The Clarkston International Garden started by Global Growers in 2009 was created to help refugees continue practicing their agricultural traditions here in the United States. Our team was fortunate enough to get an interview with Yarrow Koning, the Community Development Program Manager for this project, which is featured in the Clarkston podcast (00:24:03).
Global Growers gives opportunity for community members to contribute to the well-being of their community while also creating income that can help support them and their household. In terms of sustainability, the differences in the agricultural practices of refugee grown food versus American traditions play a significant role in the conservation of the earth. Traditionally, the refugee community working in and with the international garden does everything by hand. These organic methods preserve land and prevents intensive crop farming related food issues.
Global Growers provide support for the creation of Network Gardens which are “a network of independently managed farm and garden sites in and around metro Atlanta, by providing technical assistance, educational opportunities, leadership development.”
Their focus on education, the preservation of traditional agricultural practices, and cutting-edge sustainability practices creates a holistic mission and example. Their model demonstrates the practicality and possibility of urban agriculture as well as community collaboration across cultural differences.
Clarkston has taken up many other initiatives as well in order to give back to the environment.
One of these such initiatives includes: micro-housing. The Cottages on Vaughan is a project that members of the Clarkston community initiated as a way to bring in diverse housing opportunities. As far as we know, this project is currently (as of Fall 2020) under construction and development. However, the community plan highlights feature a common green space with consolidated parking and permaculture and edible landscaping.