Gardens decorate our life. They purify the air, improve the microclimate and provide juicy fruits, from which a variety of food products and medicines are produced. The work in the garden under the fresh air is the best activity for physical and mental recreation to strengthen health, relieve emotional tension, improve mood, and develop love for the native land.
In addition, gardening can help solve one of the acute environmental challenges of rural areas in Belarus - land degradation and the spread of invasive plants.
Using the often empty homestead and school plots for gardening by educating villagers (both children and adults) and supporting them with the necessary materials is the main goal of the environmental initiative *“Green garden economy for the future of the village”, which, together with partners, was implemented by the CSO local development fund “Start- East ” during the period June 2019 - February 2021 in Mogilev region.
Ten resource centers for gardening were created with their own nurseries of fruit trees and berry bushes In Bykhovsky, Slavgorodsky, Krasnopolsky and Cherikovsky districts. In total, more than 7000 seedlings of fruit trees, berry and ornamental shrubs, as well as 7000 seed and clonal rootstocks were purchased. Planting material was planted on 5 hectares of newly developed plots that belong to the initiative's partners.
Today, in the resource centers one can find not only a wide range of seedlings that are most suitable for growing in a given area, but also get the advice of a specialist in planning a garden plot, selecting seedlings, effective methods of cultivating land and plants, etc.
All resource centers are equipped with agricultural equipment and equipment for distance learning, and nurseries are provided not only with planting material, but also with fencing and agricultural implements.
In accordance with the strategy and development plans of nurseries, in three years they will begin to bring their first profit. This will allow each center not only to train the local population in modern gardening, but also to support socially vulnerable families with seedlings.
Within the framework of the initiative, trainings and seminars were held for the resource centers staff, as well as study visits were organized to research institutions dealing fruit-growing issues.
In turn, each resource center has developed a unique training program for the local communities. The result of the training was the writing of business plans for family gardens by the villagers. The best 94 were supported by co-financing with berry bushes for their backyard plots from three operating nurseries.
As a result of the implementation of the initiative "Green Garden Economy for the Future of the Village", about 10 hectares of empty land plots will be occupied by nurseries and family gardens on the territory of Krasnopolsky, Cherikovsky, Slavgorodsky and Bykhovsky districts in 1.5 years.
The regional network has managed to become an example of mutually beneficial cooperation, and resource centers will continue to provide a full range of services for the development of horticulture and environmental entrepreneurship. Already in 2023, the established nurseries will be able to provide high-quality planting material for the local population and will make available the dream of a villager about a modern and productive garden.
*Within the framework of the project “Civic engagement in environmental monitoring and improving environmental management at the local level” funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.