Communal gardening helps refugees sink roots in a new land

by Tara Bahrampour

When he was 14, their ancestral farm — with its rice and corn fields, vegetables, cattle, horses and dogs — was confiscated under a government policy of stripping ethnic Nepalis of their property and forcing them out of the country. For the next 20 years, the family lived in an overcrowded refu­gee camp in Nepal, a “suffocating environment” where food was distributed by international aid groups.