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The Story

A few years ago, For One Life purchased nine acres of land that will be the future site of the For One Life Youth Center. Since the youth center is a long-term project, we decided to do some vegetable farming on some of the land.

The first step was to dig a well for water supply. We were able to dig that well, and fortunately, we hit very good water at 90 feet. After that, a simple, 800 square foot greenhouse was constructed. Plants that are currently being grown in the greenhouse include cabbage, peppers, lettuce, beans, and tomatoes. We are also experimenting with strawberries and a few other plants.

The Reason

Why farming? There are a few reasons for this project:

1. To put the empty farmland to good use. The part of the land where we have built our greenhouse will most likely be untouched by the youth center project for at least five years, since it is the part of the land that will be developed last. We thought it was a shame to leave that fertile farmland empty for five years, so we decided to put it to use.

2. To provide vegetables for Life Cafe. Life Cafe is one of our community development projects in Northeast India. The Greenhouse Project will provide vegetables for the cafe and help reduce the costs of operating the cafe.

3. To provide assistance to widows. The long-term vision of this project is to develop a small network of widows who will be able to buy the vegetables, basically at our cost, and sell them in the local market, thus providing income for them and their families. As the project grows, there will also be work opportunities at the farm in planting, harvesting, and caring for the plants. This will provide seasonal work for a number of people. The widow’s assistance aspect is the major goal of this project.

4. To experiment with various growing methods and crops. Our goal is to keep growing this project. We would like to experiment with aquaponics and a variety of different crops, especially those that are not commonly found here.

The climate is relatively warm in Northeast India, and crops, especially in the greenhouse, can be grown year round. Besides the greenhouse, we are planning to plant around one acre of outdoor crops for this season.

We anticipate that most of this year will be spent experimenting with various crops and techniques, and if we see that it will work out, we would like to introduce the widow’s assistance part of the program by 2018.

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