Piece written for the Refugee & Immigrant Fund (RIF) this past April.
An unexpected cold front has coated the city in a fine slick of ice and powdery snow and bitter winds whip along the narrow streets of this corner of DUMBO in Brooklyn, stubborn winter seemingly unaware that it is nearly May. Temperatures have dipped into the 40’s, though with the wind blowing off the nearby East River it feels even colder — colder, certainly, than the tropical African climes most of our group is accustomed to.
Today is the first day of the 2014 growing season for RIF’s newest group of participants — refugees and asylum seekers rebuilding their lives in New York. Through RIF’s Urban Farm Project and in partnership with Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest rooftop soil farm operating in Brooklyn and nearby Long Island City, Queens, they will spend the next six months learning the ins and outs of the city’s exploding urban agriculture scene. From…
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