The Shoom Project / David Korolnek, Yahel Social Change Program Participant

What can I say? There use to be a plot of land on the edge of our community garden here in Gedera where the soil was bad. There was junk everywhere. But, we cleaned it up.


The Shoom (Garlic) Project is a great opportunity for Ethiopian men in our community to take part in a trade that many worked in back in Ethiopia. They work the land and what they grow they sell and between themselves, split the profits.

I wanted to learn more about agriculture– get out and get involved in something that I’m passionate about. Garlic is delicious and it’s the root for all dishes. It’s an easy crop to grow with a fast yield.

I had a basic background in growing cherry tomatoes and my interest in farming and gardening blossomed into something greater–it multiplied like garlic cloves (if you plant one clove, they can expand into a full bulb).



The men involved in the project work impressively and efficiently. They’re great teachers. Patient and understanding. Even with a communication barrier, we sometimes play a charade-like game and we can figure out what each other are saying.

The work is flexible, easy going and it give us a chance to talk. I think that’s a unique part of this project– it gives me a chance to discover common life philosophy: The only way to retain real happiness is through the happiness of others.

I appreciate that.

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