Congolese refugees plant roots, sell them in Houston - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Congolese refugees plant roots, sell them in Houston

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Ngouala Edith Constant plucks vegetables from the ground with skilled hands in the early morning chill.

"It might be difficult for someone who doesn't have the patience or experience, but this is our job and we enjoy it," Constant said through an interpreter.

He and 13 other Congolese refugees are farming this plot of land in Southwest Houston, rented from Braeswood Church.  They plant, harvest and sell their crops at a farmers market thanks to the group "Plant it Forward".

Started by Theresa O'Donnelly, the group helps refugees supplement their incomes and their diets.

"We settle 3,000 refugees in Houston every year," O'Donnelly said.  "A lot of them come from farming backgrounds and unfortunately, a lot of them live in poverty."

The organization brought the refugees, land and marketing know-how together.  The refugees do the rest.

Currently, they are farming an acre of a three-acre plot.  They will be adding more farmers in the spring.  The current group will show the new ones the ropes.  They are looking for more land.

This is not a career track.  It's just a hand up in an hour of need.  Constant is studying to be a mechanical engineer.

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