Two Somerville Kids from the Mystic Housing Development Making a Difference in Their Community!
Sabiha Miahjee, age 10, and Darien Rodriguez, age 12, have, by their own estimation, been gardening since they were 6 or 7 years old. Sabiha even has proof—a photo of her younger self with just-harvested beets in each hand standing in a field wearing an Eagle Eye Institute shirt and a smile as big as the sun. Their respective parents, Kawsar Jahan and Kim Rodriguez, share their love of gardening too. Darien recalls being little and “having stacks of tomato plants in my kitchen, growing all crazily.” Sabiha’s mom, Kawsar, also gardened back in her home country of Bangladesh and clearly passed the knowledge down to her daughter. They love gardening not only because it brings them delicious food, but because it “feels good to watch something grow and know that you were a part of it.” In addition to Darien and Sabiha’s passion for gardening, they’re ambitious community leaders, who have taken on the admirable task of using their plot in the Mystic Community Garden to produce a fruitful yield of hearty vegetables and herbs to distribute for free to needy families. With the help of the Mystic Learning Center, the Welcome Project, Eagle Eye Institute, and a grant from Katie’s Krops (which they won out of over 150 entries!), Darien, Sabiha, and a group of their friends in the Mystic Housing Development dutifully spent their summer Saturdays distributing bags of produce to families. All in all, the "Rainbow Growers" (named so because they grow food from every color of the rainbow, and ‘cause rainbows are awesome’) distributed produce to 153 families and are planning on continuing their momentum by growing crops into early winter thanks to a generous donation of a greenhouse by the Spring Hill Growers in Somerville. They plan on donating their extended harvest to the Somerville Homeless Coalition. They also write a fantastic RAINBOW GROWERS BLOG where they write about their garden and their community, post pictures and even a poem. If you are inspired by how much impact two kids can make in their community, be sure to read it!