Community garden creates opportunity for Karen youth to learn gardening

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce all sprout out of wood-framed plots on the corner of 14th & "D" streets. It's part of Community Crops, an organization that helps people connect to growing their food.

Community garden gives Karen youth chance to learn gardening by giving them their own plots to work and harvest.

"It's part of our mission to create opportunity and education for sustainable gardening," said Community Crops CEO David Grabarkewitz. "We hope to be in schools next fall."

Students in the Asian Community and Cultural Center's Youth Leadership club were interested in gardening and the leaders wanted to incorporate more outdoor education, so they asked Community Crops if they could use a plot of land. Community Crops agreed to let them use one of the 9 gardens across the city.

"This is a great way to learn about some other plants that are more common here in the United States," said Natalie Wiebelhaus, the Youth Coordinator at Asian Community and Cultural Center. "It's also an opportunity to grow things that students are more familiar with eating."

For students like Aye Par, it meant he would be returning back to his love of gardening. Par grew up in Thailand, gardening with his mom.
There he grew cilantro, basil, tomato and green beans. He says that's all on his list to plant for next year.

"I'm going to plant this and then I will help my community as well as I can."