Lindener turning COVID-time into crop-time

DPI, Guyana Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The novel coronavirus has challenged many persons. Millennials especially have had difficulty coping with limited social choices. Some though have been very ingenious in how they spend their time and have been reaping dividends.

A good example is that of Lindener Karima Sandiford-Clarke, who is using the time at home to turn her favourite pastime – kitchen gardening – into a business initiative.

“This COVID period has worked out to an advantage. I can spend more time in the garden because at first, it would just be on weekends. Being at home allows me to spend most of my mornings when the place is cool and the sun is down, in the garden,” she revealed.

Sandiford-Clarke told DPI that since Secondary School she developed a “real love for agriculture. When I came home, I would always have a small portion of land that I dedicated to growing vegetables.”

Since then she has been involved in subsistence farming but with her responsibilities as a mother, wife and a full-time job, the garden had to sometimes take a back seat.

However, with more time on her hands now, she can tend her crops, pruning, transplanting, nurturing and treating pest, before reaping the day’s produce.

One of her new year’s resolutions was to spend more time in the garden, and less at the vegetable stand weekly. “I would spend up to $3000 and more per week and they would spoil quickly. I was aware of where our food was coming from and instead wanted to use more of what I grew,” Sandiford-Clarke related.

Today, she not only compliments her family’s meals with food from the kitchen garden but now earns from the traditional and non-traditional cash crops and citrus fruits grown.

Sandiford-Clarke said persons travel from all over to purchase her crops, seeds, seedlings and seek her technical advice. Witnessing how her gardening initiative has impacted others satisfies Sandiford-Clarke and encourages her to invest more effort in her business.

Knowing that she has found many positives from agriculture and spending her time constructively during this time, she is encouraging others to do the same.  “You have to have that inner drive and motivation to want to do this. Just get up and do it for yourself. It might be challenging but it gets easier,” she advised.