In the fertile Bekaa plain in eastern Lebanon, Salem Alazoak, a Syrian refugee, found land suitable for growing Damascus roses, started with plants saved by a friend in Syria. It employs three permanent employees as well as day laborers to pick rose petals, transformed into jam, rose water and syrup. Over the months, he had many meetings with surrounding farmers. This is how he crossed paths with young French, Syrian and Lebanese farmers who had the ambition to build a farm school project, finalized in 2016.
Named “Buzuruna Juzuruna” (Our seeds are our roots), it practices natural agriculture and houses a seed library in which more than 80 ancient varieties of cereals and legumes are tested, preserved, multiplied and distributed. This group of farmers, organized without hierarchy, aims to produce food, raise animals but also to transmit agricultural techniques. Around twenty employees cultivate two hectares on site. The structure has also been renting ten additional hectares since 2020 and making them available free of charge to Syrian refugee families, installed not far away in camps. They can grow their own wheat there but also other foodstuffs. The guarantee, in the midst of an economic and financial crisis, of not dying of hunger. The collective also provides training and provides a free manual called Towards peasant autonomy . In the land of the Cedar, another agriculture is now possible.