Halal Pastures Farm Rock Tavern, NY
Tomatoes are rarely the subject of passionate affection. But for Samer Saleh, who co-owns Halal Pastures Farm with his wife Diane, fervour for his plants is a reflection of his faith.
Samer, like many a farmer, works full-time off the farm, too. When he returns from his job in finance, “I feel like ‘I missed you!’” he says of his plants. “I’m so happy to be back here because I feel like I’m the only one that can see and care for that plant.”
Growing food all started with a growing family. “I wanted to make sure what my kids are eating is something that I trust,” said Samer. “And in this day and age, I don’t trust anything aside from what I do myself, with my own hands.” They have been farming for about six seasons now on their 14-acre property, growing an organic halal family farm that provides their community with organic, pasture-raised meat like Italian sausage and smoked roast beef.
“When I sell something and I say ‘It’s good,’ it must be good,” said Samer. “If you’re seeking the love of Allah, you must be honest, upright, and do things the right way, the way that will satisfy Him. If he’s satisfied, everything else is good.”
Diane and Samer can’t imagine doing what they do without a faith base; it’s part of who they are and how they farm. “When we put the seeds in the ground, we mention the name of Allah [God], first and foremost, with full belief that He’s the one that’s in control of these seeds sprouting and giving us its fruits,” said Samer. “You can put as many seeds in the ground as you want, but without Allah’s baraka [blessing], nothing will come out. I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes.”
As it says in the Qur’an: And have you seen that [seed] which you sow? Is it you who makes it grow, or are We the grower?” Surah 56:63-64
“This year was one of the most amazingly successful years ever for me,” said Samer. “Quite literally every seed that I planted sprouted.”
The reason? Samer points to the gift of seeing, a skill that is always improving and can always be further improved. “When you continue working on it and you’re dedicated, Allah opens the door and reveals more knowledge to you. You see the minute details that you’ve perhaps missed,” he said. “Now you are perfecting that, and the results become better and better.”
For Samer, success goes well beyond germination rates. “When I feel like I’ve inspired someone to touch and interact with the land, to grow, to cultivate, to eat from the fruits of their own labour? There’s nothing more satisfying than that.” Credit Dirt-mag.
Visit Halal Pasteurs at : https://www.halalpastures.com/