A once-vacant city block at the northern edge of Yale University now teems with exotic herbs and vegetables, tended carefully by a community of graying people from China who are here to look after grandchildren as their own children cultivate careers at the Ivy League school.
In the trellis-filled garden, a patchwork of small lots that are passed from family to family, they find friends, a routine for daily life in new surroundings and familiar vegetables that are fresher than anything they find in local markets.
“The sun is shining. I’m sweating. It’s good,” said 63-year-old Zhang Zaixian, of Beijing, who was watering chives one day as her grandson attended preschool. “I am happy.”