by a northern sea. There, among seeds and trees, my breathing slows; my heart rate too. My anxieties slip away.’

By Elizabeth Grice
The Telegraph
2 Apr 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Plot 29 : A Memoir
By Allan Jenkins
HarperCollins Publishers
Mar 23, 2017

Excerpt:

“When I am disturbed, even angry,” Jenkins says, “gardening is a therapy. Whatever mood I’m in, I can walk through the gates and here, among the seeds and the trees, my breathing and my heart rate slow. My voice becomes slower and oddly deeper. It’s a great antidote to newspaper politics and to anxiety, a place where you can just be.”

Jenkins had plenty to be disturbed about. He and his older brother Christopher spent their early years in and out of “feral” children’s homes, often cruelly separated despite their closeness. At the ages of five and six, they were fostered by a middle-aged couple, Dudley and Lilian Drabble, in the Devon countryside, but spat out again at puberty to go their separate ways.

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April 2, 2017   Comments Off on Plot 29 : A Memoir – Therapy from an Allotment Plot

Columbia: Medellin takes to urban farming to heal memories of war

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Leader of Agro Arte “El AKA” (Image: Richard Kelleher) Click on image for larger file.

“You could say that Colombia is a huge mass grave. There are so many people who have waited for so long to see their loved ones, and they’ve never appeared. It’s a denial of the pain when you can’t even bury them.”

By Richard Kelleher
Columbia Reports
February 24, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Parts of Colombia’s second largest urban center, Medellin, have taken to the most rural activity possible, agriculture, in an attempt to recognize the memories of war while restoring the social fabric necessary for peace.

For the past 15 years, an urban farming initiative named “AgroArte” (Agrarian Art) has brought new life to the 13th district of San Javier, once the epicenter of Medellin’s urban conflict.

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March 3, 2017   Comments Off on Columbia: Medellin takes to urban farming to heal memories of war

Darius Jones: A Hard-knock Teen Turned Urban Farmer in Chicago

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Darius Jones with easter egg radishes.

Jones knows from experience that urban farming is a tranquil space that is welcoming to people from diverse backgrounds. It was also calming to a kid who needed a way out.

By Christopher Nelson
NBC News
Feb 10, 2017

Excerpt:

As a teen growing up on Chicago’s West Side, Darius Jones got in trouble with the law.

He pleaded guilty to a felony and spent two years locked up. But the time spent at Cook County Jail led him to a garden boot camp. And that garden program led him to his life’s work: urban agriculture.

“The only reason I wanted to work for the garden was because, over the two years of sitting in max, I only went outside twice,” said Jones, who grew up in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. “It helped me reflect on life. It helped me to reevaluate my situation.”

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February 13, 2017   Comments Off on Darius Jones: A Hard-knock Teen Turned Urban Farmer in Chicago

Chicago Hospital Rooftop Farm toured 70 people – leadership and CEOs from hospitals across the country

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They loved giving back and connecting with the community. A few of the attendees had never planted in a garden before, so they welcomed getting their hands dirty after sitting in meetings.

Weiss Memorial Hospital
Jan. 2017

Excerpt:

The farm and Uptown Farmers Market at Weiss began in 2009. Nearly 30,000 visitors, including 700 children from local schools and Chicago Park District camps, have stopped by for tours. Soup kitchens and food pantries receive food donations regularly, and chefs from five restaurants in Uptown shop the market. The initiative also won Weiss the 2011 Governor’s Hometown Award.

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February 6, 2017   Comments Off on Chicago Hospital Rooftop Farm toured 70 people – leadership and CEOs from hospitals across the country

Social Enterprise at Dig Deep Farms in Oakland, California

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Damien Cipio (left) and Pac Rucker tend the crops at East Bay enterprise Dig Deep Farms, which is partly funded by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

There are almost too many food-justice programs to name. They include urban farming nonprofits such as Acta Non Verba, Phat Beets and City Slicker Farms, as well as social enterprises like Youth UpRising’s Corners Cafe and a startup called Town Kitchen, which trains young people from low-income communities and delivers box lunches to offices and conferences.

By Jonathan Kauffman
San Francisco Chronicle
December 27, 2016

Excerpt:

News of a Bay Area chef with a farm barely raises an eyebrow these days. But when Sarah Kirnon became the social-enterprise director of Dig Deep Farms four months ago, she wasn’t out to cultivate premium ingredients for her Oakland restaurant, Miss Ollie’s. She had a bigger mission in mind.

The 6-year-old farm, which has 8 acres in the hills above San Leandro, isn’t just a source for organic radishes, greens and carrots. It is funded in part by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and many of the farmers who tend its citrus trees and lush fields were once incarcerated.

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January 4, 2017   Comments Off on Social Enterprise at Dig Deep Farms in Oakland, California