KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A community farm that works to improve food security in Knoxville is also helping make sure refugees in the city feel more at home by planting crops native to their homes.
Beardsley Farm said they donated around 1,000 intore plants, a crop important to the diets of refugees from Burundi and The Republic of Congo. They also planted some intore at the farm, so refugees who are not settled enough to garden, or are physically unable to garden, can have some of the crops they're used to.
The crops would be given to refugees as part of the farm's bi-monthly produce distribution. They said they also gave out lenga-lenga seeds this year as well, another basic crop native to Burundi.
"Everyone deserves access to fresh, culturally important foods," they said on social media.
An Americorps member from Bridge Refugee Services also helped distribute the plants and help refugee gardeners get settled in Knoxville. Some of the crops were also grown by paid refugee gardeners, with one gardener helping translate between refugees and Beardsley Farmworkers.
The farm also said they are working to get access to more seeds from a diverse range of refugee communities, so they could grow more produce for more diverse communities.