Cultivating a Sustainable Future: A Gardener's Journey to Success

Published: Aug 29, 2023 Reading time: 3 minutes
Cultivating a Sustainable Future: A Gardener's Journey to Success
© Photo: Hana Souckova

“I believe that everyone has the potential to make a difference in the world,” says Man Singh Tamang. “And I believe that one of the best ways to make a difference is to start in our own backyards.”

Man Singh’s story of cultivating a sustainable future started in the small town of Nahar Tole. Born and raised in Sindhupalchowk district, Man Singh migrated to Nahar Tole in search of a better life for his family. At the age of 54, with his wife, two daughters, son, daughter-in-law, and their two children relying on him, Man Singh felt the weight of responsibility on his shoulders. His son occasionally found work as a laborer, but it was inconsistent and couldn’t provide stability for the family.

“I was worried about how I was going to provide for my family,” Man Singh recalls. “But then I realized that I had a passion for gardening. And I knew that if I could turn my passion into a business, I could help my family and make a difference in my community.”

Man Singh discovered his deep passion for gardeninig and nurturing while he worked in View Bhrikuti Hotel and later he joined a nursey in Kathmandu, owned by his relatives.

In 2017, he was selected to attend a two-week training programme organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, which helped him improve his skills and knowledge. He then started a small nursery at home, selling plants, and many hotels and private homes approached him to help design beautiful gardens and maintain their plants. This additional source of income brought stability to his family.

But, Man Singh’s journey towards a sustainable future didn’t end there. His dedication caught the attention of Clean Up Nepal under Urban Resilience Project supported by People in Need, Helvetas Nepal and WHH, who invited him to attend a “Capacity Building on Waste Management” program. Excited by the opportunity to learn more, Man Singh eagerly joined the program.

“I knew that waste management was an important issue,” Man Singh says. “But I didn’t realize how much of a difference I could make by making small changes in my own life.”

During the training, Man Singh learned about the importance of recycling, upcycling plastic waste, and composting effectively. This new knowledge revolutionized his approach to gardening. Previously, he had relied on store-bought compost, but now he understood the value and necessity of sustainable practices. Man Singh learned to make his own nutrient-rich compost from organic waste, harkening back to the traditional practices of his ancestors.

“I was amazed at how easy it was to make compost,” Man Singh says. “And I was even more amazed at how much of a difference it made in my garden.”

Through the program, Man Singh was provided with a compost bin, further enhancing his composting efforts and allowing him to be more self-sufficient. Inspired by the progress he had made, he shared his newfound wisdom with his neighbors, helping them set up their own compost bins and assisting them with any problems they encountered. Together, they embarked on a journey towards a greener and more sustainable community.

“I believe that everyone can make a difference,” Man Singh says. “And I believe that the best way to start is in our own backyards.”

Autor: Pushpa Ghale, Project Coordinator

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