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Author Topic: Need seeds for refugee agricultural program
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Need seeds for refugee agricultural program    (Posted Thu, Jan 28 '10 at 01:36 UTC)

MANCHESTER, NH, January 21, 2010?Recently resettled refugees will combat a poor economy, build community, and supply nutritious food for their families through a new refugee agriculture program.

The Somali Bantu Community Association of New Hampshire (SBCA-NH) is working with Southern New Hampshire Services (SNHS) to create a hands-on agricultural program for refugees living in Manchester. Many Somali Bantu and other refugee groups have found the current economy difficult to navigate and often hard to get healthy food into their homes. SBCA-NH?s agriculture program will allow resettled refugees the opportunity to provide healthy food for their families while building community through the culturally familiar practice of farming.

The program will focus on choosing crops, preparing the soil and learning about how to grow food here in New England. Refugees will take part in classroom and field trainings, organized farm visits to local working farms and have 100% of the food grown go back to the families participating. Ultimately the program hopes to create income opportunities through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA?s), farm stands, and farmers? markets.

The program is open to all refugees, not just Somali Bantu, and hopes to incorporate some of the vast agricultural know-how of local farmers. ?Our program promotes sustainable practices, and first-hand information from a variety of knowledgeable farmers will go along way with the folks we?re working with,? says Ken Dearborn, Agricultural Training and Outreach Coordinator for SBCA-NH. Refugee farmers will attend a series of training workshops that will focus on agricultural production, marketing, business planning, and risk management. SBCA-NH will provide land access for refugees by maintaining training plots at farms and garden sites in the area.

The people known as the Somali Bantu have endured discrimination in Somalia for over 200 years. In 1991, as civil war broke out in Somalia, the Bantus suffered widespread massacre and rape. Thousands of Bantus, among others fleeing the violence, were forced from their land and fled to refugee camps in Kenya. Ironically, the Bantus found themselves again treated as second-class citizens even among other refugees in Kenya. Still victims of violence and discrimination, the U.S. began to resettle some 12,000 Somali Bantu refugees here in the U.S. after more than a decade in Kenyan refugee camps.

The agricultural program is still being developed and the SBCA-NH is working to secure land to farm this season within reach of refugees here in Manchester. SBCA-NH is looking for donations of all kinds; from farmable land to hand tools and seeds. To find out more, donate, or volunteer please contact Ken Dearborn, at (603)296-0443 or .
The Somali Bantu Community Association of New Hampshire (SBCA-NH) is a non-profit organization formed by a group of Somali Bantu who came to the United States as refugee immigrants and originally settled here in Manchester. The SBCA-NH?s mission is to help facilitate resettlement of Somali Bantu refugees by providing assistance that will enhance their education, economic resources, and opportunities for self-sufficiency. By building stronger community, SBCA-NH will be able to help facilitate the social, emotional, and cultural transition of its refugee families into mainstream American Society.

Kenston Dearborn
Re: Need seeds for refugee agricultural program    (Posted Thu, Jan 28 '10 at 02:01 UTC)


I don't have a ton of seeds. But, if you will give me an idea of the ag. land, cyclical weather cycles of the area, and what types of seed the program is looking for I will purchase and send some when I make my orders to replenish my seed supply.
I will be ordering my replenishments for items I have yet been able to collect seed for(first time plantings, crop failure, etc) in Feb.

Re: Need seeds for refugee agricultural program    (Posted Tue, Mar 2 '10 at 01:41 UTC)

Hi!! And thanks!

We're growing in New Hampshire - bit of short growing season, but plan on getting some seedlings started in a greenhouse and transplanting.

We're looking for things like:
Kale, Greens and chard
Pumpkin and melons
Sweet corn
Herbs - dill,cilantro, basil, etc...
OKRA - the bantu love this!

USDA hardiness zones 4-5; the more seeds we receive by way of donation, the more fresh nutritous food these folks will bring into their homes - supplementing income and food stamps and feeding their many children healthier than if they went out and bought food.

We will accept and successfully grow any seed donations. Thank you to Renee's Garden who got us going this season with a generous mix of the above and more.

Any donations can be mailed to:

Somali Bantu Community Association of New Hampshire
c/o Ken Dearborn
521 Maple St
Manchester, NH 03104

Thanks Again!!


Kenston Dearborn
Re: Need seeds for refugee agricultural program    (Posted Fri, Mar 11 '11 at 07:32 UTC)

thanks heirloomgrower so much because you shared infomation!

 Sunny Gardener
 Bon Air
Re: Need seeds for refugee agricultural program    (Posted Fri, Mar 11 '11 at 08:13 UTC)

Dear grower friends
The edamame seed we have is a bit long seasoned for NH. If you have a grower farther south, maybe it would be worthwhile. Is edamame something you particularly want to grow, or are you asking everyone for seed?

Lightly on the Ground
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