Past and present, community gardening has been used as a response to poverty, a way to supplement healthy foods, and a mechanism for community involvement. For thirteen refugee families living at the Housing Authority of Bowling Green, community gardening has become a way to recreate their traditional cult ure. Based on data collected through interviews during the summer of 2016, these refugee s identified gardening as a buffer against food insecurity, providing access to both healthy a nd culturally appropriate foods. Most importantly, the interviewees identified gardening as a mechanism for support and togetherness among the city’s refugee population. M ost refugees utilize the socialization and community as a response against cultural assimilati on. By surrounding themselves with supportive and similar community members, the refugees felt both comforted to practice their own culture and confident to learn the norms of their new home. With an evolving political climate and a possible influx in refugees in the region, understanding the importance of community gardening in refugee communities will help create a climate of acculturation and acceptance. More importantly, sustained opportunities for community gardening will ensure consistent access to culturally appropriate, healthy, and affordable foods for the city’s vulnerable refugee population.
Gayle Mallinger (Director), Molly Kerby
Willenbrink, Elizabeth, "Cultivating Community: Experiences of African Refugee Gardeners" (2017). Student Research Conference Select Presentations. Paper 38.