Field Garden at Softex Camp, Thessaloniki
Welcome Foundation and Americans for Refugees in Crisis (ARC) jointly developed an organic community garden at the Greek government-run Softex Camp in Thessaloniki in 2016. The camp closed in August 2017.
The two acre garden was managed and tended to by a team of resident farmers. Welcome and ARC removed fill, brought in rich soil, tilled the land, provided compost, and seeds/ seedlings for a fall planting. Crops such as garlic, onions, swiss chard, spinach, and potatoes, among others, have taken root and begun to grow. We provided two large water tanks from which the garden was watered.
While the refugees all hope to leave Greece quickly, the reality is that many will be in Greece for several years. A community garden has the practical benefits of providing healthy food and, perhaps more importantly, give people agency in producing their own food.