Maka Mberwa is part of a farming-focused non-profit called Global Gardens which encourages farmer participation at the Capital City Public Market. “Global Gardens is a program of the Idaho Office for Refugees. We strive to involve diverse families in healthy lifestyles and entrepreneurial training. We do so through the cultivation, harvest, cooking, eating, and sales of fresh, healthy [chemical-free] produce. We connect the food needs of diverse families with resources to grow and market food.”
Maka is from Somalia, but was forced to flee to Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp before finally settling in the U.S. in 2004. She is one of the first Global Gardens farmers. She has 6 children and 2 nephews, many of whom you may see helping her at the farm and market. Both daughter Safiya (Safari Farm) and daughter-in-law, Isha (Mother and Children Farm), have also become Global Gardens farmers as a result of Maka’s participation in the program. Besides farming, Maka spends much of her time babysitting for relatives and friends. Maka brings her farming skills with her from Somalia where she raised corn, olives, and potatoes and she has since learned to grow things like beets, radishes, and salad mixes for market. You can chat with Maka about her spray- and pesticide-free veggies at the market.