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Global Gardening & How to Get Involved:

By Kendall Barbacovi, Communications & Development Coordinator

Hope your summer is going well, CommUnity has some exciting food news!

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator, Amel Ali, has recently gotten into the summertime spirit by planting veggies including heirloom seeds that originate from Africa. The Global Food Project, which made this garden possible, aims to help engage and expand culturally diverse communities in Iowa through food. 

CommUnity is trying to integrate better options for cuisine and culturally diverse dishes, and Amel plans to donate her harvest to the food bank. The seeds that were planted included Palestinian Molokhia, Intore (eggplant), White Velvet Okra, Francois Syrian Molokhia, Striped Garden Eggs, Red SIlk Beans, Peruvian Chiles, Ethiopian Green Mustard, and Piri Piri. 

With Iowa City having so many people that come from so many different backgrounds, we need our food to follow and match its diversity. By implementing new seeds with roots from the people who live there, we can help the expansion of cultural diversity within our own community, and yes, that includes you. Amel did a great job at showing us how we can give back to our communities while also giving back to ourselves and mother nature. She’s already inspired me to sign up to start volunteering!

Folks from Public Space One collaborated with the Global Food Project and made a ton of cool prints with recipes using the ingredients being grown in their gardens. I personally didn’t know a good okra or Molokhia recipe, but these prints have made it a lot easier and more fun! I’ve added some here, but there are so many cool ones, you should go check them out if you have a chance. 

Since Amel planted some White Velvet Okra, I’ve included a print designed by Desiree Dahl, a former CommUnity team member, which was inspired by conversations with Nasr Mohammed talking about Okra Stew.

If you plant or cook something send it to: kendall(dot)barbacovi(at)

Happy Cooking & Gardening!

Global Food Project

Public Space One