It’s a 3,000 square foot community garden in Tukwila, and getting bigger, and getting better.
Tomatoes, onions, green beans, potatoes, and mustard greens. Everyone we talked to was growing mustard greens.
“It’s something they grew in Bhutan. It’s not just a green. It’s a piece of home,” says Tyler George-Minette, New Roots Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee for Seattle and Sea Tac.
The Namaste Community Garden he oversees serves the refugee community in the area. The families who use the garden come from Bhutan, Burma, Nigeria, and Laos.
“Each family gets one plot,” says Dal Diyali, who moved to the area from Bhutan.
Eighty three plots for eighty three families.
On the day we were there, volunteers were working hard helping expand the garden, providing plots for fifteen more families.
“They were forced to leave their way of life, their income, their families and friends, and land,” says Tyler George-Minette of The International Rescue Committee, which runs the program.
St. Thomas Catholic Church donates the land.
Jit Gajmer is a refugee from Bhutan. He’s grateful for his plot of land in Tukwila, and he’s grateful for his newfound freedom in this country.
“I left Bhutan because there was civil unrest and I thought I wouldn’t be secure there, “ he tells us through an interpreter.
He shares the story of the leader of his village in his homeland.
"He was killed by the government, and one of our relatives also was arrested and killed. So that’s why I didn’t feel safe there,” Gajmer says.
His love back home was farming. He gets to do that here and provide for his family thanks to the Namaste Community Garden.