Somali Farmers Break Ground on 30 Acres in Lewiston

Four farmer-owners, originally from Somalia, are starting a new 30-acre cooperative farm on College Street in Lewiston.

A groundbreaking celebration for the New Roots Cooperative Farm, complete with music and a lot of Somali food, attracted about 100 people, including many members of the Somali community.

For the past ten years the four farmer-owners have been learning how to adapt their farming skills to Maine through work at a farm in Lisbon run by Cultivating Community.

Sherry Hamel, with USDA’s Farm Service Agency, says she thinks the new farm has a huge chance of success.

“They have been well trained through Cultivating Communities to grow their produce and the market, and I think they’ll be able to make a name for themselves here and market their product,” she says.

The new owners plan to spend the next year converting an old dairy pasture into a farm that can grow 40 different vegetables.

Plans are to open a farmstand and provide wholesale products to institutions, restaurants and other outlets. They also want to continue their presence at farmer’s markets.

Mayor Robert MacDonald says he’s happy the farmers are setting up in Lewiston. He says the state needs more farms and Lewiston needs more businesses.

This article was originally published on MPBN

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