Building Community During COVID-19
Here at the Resilient Roots Community Farm, we’ve continued working with the land. We’ve felt blessed to have been able to continue supporting community with CSA, or community supported agriculture, vegetables bags filled with fresh and locally grown produce. We’ve also been able to coordinate schedules with our elders so that our growers can continue coming out to the farm — to take care of their beds and to get some much needed fresh air in the midst of COVID-19. Pictured above is an elder watering her bittermelon plants beneath the beautiful trellis her family built, waving from a physical distance!
A quote that has been staying with us is “as we transform the land, the land transforms us”. One crew member noted that it reminded them of the Octavia Butler quote which goes: “everything that you change, changes you. The only constant is change.” And indeed, change is upon us. We have been offering a sliding scale payment as we — anxiously and excitedly! — await for our SNAP/EBT site approval with the City of Camden (as shared in our previous post). It has been really grounding to build relationships with some of these share-holders who were only able to join through providing a sliding scale model. One such share member is a gardener himself and offered to grow food for our CSA program! A sweet notion that really speaks volumes to the relationship building that happens as we share the food that we grow with our community members.
Another elder has been so appreciative of our mutual aid program and, during our weekly check ins, showers us with affirmation! An elder has been using our produce as medicine — making medicinal teas from some of the herbs included. She shared that these herbs have been economically inaccessible to her and she has been grateful to have gotten the chance to make medicine with the food grown at our farm. We are excited about the possibilities that might unfold once we are able to accept EBT/SNAP for our CSA program.
It has been an incredibly intense growing season this year as we’ve piloted our sliding scale CSA program to meet needs in our community in the face of anti-Black racial injustice and a public health crisis.
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.