On a warm summer day, the Sycamore Community Garden, tucked in a grassy field at the New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI) in Concord, teems with activity. There’s the hum of several languages being spoken by women and men in colorful clothing as they tend to their individual garden plots. Children run back and forth, playing hide and seek among the ten-foot-tall African corn stalks. Elders watch from the garden’s edge, warming themselves in the sun and taking it all in.
There’s nothing quite like feeling the dirt between your fingers as you plant a seed. That seed will hopefully sprout and grow into a beautiful flower, hearty vegetable or tasty fruit at the end of the summer for you to enjoy. There’s something to be said about growing your own food.
But if you live in downtown Concord, you might not have the kind of space required for a garden. It might be too shady or no yard at all. And if you grew up on a farm, spent time in a garden as a youngster or have been itching to unleash your inner green thumb, it can be a frustrating reality that rears its ugly head right about this time every year.
And now, a community garden in Concord, New Hampshire is helping Bhutanese refugees with homesickness by recreating the village atmosphere they miss.
Ghana Khatiwada, a translator fluent in Nepali and English who works as a cultural liasion for the garden, told Megan Doyle of the Concord Monitor, “To them, it’s like a home feeling to come here and work in a garden,” she said.
Imagine you are far from your homeland, living in a foreign city, where everyone speaks a language you don’t yet understand.
Imagine your first visits to an overwhelmingly large grocery store, looking for something familiar to buy and cook for your family. It seems the foods you have eaten all your life aren’t available here.
Vegetable gardening has become a lot more popular in recent years.
And community garden plots are popping up around the state.
Some of these gardeners are hoping to help their tightening grocery budgets.
Some simply want to know where their food comes from.
But as NHPR’s Gina Gioldassis reports, at one community garden in Concord, a lot more is growing than just summer vegetables.
The site of the Sycamore Community Garden nestled right next to New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord looks like any other.