Healing in the garden

July 22, 2016

“We see a lot of benefits, psychologically as well as physically, for people that are getting here. Just the benefit of – after coming from a refugee camp and being resettled – again being able to go outside and work in the garden, get your hands dirty and reconnect with this pastime of growing food and supplying for your family.”

Common Earth Gardens, an urban garden program funded and run by Catholic Charities of Louisville, cannot keep up with the demand for garden plots from the refugee population. Currently, refugees of primarily five countries are involved in Common Earth Gardens, with all of them sharing a background in agriculture and farming for their families.

Common Earth Gardens not only allows these refugees to grow food for themselves and their families, but also to sell their yield to food suppliers and farmers markets. Laura loves seeing the impact this program has on those involved and is working to establish a sustainable source of funding for the gardens via Common Table. Common Table functions as a job training program for unemployed or underemployed refugees and U.S. citizens. As the job trainees learn sanitation practices and food preparation skills, they create meals for sale to the community, which generates revenues to support the garden program. Common Earth Gardens has become an important part of the Louisville community, nourishing and benefiting all those involved.

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