We have developed an Urban Agriculture demonstration garden, called Liberation Garden in Domiz Camp, Iraq to demonstrate, educate and support small-scale growing. We argue that all refugee camps should have demonstration gardens.

Demonstration Gardens

The purpose of the Urban Agriculture demonstration garden is to share the many different techniques used in small-scale food production within a camp environment. These techniques include recycling greywater, composting, planting in small spaces, breeding small livestock for meat and growing under plastic.

The Demonstration Garden: ‘Azadi’, or ‘Liberation’

We conducted a needs assessment with gardeners in Domiz Camp in 2016 which highlighted their interest in having a demonstration garden within the camp. We were given permission to take on and manage a disused site by the camp authorities and then refurbished a broken bore hole located at the site with the help of Human Relief Foundation. The site was already called ‘Azadi’ which means ‘liberation’ in Kurdish. We used a participatory mapping approach to design the garden and employed refugees to develop it. It is now operating as a training and demonstration centre, providing advice on how to use greywater use for irrigation, raising seedlings for distribution, and growing and distributing vegetables. There is a recreational space for men, rasied-bed gardens for women and children and livestock and greenhouse areas.

The garden is supported by a decreasing subsidy model, with 100% funding in the first quarter of operation, reducing subsidy for wages by 10% a quarter. In the second year workers will receive 60% of their original salary, with the intention that they can make the additional 40% through selling vegetables and seedlings.

Any surplus profits and produce will be distributed and/or sold to benefit vulnerable households.

 

The Azadi Community Garden in Domiz 1 camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is run by a small team of gardeners headed up Aveen, our Operations Manager. We asked team members Ismail and Shalal (pictured below) some questions about their work in the garden and their favourite plants. Ismail “I’m Ismail, a Syrian refugee. … Continued

Huge gratitude and thanks go to Erin Benzakein, Becky Crowley and all the team at Floret Flowers. As well as a generous donation of Floret seeds to our emergency ‘Gardener to Gardener’ Seed Appeal, Erin has published a lovely interview feature with our founder Stephanie Hunt on the Floret website. In the feature, Stephanie chats … Continued

Our heartfelt thanks go to Bridget and Henrietta at The Land Gardeners for donating profits from the first issue of their new pop-up magazine to Lemon Tree Trust. In this beautiful digital magazine, The Land Gardeners share what to plant and how to grow in lockdown. Plus, read about Erin Benzakein’s favourite pink flowers, Paul Bangay’s most-loved garden book, Kay … Continued