Refugee gardening projects, nice idea but require taxpayer subsidy

Your tax dollars

I’ve been meaning to write for some time about these refugee gardening projects popping up everywhere these days.  I suspect they have some connection to an Obama Administration promotion involving “Lady” Michelle Obama’s White House gardening project.  

It’s a nice idea, I have a little garden myself.  These small plots can add to a family’s fresh food for a brief period during the growing season in North America and that is a good thing, however, any notion that this is the way to feed millions of people or to take American agriculture back to a simpler time is living in la-la land.  I’ve lived on a farm for 30 years (I had a dreamworld idea too!) and I can tell you the average American farm family cannot make it on farming alone—even with hundreds of acres! This is no place to get into the problems with American agriculture, suffice it to say, it is a lovely image but far removed from reality.

Here is the story from Idaho earlier in the week that got me thinking about this again and reminded me that I had forgotten to tell you about a California refugee gardening project that “Lady” Michelle visited last spring.

Global Gardens is a program of the Idaho Office for Refugees. We sponsor refugee agriculture projects at 8 locations in Boise, Eagle, and Star and provide garden or farm space for around 100 refugee families as well as training in horticultural production and marketing.

We have 5 sites that are community gardens, where families can get a small space and grow vegetables for their families. We don’t offer any community garden spaces for non-refugees at this time, but please check out the “Community Gardens” page for more information on community gardening.

Doesn’t this make you feel all warm and good.  Picture colorful refugees out working their bits of land and producing healthful, and colorful, fruits and vegetables to sell at colorful farm markets where their industriousness is turned into some income for their colorful growing family.  But, who really pays for all this image-making—you do as the Idaho’s Global Gardens goes on to tell us!

We receive funding from the federal Office for Refugee Resettlement. We also receive many local donations in cash and in kind. The Somali Bantu Farm in Eagle received a grant in 2008 from Heifer International’s New Immigrant Farming Initiative and recently received a grant from the USDA’s Farmer’s Market Promotion Program.

A model for the nation and the world!

Same story in California where “Lady” Michelle Obama visited in April.  And, no kidding, the AP article refers to First Lady Michelle Obama as “Lady.”

Returning from Mexico, Michelle Obama made a brief stop Thursday in San Diego to visit a community garden farmed by international refugees that she called a model for building healthy communities across the nation and around the world.

Obama toured the New Roots Community Farm to promote her “Let’s Move!” campaign against childhood obesity. The event kicked off a $1 billion project by The California Endowment to fund healthy living initiatives in 14 communities across the state, including the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, where the community farm is located.

You fund the International Rescue Committee and probably some of the California Endowment as well!

Some 80 farmers from a dozen countries work at the 2.3-acre farm, a project of the International Rescue Committee that started in June 2009 on city-owned land. Many grow vegetables, like kale, that they grew in the native countries they left because of civil wars and other violence.

“It’s a model for the nation, for the world,” Obama said after touring the 89 plots, where she hugged the farmers, including a Somalian woman who had Obama’s picture and a map of Africa printed on her traditional bright blue dress [colorful!].

The garden provides fresh produce to the refugees and their families. Some of the fruits and vegetables also are sold at a farmers market and to local restaurants, giving the refugees some income. About 90 percent of the farmers have been unable to find a job because they do not have the skills or do not speak English [90 percent!]

I bet you are saying I’m such a cynic.  But, really, all I want is for us to be honest about what is happening. Refugees have no jobs so let’s make them look like they are taking care of themselves by growing their own food in a time-honored and colorful American way—with a little help from the taxpayers of course.

Oh, and it sure doesn’t look like its reducing the number of Food Stamp recipients as we learned yesterday.

Appeals Court to rule soon in Somali vote fraud case

Previously we told you about this case here and here.   The Appeals Court has heard arguments and a decision is expected before October 15th according to

KANSAS CITY — A Missouri appellate panel will rule by Oct. 15 on allegations of voter fraud in a state house district primary. The court heard oral arguments on Wednesday.

Will Royster lost by one vote to John J. Rizzo in House District 40 in August after several recounts.

In September Judge W. Stephen Nixon ruled there was not sufficient evidence about voter fraud, and the election should stand.


According to Day [Royster’s attorney] several Somali voters had been given “unlawful assistance” after not showing even a “rudimentary ability to speak English.” The Somali interpreter would not speak in English with the election judge but assisted a number of voters.

There is nothing new here!  We told you about allegations of Somali voter fraud in Minnesota during the hotly contested Franken/Coleman Senate race in 2008, here. However, the difference in Minneapolis is that one group of Somalis supporting Coleman (because Coleman promised to get family reunification opened again from Africa) was charging the Franken Somalis of voting irregularities.

Gang violence in Palestinian “refugee camps”

Cities such as Nablus are not “refugee camps” despite all the best efforts from western media to have us think so.  Now we hear that the poor “refugees” are shooting at each other.  Wonder why we don’t see stories about organized crime and gang violence in the so-called “occupied territories” very often in US news?  All we hear is how the Israelis persecute the “refugees.”

From The World Tribune:

RAMALLAH — The economic capital of the Palestinian Authority remains a center of unrest.

Despite increased security, the northern city of Nablus has faced threats from armed gangs linked to the ruling Fatah movement. Palestinian sources said most of the violence stemmed from organized crime and attempts to extort businessmen and other residents.


On Sept. 24, Fatah-aligned gunmen opened fire toward the Jaffa Cultural Center in a refugee camp east of Nablus.


The Balata refugee camp has long been the battleground of crime cells linked to Fatah and other Palestinian factions.


The sources said Nablus has been divided into areas controlled by Fatah and the rival Hamas movement. The city, supported by the United States in promoting Western-style culture and tourism in the PA, has been headed by a Hamas mayor.

And, your tax dollars support all this!

Why don’t we hear much about Islamic factions fighting each other in the so-called “occupied territories?”  It’s because it doesn’t fit the Lefts’ narrative of who the good guys and the bad guys should be!