The New Leaf Refugee Agriculture Program offers refugees from traditional farming cultures the chance to "get their hands back in the dirt" and cultivate a piece of land in their new community. New Leaf participants are growing fresh, healthy food for their families, saving money, exercising and connecting with others.
Festival Beach near downtown Austin is where the New Leaf program got its start. Currently MRC has 18 plots at this site, gardened by refugee extended families – grandparents, parents and grandchildren – who share maintenance responsibilities.
LANIER HIGH SCHOOL
In a unique partnership with the Lanier High School FFA program, 13 individual plots in the school's community garden were developed for MRC refugee families, many of whom can easily walk from their North-Lamar-area apartments. The gardeners are also involved in tending to the chickens on site.
Many New Leaf refugee gardeners are also able to walk to their plots at the Gus Garcia Recreation Center Community Garden in Northeast Austin. Growing their own food lets them regain some of the self-sufficiency of their past lives while also beginning to integrate into their new community.
We hold community garden workdays once a month, typically on the third Saturday, so please let us know if you would like to come out and learn more about MRC and the New Leaf Refugee Agriculture Program.
Using an eight-passenger van awarded from the Capital Metro Community Mobility Vehicle Grant Program, MRC's Farm Link program connects refugees to weekly workshare farming opportunities at Green Gate Farms.