Refugees connecting with a new country through community food gardening

Neil Harris, Fiona Rowe Minniss, Shawn Somerset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


Refugees are a particularly vulnerable population who undergo nutrition transition as a result of forced migration. This paper explores how involvement in a community food garden supports African humanitarian migrant connectedness with their new country. A cross-sectional study of a purposive sample of African refugees participating in a campus-based community food garden was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with twelve African humanitarian migrants who tended established garden plots within the garden. Interview data were thematically analysed revealing three factors which participants identified as important benefits in relation to community garden participation: land tenure, reconnecting with agri-culture, and community belonging. Community food gardens offer a tangible means for African refugees, and other vulnerable or marginalised populations, to build community and community connections. This is significant given the increasing recognition of the importance of social connectedness for wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9202-9216
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2014
Externally publishedYes


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