For a woman with four children, it is never easy being a single parent. This is how Euis Maryati (57) feels. She is one of the farmers in Patrolsari Village, Arjasari District. Since a few years ago, she had to be a mother and also head of the family.
As a widower, her life is struggling. Even though, she keeps herself motivated to be a strong woman for the sake of her family. Unlike common life of most women in her village, her daily life is not only about taking care of the household things, but also making income to fulfill her family’s needs. Otherwise, she has to work harder than anyone else.
Farming Crops is not Enough to Fulfill Her Family’s Daily Needs
Fortunately, Euis Maryati has a field that she can plant many kinds of plants. Most of them are seasonal food crops. Through her field, she can depend her life to the crops’ yield. “Here, I planted various kind of food crops. I planted chilies, cassava, ground nuts, and red bean. There is also corn. Usually, I harvest my seasonal crops once in every two to three months,” said Euis Maryati.
Afterwards, she sells her crops in a traditional market around her village. Some of the crops are also self-consumed by her family. According to Euis Maryati, by planting crops, at least she does not have to worry if some days she does not have enough money to buy food. Still, she can pick some food crops from her field for her own family consumption.
Even though, to meet her family’s daily needs, she cannot avoid doing double jobs at one time. Besides farming, she also sells snacks. “If I do not farm, I cannot support my family’s needs. However, farming crops is not enough. So, I have also opened a small business selling snacks. It is to increase my income to meet my family’s daily needs,” she conveyed.
Planting Trees: Cultivating a Better Future for Her Family
In 2021, when she was offered a partnership program of tree planting funded by Astra Zeneca collaborated with Trees4Trees and One Tree Planted, Euis Maryati planted burflower-tree, avocado, mango, and orange. She planted those trees among her seasonal crops in her field. She admitted that she was lucky to get plants from the tree planting program. She hopes a lot from trees she planted for the future of her family.
She has been persevering in taking care of her trees. She cleans the grass every day so that all the plants grow well. She also applies her plants with organic fertilizer that she made herself from animal dung.
She expects, by taking good care of those trees, she will be able to harvest the good results. Moreover, now plants in her field are more varied. With more types of trees planted, she hopes she can sell more yields in the future, then she can fulfil her family’s needs much better than today.
“My life has been difficult for years. So I am hoping that it does not get any harder. If not myself, who else will support my family? I realize that I am both the mother and the head of the family. It is not easy. But for my children and their future, I will continue to work harder,” she stated.
She thanks to the tree planting program and she hopes it can bring more prosperity and a better future for women farmers and single parents like her.