Congolese Garden LLC

Posted on June 6, 2023 by Alicia Alferman

Congolese Garden LLC is now growing on their own urban farm – and they have water for irrigation.

A small group of New Roots for Refugees graduate farmers, with the help of New Roots staff and community partners, purchased a property from an independent seller as well as an adjoining piece from the Wyandotte County Land Bank- the only land bank property sold for agricultural purposes in at least three years. It wasn’t easy gaining access and ownership of their own property, but we’re thrilled for Farmer Gasaya Musekura, Farmer Mediatrice Niyonkuru and her husband Sinezi. The whole community has played a role in their success including Farmers Ibrahim and Zawadi.

The farmers took possession of their land in 2022, put up a surrounding fence, and worked hard to grow even more produce to sell. Then in December, with support of staff member Amanda Lindahl, the farmers applied for a Cultivate KC Get Farming Mini Grant to pay for water access on their farm. They were awarded a grant to help pay a local plumber to install a frost-free hydrant on the property.

Finding a contractor to perform the services at the lowest possible cost was challenging. Installation of the water hydrant required drilling across the street to access water lines. We’re grateful that this spring, Kenny Watowa of K Jett Services, donated the labor for the installation so the farmers could complete the project within budget.

These farmers now have water access on their own urban farmland, and they will be able to irrigate their crops for the indefinite future. Water access is critical to successful farming in an urban environment with rapidly changing climate conditions. This will support greater food production and allow them to sell more crops at market, growing their farm businesses and feeding their community.