Programming for Farmers
Transplanting Traditions Community Farm provides refugee farmers resettled in N.C. access to land, healthy food, agricultural education and small farm business development. All of the refugee farmers at Transplanting Traditions were farmers in their home country of Burma and they join the farm with a wealth of agricultural knowledge and skills and a deep desire to re-connect to their deeply rooted cultural heritage of farming.
However, farming and operating a farm business is drastically different in N.C than it was in Burma. To help farmers to adapt, Transplanting Traditions provides weekly hands-on farming and business workshops during the growing season and classroom workshops during the winter. The farm began in 2010 with one acre and 28 participants and has grown to the current eight acres with 56 adult farmers and their families.
At TTCF, farmers distinctively grow over 40 specialty ethnic crops native to Burma, tapping into an ethnic specialty market for hard-to-source medicinal herbs, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, chilies, hibiscus, Asian basils and Asian pumpkins. Farmers regularly market these specialty ethnic crops within the refugee and immigrant community, reaching beyond Orange County to meet this demand. Economic insecurity and poverty are intense challenges newly resettled refugees face. Transplanting Traditions trains farmers in how to sell farm products to customers providing culturally meaningful income. Since marketing activities began in 2012, TTCF farmers have directly earned over $340,335 selling at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market and the Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), through a hunger relief program called “Share a Share”.
You can support our farmers by donating to the farm or purchasing sustainably grown, chemical free, fresh vegetables through our CSA our Share a Share program or at area Farmers’ Markets
Programming for Teens
The Transplanting Traditions Youth Program has been built from the ground up by the youth involved. This year ten refugee youth advocated for TTCF and the refugee community through cultural story telling with audio and visual documentaries, weekly Asian vegetable cooking demonstrations at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market and by organizing a national youth food justice conference here in N.C.! Read about it here: Young Food Justice Leaders Speak Out, Civil Eats
The TTCF Youth program is now strategically important for the growth of the farm in the context of community building. The roles and activities the youth participated in shows characteristics of future leaders through their:
- Public speaking
- Community Organizing
- Ability to organize for events and workshops
- Ability to teach others how to cook and how to tell their story
- Ready to serve
In other words, now TTCF cannot exist without the youth leadership. Help us grow this incredible program by donating towards our $10,000 goal. This funding supports all program supply costs, guest teachers and provides stipends so that youth are compensated for the 75 hours they each contribute towards meeting program goals.
Learn more about what we do below and listen to the documentary podcast we produced with Southern Foodways Alliance!
Youth Leader Spotlight: Ree Ree Wei
In the summer of 2017, we hired Ree Ree Wei as our Youth Program Assistant. As a former youth program member, she expertly planned and implemented summer 2017 youth programming. Read about the youth program in her words:
“The youth who are participating in TTCF youth program are refugees from Thai refugee camp and their parents are from Burma. As the first generation arriving in the US at a young age, these young activists found TTCF as a bridge to share their cultural background and stories about their ethnicity. However, what is it that they need to do and have in order to tell their story? Well, this is where TTCF comes in to help. The youth program started in 2013 without a centralized goal, but with an idea to teach the community about culture through traditional food. As more resources arrived at the doorstep and community connections made, the program grew. The youth began to attend conferences focused on race equity and social, food and climate justice with Food Youth Initiative state network and connect with national food justice networks like Rooted in Community .
Hear From our Partners:
“The Youth group at Transplanting Traditions is all about possibilities in the face of challenges. These youth honor where they have come from, seek out current leadership opportunities, and make change in their community. The entire youth group at TT has done amazing documentary work with elders around foodways and culture: audio work, photography, and video. They host dinners and lead tours at the farm and they help run the farmers market stands, creating avenues for the broader community to understand their culture. The youth support each other.” ~ CEFS Food Youth Initiative program