Henriette Ngangoula at her Plant It Forward farm
Christine Kengue at her Plant It Forward farm
Farmers Adrien Ikaba and Albert Lombo at their Plant It Forward farm
Constant Ngouala at his Plant It Forward farm
Sarement Louamba at his Plant It Forward farm
Fresh Carrots at a Plant It Forward farm
Fresh produce at a Plant It Forward farm
Hoeing the soil
Corporate Storytelling and Commissioned Photography
Toto Alimasi at his Plant It Forward Farm
Guy Mouelet on his Plant It Forward farm
Roy Nlemba at his Plant It Forward farm
Constant Ngouala at his Plant It Forward market stand.
Henriette Ngangoula at her Plant It Forward farmFormer refugee Henriette Ngangoula at her Plant It Forward farm. Plant It Forward offers economically disadvantaged refugees an opportunity to become self-sufficient through growing, harvesting and selling produce from a sustainable urban farm within the city of Houston.
Christine Kengue at her Plant It Forward farmChristine Kengue at her Plant It Forward farm. Christine is from the Republic of Congo (aka Congo-Brazzaville). After fleeing conflict, she spent time in Moanda, DRC and later was resettled in Houston in 2009. She speaks French, Znebi, Lingala, and is continuing to learn English when not working on her farm. The weather in Houston is her favorite thing about the city, as it’s familiar and advantageous to a Congo-raised farmer. Christine most enjoys farming for the sense of peace and accomplishment that harvesting provides. Her favorite crops to grow are tomatoes, eggplant, and lettuce.
Farmers Adrien Ikaba and Albert Lombo at their Plant It Forward farmFarmers Adrien Ikaba and Albert Lombo at their Plant It Forward farm. Adrien and Albert were part of the pioneering group of farmers who helped shape what Plant It Forward is today. After farming with PIFF for several years, the cousins formed their own farming enterprise, Houston Gardening Market, near Tomball, Texas. They are originally from the Republic of Congo. They are part of the PIFF Farm Hub and we routinely purchase their produce for our restaurant and wholesale customers.
Constant Ngouala at his Plant It Forward farmConstant is originally from Dolisie, Congo-Brazzaville. He speaks English, French, Lingala, Munukutuba, and about eight more languages. His university studies in economics were disrupted by the Republic of the Congo Civil War (1997 – 1999) when he had to take refuge in a Gabonian border city called Doumanga. Doumanga was a small city with no fresh vegetables; locals only ate meat and fish. Constant perceived a business opportunity and began farming to grow vegetables. His efforts to feed the community drew the attention of the local government, which asked him to start similar projects elsewhere. Constant later moved to Gabon’s Nyanga Province and became an urban farmer. He managed up to 15 workers on 4 hectares (10 acres) for 9 years, selling produce to large companies and caterers. Despite his contributions to the Gabonian economy, he faced political and travel limitations as a refugee. He applied for resettlement and was approved to come to Houston. He quickly signed up for English classes at HCC and began work on an associates degree in science and AutoCad. He aspires to earn a bachelors degree in agriculture from TAMU. His favorite thing about Houston is the weather! He says Houston is a good place to live with many different, friendly people. His favorite thing about farming is providing healthy food to Houstonians.
Sarement Louamba at his Plant It Forward farmSarment is originally from the Republic of Congo (aka Congo-Brazzaville). He fled Brazzaville and spent time in Kinshasa and Mouanda in the DRC, before spending ten years as a refugee in Gabon. He’s held jobs driving an 18-wheeler and as a window assembler, before turning to farming in Gabon. Sarment speaks English, French, Lari, Lingala, and Munukutuba. He was resettled with his family in Houston in 2009. He loves Houston because “I truly enjoy being a farmer here. It is my life.” His favorite thing about farming is that it relaxes him and it’s safer than driving an 18-wheeler. He appreciates being his own boss, being independent, and setting his own schedule. Arugula is his favorite crop to grow.
Fresh Carrots at a Plant It Forward farmFresh carrots at a Plant It Forward farm. The organization offers economically disadvantaged refugees an opportunity to become self-sufficient through growing, harvesting and selling produce from a sustainable urban farm within the city of Houston.
Fresh produce at a Plant It Forward farmGreen beans and green onions are weighed and packaged before being sold at farmer’s markets and restaurants.
Hoeing the soilA farmer works the ground to ready it for planting at a Plant It Forward farm.
Corporate Storytelling and Commissioned PhotographyRebranding for Plant It Forward Farms: Plant It Forward offers economically disadvantaged refugees an opportunity to become self-sufficient through growing, harvesting and selling produce from a sustainable urban farm within the city of Houston.
Toto Alimasi at his Plant It Forward FarmAlimasi is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he was a high school French teacher and a human rights activist. He and his family (to include his wife, PIFF Farmer Fatuma) spent many years in Uganda after being forced to flee the DRC, and it was there where they learned market farming techniques. They were granted resettlement in the U.S. and arrived here in 2011. Alimasi speaks English, Swahili, French, Lingala, and Fuliiru. What he most loves about Houston is “the welcoming people and the community around my children’s school.” His favorite thing about farming is to see the culmination of his hard work through harvesting and sharing a meal of food he grew himself with his family. His favorite crop to grow is okra! (Fun fact: Alimasi means ‘diamond’ in Swahili)
Farm overviewA Plant It Forward farm on the southwest side of Houston is tended in the late afternoon.
Guy Mouelet on his Plant It Forward farmGuy is a talented chef trained in French cuisine. He was a farmer with us for many years before taking a break to focus his attention fully on cooking. He hails from the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), but was forced to flee to Gabon where he spent nearly a decade before being resettled in the U.S. It was in Gabon where he honed his farm-to-table skills. In Houston you can find him serving up delicious dishes at the swanky Briar Club. As our chef consultant, he develops recipes and holds cooking demonstrations using seasonal produce grown by our farmers. His dream is to open his own farm-to-table bistro.
Fresh arugalaArugula at a Plant It Forward farm on the southwest side of Houston.
Roy Nlemba at his Plant It Forward farmRoy hails from the Democratic Republic of Kinshasa where he farmed with his mother as a boy. During the civil war, his family fled to Luanda, Angola, where they stayed a year before spending 10 years in Russia. Roy speaks Russian, English, French, Lingala, Portuguese, and he’s learning Spanish. During his time in Angola and Russia, Roy worked as an electrician, construction worker, and miner. He was then resettled in Houston where he took up urban farming with PIFF. He says, “I have a lot of dreams about how I can grow my farming enterprise. I’m excited about the future.” He aspires to raise chickens and goats, in addition to vegetable and fruit farming. He likes Houston because the weather is not too cold and it’s affordable here. Roy’s favorite crops are corn and peanuts.
Constant Ngouala at his Plant It Forward market stand.Constant Ngouala arranges farm-fresh vegetables at his farmer’s market stand in Houston, Texas.
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