Useful articles

Video story about Armenia’s best school mini garden 2022

Stories of success
Last year the Gegharkunik community school was announced as the Best School Mini Garden competition winner. Our partner, School Feeding and Child Welfare Agency shot a fantastic video about the school’s way to victory.

Here is the transcript of the video made initially in Armenian.

Children spade the garden and plant potatoes.

Meri Grigoryan, grade 5:
— We were happy to learn that we will establish a garden.

Mariam Abrahamyan, grade 10:
— It was a new activity for us, and we thought it would be fun to work together and reap the harvest.

The children spade the soil and plant seeds.

Nelly Hakobyan, school headmaster:
— We participate in this competition for the second time. Our previous experience and the victory in The Best Harvest nomination gave us a solid impetus to compete for first place. First, we cleaned the soil of mud and rubbish, then plowed it and chose crops that could be grown in our community. Next, we had old wooden window frames processed and later used as a fence children painted by themselves.

Children are painting the fence.

Mariam Abrahamyan, grade 10:
— We planted 16 types of crops: turnip, different herbs, potatoes (widely grown in our area), beans, strawberries, and many other plants.

Nelly Hakobyan, school headmaster:
— During a teacher-parent conference, one of the parents engaged in the implementation of the project suggested planting in a way that higher plants do not limit the access to sunlight for smaller ones. I asked him for a more detailed explanation. The parents participated in planting potatoes and other crops. Together with the children and teachers, they helped a lot.

High school children harvest radishes and strawberries.

Mariam Abrahamyan, grade 10:
— Most of all, I liked the moment when we saw the greens. The plants grew, and we had to remove the weeds, so when the crops became visible, we were happy because seeing your work bearing fruit is always great.

Cucumber beds. A boy makes holes with a stick.

— Zhora, what are you doing?
— Make holes in the soil to oxygenate it.
— Let me help you.
— Girls, look at what I have found.

The children find the first tiny cucumbers. Pick a giant sunflower, broccoli, and watermelon, and dig out potatoes and turnips.

Mariam Abrahamyan, grade 10:
— Thanks to this project, I understood that you must treat soil with love, and if you do not invest love, warmth, and soul, the soil will not respond with a rich harvest.

The children pull out the turnip, holding each other just like in the famous fairytale.

— Organic approach is essential when taking care of plants. Many farmers use pesticides, although in small amounts, to have a heavy harvest. We had an opportunity to taste crops without chemical treatment and simultaneously felt the difference. Organic plants are much more delicious.

Helped by the teacher, primary school children learn to conduct nitrate tests with a particular device.

— Now Angelina will test nitrates in the cabbage. Take the device, install it, and press the button. Here we have 104. Can you all see this? What is the screen color at the moment?

— Green
— What does it mean?
— It is good.
— What about nitrates?
— Within the norm.

Nelly Hakobyan, the school headmaster:
— We reaped an abundant and healthy harvest despite the small size of the garden. The members of the Azhdahak club we cooperate with brought the device, which proved that we had grown healthy crops.

Primary school children prepare a salad in the kitchen: grate carrots, cut cucumbers, tomatoes, and broccoli.

— It will not be an exaggeration to say that I firmly believed in our victory. After the first year of participation, I analyzed our experience and looked for gaps. This year, we tried to correct all our mistakes and put much effort into this soil. We strived for victory because our school needed financial assistance.

Children dress the salad with oil and add seeds.

— We have an apple garden with drip irrigation, and when our greenhouse gives crops in autumn, we will buy fridges to store the harvest or even sell a part of it.

A wall newspaper designed for the competition.

Meri Grigoryan, grade 5:
— When I heard that we had won the competition, I thought other towns and villages would learn about our community and our school would finally be repaired.