Somali refugees find a farming oasis

Six-foot stalks of corn crowd a small rise at Intervale Farm, a 19th-century spread of rolling fields that lead to the Royal River. It’s a picture of vintage Maine, but there’s something new: farmers clad in swirling, vibrant, dazzling colors rather than grass-stained denim and John Deere caps. The men and women working the soil are refugees from Somalia, ethnic Bantus who fled a brutal civil war and found their way to an unlikely home in Lewiston, a former mill city 35 miles north of Portland. (Read the story)
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Kaltumo Adow and her daughter, Asha Abukar, 9, rested after working on their plots at Intervale Farm in New Gloucester, Maine. Kaltumo is involved in the Farming for Food & Health Program through the Somali Bantu Community Association of Lewiston. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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A Somali woman passed through Kennedy Park in Lewiston, Maine. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Gamana Yarow and Kaltumo Adow arrived with their children and a friend to work on their plots at Intervale Farm in New Gloucester, Maine. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Mkundo Mkonje, a Somali Bantu, worked on her family plot at Intervale Farm. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Kaltumo Adow used a hoe while working at Intervale Farm. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Asha Abukar, 9, watered the vegetables while helping her mother, Kaltumo Adow, on their plot. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Maryan Osman carried her groceries home after shopping at Mashallah Store on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Aba Abu, second from right, talked with a group of Somali women at the Trinity Jubilee Center in Lewiston where she works as an interpreter. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Executive director Muhidin Libah of the Somali Bantu Community Association in his office in Lewiston. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Nadifo Heban, 9, ran through the rain outside her family shop on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Gamana Yarow fed her children, from left, Bakar, 6, Maryan, 3, Ifrah, 2, and Sowda Dakane, 5, at home in Lewiston. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Sowda Dakane, 5, sat in the corn while her mother, Gamana Yarow, worked on her plot at Intervale Farm. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Gamana Yarow, center, and her son, Bakar Dakane, 6, relaxed with Kaltumo Adow, left, and her daughter, Asha Abukar, 9, and Rukia Ibrahim after working on their plots at Intervale Farm. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Gamana Yarow worked on her plot with her daughter, Maryan Dakane, 3, at Intervale Farm. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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Gamana Yarow walked with her daughter, Maryan Dakane, 3, after working on her plot at Intervale Farm. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
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