Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Urban Grown: Farms and Gardens Tour

New Roots’ partner program, Cultivate KC, is having their annual Urban Grown Tour this weekend! We are proud to have three graduate farm sites and our training farm site featured on the tour. It’s a great weekend for people in the community to see a variety of urban farms and gardens around Kansas City- to glean ideas for home gardens, learn what it takes to run a farming business in Kansas City, and to get inspired by neighbors that work together to feed their communities. It is a self-guided tour and the farmers will be present to answer questions and show you around. If you’ve been curious about what we do on a day-to-day basis, or you want to see some of the successful business ventures of our graduates, this is your chance! Take a look below to see which New Roots farmers to visit.

Karen Fresh: Lay Htoo
5626 Farrow Ave, KCK
Ki Ko Ko Farm: Pay Lay and Beh Paw Gaw
4900 Yecker Ave, KCK 

Garden of Peace: Aye Aye Nu
216 S. Bethany Street, KCK

Juniper Gardens Training Farm: New Roots
100 N. Richmond Ave, KCK

Friday, June 12, 2015


We are continually humbled by the farmers at New Roots for Refugees. They are always giving us a new perspective- showing us a new way to look at the world. They teach us how to go with the flow, how to laugh even when things aren’t going our way, and how to be generous.

Yesterday one of the farmers in our program, SiSi Cho, brought extra produce to the market. She knew there was an emergency assistance location with a food pantry just a few doors down from where we were selling. She wanted to give the pantry extra produce from her garden. SiSi explained that when they were in the refugee camp, everything they had was donated. UNHCR and people from other countries brought food, donated clothes and gave oil for their lamps. Everything they had was donated, and they needed it- they had nothing. Now that she has enough, she wants to donate what she has to help people who need it. She said they are also able to send money every month to the camp they lived in- mostly for oil for the lamps. She wants to help people that need it, like her family was helped in Thailand.

Every day at New Roots for Refugees, we are able to interact with people from different countries who have struggled- people who have fled their countries, left their families and come to the United States to start a new life. Each one of them has a unique story, a reason for joining our program and a reason to hope. And they have much to teach us. We are so honored to be a part of their story- and are glad to be partners in their struggle to create a new life here. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Gibbs Road Farm Field Trip!

This week’s workshop focused on soil, so we went to Gibbs Road Farm to learn from a local soil expert, Josh Smith. Now that there is a greenhouse at Juniper Gardens, we don’t utilize the larger one at Gibbs Road Farm- so many of the farmers had never been to see it! It was fun to do some hands on learning about crop rotation, planning, high tunnels and perennial crops. Josh was able to show the New Roots farmers the difference in soils around the farm- some that had been planted with cover crop and some that hadn’t. Farmers were able to understand the difference by feeling the clay in one and the dead plant matter in another. This kind of hands on learning is what makes the New Roots program unique- and successful! Josh was able to ask some of the farmers their techniques in saving seeds, too. The morning was full of learning and sunshine, and we are excited for our next field trip! 

Josh, Alicia and New Roots farmers- sharing ideas about seed saving

Red Cabbage in the field
Alicia and Ha Li Mar 

Josh showing New Roots farmers the movable high tunnel- and explaining how it affects soil health