TREES OF LIFE RESTORATION
Living and teaching sustainable farming in Northern Mongolia
Trees of Life is actively building and investing in the people of the Sukhbaatar, Selenge community through the use of sustainable horticulture (permaculture), teaching and relationship building.
As an organization Trees of Life Restoration supports and is an advocate for the principles of Permaculture, Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture) being the “conscious design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems which have the diversity, stability & resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape, people & appropriate technologies, providing good, shelter, energy & other needs in a sustainable way. Permaculture is a philosophy and an approach to land use which works with natural rhythms & patterns, weaving together the elements of microclimate, annual & perennial plants, animals, water & soil management, & human needs into intricately connected & productive communities. (Bill Mollison and Scott Pittman)
Fitting in with the principles of permaculture, Trees of Life Restoration is seeking to introduce new methods of sustainable horticulture. This includes:
• the use of greenhouses and containers for plant propagation
• introducing new plant species that are compatible with the landscape
• utilizing indigenous species and methods as much as possible
• the use of cover crops
• the use of shelter-belts
• efficient irrigation systems
Trees of Life Restoration strongly believes in the integration of their project with both the local and broader community and the dissemination of the results of this project to these communities. This will be accomplished through:
• Training seminars, including theory and practical things such as grafting, pruning and propagation.
• New processed fruit and/or vegetable product development training
• “garden tours” and an open door policy for people asking questions
• Hiring and training local workers
• Mentoring growers
Trees of Life would like to see a network of growers develop over time for the purposes of mutual development, more efficient dissemination of information, and a way to trial new plant varieties.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
– Chinese Proverb
Mongolia has the world’s most northerly desert and the most southerly permafrost. The high altitude, extreme fluctuation in temperature, long winters, and low precipitation provides limited potential for agricultural development. As a predominantly nomadic, pastoral economy Mongols have traditionally disdained the raising of crops except in recent years.
Crop production introduced during the socialist era initially concentrated on the production of fodder for animals and raising cereals (wheat,barley and some oil-yielding crops). In recent years there has been an increase of fruit and vegetable production. The main fruit crops being seabuckthorn, black currants, and watermelons.
Will You Join Us?
Do you have experience in trees or horticulture and would like to come put on a training for the community? Do you have an adventurous spirit and want to learn gardening in Mongolia? We are looking for short and long term volunteers to join us.
We are currently raising money for community training, land development, equipment needs and ongoing salaries for workers.
Robert comes from a farming/agricultural family background based in southern Manitoba, Canada. From an early age he began to plant tree seeds and his passion for trees has grown steadily. He pursued a career in Geological Sciences which lead him into the areas of mineral exploration and natural resource management. A career shift in his early 40’s lead him to Mongolia in 2002, where he became involved with Alpha Communities and participated in several of their community development projects. Involvement in these projects exposed him to the social needs of the country and his travels in the Mongolian countryside lead him to see the similarities to the central Canadian landscape. Out of this was birthed the vision to use trees to help mitigate some of the socioeconomic needs of the people and to enhance and protect the landscape of the country.
Marlene Baerg was born and raised in Canada. She started her journey of life in Mongolia in 2002. She loves gardening, weeding, canning, flowers and the simplicity of countryside life. She loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She is passionate about people and creating a warm and inviting home.
Travis Armstrong is from Kingman, Arizona USA. After finishing his previous job, he took an agriculture course through California Polytechinic University of Pomona and was certified in hydroponics. Then Travis traveled to Asia from April to June 2015 where he met Robert, Marlene and Saikhnaa and moved to join them in August of the same year. His passions are music, motorcycles, faith and agriculture.
Saikhnaa Chuluunbat was born and raised in Mongolia. She has served as the administrative assistant and translator for TLR for the past 5 years. Her organizational skills and creativity have been a huge blessing to the organization. She loves to connect with people and has a heart for development in Mongolia.