planting Lemon Trees in Domiz camp, Iraq
planting Lemon Trees in Domiz camp, Iraq

The Lemon Tree Trust (LTT) is a not-for-profit organization active since 2014 in supporting capacity building, development, and advocacy for greening innovation and urban agriculture within contexts of forced migration. We are the international arm and affiliate to the U.S. based organization, Citizen D, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Dallas, Texas that supports Citizen Driven projects centered on urban agriculture in marginalized communities.

The Lemon Tree Trust was originally founded as a result of research funded through Citizen D and the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity out of Southern Methodist University. This research, which included GIS mapping of green space in urban environments, led to an understanding of the need for refugee camp greening and subsequently resulted in a multi-year project in Northern Kurdish Iraq.

At Lemon Tree Trust, we believe that urban agriculture—the tangible manifestation of ecology, greening and cultivation—creates new and unrealized value to achieve dignity, empowerment and sovereignty for those living in under-resourced communities, such as refugee camps.

Our aims

  • To encourage the development of urban agriculture within refugee camps through gardening and farming;
  • to offer environmentally sound options for economic development and livelihood strategies within the camps.

Our aim is to help make findings around agricultural solutions in forced displacement available to all stakeholders.

Our objectives include:

  • facilitating peer education programs,
  • carrying out research to build a scientific evidence base,
  • improving livelihoods, well-being, and access to sustainable jobs,
  • advocating for the therapeutic nature of green spaces in trauma recovery,
  • promoting food sovereignty through advocating for land access and management,
  • working with policy makers to mainstream greening innovation and urban agriculture,
  • committing to long-term strategic solutions centered on the needs of displaced people,
  • launching new businesses to be run, and in some instances fully owned by refugees.

Recent Developments

Over the last two years, we have been developing home gardens, larger scale food demonstration gardens and a 3-hectare farm/ pomegranate plantation in Domiz refugee camp, northern Iraq. We are now increasing our scale by transferring these best practices to other camps and locations in the region through strategic partnerships.

We seek to employ refugees and IPDs handing over responsibilities as soon as possible to local managers and facilitiators. Wee have been instrumental in developing and supporting garden centres, and nurseries, which operate as businesses within the camps in their own right.

The Lemon Tree Team

  • Stephanie Hunt: Co-Founder
  • Dr Mikey Tomkins: Co-Founder
  • Carrie Perkins: Co-Founder
  • Dr Andrew Adam Bradford: Senior Technical Consultant
  • Dr Juliet Millican: Community Consultant and Researcher
  • Alfonso Montiel: Fundraiser
  • Elvina Flower: Digital Consultant