Posted by on July 14, 2021

During the last few weeks and the remainder of the summer, two students have put in many hours dedicated to New Roots Cooperation through Bates Purposeful Work. Since early June, Kenny Aruwajoye Bates’ 22 and I have been helping the farmers with different tasks. First, we spent our time planting crops the first few weeks, carefully placing the product into the ground. Next, we planted various plants, from lettuce to eggplant, and all the other vegetables in between. I spent most of the time working on the field and writing the blogs for New Roots. Meanwhile, in addition to farming, Kenny, as a politics major, attends important meetings with Omar, helps deliveries with Mohammad, sends emails, and conducts research about agriculture policies to help New Roots grow. 

As both Kenny and I quickly learned, farming is challenging and tiresome work. So finally, after a long day of manual labor, we went back home exhausted and ready to nap. On the other hand, the farmers are always prepared to work; they are always farming despite the extreme weather. It truly is incredible to watch. I am so impressed with all of the farmers for their hard work and dedication to the farm. The farmers have endured many hardships, and they use farming to overcome their challenges as a team. All of the farmers work together as one, and their closeness made them into a family. 

Even though Kenny and I have only been working at New Roots for a month, we feel a part of their family. During breaks, Batula and Seynab always offer us food and drinks. I love when they offer me tea and snacks; I always feel like I get to try new Somali foods. Even last week, Batula and Seynab invited me to a party at a different farm. Although the farmers appreciate the work we have been doing for them, I am still amazed by the hardworking farmers. The farmers do everything for the farm, and despite their hardships, they grow stronger every day.

 It has been a pleasure working with the farmers thus far; however, I am only working with them for the summer. The farmers are always in need of helpers, so if you have 3 or more hours to work, please email

Here are a couple recipes to try out this week- enjoy! 🙂

Creamy Beet Hummus – A Couple Cooks


  • Roasted Beets
  • Chickpeas
  • Garlic
  • Tahini
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt

Baked Parmesan Squash Rounds


  • 2 medium-sized yellow summer squash or zucchini
  • Garlic salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Place an oven rack in the center position of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil (lightly misted with nonstick cooking spray) OR parchment paper.
  • Wash and dry the squash, and then cut each one into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange the squash rounds on the prepared pan, with little to no space between them. Lightly sprinkle the squash with garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use a small spoon to spread a thin layer of Parmesan cheese on each slice of squash.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the Parmesan melts and turns a light golden brown. (Watch these closely the first time you make them and pull them out of the oven early if the Parmesan is golden before 15 minutes. Alternatively, you may broil them for a minute or two at the end of the cooking time to speed up the browning.) Serve immediately.

Recipe from

And while we’re on the theme of baking…have you ever tried roasting radishes? Here’s a simple recipe to try- I know that the first time I roasted radishes, I was shocked at how flavorful (and so much less bitter) they were. Give it a try! And for a few more radish recipes, check out this article from

Easy Roasted Radishes


  • 2 small bunches radishes (about 16 to 18 small radishes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)

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