Song Zhongmin(China)



A Bashan Woman’s Blueprint

Interviewers/Ma Jiuju      Translator/ Zhao Jing     Collator/ Li Jing

My name is Zhongmin Song. My husband and I had worked in big cities for many years. In 2012, my mother-in-law and I went back to our hometown-Ningqiang, Shaanxi for health reasons. The doctor said the food issues and environmental pollution affected our health seriously, and it is true that after I came back to my hometown my respiratory infection was cured without any medical help. When I was in hometown, I noticed that only the elderly were left in village, other people moved to the town for work or for education.  Later, I met a foundation which leaded the villagers grow mushrooms and fungus to develop organic farming. I join it, but in the end I lost tens of thousands yuan because of difficulties in sales.

Then I came into contact with cooperatives, through that I realized that we must hold together to develop our hometown. So in early 2014, we set up cooperatives with the hope of selling planted vegetables. And in 2015, with the help of a teacher, we joined a special agency which aims to develop cooperations.  With the help of agency, our mountain cabbages got the “Green Certificate”, and since then the market began to open for us. Runing co-operatives is difficult, but I have to stick to it because I want our kids and more kids to have a chance to eat healthy vegetables. Actually, I once heard that if we continue to eat unhealthy vegetables or other unhealthy food,  50 years later, we will be unable to have children! So for my children, for more children, even if it is hard, I have to stick to it.  Also, as rural people, we should know how to grow plants and know how to protect the land.

When think about rural sustainable development, I believe that it is necessary to develop based on the local conditions. As our village is known as “Natural Oxygen Bar” and the environment is very good, I want to develop tourism in the village. I want the villagers to understand that our peasants cannot just make money out of our physical strengths, but we can make money through our good air without away from home and fighting in big cities. We can stay at hometown but still live a good life.

In my imagination of peaceful life, I want more left people to return home and take care of the elderly and children, and enjoy the family life. Then our neighbors and we could help each other, and we are possible to strengthen the relationship with our relatives.

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