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Siem Reap, KH – Cucumber farm pays for productive assets – 31 Oct 2020

SY family has worked hard to earn enough money by growing cucumber to buy a motorcycle to transport their children to school and a small tractor for ploughing their cucumber fields. Their path to investing in these assets started from a very poor beginning and started to improve when they built a family vegetable garden.

SY is originally from another village but married a girl from Peaksneg Village. Life has been a struggle for SY and his wife while they have been raising their children. This is because there were few job opportunities in the village, and like many families they didn’t always have enough food to eat and were unable to pay all their children’s education fees. There is a lack of resources and productive assets in the local area, which means few jobs and opportunities to earn income.

SY became aware of the Peaksneng Thormacheat shop’s home vegetable garden assistance program, and invited the shop manager Rey to assist him to grow his own food for feeding his family. Since he started his garden a few years ago, he has learned how his garden can help his family prosper. He has learned from both successes and failures as he has focused on getting the most income from his small area of land. His strong interest in both family and commercial gardening has grown day-to-day and has changed his family’s life. He has now become one of the more active cucumber farmers in the area, using a combination of organic and modern farming techniques.

All his family are enjoying growing and cultivating plants, especially the children who have fun digging in the soil, getting dirty and feeling responsible for their garden as a family. They see the benefit of their efforts because they can now eat enough food to grow up healthy, and the family can sell surplus vegetables to earn income.

Of course their garden faces the challenges of pests, weeds, weather surprises and a changing climate that changes which seasons are good for some crops and hostile to others. Weeds are one of the greatest chores because they need to be controlled, otherwise they take water and nutrients from the soil, harbor bad bugs, shade or crowd out vegetables and make it harder to maintain an organized garden. Additionally, stray dogs and chickens can damage the vegetable garden. As SY says, “Thankfully, finding solutions to gardening challenges, while frustrating at times, is part of what makes growing your own food and commercial produce such a lively adventure!”

Like many other families, Soc and his wife want their children to grow up healthy and educated. To make this possible, they dream of qualifying for a rent-to-own home at the new Eco Land area near to the first rent-to-own home community.