Global Gardens

Safiya Abdi, Mamo Elias, and their son Thomas picking squash on their Global Gardens’ plot in Garden City.

Nearly 100 Treasure Valley community members have donated to Global Gardens, the refugee farming and gardening program in Boise, after organizers announced it would be short on grant funding this year, writes Idaho Press reporter Rachel Spacek. The program, run by the Idaho Office of Refugees and Jannus, Inc., a nonprofit health and human services organization, did not get the U.S. Department of Agriculture grants it has relied on for 15 years. Without the grants, the program could lose the ability to train refugee farmers on growing crops, running a farm and selling their produce.

The Idaho Office of Refugees and Jannus began asking for community donations on Nov. 11. They’re a third of the way to their goal of raising $50,000 for Global Gardens by Jan. 1, Office of Refugees Director Tara Wolfson said.

Global Gardens launched in 2004 and is now made up of about 200 community gardens and 11 larger farms throughout Boise. The community gardens are managed by Global Gardens partners that are religious or neighborhood groups; one is run directly by Global Gardens. The community gardens are where families grow their own food for themselves.

The farms are run by groups of refugees who sell produce to local restaurants, at Boise’s farmers markets and through Community Supported Agriculture shares. A CSA is a subscription service where people buy a share and regularly receive boxes of produce or other farm products.

You can read Spacek's full story here at (subscription required), or pick up today's Sunday/Monday edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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