Farming creates new opportunities for refugees in Central New York

Local News

A three-year program in Kirkville is helping refugees learn how to farm, and helping them to potentially sell their crops at farmers markets.

The Syracuse Refugee Agricultural Partnership addresses social and economic challenges for those seeking refuge in Syracuse. 

Beda Kharel is 7,000 miles from her country of Bhutan.

Every day from sun-up to sun-down she worked on a farm — since the age of four.

Now she is at the Salt City Harvest Farm in Kirkville, learning self-empowerment and learning important agricultural skills through RISE. 

Participants first take a class and working at a community garden. This year, with help from program coordinator Brandy Colebrook, Kharel is putting those skills to the test.

“They were given an eighth of an acre of land to farm on their own so they can plant everything they want and harvest and sell it at the farmers market,” said Colebrook. 

Next year she could get more land and learn how to start her own business.

Kharel has even started a garden at her home.
 

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