Living Our Gratitude
We have concluded the end of the growing season at Resilient Roots Community Farm with our incredible team of youth, elders, farmers and volunteers! Despite the continuing disruptions to our climate patterns the growing season was very abundant this year – our crops seem to be faring well despite drought conditions, and our strategies for interplanting and crop care are promoting tastier and more abundant growth. We wrapped up our CSA season at the end of October with vegetable bags full of the year’s last harvest – giant sweet crookneck squash, plump bittermelons, vine ripened heirloom tomatoes and sweet peppers, wintered greens like kale and water spinach, and plenty of herbs.
We have had over a hundred community members out on the land, many of whom are consistent youth leaders, neighbors, elders and volunteers/dedicated supporters who love our work and their community enough to be with the land every week in the blazing hot sun and sometimes even the downpours! We are so proud to see a strong continuation of our lineage of youth from years ago who first entered our programs as young high schoolers, and are now helping us to manage the farm and business programs as new college students. We are also excited to see younger folks who have been with us for a couple years blossom into their leadership. We can sense the community togetherness with our neighbors who greet us across the street or come visit the farm to help out/share space, as we deepened relationships over mutual aid food bags.
The land has been lovingly tended to for winterization – beds cover cropped, everywhere weeded & mulched, tools and equipment re-organized, pathways cleared and remade, compost turned. We closed out the final days at the farm with a Thangstaken gathering with our student base from both Camden and Philly, who converged to honor the land and unlearn the false narrative of Thanksgiving together. We are planning to have our fall youth cohort, JerseyRoots, conduct community research to see how we can better serve our community next year AND an interview with our elders to promote our story-driven hot sauce.
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.