Constant’s kids were living with him for the summer, and sometimes he brought them here, to his farm that teems with the organic produce he grows on an easement beneath an electricity transmission tower at the intersection of Fondren and Willowbend in southwest Houston. The land once belonged to Braeswood Church across the street, but they had donated the narrow, unbuildable lot to Plant It Forward, a local nonprofit that trains refugees to become urban farmers. Plant It Forward divided the land into three one-acre plots and allocated these “Fondren Farm” plots to refugees like Constant—all Congolese—after mentoring them for nearly a year on how to grow in the soil and climate of Houston, and to market their produce to this city’s clientele. The goal of Plant It Forward is to offer refugees a path toward economic self-sufficiency through organic farms that have the potential to generate enough income to support a family of four.

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