When Nutch and her children began gardening last year, it not only brought them food and financial stability — but also important time together as a family.
Nutch and her family live on an abandoned palm plantation in southern Thailand. They couldn’t afford to buy or rent their own house, but their friend offered them this space that wasn’t being used. And they were so grateful — because money was tight.
Nutch’s husband works as a delivery truck driver, making the equivalent of about $200 a month. Nutch stays home to care for their four children, who span in age from 16 years old to just 3 months. The three older children are in school, but Nutch and her husband struggled to afford their school fees.
One of their children’s teachers referred them to Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF), Holt’s partner organization in Thailand. A social worker visited their home and got to know their family. And when she was there, she realized something … The abandoned palm plantation where they lived would be a great place for growing vegetables.
So this is exactly what they did.
They found the right space outside their house, and got to work — strategically planting vegetables that would grow for them throughout the year. Nutch’s garden took off.
Today, they have more than 15 types of vegetables: chili, turmeric, lemongrass, papaya, galangal, basic, morning glory and more. This garden has changed Nutch’s life.
“From growing vegetables, the family saved money and even built up a little savings,” says their HSF social worker. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, they had food sources around their home — a safe meal. They are self-reliant.”
The entire family gardens together, growing food for their daily meals. They sell their vegetables in the market, which is providing the critical extra income they need to provide all that their children need.
Nutch loves sharing their vegetables with friends in need — and is even teaching their neighbors to garden!
“Nutch has the volunteer spirit to help take care of friends in the community,” her family’s social worker says.
Nuch’s simple garden is changing her family’s life, and even changing her community.
Nuch wanted to share her story in her own words, and wrote the following handwritten “Sawadeeka,” or “thank you,” note to the Holt donors who helped make her garden possible:
There are six people in our family. In 2021, we were able to reduce expenses and increase income from growing vegetables. This is how we did it:
All our family members are involved in growing vegetables — from helping each other to plant to harvesting the food for meals. We all helped weed, water, pick vegetables and gathered leftover vegetables to sell in the community.
My children love nature, having fun and taking care of plants. They help with the work and have clear responsibilities for themselves. For example, the older ones put water in a watering can for the younger siblings to water the plants. They help with the weeding after school.
“Our family uses vegetable planting activities as a gathering point for members of the family. And the children eat all the vegetables they grow! “
Our family uses vegetable planting activities as a gathering point for members of the family. And the children eat all the vegetables they grow! The youngest son likes to eat lentils. Our house menu is mixed vegetable curry, as well as stir-fried bean sprouts that we grew ourselves.
Now, we save 500-700 baht per month because we no longer have to buy vegetables outside the house. And have extra income of 100-200 baht per month from selling vegetables.
Thank you very much for all the help you have given my family!
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