The Refuge Community Garden Opens!

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The Refuge opened its’ doors for our first community gardener planting day on March 14th, 2014! Our gardeners have been learning about planting in the Nashville region through our ESL class taught by Catherine Pearson. They’ve also been learning about growing in this climate through workshops provided by The Nashville Food Project’s (TNFP) Christina Bentrup and interpreted by our Community Navigator, Simson Sarki .

We view ESL as a strategy to empower our clients to be able to engage in a different way in the Nashville community. We are proud to be doing so through such a unique opportunity, but we’re also cognizant of the power of language and try to hold space in our time together to emphasize cultural exchange and learn from our gardeners.

While all of our gardeners have grow fruits and vegetables in other areas of the world, many of them have not lived in a climate where using a greenhouse is necessary. Last Friday, March 21st, we held a Greenhouse workshop for students at TNFP where they learned more about characteristics of Nashville’s climate  and why we have to transplant certain crops here.

We then started tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cilantro and dill. As we were planting, the gardeners  taught me the Nepali words for cilantro and dill; trying to learn these and remember them was a great reminder of the effort it takes to learn a new language.

We are so proud of the gardeners in our program and are excited to continue to learn with them and from them in this season of growth!



To learn more about the program or look at more pictures, please visit our

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