Fresh produce at Resilient Roots Market – Chợ -Mercadito !
“Do y’all have any collards? I love me some greens.” This is what our first customer of the season asked our high school interns as they nervously began to set up for market.
Students who are apart of Resilient Roots Summer Food Justice Internship began our program on July 9th. Unknowing to them, they would be coming into the first year of Resilient Roots Farm that has raised beds built painstakingly by community members. They are coming into a season where plants will flourish with twice as much soil depth ever due to 12 inch high raised beds made possible through NJCHN funding. They are coming into a year that we are projecting will have more produce that we ever have had for our community because of more soil nutrition and our ability to expand our growing. Our plants are healthier and more abundant than ever.
Since July, Resilient Roots Farm has hosted weekly farm stands pumping with produce such as okra, cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, collards, kale, and much more. Many neighbors and customers have come back again this season, knowing that they are not only helping support youth jobs but also supporting themselves to eat fresh nutritious and natural cultural produce. Although students begin the market nervously with the idea of talking to strangers, students slowly become more comfortable. “Market has become my favorite thing that we get to do. We get to share about the garden, the work that we do, and about the vegetables. I can be proud of our vegetables and feel like I’m helping my community”.
About the Grantee
VietLead is a grassroots organization that strives to improve health, increase sovereignty, and develop Vietnamese leadership in solidarity through intergenerational farming; youth leadership; health navigation; policy advocacy; and civic engagement. Our Food Sovereignty and community garden program was built from seeing how food is an important part of how refugees practice self-determination.
Cohort: South 2
Funder: New Jersey Department of Health