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Category — Horticulture Therapy

Australia: Myanmar refugees embrace community garden to cope with PTSD

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Win Men says gardening in the community garden lets him forget his past trauma for a while. (ABC News: Pablo Vinales)

The simple act of gardening at a small Sydney community garden for refugees is one of the things 66-year-old Win Men loves most about his Australian life.

By Pablo Vinales
ABC
Oct 6, 2017

Excerpt:

“I enjoy dong this gardening things here and I am happy to be able to do it in freedom… in my homeland I could not do this freely without fear,” he said.

Mr Men is part of the Karen community, an ethic minority from Myanmar, who was forced to flee his country because of persecution.

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October 13, 2017   No Comments

The Food Bank That Doesn’t Just Give Away Food—It Teaches You to Grow It

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Former farm staff, Zotero Citlacoatl, and Las Milpitas volunteers in the greenhouse, learning about heritage fruit tree propagation. The fig and pomegranate tree cuttings pictured grew out over the spring and were given to program participants and community partners. Photo © Groundwork Promotions.

This Tucson, Arizona, urban farm brings residents better nutrition and builds community. It’s a win-win.

By Sammi-Jo Lee
Yes Magazine
Sept 26, 2017

Excerpt:

Las Milpitas—a name chosen by the community which means “little fields” or “little gardens” in Spanish—is a few miles from the food bank’s primary distribution and services center. The farm is in a primarily Latino neighborhood on Tucson’s west side, and closely connected to two nearby mobile home communities. It’s also a four-mile drive from the nearest grocery store.

On one part of the six-acre farm, three full-time paid staff members grow produce that later gets included in hot prepared meals for food bank clients or is sold to sustain the farm at the food bank’s SNAP- and WIC-eligible local farm stands.

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October 3, 2017   Comments Off on The Food Bank That Doesn’t Just Give Away Food—It Teaches You to Grow It

For These Urban Farmers, the Harvest Is About More Than Healthy Eating

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(Photo by Piper Carter)

Summer is usually the most exciting season for a gardener, but for many of Detroit’s black farmers, the harvest is also about survival.

By Damon Mitchell
Next City
September 12, 2017

Excerpt:

“Farming is a lost art, a skill in black culture that disappeared after the Great Migration,” says Sun. “Now it’s time for us to get those farming skills back. Pass them down to our sons.”

Sun has spent time in both the juvenile and adult prison system, which ultimately ended up connecting him back to the gardening roots he formed as a child.

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September 22, 2017   Comments Off on For These Urban Farmers, the Harvest Is About More Than Healthy Eating

Ethiopia: A Dose of Gardening as the New Social Medicine

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Between September 2008 and September 2011, the USAID Urban Gardens Program reached 34,200 households and over 118,000 direct and indirect orphan and vulnerable children beneficiaries through micro, household, school and community gardens in Ethiopia

By Nicholas Parkinson
Good Food World
October 19th, 2012

Excerpt:

One year later, the group of 55 members—all living with HIV—partnered with USAID Urban Gardens Program for Women and Children Affected by HIV/AIDS (USAID UGP) and began breaking land on a garden near the banks of the Nile River. Meaza had never before been a farmer or a gardener but she vividly remembered watching her father plow a small tract of land in the Ethiopian countryside.

By mid-2010, Maeza took up her new vocation as an urban farmer, and her outlook changed dramatically. In May, the group—known as Kalehiwot—planted corn. The rains came, the crop grew, and bushels of corn were sold on the market.

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September 21, 2017   Comments Off on Ethiopia: A Dose of Gardening as the New Social Medicine

Australia: ‘Dads and Dirt’ program digging into stronger father-child relationships

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Mr Harrison believes getting your hands dirty and working closely with nature brings out the best in blokes. (Supplied: Taree Community Garden )

He said he believes his programs have inspired men to open up and engage, not only with their children but other like-minded men.

By Gabrielle Lyons
ABC Mid North Coast
Sept 1, 2017

Excerpt:

Mr Harrison maintains the Taree Community Garden on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

He runs a program in the garden called ‘Dads and Dirt’ aimed at getting men to better connect with their kids in a hands-on environment.

Some of the men in Mr Harrison’s programs are single dads, widowers or suffering with mental health issues.

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September 6, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: ‘Dads and Dirt’ program digging into stronger father-child relationships

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?

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August 19, 2017   Comments Off on UK: The Manchester allotment where refugees and asylum seekers are growing vegetables together

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

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