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June, VOCA volunteer

Jim Kennard, President of the “Food For Everyone” Foundation (FFE) in the US, volunteered to come to Armenia, with helping VOCA, to help Armenian families with small plots of land achieve food security by increasing their capacity to produce adequate healthy food to eat, and to ultimately provide a source of income from sales of excess garden produce. He also volunteered training a family in seedling production at an existing seedling greenhouse in the Shirak region, and provide seedlings for beneficiary families, and training 64 beneficiary families in 8 villages on how to most effectively grow high yields of vegetables using the world-renowned Mittleider Method of gardening.

Jim brought with him, donations of tools and materials for effective gardening and the growing of seedlings. He built a seedling house in Shirak Marz at his own expense and began working with two supervisor families in each village, demonstrating and teaching them the best techniques for building and growing their own gardens, and with them visiting all other participant families in their villages to do the same. Physical garden layouts were improved, watering problems solved and better procedures taught, and seedlings for training purpose were purchased from local sources and proper transplanting procedures were demonstrated and taught to all participants.

A highly respected Armenian agronomist was trained to continue the activity. A formalized plan of procedures was implemented to assure regular follow-up and assistance; In addition, several comparative test plots were established to measure the effectiveness of the Mittleider Methods being introduced as compared with participants’ traditional methods. The results of these comparatives tests will be finalized and available at the end of the growing season, or early November.

The short-term result of our efforts became apparent very quickly, as families began to see order, beauty, and productivity in their gardens, and non-participating neighbors began copying elements of the methods they saw.

One important element we addressed is growing vertically, which allows plants normally occupying 5-10 square feet to be grown in 1-2 square feet of space. To accomplish this requires the use of frames and string for the plants to climb. No provision had been made for demonstrating this important element to the participants.

A small quantity of “T-Frames” and heavy nylon or plastic string were purchased and used as educational material. Metal T-Frame materials were purchased and welded, and frames were delivered to 3 representative and strategically located participants’ gardens, where their benefits can best be demonstrated and proper procedures taught.

More support is needed to learn this technology, use it and teach it to others. In this, the volunteer would receive the benefit of learning, living better and having more nutritious food. If you want to learn about this program or help it grow and expand, contact HDP Foundation.




Computer Support


Education for All


Helping NGOs

Seeds for Needy



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