Touchstone Celebration Spotlight: Diaspora Gardens and the Giving Garden |

Touchstone Celebration Spotlight: Diaspora Gardens and the Giving Garden

Updated: November 08, 2021 03:26 PM
Created: October 29, 2021 02:41 PM

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, a gathering at the Giving Garden. It was a time to celebrate the succcess and bounty from the earth.

Janet Kennedy shared, "It's part of nourishment, a food access project. And a place of justice, where we can come and be Black people."

One of the main forces behind this garden, is Regina Laroche. She runs Diaspora Gardens out on Madeline Island.

But the Giving Garden, in the East Hillside, is a newer project."One of the things we do in this garden is remember the strength we have as indigenous people in Africa, remembering that the people who were enslaved, were the best growers," she told us.

Through her parents, she learned different ways the land can make you feel.

And she realized how connecting back with the land again and connecting with food, can help the soul and connect with a whole community of people. She's made it her passion on the island. But it's also spread.

Using art and expression to help build awareness and healing, she's worked with families at the Steve O'Neil Apartments and the Bayfield Schools.

During COVID, she used a grant from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation to move her work online.

"With the pandemic, that healing and connecting work became that much more important. During a time of isolation, and sickness. And when we were seeing the health disparity grow even greater," Laroche added.

The Giving Garden project gave so many a chance to plant seeds, and nurture them, and then enjoy the food.

We'll be featuring the other non-profits during the Touchstone Celebration, on November 9th.

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