Armenia Tree Project distributed the greenhouse materials to the first 25 beneficiary families of Artsakh’s Martuni Town, and the villages of Taghavard, Karmir Shuka and Herher in Martuni Region.
All 50 families participating in ATP’s backyard greenhouse program were severely affected by the recent 44-day war having lost family members and/or homes, businesses, and belongings. ATP’s program will provide some economic stability, access to produce as so much agricultural land was lost in the war, and most importantly, hope for their future.
In about a few days, under the supervision of the greenhouse installation team, ATP’s beneficiaries were able to prepare the ground and assemble the 322 square foot greenhouses.
The greenhouses are designed by students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute to be small, durable, and made of locally available and affordable materials.
Earlier this April, ATP provided families with 10 fruit trees for their personal use. In addition, the organization’s partners at Green Lane NGO provided the families with berry bushes and vegetable seeds. The beneficiaries are invited to participate in a two-day training at Green Lane NGO’s Learning Center in Armenia’s Kotayk region. The course will focus on crop production, greenhouse operation, the plant environment, and pest control.
Masis Zargaryan, the Deputy Head of Martuni District Administration supervises the distribution and implementation of the backyard greenhouse program in Martuni.
Mardi and Rusanna Harutyunyan, a couple from Karmir Shuka who lost one of their sons during the 44-day war, are currently busy preparing the greenhouse. Their other son Nver helps in the construction work.
“Assembling the greenhouse went rather fast and it took only two days to finish it,” said Harutyunyan. “Before sowing seeds and planting seedlings, I want to improve the quality of the soil, to enable the plants to grow better. I have also installed drip irrigation, so during hot summer days I can use it as well.”
Davit Avanesyan from Martuni town is busy with preparing the soil for planting. “Since the area of the greenhouse is rather small, the vegetables and the greenery we will grow will be enough to feed my family year-round,” said Avanesyan.
Yuri is overseeing the reconstruction of a house in Karmir Shuka village severely damaged during the 44-day war. The house Yuri is rebuilding is for his daughter-in-law, Irina and her four children—the youngest of which is only 4-years-old. Irina, 35, a beneficiary of ATP’s backyard greenhouse program, lost her husband, Yuri’s son, during the 44-day war. Originally from Karmir Shuka, she moved her young family to Stepanakert until the renovations are complete. They anticipate returning in a month or two.
“The greenhouse is ready to plant the seeds provided by Green Lane NGO hopefully we will have a harvest this year. The renovations to the house are almost complete for my family to return. I have 10 grandchildren, who all live in this village. We have nowhere else to live but our birthplace.”
Although the situation in Karmir Shuka remains troubling, Irina shares that she can’t wait to return, because her husband is buried there and also the children miss their school, friends, and grandfather very much.
Goharik Adamyan of Herher Village heads a large household of nine and shares the responsibility of her daughter’s five children who currently live with her. In 2020, the Adamyan family lost their son during the 44-day war and are still in the process of coping with their loss.
During a recent conversation with Goharik, she recounted that before the war she had big plans and dreams about the future. Now, the war not only has changed the way she thinks but it also reduced her life to the very basics.
“All I want from life is to be able to help my daughter raise her kids, since she lost her husband several years ago,” Adamyan said. “My husband has always worked outside of the house, so I was the one to take care of the kids, house and the farmland. I know how to farm, grow vegetables and greens, so hopefully I will be able to grow ‘food’ from the greenhouse as well. Even a bundle of greens that you can put on the table for my big family is a plus and I am grateful to the organizers and implementers of this Program,” she added.
Armenia Tree Project, established in 1994, is a non-profit organization that revitalizes Armenia’s and Artsakh’s most vulnerable communities through tree-planting initiatives, and provides socio-economic support and growth. It is based in Yerevan, Armenia and has an office in Woburn, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit the Armenia Tree Project website.