Great new story by Emma Miller aired on
NPR today about Transplanting Traditions
Take a listen here
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A big heartfelt thank you to all who contributed and helped spread the word about our indiegogo campaign. We successfully raised $15, 571 in 31 days, with a total of 193 funders. This is incredible. We also received the match of $15,000 from an anonymous donor. Also incredible. This $30,000 will carry this project over from the federal grant that ends in September and help grow this project into the future with the grassroots guidance of the farmers. Big plans ahead!
Beyond monetary contributions, we never cease to be amazed by the support we receive in actions and words. This is equally meaningful and important. We are proud to live in such a supportive community!
We want to celebrate this success with you!
Please join us
TTCF Farm Open House
*Explore the farm as it bursts to life with tropical and temperate crops.
*See the hard work of 31 families and programming you supported.
Friday June 28 6-8pm
Transplanting Traditions Community Farm-directions link
Transplanting Traditions Farm Market
With the $8,000 grant from the Resourceful Communities Conservation Fund we will launch our first farmers market this Friday. The market will be open every Friday 5-7pm at Johnny’s on West Main in Carrboro. This market will provide an educational and economic opportunities to TTCF farmers and is open to all TTCF farmers who wish to sell. Depending on season there will be a diversity of produce typical to NC and SE Asia.
We will be able to accept SNAP (formerly food stamps) at this market and offer .50 to every dollar spent using your EBT card to encourage SNAP customers to support their local refugee farmers as well as eat fresh, healthy food. Getting fresh, sustainably grown produce into the refugee, immigrant and low-income communities is one of the main goals of this project.
Please come support TTCF and help make this market another success!
Teen Leadership Program
The TTCF teen leadership program is due to launch the last week of June. This program was formed due to conversations in the refugee community about the need for more leadership and job skills training programs geared towards teens.
The 8-week pilot program will focus on nutrition, food justice, environment, cooking, writing skills development, communication, cooperation and service. It will be held both at the farm and in town. Teens will also assist with management and advertising for the Friday farmers market. We will use the public bus system to take field trips and participate in service projects in order to build teens’ confidence in getting around on their own. We hope this project will grow and develop in the coming year and become a permanent part of the farm.
Meet local farmers and tour their farms, learn more about local food in the Triangle and visit us on the 18th annual Piedmont Farm Tour this weekend!
The farm tour is also the launch event for our IndieGoGo online crowd-funding campaign. Funding for this project runs out this September and with the help from supporters like you we hope to raise $15,000 and beyond in one month! Contributions will help this project continue into the future. This means more on farm programming for new and continuing farmers, accepting new farmers, expanding youth programming and making healthy culturally appropriate food more available and affordable to the refugee community. For more info link to our page by clicking on the indiegogo logo below
This is our 2nd year on the tour and we have so much more to show this year. We have expanded the project with 31 families farming on 4 acres, a true example of community farming at its best. Come learn how expert farmers grow tropical crops adapted to our temperate climate and grow in community.
- Kids activities – face painting, bubbles, chalk drawing and more!
- Plant sale – tomatoes, flowers, basil, peppers and more!
- Rows of lemongrass just went into the ground. Eight varieties of gourds, winged bean, herbs and trees are growing in the greenhouse. The soil-building cover crop is about to be tilled in for the future rice field. Chicken tractors adapted to raised beds and concentrated space are in process.
Also, please help spread the word about the project and Indiegogo by “liking” us on Facebook and inviting your friends. Help us get to 400 likes !
Lately, I have been thinking back to the Fall of 2010 when our first group of refugee farmers met us out at the Irvin Nature Preserve to scope out the grassy tawny pasture that would soon become the Transplanting Traditions Community Farm. None of us knew what the upcoming years would bring or even if this project would actually work. Almost three years later it is Spring again and we are all gathered for the first planting of this year. Huddled in the warm greenhouse for announcements and a workshop I look around and see the same faces from that first prospective meeting in Fall of 2010 as well as over 25 new faces. Outside, over 3 acres lay in a beautiful clover/rye cover crop or freshly tilled. The greenhouse is full of broccoli, lettuce, cilantro, kale, cabbage, etc. and everyone is excitedly starting seeds, carrying trays of plants out to plant and smiling, laughing, talking. There is a visible familiarity, ease, relief expressed as people emerge from winter, from small cramped apartments to the sun, sky and dirt of the Farm. Although all of our farmers were farmers in Burma, there is so much for them to learn here in N.C. The four seasons that we take for granted are completely unfamiliar to our farmers, most of whom had never left their tropical villages until they had to flee to refugee camps in Thailand. In Burma, farmers tilled land with water buffalo (similar to an ox) and grew mangoes, rice, sesame, hibiscus, snake gourd, etc. They never had seen a greenhouse, made seedling soil mix or experimented with season extension. Marketing was a completely different ball game just as they found most everything was upon arriving in N.C. But to see how much farmers have learned from the over 150 hours of workshops and classes they have attended at the Farm over the past 2.5 years is one of the many things that I love about this project. Ask almost any farmer what the NPK on the bag of fertilizer stands for and even what each nutrient does for our plants and they could probably tell you. Or watch them seeding cover crop, working in the greenhouse or suckering a tomato and you will know. Really, to watch the bounty of beautiful fruits and vegetables harvested throughout the year and to see the jungle-like farm rising to the sky a bit each day and I know that this project is really really working. To top everything off, we have two new exciting bits of news that we hope you will share. One, is that Tri Sa has been accepted to the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market and will be selling every Tuesday from 3-6. She will be selling all the NC fruits and veggies that we are most familiar with as well as the crops native to Burma that she is most familiar with. The second exciting bit of news is that the farmers have been talking all winter about wanting to start their own market, that best fits their schedule and needs. As a result, we have partnered with the Human Rights Center on Barnes Street in Carrboro and will be selling fruits and veggies every Friday from 5-7 starting in late April. Stay tuned for more info and please come out and support our refugee farmers at these two markets. We’ll let you know when those markets open.
The weather on Wednesday seemed to be a planned backdrop for the task of harvesting bamboo. A warm, overcast day with humid tropical winds, confirming the impending storm. As soon as we arrived at the bamboo grove, the farmers were out of the cars with machetes and ready for the task at hand. The bamboo was falling in seconds and everyone took to different tasks of cutting, cleaning branches off and dragging bamboo out to the road. There was also some mushroom foraging in between. Thus began my education on what makes good bamboo.
I have been told that the bamboo in Burma and Thailand is typically twice the diameter of the bamboo we normally see growing in the US. I was told that this is the kind of bamboo you want to use for building a house. Among the harvest on Wednesday there were 4 pieces that were at the perfect age, size, and shape for building a house. I learned that bamboo houses are typically deconstructed and rebuilt every 2-3 years.
April Paw demonstrated how to make a floor or wall by splitting the bamboo along the circumference into long thin strips with a machete, while still leaving the strips attached.Mr. Pwee demonstrated how to separate the outer layers from inner layers to make strips for baskets, mats and ties for securing bundles.
Like rice and many of the tropical plants farmers are figuring out how to grow in North Carolina, bamboo is familiar. While harvesting they expressed multiple times how good it felt to be among bamboo, comfortable. Wednesday’s bamboo harvest was reminiscent of days at the farm in the middle of summer, when the farm was a jungle of tropical crops and farmers were lingering in the shade of the gourds comfortably.
Most of the bamboo harvested on Wednesday will be used for trellising plants on the farm and building a shade structure for events that will double as a gourd trellis, cutting the cost of off-farm purchases. If you have any good-sized bamboo at your house that you need cleared or know a spot please let us know at email@example.com
Please take a moment to explore the beautiful work of Vanessa Patchett. She spent the summer with Transplanting Traditions farmers and compiled a photo essay project along with commentary based on interviews with farmers. To view the photo essay go to Stories and click on Raising Burma. In her description of the project Vanessa explains, “This documentary essay seeks to demonstrate this complex relationship that Karen peoples have with the land. It is a beautiful and powerful thing, full of intensity, hope, and life. It is also a relationship of struggle and overcoming. Ultimately, this project seeks to better understand what the garden means to the families at TTCF, and tries to see this place through their eyes.” If you haven’t visited the farm or met the farmers this is the next best thing, it truly captures the essence of the place and spirit of the space. Also take a moment to check out the rest of the website to lean more about the local Karen community.