Congolese refugee Wandaka Musongera, farm manager at New Leaf Agriculture (Courtesy of New Leaf Agriculture) Conservationist Jon Beall has seen plenty of activity on his 315 acres of blackland prairie over the years, but one day he encountered something different on Three Creeks Farm. “There were about 20 young people gleaning potatoes,” he remembers. “They were taking what was left, what farmers aren’t going to harvest because it’s too labor-intensive. I said, ‘Who are these people? Where did they come from? What are they doing?'” This historic farmland in the freedmen’s town of Littig, Texas – a small, eastern Travis County community established in 1883, about 18 miles northeast of the capital – was originally owned by Jackson Morrow, a former slave and the first African American postmaster in Texas. His niece inherited the land and sold it in 1978 to Beall, who purchased it with a loan from the Texas Veterans Land Loan Program after serving as a marine in the Vietnam War. Beall found out that the gleaners were a part of New Leaf Agriculture, a branch of the nonprofit Multicultural Refugee Coalition (MRC), which connects refugees to sustainable farming opportunities by operating 40 community garden plots around… Read full this story
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