about3

MISSION

World Farmers’ mission is to support small farmers in sustainable agricultural production and successful marketing practices to connect culturally relevant produce to viable markets. World Farmers provides mentoring, training, and hands-on assistance when working with each farmer to build the capacity needed to operate individual farming enterprises. We enact our mission through various initiatives, the most prominent of which is the Flats Mentor Farm program.

Since 1984, Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster, Massachusetts has provided the space and infrastructure for small immigrant and refugee farmers to get started. The farmers at Flats Mentor Farm produce over 55 acres of ethnic specialty crops; supplying to wholesale and retail markets throughout New England, including over 40 farmers’ markets and dozens of small scale direct-to-consumer outlets in and around Massachusetts. Participating farmers are skilled producers who come from agrarian backgrounds and seek to make a new life for themselves while preserving their cultural identity. In order to contribute to their success in the new culture and climate of the Northeast, World Farmers’ Mentoring Program offers regular trainings in agricultural production, business development, and marketing. All programming is performed in a respectful environment of cross-cultural co-learning among farmers, World Farmers staff, and our interns and volunteers.

Many of the farmers at Flats Mentor Farm have told us that they never believed there would be an opportunity like this when they came to this country: access to land, trainings in new growing practices for this climate, and support in building a business in farming have made a huge impact on their ability to adapt and thrive. Just as important as our programming and services is the simple access to a safe space to learn from their neighbors, feed their families, heal, rebuild their cultural foundations, and teach the next generation all that agriculture can provide.

IMPACT

For the past 30 years, beginning immigrant and refugee farmers have learned about the opportunity to join Flats Mentor Farm solely through farmer-to-farmer word of mouth. The ethnic makeup has changed to reflect patterns of migration over the years: in the mid-90s, there were over 140 Hmong families and just 2 African immigrant farmers working at Flats Mentor Farm. Today, over 200 African farmers have plots at the Flats, while the Hmong population has decreased.

To date, of the over 1,200 farmers who have had plots at Flats Mentor Farm, 30% have gone on to farm their own land, 60% of whom are women. These independent farmers have established their operations across the country, from North Carolina to California.

In 1999, Flats Mentor Farm was identified as a national model by USDA and has served as a model for many beginning farmer programs nationally.

IN THE NEWS

World Farmers’ programs and and farmers have been featured in many articles over the decades.

These articles highlight our dedication to implementing a program that works with each farmer as an individual, support the success of their independent enterprises, and weave a new social fabric. Ultimately, we know that it is the farmer’s willingness to learn and passion for farming that is the true secret to success in this program.

BLOG SERIES

Acreage Reports and Crop Insurance Woes

August 1, 2016

Acreage Reports and Crop Insurance Woes By Sam Mitchell, Nashoba Regional High School Summer Intern The powerful mid-summer sun bore down with searing rays of bright light. The alluring fantasy of a drifting breeze was the only tantalizing respite as a stinging, salty sweat dripped arduously into my eyes and dribbled from my sunburnt neck…

Jerkfest 2016

July 27, 2016

Jerkfest 2016 By Immaculate Nyaigoti, Marketing Intern The summer heat has been brutal this year, so you know that you’re somewhere great when the heat is far from your mind. On June 25th, I had the opportunity to go to Boston JerkFest and deliver produce for the chef demos/cook offs as well as table for…

The Brexit, Immigration and Identity

July 13, 2016

The Brexit, Immigration and Identity By: Nicole Huang, Communications Intern Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, known as the “Brexit,” has been making headlines lately because of its huge political and economic implications. The resulting turmoil defies simple explanation. However, I want to call attention to one important piece of the puzzle–the fact that,…

Well-Wishers Campaign for Water

July 12, 2016

Well-Wishers Campaign for Water Somali-Bantu Community of Lewiston, ME: Partner Update By Julia Wachtel, Nashoba Regional High School Summer Intern World Farmers is proud to highlight the work of our partner: the Somali Bantu Community Mutual Assistance Association, a nonprofit organization that works towards helping Somali Bantu refugees in Lewiston, Maine. The Somali Bantu community…

Bob’s Turkey Farm Fire

July 12, 2016

Bob’s Turkey Farm Fire By Julia Wachtel, Nashoba Regional High School Summer Intern The World Farmers community wants to extend its sympathies to Richard Van Hoof and Susan Miner, for their recent loss. On June 30th they were struck by tragedy as 7,000 baby turkeys were killed in a barn fire at Bob’s Turkey Farm…

CROP LIST

Here at Flats Mentor Farm, we grow many different kinds of vegetables hailing from all over the world. The extensive selection of crops grown reflects the farmers' cultural ties and their communities' needs. Explore some of the more common crops grown at Flats Mentor Farm below.

a |  b  |  c  |  d  |  e  |  f  |  g  |  h  |  i  |  j  |  k  |  l  |  m  |  n  |  o  |  p  |  q  |  r  |  s  |  t  |  u  |  v  |  w  |  x  |  y  |  z

African Corn | Maize
Scientific Name: Zea mays
Country of Origin: Mesoamerica

Amaranth (Green, Red, Red Striped Leaf) | Calaloo
Scientific Name: Amaranthus spp.
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

Asian Arugula
Scientific Name: Eruca sativa
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

Asian Cucumber
Scientific Name: Trichosanthes kirilowii
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

Asian Mustard (Curley) 
Scientific Name: Brassica juncea
Country of Origin: India

Asian Mustard (Green) 
Scientific Name: Brassica juncea
Country of Origin: India

Asian Mustard (Red) 
Scientific Name: Brassica juncea, var. integrifolia
Country of Origin: Asia

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Baby Bok Choy
Scientific Name: Brassica rapa var. chinensis
Country of Origin: China

Basil: Lemon Basil 
Scientific Name: Ocimum × citriodorum
Country of Origin: Asia

Basil: Purple Basil 
Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum purpurescens
Country of Origin: India

Basil: Sweet Italian Basil 
Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum
Country of Origin: Asia

Basil: Thai Basil 
Scientific Name:Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora
Country of Origin: Asia

Beets 
Scientific Name: Beta Vulgaris
Country of Origin: Europe

Bitter Melon 
Scientific Name: Momordica charantia
Country of Origin: South America, East Africa, Asia, Caribbean

Bitter Melon Vine
Scientific Name: Momordica charantia
Country of Origin: South America, East Africa, Asia, Caribbean

Boston Lettuce 
Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa var. capitata
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

Brazilian Squash
Scientific Name: Cucurbita Spp.
Country of Origin: South America, East Africa, Asia, Caribbean

Broccoli
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

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Carrots
Scientific Name: Daucus carota
Country of Origin: Middle East

Chinese Broccoli
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra
Country of Origin: China

Chinese Spinach (Green, Purple) | Malabar Spinach
Scientific Name: Ipomoea Aquatica
Country of Origin: China

Chinsaga | Spider Plant
Scientific Name: Cleome gynandra
Country of Origin: China

Chipilín
Scientific Name: Crotalaria longirostrata
Country of Origin: Central America

Chives
Scientific Name: Allium schoenopras um
Country of Origin: China

Chrysanthemum | Shungiku
Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum coronarium L
Country of Origin: Mediterranean, East Asia 

Cilantro
Scientific Name: Coriandrum sativum
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

Collard Greens 
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracae var. acephala
Country of Origin: Europe

Cucumber
Scientific Name: Cucumis sativus
Country of Origin: Southeast Asia

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Daikon Radish | Miyashige
Scientific Name: Raphanus sativus
Country of Origin: Southeast Asia

Dill
Scientific Name: Anethum graveolens
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

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Edible Luffa 
Scientific Name: Luffa acutangula
Country of Origin: India

Eggplant
Scientific Name: Solanum melongena
Country of Origin: Southeast Asia

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Fun Jen Brassica
Scientific Name: Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis
Country of Origin: Asia

Fuzzy Gourd | Fuzzy Melon
Scientific Name: Benincasa hispida var. chieh-gua
Country of Origin: China

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Gourd | Calabash
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo
Country of Origin: Africa

Green Bean
Scientific Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Country of Origin: Central / South America

Green Stripped Squash
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo
Country of Origin: Central / South America

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Hakurei | Japanese Turnip 
Scientific Name: Brassica rapa
Country of Origin: Northern Europe

Hot Asian Pepper
Scientific Name: Capsicum ssp. 
Country of Origin: Southeast Asia 

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Jiló
Scientific Name: Solanum aethiopicum 'Gilo Group'
Country of Origin: Southeast Asia

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Kale
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea var. sabellica
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

Kohlarabi
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes
Country of Origin: European

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Lalu
Scientific Name: Corchorus olitorius
Country of Origin: South America

Leeks
Scientific Name: Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

Lemongrass
Scientific Name: Cymbopogon citratus 
Country of Origin: Asia, Africa, Australia 

Lettuce Mix
Scientific Name: Lactuca sativca
Country of Origin: Asia, Africa, Australia 

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Managu
Scientific Name: Solanum villosum
Country of Origin: West / Central Africa

Maxixe
Scientific Name: Cucumis anguria
Country of Origin: Africa

Mchicha
Scientific Name: Amaranthus spp.
Country of Origin: Central / East Africa

Mint
Scientific Name: Mentha x piperita or Mentha spicata
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

Mora | Black Nightshade
Scientific Name: Solanum nigrum
Country of Origin: Eurasian

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Okra
Scientific Name: Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench
Country of Origin: Asia, Africa, Australia 

Onion (Red)
Scientific Name: Allium cepa
Country of Origin: Central Asia

Onion (White)
Scientific Name: Allium cepa
Country of Origin: Central Asia

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Pak-Choi
Scientific Name: Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis
Country of Origin: China

Pak-Choi (Purple)
Scientific Name: Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis
Country of Origin: China

Pak-Choi (Red)
Scientific Name: Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis
Country of Origin: China

Parsley
Scientific Name: Petroselinum crispum
Country of Origin: Europe 

Pea Tendrils
Scientific Name: Pisum sativum
Country of Origin: Asia

Peppers (Banana)
Scientific Name: Capsicum spp.
Country of Origin: South America

Peppers (Green)
Scientific Name: Capsicum spp.
Country of Origin: South America

Peppers Leaves
Scientific Name: Capsicum spp.
Country of Origin: South America

Potatoes
Scientific Name: Solanum tuberosum
Country of Origin: South America

Pumpkin
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo
Country of Origin: Mexico

Pumpkin Blossoms
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo
Country of Origin: Mexico

Pumpkin Leaves
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo
Country of Origin: Mexico

Pumpkin Vines
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo
Country of Origin: Mexico

Purslane
Scientific Name: Portulaca oleracea
Country of Origin: Mexico

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Radish
Scientific Name: Raphanus sativus
Country of Origin: Europe

Red Leaf Lettuce
Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa
Country of Origin: Asia / Europe 

Romaine Lettuce
Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia 
Country of Origin: Asia / Europe 

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Scallions
Scientific Name: Eleocharis fistulosum
Country of Origin: Asia

Shanghai Bok-Choy
Scientific Name: Brassica Rapa subsp. chinensis
Country of Origin: China

Shiso Red | Red Perilla
Scientific Name: Perilla frutescens
Country of Origin: Mexico

Sorrel
Scientific Name: Rumex acetosa
Country of Origin: European

Squash
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo
Country of Origin: Middle East / West Asia

Squash Blossom
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo
Country of Origin: Middle East / West Asia

Squash Blue Hubbard
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo
Country of Origin: Middle East / West Asia

Sugar Snap Peas
Scientific Name: Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon
Country of Origin: Central Asia 

Sweet Potato Leaves
Scientific Name: Ipomoea batatas
Country of Origin: South America

Sweet Potato Vines
Scientific Name: Ipomoea batatas
Country of Origin: South America

Swiss Chard ( Green)
Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris subsp. Vulgaris
Country of Origin: Mediterranean 

Swiss Chard ( Red)
Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris subsp. Vulgaris
Country of Origin: Mediterranean 

Swiss Chard ( Yellow)
Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris subsp. Vulgaris
Country of Origin: Mediterranean 

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Tai Choi
Scientific Name: Brassica chinesis
Country of Origin: Mediterranean 

Taioba
Scientific Name: Xanthosoma sagittifolium
Country of Origin: South America

Tats-soi
Scientific Name: Brassica narinosa
Country of Origin: Asia

Tetragon Spinach
Scientific Name: Tetragonia tetragonioides
Country of Origin: South America, China, Australia

Tomatillos
Scientific Name: Physalis philadelphica
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

Tomatoes
Scientific Name: Solanum lycopersicum
Country of Origin: South America 

Turnips
Scientific Name: Brassica rapa subsp. rapa
Country of Origin: South America 

Two Star Lettuce 
Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa
Country of Origin: Mediterranean

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Water Mellon
Scientific Name: Citrullus lanatus
Country of Origin: South America 

Water Spinach
Scientific Name: Ipomoea aquatic
Country of Origin: Central to South China

Winter Mellon 
Scientific Name: Benincasa hispida
Country of Origin: South America 

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Yard Long Bean
Scientific Name: Vigna unguiculata subsp. Sesquipedalis
Country of Origin: Asia

Yu Choi 
Scientific Name: Brassica rapa var. parachinensis
Country of Origin: China

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Zucchini
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo var. cylindrica
Country of Origin: Americas

Disclamer: World Farmers is not an incorporated educational institution. We do not have the authority to grant certificates, diplomas, or any other federally-recognized proof of qualifications. We are not a federally-approved lending institution, and as such do not provide grants, loans, or other direct monetary or financial support.