Many refugees and other New Americans come to the U.S. with backgrounds in agriculture. New Roots, a farmer training and food access initiative of the International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City, provides these communities with a way to reconnect with land, grow culturally appropriate vegetables, and leverage their farming skills to earn supplemental income.
New Roots farmers earn income through produce sales to local schools, restaurants and Whole Foods Markets in Utah. They also operate three workplace CSA’s, delivering vegetable shares to employees of partnering businesses. New Roots founded and continues to operate and sell at the Sunnyvale Farmers Market and new for 2019, New Roots Farmers Market at Central Park.
New Roots farmers grow a number of crops familiar to the American palate, including Beets, Carrots, Heirloom Slicing Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Spinach, Kale, Spring Mix, a variety of Peppers, and Eggplant. Additionally, they grow speciality ethnic crops like African Eggplant, Aleppo Peppers, Amaranth Greens, Molokhia (Egyptian Spinach), Thai Chili Peppers, Tatume Squash, and long beans, among others.
All proceeds from sales go to the program’s 35+ farmers who originate from Sudan, Burma, Bhutan, Chad, Somalia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The farmers collectively manage 15 acres of leased land spread throughout Salt Lake County.
Salt Lake City, UT
- 221 S. 400 W.
- Salt Lake City, UT 84110
- Message: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Roots Farm
The International Rescue Committee, in partnership with Salt Lake County, formed the New Roots Program in 2010 and opened its first New Roots Farm stand in the summer of 2011 at The Horizonte Instruction and Training Center in Salt Lake City. In the years since, the program has grown to encompass more than 35+ refugee farmers receiving instruction, resource access, and technical assistance on business and agriculture from New Roots, in addition to growing and selling affordable and culturally appropriate vegetables. The New Roots program also addresses food access barriers in diverse low-income communities by managing a community garden network that helps refugees grow supplemental food by accessing a garden plot near their home.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being, and power to people devastated by disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities.
Since its inception in 1994, the International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City (IRC SLC) has resettled roughly 10,000 refugees arriving from over a dozen countries including Burma, Burundi, Somali, Iraq, Eritrea, Bhutan, and Cuba. IRC staff members and volunteers believe that refugees; greatest resources are themselves. The goal is to help refugees translate their skills, interests, and past experiences into assets that are valuable in their new communities. The IRC helps refugees gain stability, security, and self-respect; provide food, shelter, medical assistance, school placement, and other basic living essentials; orient clients to their new homes and communities; and coordinate employment, literacy, and English language training. Over the past 23 years in Salt Lake City, the IRC has demonstrated an enduring commitment to providing services to refugees.