Graduates

After New Roots farmers complete their fourth year on the training farm, they are considered “graduates” of the program. The goal of the program is to empower refugee farmers to acquire their own land to continue farming and expand their business. They continue to sell at the markets they frequented during the program and oftentimes expand to include more CSA friends, CSA drop-offs, and wholesale opportunities (restaurants, grocery stores, etc). 

Peruse below to learn about some of the graduates from our program who have continued to farm after their fourth year and how to contact them, if you are interested.

Aye Aye Nu
Aye Aye Nu is from Burma and came to the United States back in 2003. She began the New Roots for Refugees program in 2008, because she missed the beauty of her family’s farm in Burma where they grew mangos, bananas and cashews. Though she is a single mother and works full time to support her son, Aye Aye was able to complete the four year training program, graduating in 2012. Wanting to stay in her home, she bought land from the Land Bank near her home and now grows on close to ½ an acre. Aye Aye grows a variety of vegetables, but her favorite things to grow are flowers.



Farm Name: Garden of Peace
Farmer’s Market Locations: Brookside Farmer’s Market (Saturdays), KCK Greenmarket @ KCKCC (Thursdays)
Offers: Vegetables/Flowers at Market, CSA share, CSA drop-off
Contact: (913) 293-7109





Beh Paw Gaw
Beh Paw is originally from Burma and belongs to the minority group known as “Karen”, which has its own distinct language and culture. She lived in a refugee camp in Thailand before being resettled in the United States in 2007 with her family. Beh Paw began gardening with New Roots for Refugees and finished in just three years- she grew up farming before moving to the United States. She bought a 2.5 acre piece of land in Kansas City, KS with her sister, Pay Lay. Together, they named their business Ki Koko Farms, which means “two sisters” in their native language, Karen. Beh Paw grows both traditional Burmese and American vegetables, the former for her family to consume and the latter to sell at markets.



Farm Name: Ki Koko Farms
Farmer’s Market Locations: Overland Park (Saturdays and Wednesdays), KCK Greenmarket @ KCKCC (Thursdays)
Offers: Vegetables/Flowers at Market, CSA shares, Wholesale
Contact: (913) 387-9345

Busu Meh
Busu Meh is originally from Burma and is from the Karenni ethnic group. Originally from Burma, her family grew rice, pumpkins, hot chilies, greens and had many animals. She moved with her brother and parents to the United States in 2009. Her father, Poe Reh, works tirelessly in the field, while Busu Meh handles all of the farmers markets and customer interactions. Their family bought a house when they graduated the New Roots program in 2016 and are growing on a half acre in their backyard. You can find them at the Overland Park farmers market, selling a variety of vegetables! 



Farm Name: Boe Poe Du Farm
Farmer’s Market Locations: Overland Park (Saturdays and Wednesdays)
Offers: Vegetables at Market, CSA shares, Wholesale
Contact: (913) 609-5716



Dena Tu
Dena grew up farming in Burma and is part of the Karen ethnic group. She came to Kansas City in 2006, resettled from a refugee camp in Thailand. She has four sons and two daughters, most of who live with her and help with the garden. Dena was in the New Roots program for five years and in 2011 graduated off the farm. In early 2012, Dena’s family bought a house with a large backyard- about ½ an acre- for a garden. My oldest son helped me name my business “Mama Tu’s”. Dena grows lots of American vegetable varieties for market, but her favorite crops are still the traditional vegetables from Burma and Thailand: bitter melon, eggplant, Thai chili peppers, chin baung (roselle) and several varieties of beans.

Farmer’s Market Locations: Brookside Farmer’s Market (Saturdays), KCK Greenmarket @ KCKCC (Thursdays)
Offers: Vegetables/Flowers at Market, CSA shares, Wholesale
Contact: (913) 232-9654



Far Chin Par and Joseph Thang
Far Chin Par and Joseph Thang are originally from Chin State in Burma. They came to the United States in 2009 and have been with the New Roots program since 2012. In 2014, they were able to buy a house in KCK and began growing Burmese crops in their backyard, while continuing to grow other vegetables at Juniper Gardens with the New Roots program. In 2015, Far and Joseph graduated the New Roots program and expanded their garden at their house. They were able to plant fruit trees, flowers and a variety of vegetables! Joseph and Far are very creative and are always looking for ways to improve their business. Come visit them at the market they’ve sold at for years in Liberty, MO!  

Farm Name: Victoria Gardens
Farmer’s Market Location: Historic Downtown Liberty Farmer’s Market (Saturdays)
OffersVegetables/Flowers at Market, CSA shares, Wholesale
Contact: (913) 313-8682



Khadijo Yussuf
Khadijo grew up farming with her family in Somalia. She learned everything about farming from working alongside her parents, growing mangoes, bananas, tomatoes and several other varieties of vegetables. In Somalia, they farmed in a very hot, dry climate where she was used to carrying water for the entire garden by hand. When she was resettled into the United States, she began farming again with New Roots for Refugees. After five years, she graduated and was able to buy a house with her husband that had large area for a garden. She planted a peach and pear tree and grows vegetables for her family to eat and to sell at market. Khadijo does most of the gardening herself, as her husband can only help when he is not working. She balances gardening with raising seven children, who often join her at the market!


Farm Name: Banda Family Farm
Farmer’s Market Locations: Merriam Farmer’s Market (Saturdays)
Offers: Vegetables/Flowers at Market, CSA share
Contact: (913) 526-2611




Lay Htoo
Lay Htoo is originally from Burma and had 24 years of farming experience there. She came to the United States in 2009 with her husband and three sons. She grew with the New Roots for Refugees program beginning in 2010 for only two years, and then became one of the first New Roots graduates to purchase her own land and begin growing independently. Her family bought a house in 2011 with a backyard big enough for a ½ acre garden and she still farms there today. Lay Htoo uses natural, organic practices and grows both traditional American vegetables and special crops that are popular among Burmese and Karen people.


Farm Name: Karen Fresh Garden
Farmer’s Market Locations: Overland Park Farmer’s Market (Sat. and Wed.), KCK Greenmarket @ KCKCC (Thurs.)
Offers: Vegetables/Flowers at Market, CSA shares, Wholesale
Contact: (913) 954-8743


Pay Lay
Pay Lay is originally from Burma and belongs to the minority group known as “Karen”, which has its own distinct language and culture. Like her sister, she lived in a refugee camp in Thailand before being resettled in the United States in 2007 with her family. Pay Lay also grew up farming and came to the New Roots program with a lot of experience. She bought a 2.5 acre piece of land in Kansas City, KS with her sister, Beh Paw Gaw and named their business Ki Koko Farms. The central image in the logo design of the business is the face of the klo drum, which is a symbol of the Karen culture- it is also featured on the national flag. Pay Lay grows both traditional Burmese and American vegetables, the former for her family to consume and the latter to sell at markets.


Farm Name: Ki Koko Farms
Farmer’s Market Locations: Overland Park (Wed), KCK Greenmarket @ KCKCC (Thurs), Brookside Farmer’s Market (Sat)
Offers: Vegetables/Flowers at Market, CSA share, Wholesale
Contact: (913) 461-2659


San Dar and Soe Myint
San Dar and Soe Myint arrived to the United States from Burma in 2009. In Burma, they had a big garden where they grew chin baung, flowers, cucumber, okra, chili peppers and gourds. They also sold watermelon and cabbage at a local market. Both San Dar and Soe Myint have incredible entrepreneurial spirits that have served them well in the United States! Not only were they able to buy a house with land to start their urban farming business, but they also manage a sushi franchise. These two keep very busy, but are always up for a chat at the market on Saturdays. Come by Overland Park Farmer’s Market and see what project they’re dreaming up these days!


Farmer’s Market Location: Overland Park Farmer’s Market (Saturdays)
Offers: Vegetables/Flowers at Market, CSA shares
Contact: (913) 375-6279




San Win and Ah Tun
San Win and Ah Tun arrived to the United States from Burma in 2008 with their five children. In Burma, San Win grew corn, chin baung, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and Burmese greens. She would help grow food for her family and also sold once a week at a market. They also had experience growing food in the refugee camp, while they lived there. After four years in the New Roots for Refugees program, Ah Tun and San Win bought a house with a half acre garden behind it. Their family sells together at two markets a week!



Farm Name: San Win's Garden
Farmer’s Market Location: Waldo (Wednesdays), Parkville (Saturdays)
Offers: Vegetables at Market




Sar Mu Na
Sar Mu Na arrived to the United States from Burma in 2006. In Burma, she grew banana, coconut, betel nut and vegetables for both their family and to sell. She moved to California before Kansas City and grew a lot of greens and Burmese vegetables to take to the market there. Sar Mu Na has four children and a husband, who help her with the business. After graduating in 2016 from the New Roots for Refugees program, she bought a house with land in Wyandotte County to start her own business. She grows a variety of produce and beautiful flowers and sells them at the Overland Park Farmers Market. 



Farm Name: Mo Mo Ru Tha Farm
Farmer’s Market Location: Overland Park Farmer’s Market (Saturdays and Wednesdays)
Offers: Vegetables/Flowers at Market, CSA shares
Contact: (619) 866-1106


No comments:

Post a Comment