Gardening has long been a source of solace and purpose for people who have been forcibly displaced. But now, more than ever, we need to support people to garden at home. For food. For flowers. For the future.
In response to the global Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, we are focused on distributing food and flower seeds to people in refugee and IDP camps in Kurdistan who are coping with Government enforced curfews and self-isolation at their shelters.
We have changed our working practices in line with Government advice and continue to educate residents about the urgent need to stay home and stop the spread. Our Azadi Community Garden in Domiz 1 camp remains open for growing essential food, with gardeners following strict social distancing and good hygiene measures.
Furthermore, we have postponed our annual garden competitions and are instead celebrating refugee and IDP camp home gardens with a ‘virtual’ garden exhibition.
“Our guiding principle has always been to encourage home gardening by distributing seeds. It’s a simple, but beautifully effective response to the ever-growing refugee and IDP crisis. As we all adjust to life in lockdown, watching as Covid-19 forces our daily lives to slow and adapt to a new kind of ‘normal’, we are driven more than ever by a desire to spread joy, hope and purpose through the distribution of packets of flower and food seeds. Thank you to everyone who supports our work and joins us in our celebration of gardens and gardening for everyone.”
Gardener to gardener, please help families to continue planting in their home gardens by making a donation or by sending us packets of seeds. Your kind donation will help us to buy more food and flower seeds and distribute these safely to refugee and IDP camps across the Kurdistan Region.
Make a donation
Our infrastructure costs are covered by our core funder which means that 100% of donations go directly to benefiting people in camps.
We welcome one-off donations as well as regular donations via Direct Debit. Make a secure online donation by clicking on one of the below buttons.
Send us seeds
If you would like to donate seed directly, please email [email protected] for the relevant UK or USA postal address.
Our gardeners in Kurdistan grow a range of edibles and ornamentals and are willing to try new things in addition to the crops they know and love.
Any colourful annuals, biennials or perennials are welcome, as are pollinator plants – our gardeners in Domiz also keep bees and we are committed to improving the biodiversity and environment of the camps in which we work. We are very grateful for any seed you would like to donate.
Help spread the word
Tell friends and family about how you are supporting our emergency Seed Appeal with our downloadable graphics and template messaging below. We have two designs for you to choose from – which one will you select?
Download this A5 poster (PDF), print it at home and pin up on your allotment noticeboard, community hub or window to encourage wider support for our Emergency Seed Appeal.
Tell friends and family about how you are supporting our emergency Covid-19 Seed Appeal with these social media graphics. There are two designs to choose from for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp – download below.
Don’t forget to tag us and use the hashtags #SeedAppeal and #StayHomePlantSeeds.
I’m supporting the Lemon Tree Trust’s ‘Gardener to Gardener’ Seed Appeal 😊🍋
The appeal is helping people living in refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to continue growing food and flowers in their small home gardens while they stay home.
If you would like to support the appeal, you can:
🌱 Send any spare seed directly to the Lemon Tree Trust for distribution later in the year – email [email protected] for a postal address 🌷 Donate directly to the Seed Appeal online: https://lemontreetrust.org/donate/
Emergency seed drops to refugee and IDP camps across the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Family gardening activity development to keep people busy and active at home during the pandemic
Home Garden Kits for families to support families to start a home garden
Thank you to…
⭐ Seed supplier Mr Fothergill’s for supporting our Appeal with a promotion during the first week of May 2020. For every packet of vegetable, herb and flower seed bought online by UK customers, Mr Fothergill’s donated a packet of seed to our Appeal. Find out more about our partnership with Mr Fothergill’s.
⭐ The Land Gardeners for donating profits from the first issue of their new pop-up magazine to our Appeal. 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 Baxter’s words of wisdom on seeds, Charlie McCormick on chicken love and much more. ‘THE LAND GARDENER – The Love Issue’ is £15. Gifting options are available so why not treat yourself or a loved one.
⭐ Leafy Couture and Casey Orr for giving 50% of the profits from their uplifting floral collaboration project – buy the limited edition posters and gift cards from the Leafy Couture webshop.
If you are a refugee-led organisation running gardening projects or your work supports refugees and asylum seekers, we may be able to send you seeds.
Ahmed Ibrahim Ismail lives in the Azar neighbourhood of Domiz 2 camp. “I have a humble garden in my house, and I started working on it with my children two years ago. We have spent many good times in it, especially during the curfew for the coronavirus. “My garden contains 20 different types of roses and … Continued
We’re thrilled to welcome Hamid Abdullah to the Lemon Tree Trust as our Horticulture & Landscape Consultant. Based in Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Hamid will support Aveen and our team with horticulture training and landscape design for existing and new projects. We asked him a few questions to get to know him better: Which landscape designers are you influenced by and why? … Continued
One thing that Covid-19 has highlighted is that gardening has no borders. We are all finding solace in our personal green space, wherever we are in the world. Your support throughout 2020 and beyond – whether that’s sending seed to our emergency appeal, making a one-off or regular donation via our JustGiving page, or liking, … Continued