Resilient Roots Planting Plants! Spotlight Marcella
Hello, my name is Marcella! I am a junior and a proud Camden Scholar at Moorestown Friends School. Though I lived in Camden, I received an amazing opportunity in the 7th grade when I was offered to attend a small, private school in Moorestown. Ever since I left, the relationship that I had with my community only became weaker as days passed. Since I was never home, always in school, doing work, and putting most of my focus in adapting to a new environment at Moorestown, it was hard to give my own community the attention that it really needed. Because of my recent involvement with the Resilience Roots Farm, I was able to reconnect the disconnection that I have previously felt towards the Camden community.
Being in the farm and working alongside others who also care about the farm, remind me every time of my origin and where I come from. I am forever grateful for the positive impacts that the garden has had on me. Especially with the activities that involve community bonding because not only does it benefit me in creating strong relationships with those in my neighborhood, it also shows how many people really do care for this city; by showing up and nurturing the farm.
For the farm to thrive, is to keep the plants alive. To do this, the community must consistently take care and nurture the garden in a way that would allow the plants to keep growing. And though it takes physical work in taking care of the garden, by actively working, the garden will only continue to flourish, if anything. At the end of the day, the benefits and lasting impacts of the garden truly outbeats the small sessions of sweaty, hard work, outside, underneath the boiling sun. And as well as increasing physical activity, the garden has also done a good job at promoting a healthier diet. For me, after I first tasted a couple of vegetables being grown at the garden, all I wanted to do next was to grow more plants so that I could harvest more to eat. Especially the okras, I literally cannot resist taking a bunch home to eat for dinner during harvest season. C’mon! They’re fresh, tasty, and good for your health.
What’s been happening at the farm for the past month, mostly taking place during the weekend, is busy planting; this includes weeding, lots of plant watering, and more! We are trying to get all our plants in for the season!
[Marcella is second person in upper left corner]
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