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What We Discover Along the Way

What We Discover Along the Way is a documentary about the Bronx River Foodway, an edible city park as viewed through the eyes of herbalist Journei Bimwala.

Imagine a green place. A river rushes by; cardinals chirp. Walking with your friend, you find a feast: dandelion and purslane for salad, some raspberries. Now, tuck this place between elevated trains and high-rises in the Bronx. Still a verdant oasis, just—different.

This is the Bronx River Foodway, an edible city park tended by herbalist Journei Bimwala that gives free public access to healing herbs and fruits. Foraging is illegal in New York City, as in much of the U.S., a holdover of old, racist laws designed to keep free Blacks and Native Americans off the land. For Journei, land stewardship is an act of reparations: “This was taken from us— this ability to heal and feed ourselves. And if you take something from me, I’m going to take it back.”

Filmmaker Rose Vincelli Gustine first met documentary subject Journei at a sauerkraut workshop where she was invited to see the Foodway. “So one morning I trekked all the way uptown with my camera, and I was hooked,” says Gustine. “Everything was so beautiful. I immediately wanted to be a part of this community and to touch all the plants and to eat everything.”

The film hopes to show how the Foodway nourishes by the park’s bounty and community, as well as remind us that even and especially in the city, we are rejuvenated by connection to the land.

Watching this film, I want you too to be nourished. And I hope you’ll consider your neighborhood park with a different eye.

A close up shot of hands working amidst greenery.
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