“Perks of Growing My Own Food”- Resilient Roots Highlight on Nyraysia Robinson
My name is Nyraysia Robinson and I’m currently a Sophomore at Stockton University. I got involved with Resilient Roots Community Farm my Sophomore year of High School (2015-2016). My school was interested in starting a Garden Club and asked for help from Resilient Roots. A friend and I was very interested in the idea of starting a garden. I’ve always dreamed of starting my own garden, but never actually thought it would be a reality. The simple interest in my school’s garden club has led me down a 4 year journey on learning how by taking back our food is one of the first steps to food justice and sovereignty.
Over the years, I’ve learned many things from working with Resilient Root’s. I’ve learned how to water, weed, and planting to food desserts, gentrification, and the many forms of oppression used against minorities. By joining Resilient Roots, I’ve become so much more aware of the social issues happening in my city. As time went on, I became more aware of the lack of food access my city had. Supermarkets were few and far between and there was only one produce market in the whole city. Corner stores are the main food source for the majority of Camden and it’s full of nothing but Junk food. And with the lack of gyms, being overweight was the norm. Kids grow up not knowing what healthy foods are, only knowing that of school lunches, corner stores, and family dinners. With Resilient Roots I became more mindful of what I putting in my body. The farm allowed me to see the perks of growing my own food and gave my family something to look forward to. We saw what having access tok good healthy food was supposed to be like. I wanted that for everyone in my city.
As I became more knowledgeable of gardening, I slowly moved up the ranks helping at the Farm. I’m currently a Land Gourdian or Assistant farm manager. My main role is that of Land Keeper. It’s my job to handle watering, weeding, and the organization of tools in general. I make sure the garden is clean and pathways stay clear so that it’s easy to access for Volunteers. I also help with the Resilient Roots Summer program and help teach students the basics of gardening with weekly lessons. The new role as teacher really put my knowledge to the test, but it turned out easier than expected. Teaching others is actually pretty fun and allowed me to flex my garden knowledge. I enjoy my role as Land Keeper. The work is hard, but rewarding. The Farm will always hold a special place in my heart and the experiences I had there, along with the people I met, will help guide me as I make my way to achieving my dreams.
Resilient Roots Community Farm started having weekly produce markets in July! Come join us Wednesdays 4-6. Dates are subject to change due to weather so please pay attention to our “Resilient_Roots_Farm” Instagram and Facebook.
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