Armenia Tree Project (ATP) has distributed the greenhouse materials to the first 25 beneficiary families of Artsakh’s town of Martuni and the villages of Taghavard, Karmir Shuka and Herher in the region of Martuni.
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 a few days, under the supervision of the greenhouse installation team, beneficiaries were able to prepare the ground and assemble the 30 meter square greenhouses. The greenhouses are designed by students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 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, our 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, lost one of their sons during the 44-day war. They 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. 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,” notes Mr. Harutyunyan.
Davit Avanesyan of the town of Martuni is busy 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,” says 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 four years old. Irina (35), a beneficiary of our 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 hope to return 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,” said Yuri. “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; her husband is buried there and the children miss their school, friends and grandfather very much.
Goharik Adamyan of Herher 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 coping with their loss.
Adamyan shared 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. My husband has always worked outside of the house, so I was the one to take care of the kids, house and the farmland,” said Adamyan. “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.”