We are Jabril Abdi, Seynab Ali, Mohamed Abukar, and Batula Ismail. We came to Lewiston, Maine in the mid-2000s as refugees from Somalia and started farming in Lisbon. “Our people are farmers and we have always fed our country. Now we are growing food for our new communities in Southern Maine.”
Since 2016, the New Roots farmers have been developing and farming land in Lewiston, Maine. In 2022, with the support of communities, Induvial and donors, New Roots was able purchase their land to continue developing it and expanding their operations to provide even more fresh, chemical-free produce for their community and beyond. They have worked hard to achieve their dream of land ownership over the years an look ahead with excitement and hope!
As African, Somali Bantu, Black, Muslim farmers we grew up in our culture farming and we are honored to farm in Lewiston, Maine. We are respected by our community and have received support from our loyal customers since we came to the United States and started farming in 2006.
In 2016, after 10 years of farming in Lisbon, New Roots Cooperative was officially formed. At this time, we began farming a 30-acre farm on College Street in Lewiston. Since then, we have been nurturing this land and growing vegetables for our loyal CSA and farmer’s market customers as well as other organizations in the surrounding community. We are grateful for the support we have received from you, our community, and other organizations throughout Maine.
Here’s what owning this land means to each of the four primary New Roots farmers…
Seynab Ali – President
“We have invested a lot of effort to make sure that this is a full functioning farmland and we intend to continue to do that. It’s very important for me and my family because We love spending time here and enjoy farming.”
Batula Ismail – Vice President
“We feel welcomed and supported, and worked together . . . It’s been a long time, long effort, and being patient. We appreciate those people who helped, their time and supported us and put us to the level we are at today.”
Mohamed Abukar – Treasurer
“Every year we are improving and continuing to develop ourselves and every year we are giving out more food to more families. This year alone we sold out our CSA and more than 40% of our food went to pantries. And having ownership of me and will help me help others!”
Jabril Abdi – Secretary
“Having ownership changes everything for me and for the community I serve. It’s really an amazing feeling that our kids have a chance to inherit a unique farmland right here! Nothing makes me happier.”
Thank you for your support of New Roots Cooperative Farm.