Special to the Journal
Whether you move away for college, to a new city, or across the globe, that homesick feeling is all the same. A new environment surrounded by unfamiliar faces can make us long for our family, friends, and other aspects associated with home. To distract from this feeling, some people like to keep busy, others prefer to explore their new environment, and for those like Phuong, bringing a piece of home with them is the perfect cure.
Revere resident Phuong Ho has been a lifelong gardener. Growing up in Ca Mau Vietnam, Phuong intently watched as her grandmother went to the fields and grew fruits and vegetables for the family. Eager to help, she began growing her own crops around the age of fifteen and enjoyed every minute of it.
In 1997 when she immigrated to the states, Phuong missed her home country and wanted to make her new place feel more like home so she continued to garden, not only because she loves the process, but also because it is a way to maintain her culture and memory of her family back in Ca Mau.
Using various containers, pots, and scrap wood, Phuong converted her backyard into a small farm, growing a wide variety of herbs, leafy greens, fruits, etc. She loves being able to grow her own produce to feed her family just like her grandma did for her growing up.
Having heard about the new Raised Bed Pilot program, her son, Hoang knew his mother would be the perfect candidate and eagerly signed her up in the free raised bed lottery.
With the raised bed that she received, Phuong is eager to start growing vegetables that she can then use in Vietnamese dishes like spring rolls.
Though Vietnam is 8,000 miles away, the little plot of land that Revere on the Move was able to provide a passionate gardener like Phuong made all the difference in making her feel right at home in this urban city. The fulfilling experience that Phuong was able to have is one that Revere on the Move wants to provide for more residents who possess that same desire to grow their own food and utilize their gardening skills. Revere on the Move (ROTM) is a community-led collaboration between the City of Revere and the Revere CARES Coalition. ROTM works locally to increase opportunities for Revere residents to eat better and move more in the places they live, learn, work, and play. ROTM works to support the implementation of Community Gardens, Access to Farmer’s Markets, Urban Farming, Place-Making, and Mini-Grant initiatives making the healthy choice the easy choice for Revere residents.