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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Thomas Piang

Growing Together

Thomas Piang comes from a long line of growers in his home country of Burma. In 2013, he moved to the United States after fleeing Burma as a refugee. He works nights at the Apple warehouse outside of Nashville in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, and spends his many daytime hours farming on an abandoned soccer field behind a church in South Nashville.

Since 2014 he’s farmed with Growing Together, a refugee agricultural program funded by a federal grant and overseen by two partner nonprofits, The Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee and The Nashville Food Project. Thomas Piang works alongside nine Bhutanese farmers on his 100-foot by 24-foot plot. His produce is sold at the Nashville Farmers’ Market and through a restaurant CSA (community-supported agriculture) to Two Ten Jack, an izakaya and ramen shop with special interests in Asian produce.

Thomas Piang hopes to pass along what he learned from his family in Burma and what he’s learning about farming practices with Growing Together to his three children who often join him in the garden.

Date of interview:

Jennifer Justus

Emily B. Hall

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

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