Thursday, May 30, 2013

Habiba Noor and Portland Urban Farmstands

        Habiba Noor is getting ready to sell at her first full-season farm stand in Portland this summer, outside of Wholefoods on Monday afternoons 1-5, starting July 1st. Read about Habibas story here:

          When I asked Habiba what she would want to tell her customers, she said: “I want to be able to have a conversation with them, but I can't because of my English. But I want them to know that I need their support as customer, and they need my vegetables. They need my help and I need theirs”

           Habiba came to Maine from Dallas, Texas,
where she lived and worked as a seamstress for three years. The company would ship her boxes of materials; she would do the work, and then ship it back. In Dallas, Habiba was friends with Hawa Ibrahim, a farmer who has been in the New American Sustainable Farming Project (NASAP) for seven years now. Once Hawa left Texas and started farming in Maine, she called up her friend and told her about this opportunity. Habiba was excited, her parents and grandparents were farmers in Somalia and she could not wait to start farming again. She moved to Maine July 27th, 2007.

          “In Somalia, when the rain comes, you plant” says Habiba when remarking on the difference between farming in Somalia, and farming in Maine. While the rain determines the work schedule in Somalia, here you work all summer, but you have to keep an eye on the weather. Habiba misses the animals her family raised back home: chickens, goats, and camels. She loves some new vegetables that she started growing in Maine, namely swiss chard, broccoli, cucumbers and sweet potato.

          When I asked Habiba what she wanted for her future, she said: “My dream for my future will take time, because of my language challenge”. She wants her own farm, where she can keep her family safe and teach her children to be farmers. The lifestyle is her favorite part of farming: "It is always better to be outside farming for my health, then sitting inside. The hardest part of my farming business is the language, and finding good markets for selling my vegetables".

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