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
Make a secure online donation by clicking on one of the below buttons.
Our infrastructure costs are covered by our core funder which means that 100% of donations go directly to benefiting people in camps.
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.
- Favourite edibles include: courgette, broad beans, salad crops, radish, chard, tomatoes, sweetcorn, carrots, leafy herbs (parsley, coriander, etc), rocket.
- Favourite ornamentals include: snapdragons, violas, petunias, sunflowers, zinnias, lavender, geraniums, hollyhocks, mint, rosemary and thyme.
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. We have created a library of downloadable graphics to share on social media, as well as posters to print at home and pin up on your allotment noticeboard, community hub or window. We have two designs for you to choose from. Take a look.
What will the Gardener to Gardener Appeal fund?
- 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. You can also read about Erin Benzakein’s favourite pink flowers, Paul Bangay’s most-loved garden book, ReGen Farming’s words of wisdom on seeds, and much more. ‘THE LAND GARDENER – The Love Issue’ is £15. Gifting options are available so why not treat yourself or a loved one.
Stay in touch and follow our work
Together we are creating a global community of gardeners and changing the conversation around forced migration.
In the UK, the Lemon Tree Trust is a restricted fund under the auspices of Prism the Gift Fund, registered charity 1099682.
In the USA Lemon Tree Trust accepts donations via The Dallas Foundation.