Christine by Amy TempleChristine Pompeo

I came to Maine in 2005 from Southern Sudan.   I joined Fresh Start Farms in 2007.   Everything on my farm here is done by hand as I did before in Sudan.   My favorite part about farming is watching my vegetables sprout and grow and then being able to bring these to my customers.   My philosophy is this:  “Try anything that you haven’t tried before.  Nothing is impossible.  Put your interest into something and you will get results.”

 

Seynab Ali Seynab

I came to the US in 2004 and started farming with Fresh Start Farms in 2006. I was one of the first members of the program and continue to teach and encourage new farmers. When I arrived in the US, my English was zero. I’ve found that farming is a common language I have with people here in Maine. Although farming is my common language, I have learned new ways to work with this new land and grow in a new climate. I want my customers to know that my process of farming, though difficult and challenging, is simple without any sprays or pesticides. Everything is grown naturally, the way it was done in Somalia, and the way it should always be done here.

 

Mohamed-AbukarMohamed Abukar

I am from Somalia originally and came to Maine in 2004 from a refugee camp in Kenya, where I spent 12 years. I joined Fresh Start Farms in 2007.  Farming is something I have been doing my whole life.   While there are differences in how I farm here, I have brought the knowledge and experience to become a successful farmer.   I apply that every day I’m on the farm here in Maine.   I have chosen to be a farmer here and if I were somewhere else, I would still be farming because as a farmer, I know I will always have fresh food.

 

Khadija HilowleSeynab-Ali

Originally I came from Somalia where for generations, my family worked on farms.  I have been in Maine since 2005 and a grower with Fresh Start Farms since 2007.  I know this work is important.   When you buy from me, you know the food is fresh and has no chemicals.  You see and taste that when you compare the grocery store to the farmers market.   If you come to my farm you will see it is neat and the rows are straight and organized.

 

Habiba-NoorHabiba Noor

I am from Somalia, and joined Fresh Start Farms that same year. Whether or not I make money, farming is a part of my life.  This tradition is important because my parents and grandparents were farmers and I am keeping their memory with this work.  This is why I farm.  I advise my kids that in the future, they need to work together as a united group.  If they do that, they will succeed in achieving what they want.

 

Hussein MuktarHussein-Muktar

My name is Hussein Muktar and I am from Somalia. I started being involved with NASAP in 2006. My favorite part about this work is  being outside, growing my own food, learning a new culture by selling at markets, learning what Americans like, learning to grow different vegetables every year, and learning a new food system. Producing is the easy part, selling is hard. Even though I speak English, I don’t know the culture of selling here. It is tough to learn this, so we need the customers to come close to us to tell us what they want.

 

Jabril-Abdi-Jabril Abdi

I am originally from Somalia and now live here in Maine. I’ve been farming with Fresh Start Farms since 2006. I don’t have one favorite part of this work—it’s all important.  My favorite things to grow are lettuce, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, though most of these are new crops to me here.  I have been farming my whole life and I will always be a farmer.  If anybody says that small farms and farmers like us are not important they are wrong, and they will know that when their stomachs are empty.

 

Batula IsmailBatula-2

I am from Somalia and came to Maine in 2005.   I joined Fresh Start Farms in that same year.   I am one of the three original Somali women who began farming the Packard-Littlefield land in Lisbon.  My favorite part of my farming business is the community.   I love being part of the community, working with the public, and having a role in the local economy.   I would like to thank all of my customers and all of the people in the state who support local farms.   We have a good local food system and I’m glad to be a part of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Cultivating Community

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