Spencer Garrett Community Garden
Our garden is in an urban environment in Aurora, CO, in a neighborhood with high rates of poverty and foreign-born residents. The neighborhood is among Denver's most underserved, ranking in the bottom 7% of zip codes nationwide in terms of income and education. In this neighborhood most refugees are resettled--from Burma, Somalia, Bhutan, and elsewhere.
About three-fourths of the garden's plots are rented by refugee families. The produce from the garden goes to feed these families healthy food that they otherwise struggle to afford. Even if they could afford it, this neighborhood is considered a "food desert" due to the low availability of fresh produce. Many of these refugees come from cultures deeply rooted in agricultural tradition, but they have moved into urban Aurora with little choice, living in poor housing, without land. In the garden, they are able to find meaning and much-needed therapy as they seek to adjust to life in America.
Beyond benefitting the gardeners' families, this garden has and does exhibit great generosity to the surrounding community. Located in an urban park, the garden is observed and visited by many from the local community who visit the park. For example, it is a common site to see a refugee donating his cherished food to a pregnant hispanic mother walking around the park.
In addition to benefitting the gardener families and the surrounding community, this garden benefits newly-arrived refugee families. For example, an open plot was rented by a group of Burmese gardeners and donated to provide food for newly arrived families in their community who could not afford the plot and who had health problems that prevented them from working the land. This type of outreach to the impoverished, disabled, and underserved is an intentional effort among the gardeners at Spencer Garrett.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
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