In a world full of challenges that often lack clear solutions, the Seeds for a Future Progam continues to deliver its solution for addressing the chronic malnutrition and income challenges facing many rural Guatemalans.
Families build success through our program because it is flexible – the knowledge and skills we share with them are adapted and incorporated in ways that meet each family’s unique needs and resources.
Here you’ll see the Program in action through the experience of Artemio from Santo Tomás, during his first six months with a Backyard Farm, or Casa Granja.
Artemio is 31 years old, single and lives with his two younger brothers, two younger sisters and his mom and dad on a small street right at the edge of town. Their home includes space for a small neighborhood store.
When Artemio was little he was friends with Matea, who is now one of our expert Extensionists. One day last year, Matea told him about our Backyard Farm, or Casa Granja, nutrition program. Although Artemio had never worked with crops before, he was very interested in the integrated approach of Seeds for a Future. With Matea’s guidance, Artemio started his Backyard Farm in January 2022.
“It’s basically me who works in the garden and our store, which I run. Sometimes my sisters cover the store while I’m in the garden,” said Artemio. It’s the first time the area next to his house has been put to productive use. He now comes daily to spend time planting different crops and experimenting with them.
“Tomatoes are very delicate and require a lot of care; celery is very easy to grow, and people consume a lot of it. Hierba Mora (nightshade) is also used in a lot of dishes and is very profitable at 15 Quetzales (about US $2) per “mano” or small bunch. Artemio adds, “What sells most in the store is tomato and onion, along with seasonal greens.”
Watch his video here: After Only Six Months, This Young Man is Producing Food for His Whole Family!
Artemio plans to continue with the Program and learn new techniques to improve the production of his nutrition garden, especially tomatoes because they sell so well. “My little garden space generated a total of Q1,500 (US$ 200) of income for us from just this harvest. This is what motivates me to work every day in my garden.”
He also notes, “Seeds for a Future helped us get a plastic sheet to protect the garden from the heavy rainfalls here, so we can keep producing food, even in difficult weather.”
“I like all the benefits of a Casa Granja,” adds Artemio, “-- eating better, the income from selling produce in our store, plus having ingredients on hand. In the kitchen, I like to use mint, chili and cilantro.” Looking ahead, Artemio plans: “In the coming 6 months, I want to make dried herb condiments with oregano, basil and celery to sell in the store.”
Through training and mentoring, the Seeds Program helps women, men, and entire families have more food, better nutrition, and new income opportunities – achieving better lives with the Program's vital goals: food security and micro-businesses.
Click here to see some of the resources we developed for our extensionists and participants, and to guide implementation of similar programs in other areas. Built to be flexible, with determination and support, the Seeds Program can be replicated worldwide.
THANK YOU! Your support has made success possible for Artemio and so many others!
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