In October 2016, a group of 12 interested gardeners from UPAC/EMASS gathered at the garden they had built with the community at Little House in El Cajon. Little House is an office building, made up of organizations that represent the community and provide social services, such as the El Cajon Collaborative, Home Start, and License to Freedom. These entities welcomed older adult refugees from UPAC/EMASS, located just across the street, to utilize their open space to create a garden. The garden was built in collaboration with County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, local teens, and the UPAC/EMASS seniors, who became caretakers of the garden. The garden has become a welcome space for these seniors to gather, socialize and grow healthy food for their friends and families.
The October gathering was not to garden, but to learn from an educational workshop with worms, compost and materials to teach the gardeners how to use household items to create compost to sustain the garden. All attendees spoke Arabic, and two local college students assisted in translation and helped the seniors build the compost areas. Currently, the garden thrives with garlic, squash, herbs, many more vegetables, with the seniors attending to watering and weeding each week.