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.
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
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
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
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.