How a farmer’s sales strategy turned her parents’ garden into a family business

When the Nyaigoti family came to Massachusetts from Kenya, they brought the seeds they would need to keep growing their favorite vegetables. Those seeds also grew a business.

STATES OF FARMING: Second in a series of occasional stories looking at BIPOC farmers in New England.
By Jocelyn Ruggiero Globe correspondent, March 23, 2021

LANCASTER — Six days a week, May through October, 33-year-old Henrietta Nyaigoti arrives at Flats Mentor Farm by 7 a.m. She waters the inside of her two high tunnels, checks the progress of the vegetables growing there, and walks her family’s 2 acres to assess any damage from pests and weather. During planting season, she puts seeds in the ground, and during growing season, tills weeds and makes any necessary soil amendments. At 2:30 p.m. on weekdays, she drives 15 minutes home, where she lives with her two young daughters, then showers and changes before heading to her job as an assistant program manager at a group home for individuals with traumatic brain injuries. She works there 50 to 70 hours per week during farm season, and 80 to 100 hours in the off-season. All year round, Nyaigoti spends 30 hours a week as a home health aide at an assisted living facility. She recently began a position as a sales coordinator for World Farmers — the nonprofit that operates Flats Mentor Farm — which has so far been a 10-hour a week commitment, though she expects that will increase. And this May, after three years of hard work, she will complete coursework for her Master’s in Public Health at Southern New Hampshire University. Nyaigoti says, “I work hard because I have an opportunity that many people don’t, especially in Kenya.” Read Full Article.

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