Refugee-farmers offer a moveable feast in Manchester
Workers for the The Common Earth Farms farm stand sell fresh vegetables at Sweeney Park in Manchester on Monday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Khada Niroula and his wife, Parbati, set up The Common Earth Farms stand at Sweeney Park in Manchester on Monday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Common Earth Farms is marketing the food that a handful of refugee-farmers grow on a two-acre plot in Bedford. The food is sold Monday afternoons at Sweeney Park and Wednesday afternoons at Wolfe Park.
The Common Earth Farms was launched by International Institute of New Hampshire, a Boston-based organization that helps to establish refugees in the state. About four refugees work full-time on the farm.
"I can't understand English, so I can't get a job," said Khada Niroula, 51, a refugee from Bhutan. He said the food appears to grow faster in New Hampshire than his native country.
Any customer who uses EBT food stamps to purchase produce will receive a voucher that equals the amount of their purchase, in effect doubling their purchasing power.
Currently, about 75 percent of customers are refugees.
"We're still in transition," French said. "We're hoping once it's up and running it will create more of a customer base."
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