#10: Meet Beatrice, Fairview Elementary Community Garden
“I am from Central Africa. I couldn’t find [Amaranth] seeds from my country to grow. I said, “If I cannot find this vegetable I will have to move back to my country.”
One day, I was walking in my neighborhood and saw the plant growing on the street. I pulled it out of the ground, took it home, and planted it in a pot on my porch. It grew so big! I said, “Oh God, thank you!” I let it grow big enough to start producing seeds and I kept them. I walked by the garden one day and asked Miss Judy, “Whose garden is this? I need a place to plant the seeds and grow the vegetables from my country.” She said, “Yes of course! You are welcome to garden here.” I talked to my sister and told her that we have somewhere to garden now.
This garden helps me a lot. I had a stroke in 2018. I mostly grow Butu [Amaranth] in my plot. I cook this because it is healthy for me and my family. You make a sauce out of it with beef, onion, and salt and eat it with rice. I can cook for two days with these leaves. My kids love it, they eat so much! In the supermarket, they don’t sell this vegetable, so this is the only way I can have it.
I have 7 kids: 6 girls and 1 boy. My youngest baby is 12 years old. My kids go to school here. One of my girls finished college. My kids eat a lot! If I go shopping for food at the supermarket, it costs a lot of money and the food is gone in two days. They say, “Oh mommy I am hungry!” If I cook this, my kids are full and don’t ask for more food. They say, “My stomach is full, I don’t want anymore!” That is good!”