Multicultural Refugee Coalition is an innovative nonprofit organization blending skills-based education with social entrepreneurship to connect refugees to dignified, fair-wage work in Austin, Texas. One of their projects is the New Leaf Agriculture Project and Farm. We got to visit the farm as it was starting up in 2018 and were so impressed, we donated a tractor to help with the efforts. They have partnerships with local businesses to grow unexpected crops like those used for dyeing textiles and making tea. We recently got to see the tractor in use with farm manager Wandaka Musongera. Growing in the heat of a Texas summer is no joke, but the MRC team meets the challenge with enthusiasm, and we’re so happy the tractor helps.
Here’s more from MRC:
We launched a commercial farm in nearby Elgin, TX. The New Leaf at Three Creeks Farm employs organic, sustainable practices while training refugee farm apprentices for paid agricultural work that is dignified, in-demand and familiar from their countries of origin. Established on a conservation easement, our farm grows directly for local makers and will also sell produce through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model…
…we began supporting local entrepreneur Colleen Preheim to grow roselle hibiscus on her property and are continuing producing for Texas Roselle on our farm. In 2018 the first crop to be planted at our farm was corn, in several varieties, for Barton Springs Mill, which is an Austin mill creating artisan flours from locally grown heritage grains. The third partnership is based on a relationship between our own Open Arms Studio and Miranda Bennett Studio, a local designer of plant-dyed, made-in-the-US apparel. Our stitchers at Open Arms produce Miranda Bennett's clothes and we are proud to now be growing Mexican mint marigold for dye.