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Cultivating Community and Food Justice: Highlights from Our Earth Day Celebration

Updated: 4 days ago



Earth Day, a global event celebrated for many years on April 22, has evolved into a month-long series of actions. At our CATA Community Garden in Bridgeton, NJ, we've embraced this celebration as a time to unite and prepare for the growing season. April signals the start of our gardening journey, a time when our community comes together for meaningful conversations, garden maintenance, shared meals, and engaging learning activities.  



On April 20, we gathered at the Bridgeton Community Garden to commemorate Earth Day. In recent years, Earth Day has become a pivotal moment for us as we gather, celebrate, and learn together. On this day, we almost had an equal balance between participation by adults and children. There were 17 participants: 9 adults and eight children, including a new participant who is relatively new to the community. We were honored to provide this space for someone relatively new to this new community and hope to be for others.


Our community garden is not just about growing food; it's about cultivating future food justice activists and a new generation exposed to sustainable methods of food production. We are empowering ourselves and our community to grow food without the use of harmful chemicals, thereby safeguarding our health and well-being.  


Our theme for this workday was "How do you create your compost," where we sifted in-house compost. Composting and educating about repurposing food waste to utilize in our garden beds is a vivid example of how to prevent that waste from going into the trash and landfills. Migdalia, our long-time garden member and board member, cooked some delicious pinchos – pork, peppers, and onion on a skew –; Jose prepared corn on the cob Mexican style –grilled with mayo, lime, and chili powder–; Olivia also a time member and board member made a delicious salad.



Generally, we meet 2X a month during the season or as needed depending on the pending tasks of the garden. Our next workday will be May 25 from 9 AM to 1 PM. On this day, we will plant most seedlings, such as tomatoes and peppers, among other common summer crops. Our market stand will also be opened, providing spring-growing produce, and we accept SNAP! You can purchase seedlings with your SNAP dollars.  If you are interested in getting some plants, we will have some limited amount available to sell as well. We will also have information on additional CATA programs. We are located at 80 Church St in Bridgeton, NJ 08302.


If you would like to learn more about our food justice program, please visit https://www.cata-farmworkers.org/food-justice or contact Kathia Ramirez, our Food Justice Co-Coordinator, at kramirez@cata-farmworkers.org.

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