Multicultural Refugee Coalition
New Leaf Agriculture, a nonprofit social enterprise of Austin’s Multicultural Refugee Coalition, reconnects refugees with farming heritage to fair-wage, dignified, employment opportunities. Operating a 12-acre regenerative farm on a conservation easement in nearby Litting, TX, New Leaf Agriculture supports a paid-apprenticeship program, training refugees in Central Texas organic and sustainable farming practices. As America’s farmers are aging and farmland is rapidly disappearing, this innovative model not only connects refugee farmers to land in their new community but infuses a diverse, new group of producers into the Austin area.
In addition to supporting the overall program, the grant will be used to expand crop production to grow plants traditionally eaten and highly desired by refugee communities in Austin and not often sold here, such as amaranth, cassava, and African varieties of eggplant. These new crops will not only bring more refugees to the farmer’s market to purchase fresh, healthy foods, but they will be able to cook traditional dishes they grew up with. Additionally, local chefs are requesting these unique crops for their menus.