Red Cross launches Syr­ian gar­den­ing project

Garden News (UK) - - About Now -

Hu­man­i­tar­ian aid char­ity the Bri­tish Red Cross is help­ing one Syr­ian vil­lage at­tempt a ves­tige of nor­mal­ity by grow­ing its own food. The Gar­den Vegetable Project is a pi­lot scheme help­ing pro­vide fresh veg­eta­bles for refugees re­turn­ing to Nahlaya, a vil­lage in north west Syria, 60 miles from Aleppo.

The plot is large enough to sup­port 100 fam­i­lies, and the Red Cross will pro­vide high­qual­ity seeds for veg­eta­bles, in­clud­ing cu­cum­ber, cour­gette, beans, okra, pump­kin, radish and the herbs pars­ley, mint and thyme, all crops that can be quickly planted in time for an au­tumn har­vest. As the land has been ne­glected and lacks nu­tri­ents, the Red cross will also sup­ply fer­tiliser and ad­di­tional min­er­als.

Al­though fam­i­lies will tend and wa­ter their crops, vol­un­teers from the in­de­pen­dent hu­man­i­tar­ian group, the Syr­ian Arab Red Cres­cent, will ar­range bowser trucks to sup­ple­ment wa­ter in the dri­est sea­sons. One lady, Amira, re­turn­ing to the vil­lage with her hus­band and four chil­dren, found their house de­stroyed and land no longer us­able. “I’m so glad with my re­turn to agri­cul­ture,” she told the Red Cross’ Penny Sims. “Now I can de­pend on pro­duc­tive land to ful­fil our needs, and it’s pos­si­ble we can sell some of the ex­cess.” ● Visit: www.red­cross.org. uk/syria and http://blogs. red­cross.org.uk.

Refugees will be able to grow their own food crops

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