Home gardens are springing up around the world! From Bolivia to Uganda, Ethiopia to Canada, home gardens are helping to feed children and families. With the COVID-19 pandemic limiting access to fresh foods for many around the world, these families can grow nutritious fruits and veggies right in their own backyards, thanks to the support of generous donors.
Silvia’s flavourful, nutritious harvest in Bolivia
In Bolivia, 9-year-old Silvia loves taking care of her home garden by watering plants. Her mother taught her everything she knows including how to plant and transplant seedlings.
Silvia’s parents once faced difficulties purchasing fresh foods to feed their family of five, until our local Bolivian partner IPTK provided Silvia’s parents with a solar tent and gardening supplies to start their home garden.
“We plant cabbage, chard, parsley, beets, spinach, celery and lettuce. I like all of them because they add flavour to our meals!” Silvia told us. The abundance of fresh veggies hasn’t just added flavour. Silvia’s family now eats a more diversified diet high in vitamins and nutrients.
Her mom also juices carrots, spinach and beets to sell along with extra produce in the local market. At home, Silvia helps her mother prepare soups, salads and tortillas with their vegetables.
When asked about how much her home garden means to her, Silvia replied, “It’s very important because eating healthy improves our health. It’s very important for me to take care of the plants so they keep growing and not die off – you need to care for your garden.”
Michelle’s knowledge of the land is more important than ever in Waywayseecappo
Michelle is a knowledge keeper from Waywayseecappo First Nation. The mother of six and grandmother of six learned from her parents about local Indigenous culture, traditional medicine, and berry picking. “It is my destination to take over from my parents and continue sharing our culture with others not only in Waywayseecappo but other surrounding communities,” she told us.
As a knowledge keeper, Michelle believes that land-based education is critical for younger generations – and there’s no better place to teach them than in her own garden. Michelle shows her grandchildren how to properly care for seedlings and plants, and they all take part in harvesting their diverse crops of potatoes, onions, carrots, cucumbers, corn, watermelon, garlic and peas.
In addition to tending to the garden, Michelle engages the younger generation in picking medicine like spearmint, sweetgrass and weekay, as well as how to properly forage for berries.
“Land-based education helps kids feel more connected to the land and shows them how they can be healthy living off the land.” Michelle told us. “Plus, it’s so amazing to watch something grow.”
Kidist’s home garden gives her children a fresh start
Kidist is a mother of three young children under six years old, including 5-year-old Tsion. From the beginning, she knew that good nutrition was important for her young family.
Kidist and her husband would often have to choose between providing good food for their children or paying their school fees.
Thanks to the generous support of CFTC donors, Kidist started a home garden and now grows a wide array of fresh vegetables. She’s using her backyard produce to plan balanced meals for her family. “In the past I just gave what was available, but now I give what is important for their physical and mental development.”
Tsion is too young to help her mother in the garden at the moment, so for now she enjoys helping her mom wash dishes. Soon, Tsion will develop her green thumb and grow her own vegetables alongside her mother!
Ernestina grew a home garden into a sustainable business
Ernestina is the leader of her local VSLA in Ghana. Before our local Ghanaian partner TradeAID approached Ernestina to join the VSLA, she was struggling to support and feed her family on her farming income. She didn’t have enough funds to expand her farm, and could only grow small, unprofitable yields.
Through the VSLA, Ernestina gained access to loans which she used to purchase various farming inputs. She also received help to plough her field. She told us, “I ploughed 2 acres of farm land and bought some inputs with my share-out. Feeding is not a problem for us.”
Ernestina now grows enough to earn a stable income, which she supplements with basket weaving. Thanks to the VSLA, she was able to save up an emergency fund to rely on in times of hardship, all while being able to provide fresh, nutritious food to her children from their family plot.
“I do not lack money anymore even if I need money to solve a problem,” she told us. “Thank you CFTC and TradeAid for the opportunity created for us. Bless you.”
Zaina expanded her home garden with your support
For the past 11 years, Zaina and her husband have been farming on their home garden. While Zaina was able to successfully grow rice, millet, cassava and some vegetables, she was doing so without skills or knowledge of proper farming techniques. “Because I didn’t have agricultural knowledge, I never paid attention to how much I harvested. The food I farmed used not to be enough for the family until the next harvest,” Zaina told us.
Now thanks to CFTC donors and our local Ugandan partner CEDO, Zaina received training and inputs to help expand her home garden. When asked what she learned, Zaina told us, “We received training on the best farming practices and storage, so now I am able to store enough food for my family. My husband and I were also trained on value addition on crops like potatoes. Instead of eating fresh potatoes, I can now make dry potato chips and flour which can be stored and lasts longer.”
Learning when to plant certain seeds, how to space out seedlings, and how to properly harvest, Zaina found that she was able to almost double the variety of crops she could grow. Zaina’s children help her in the garden by watering the crops, planting seeds, and chasing away birds that try to eat their crops. The garden has not only fed their family and grown their income, it has also brought them closer together. “In the trainings, we were taught to work together as a couple and plan how to spend our money together – as husband and wife.”
Best of all, Zaina and her husband no longer face issues feeding their four children a balanced, nutritious diet.
YOUR SUPPORT MADE THIS POSSIBLE – THANK YOU
For these five families and many others around the world, your ongoing support has given them the hope they need in the face of difficult times like these. We hope you can see just how impactful your gifts have been and continue to be. With your help, we can continue to ensure that children and families can access fresh, nutritious food now and for the future. Thank you for bringing hope to communities around the world!