b'A FAMILYS STORYIN THE VILLAGE OF RANGIYAM, BUDHINIhusband cultivate eggplant, cauliflower, beans,LEFT HANSDA AND HER HUSBAND, BARIAL, tend tochili peppers, pumpkins, okra, cabbage andThe Hansda familyBudhini their kitchen garden. Though they use hand toolsspinach according to the season. She also keepsand her husband to till the soil and buckets and bowls to irrigatesome chickens and has a rice paddy. HansdaBarial with their crops, their garden is well-organized andestimates that she has earned INR 60,000 ($833)their daughter Jyotsana and beautifully managed. per year from the sale of vegetables, and that heryoung son In recent months, nurturing their crops hasfamily, which includes her husband, their twoKartiksit with vegetables from become more important than ever before. Aschildren and her in-laws, consumes about INRtheir kitchen the COVID-19 pandemic rages through India,20,000 ($277) worth of vegetables annually. Ingarden.Hansda and her young family have becomeaddition to vegetables, they supplement their dietRIGHT reliant on their garden for food and income. with eggs and chicken. Budhini and We are food secure at a time when manyHansda credits much of the kitchen gardensBarial Hansda tend to their people are unable to arrange even one propersuccess to the training she received from Heifervegetables in meal a day, she said, because the garden allowsInternational, because its difficult to scale upOdisha, India. us to reduce our dependence on markets andproduction without learning the right techniques.other sellers during the pandemic. After training, my husband and I work This saves her family the expense oftogether on a bigger kitchen garden to cultivate purchasing food and prevents unnecessaryvegetables, she said.interactions that could lead to infection. Alongside her poultry business and gardening Lockdowns that are necessary to prevent thetraining, Hansda also received instruction on spread of disease impede communities access tonutrition, which has already had an impact on her We are food secure at a time when manybasic amenities, including access to banks, healthfamily. She has prioritized her childrens protein care facilities and government-run programs. intake and is making sure she eats enough to stay people are unable to arrange even one properDuring lockdown, the municipal haat bazaarhealthy. I am going to ensure a proper diet for allan open-air market where local traders, small- my family members, she said.meal a day, because the garden allows us toscale farmers and merchants sell their waresTheir kitchen garden feeds them and, whenclosed down. These bazaars are an economicmarkets are open, provides a much-needed reduce our dependence on markets andlifeline in rural communities, but they are alsoincome that can be used to pay for living presumed to be infection hotspots. Hansda notesexpenses and school fees for her 6-year-old other sellers during the pandemic. that when lockdowns take place, they cannot godaughter, Jyotsana. Through this dark period, to the haat but buyers in their local communityHansda and her family are adapting andBUDHINI HANSDA can still come to them. perseveringand theyre growing alongside On their one-acre plot, Hansda and hertheir garden.nHEIFER.ORG |7'