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Dec 1, 2021

“Seeds for Life” Growing Your Own Food and Sustaining Your Family During the Pandemic and Beyond

While the COVID pandemic has claimed many lives, left numerous families broken, and debilitated some survivors with lasting health issues, one businesswoman and farmer has used the pandemic as the reason behind her message: it is important to plant what we eat so that diseases like COVID will not cause famine caused by global closures. Nancy Marin, Founder and Director of the Nancy Marin Foundation in Georgeville, Cayo started the “Seeds for Life” program one year ago. She began to plant vegetables and greens of all kinds and started to distribute seeds and seedlings to anyone in the country who has a genuine interests in growing their own crops to sustain themselves and their families. Marion Ali has more.


Nancy Marin

Nancy Marin, Director, Seeds for Life Program

“When we were at the worst and scared with COVID I realized the importance then about our people getting back to the soil and growing our own food.”


Marion Ali, Reporting

Smack in the midst of a countrywide lockdown about a year ago, one woman saw the need for Belizeans to start being self-sufficient. Nancy Marin reached out to Condor Seeds company in the United States with a request for assistance with seeds through her foundation and she was able to receive a significant supply of vegetable seeds for planting. Marin then started to sort and distribute the seeds to over five hundred families, including some farmers, and also offered those with little knowledge about farming with tips and advice to ensure their crops would grow. She says many more are welcome to have some seeds.


Nancy Marin

“All you have to do is first have the desire to want to plant, to want to be able to put food on your table, and reach out to us. We have a very, very small application form. We send you the application form, you fill it out and literally, everybody is accepted. We have thirteen total varieties of seeds. To families that have limited experience, we’re only giving eleven varieties because they are the easier ones. We have two varieties like the asparagus that you’re seeing here and the artichokes that are a little trickier, so we try to give those to farmers with a little bit more experience or organizations that can manage it better.”


And once you have submitted the form specifying the types of seeds you’d like to have, you can pick up the seeds or if possible, they can be dropped off for you. And for people who like to plant but are of the view that their hands don’t yield harvests, Marin does not agree.


Nancy Marin

“Here everybody plants, it’s no special person; no special nothing. You just have to ensure the quality of your soil for one. We make sure we research and see the quality of soil we have will correspond with the type of plant. Kales and stuff will need a little bit of shade before you transplant it out in the ground, so to protect it when it’s a seedling.”


Interestingly, you also do not need vast tracks of land to plant food crops.


Nancy Marin

“You don’t have to have a farm to do it, Marion. I’ve seen families that don’t have any land at all and they do it on their veranda. They keep it on their veranda and then they put it out by the stairs in containers.”


Marion Ali

“And that feeds the family?”


Nancy Marin

“That feeds the family.”


Of the thirteen varieties of seeds you can access, some we’re accustomed to, others are new to us.


Nancy Marin

“We have the traditional stuff – the tomato, the okro, we have the lettuce, the Swiss chard is something new. We have different things, so we have a little bit of things that we’re used to and then what I try to do and what we will continue doing is every year incorporating something new so that Belizeans are more exposed to more balanced nutrition in their garden.”


Marion Ali

“And it can grow in our tropical weather right?”


Nancy Marin

“We test here first, so we make sure that it can grow. We do our research and then we test before we hand it out to the public.”


Since the start of the project, Marin says the success rate on people’s harvests has been significant.


Nancy Marin

“Because of COVID I don’t go to everyone personally, but they have my WhatsApp (number) and they do send me pictures and they’re very excited.”


What’s even more encouraging about these types of seedlings is that they are heirloom seeds, so they keep producing without you ever again have to purchase new seeds.


Nancy Marin

“We test everything. Wi clear out, wi test again.”


The only thing left now is for you to get your seeds from the Foundation and test your own planting skills. Marion Ali for News Five.


Marin says that the application form that people fill out is just for filing so she can check with recipients about how their crops are coming along and to offer more assistance they have difficulty and need advice about soil types and so forth. Marin can be reached at or at cell number: 628-1758.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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