Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spotlight on Farmers: Khadija Hilowle

Khadija Hilowle has been farming with NASAP since 2007.  She moved to Maine from Somalia and did not know that there were farming possibilities here. When she found out that her friends were farming, she quickly sought an opportunity to get back into her life long passion. Farming has been with her family for generations, though the things she grew in Somalia would not thrive here- mangoes, bananas etc, she has learned to grow and love carrots, kale, tomatoes, mustard greens, okra, beans beets, and cabbage.  Khadija knows that farming is hard, and that the markets require her to learn English and make quick change. “Nothing is easy,” she remarks, but joy and a generous sense of fun seem to follow Khadija wherever she goes. “No matter where I go,” she says, “life will be different. It is ok that my children are not training to be farmers. They are doing something different. But we grow and eat fresh vegetables without any sprays, just like in Africa.” Khadija says that the civil war in Somalia is never far from her mind, even as she rebuilds her life here. Of her farm, she proudly states, “You will see my farm, it is neat and the rows are straight and organized.”

Where to Meet Khadija

Come and meet Khadija and sample some of her delicious in season vegetables! Khadija will be at the WEST END farm stand in Portland on Tuesdays from 2-5pm at the corner of Brackett and Pine! She will also be at the Lewiston Bates Mill Farmers' Market on Sundays from 11:30-2pm.

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