I’m loving the IRC’s New Roots program.
It plays on the the not-so-revolutionary idea that refugees miss the food from their homelands and often arrive with significant experience in gardening and even full-scale farming.
New Roots helps refugees establish gardens from Iowa to the Bronx. The program has a simple action plan with complex goals. According to their website, New Roots:
“enables refugees to reestablish their ties to the land, celebrate their heritage and nourish themselves and their neighbors by planting strong roots—literally—in their new communities.”
Here are 4 things I love about this initiative:
1. It’s communal. The food these gardens produce stands as a testament to the investment and sacrifice refugees offer their new communities. It’s beautiful and humbling to see outsiders feeding the people who “belong.”
2. It honors memory of homeland. Gardening gives refugees a chance to grow their culture’s more rare staple ingredients instead of buying them at expensive markets – or getting low-quality versions for cheap.
3. It includes recipes on the website. Just scroll down on the main page.
4. It uses “literally” correctly. These days, that’s proof of genius.
(Photo by Adrian van Leen)