Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Welcome New Farmers!

We've been holding production, marketing and English workshops all winter long. In March, the farmers who successfully attend these workshops have the opportunity to sign a lease giving them rights to farm a plot at the training farm for the upcoming year. This morning, we signed leases with 5 new farmers who were very excited despite the wind. Once the leases were signed, we all went out to the garden to celebrate and show the farmers where their gardens will be. Without further delay, meet the class of 2012!

Dawt Sung and her husband Sui Ling, Chin from Burma, live in one of the apartments that borders the garden, and they have been anxiously awaiting spring. They will be selling at the Juniper Gardens Farmers' Market and the Northeast Farmers' Market in 2012.

Joseph and his wife Far Chin Par moved to the United States in 2009. They have three of the world's most beautiful children. In Burma, they grew vegetables and kept animals and took their products to market every week. Joseph is very skilled plowing with draft animals. He is anxious to use a tiller, and I hope that he can teach us how to plow with a water buffalo someday. In 2012, they will be selling at the Overland Park Farmers' Market on Saturdays and at the Juniper Gardens Farmers' Market on Mondays.

Mary Landford has been growing in a community garden plot since 2009, and raised her hands to the sky exclaiming "Praise God" when I took this picture of her in front of her new, 1/4 acre site. Mary has 9 years experience growing and selling in her home country, Liberia. This next year, she will be selling at the KCK Greenmarket at Catholic Charities (a new market on Tuesdays)
and the Northeast Farmers' Market in KCMO.  

San Win has been growing since she was a child. In Burma she used a system of ditches and a bucket to get water from the river to give her crops. She sold to her local village, at a regional farmers' market, and to a vegetable broker who would take the product to the city.
In 2012, she and her husband Ah Tun will be selling at the Waldo Farmers' Market and at the
Juniper Gardens Farmers' Market.

Upendra is from Bhutan where he grew mixed vegetables and lots of ginger. In Bhutan, he sold at a local market every other day, carrying his vegetables to market. This year, he will be selling at the Ilus Davis Market in downtown KCMO and the KCK Greenmarket at Catholic Charities.

We can't go on enough about this new class, and expect great things from 2012.

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