Planting with Purpose
Twice a year, Bates community members come together with the Multifaith Chaplaincy for an afternoon of farming with New American Farmers from the L/A Community and Cultivating Community. Cultivating Community runs a refugee and immigrant training program that empowers New Americans to launch independent farm businesses, to adopt new leadership roles in the community and to attain increased economic independence for themselves and their families.
You can read more about Cultivating Community’s farmers and the Refugee and Immigrant Farmer Training Program here:
Cultivating Community inherited the New American Sustainable Agriculture Project (NASAP) from Coastal Enterprises, Inc. in 2009. Currently based mostly at the Packard-Littlefield Farm in Lisbon, ME, and at smaller satellite sites in Cape Elizabeth and South Portland, this refugee and immigrant farmer-training program empowers New Americans to launch independent farm businesses, to adopt new leadership roles in the community, and to attain increased economic independence for themselves and their families.
The enterprising people with whom we collaborate in this program learn to grow food in the context of Maine’s landscape and weather patterns, to understand the consumer preferences of large buyers and individual customers in the United States, to create individual marketing plans suited to their interests, to become skilled at financial management, and to interact with customers in English.
In turn, we all benefit from the rich agricultural heritages that many NASAP participants possess, as well as their desire to grow food for their own families and communities and their new neighbors in the U.S.
Our program is frequently in the news and part of a national movement. Check out some of these stories.