International Institue of Boston
Agricultural Livelihoods for Newcomer Families
Date of Grant - June 2010
Grant Amount - $7,560
Purpose of Grant - Transportation to community farming sites
and translation services
“Refugee farmers join our program with an extensive agricultural background but with minimal English, minimal income and no means of transportation. Consequently, they are unable to communicate and apply their wealth of knowledge or explore neighboring farms to learn from native growers.
Starting in October of 2010, 7 farmers participated in a 7 week long course with the New Entry Sustainable Farming Program (NESFP) in Lowell, MA. The course was taught in English and focused on business development as it pertains to new, small farms. The knowledge gained from this opportunity has had a great impact on this year’s growing season as the farmers work to expand the season through multiple succession plantings of mustard greens and 2 successions of cucumbers, daikon and okra. These, along with other varieties of produce will be sold at our two markets this year.”
IINH’s agriculture program has created partnerships throughout the greater Manchester, NH area. These relationships create opportunities for the farmers to utilize resources and have experiences unavailable in the city of Manchester, NH. With the awarded funds, refugee farmers were provided access to opportunities that, otherwise, would have been inaccessible. At the Bedford Greenhouse Project in Bedford, NH, the farmers were able to learn the valuable skills of greenhouse growing and maintenance. The New England growing season is abbreviated by the change of the seasons and greenhouses are becoming a necessary tool for growing produce during the traditionally off seasons. Subsequently we were able to provide cucumbers, mustard greens, okra, cabbage and tomatoes early during the market season and increase our sales from $1600 last year to a projected $6000 this year."