stories from the field

experiences of immigrant, migrant and refugee farmers & farmworkers across the U.S.

Stories exploring the struggles and successes of immigrant, migrant and refugee farmers, farmworkers and families from around the world planting new roots in U.S. soil. Below are links and excerpts from articles, blogs and other story sources by- and about these neighbors of ours, rebuilding life through agriculture in their new communities across the States.

If you come across stories or have your own to tell – please share. All pages on this site are updated as frequently as possible. Moreover, if you find a story that could use attention and coverage, never hesitate to reach out so that we can work together to help fill those gaps.

New Support for Refugee Farmers Hard Hit by the Pandemic
Civil Eats, September 2020
Namaste Community Garden sits in the middle of the low-income community of Tukwila, Washington, 10 miles south of Seattle. Managed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) since 2010, the garden provides plots for refugees and immigrants from Myanmar, Central African Republic, and Nigeria—but the majority of the farmers are from Bhutan. The one-acre site started by offering 30 family plots. After growing by word of mouth, now there are 97. […]

The World Needs a New Refugee Convention
Takepart, October 2020
For 30 years, right-wing parties and nativist leaders have whittled away refugees’ rights. In the wake of a global pandemic, seeking asylum will be nearly impossible unless the international community revises and modernizes its approach to people fleeing war. […]

African refugee grows homeland’s bitter eggplants in Vermont
AP News, August 2018
After surviving refugee camps in Africa, Janine Ndagijimana settled in Vermont and began to dream of farming. When she considered what to plant, she thought back to her time in Tanzania and settled on the African eggplant, also called bitter ball or garden egg. It wasn’t found in Vermont, and she remembered how it garnered a good price at the refugee market. […]

On Cleveland’s Largest Urban Farm, Refugees Gain Language and Job Skills
Civil Eats, July 2017
Across the Cuyahoga River from downtown Cleveland, men and women dressed in brightly colored clothing harvest vegetables from tidy rows of plantings. Multilingual conversations take place in Hindi, Nepali, Somali and English. With the Cleveland skyline as their backdrop, these refugee farmers nurture their connection to the land and to their new home. […]

On Farms Across the U.S., Refugees Are Going Back to Their Roots
Takepart, October 2015
“Displaced and often struggling to make ends meet, having a consistent supply of healthy, fresh food is vital,” says Aley Kent, technical adviser for New Roots. According to the Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center, refugees who come to the U.S. are at an increased risk of chronic diseases such as obesity and hypertension owing to heavily processed low-cost food and lack of access to fresher options at affordable prices. […]

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