Living off vegetables
For Seira Tuipea, from the village of Malie, making a living on vegetables alone is what she does best.
Aged 39, Seira spends much of her time in her vegetable garden. She explains how much her small plantation surrounding her house provides for her family in more ways than one.
Not only does the family have access to all the fresh vegetables for their meals, Seira also sells the crops twice a week to make a bit of money on the side.
“I have six children and they are all girls and I work hard to take care of them,” she told the Village Voice.
“The vegetable garden you see over there is what my family lives on and it has provided much for us. I only take some vegetables twice a week to sell.
“There is no one working right now but we all help out with developing the plantation.”
Seira has plans to expand her plantation a little more so that it increases the possibility of the family to turn a lot more profit.
“Right now I am trying to grow some peanuts again because our family started out with that,” she said.
“We’re growing the peanuts at the back and in front there is where we grow peas with some cabbages on the side. Vegetables are what my small family gets money from.
“We work really hard because we know that we can earn quite a bit from harvest.”
Comparing employed work to farming work, Seira says that life as a farmer has way more perks.
“I prefer making a living this way to those 9 to 5 jobs,” she said.
“Employed workers work for many hours the whole week and only get their money on Friday but for us, we can put money in our pocket almost every time we go sell.
“For my family, we go only twice a week and we will get money both those times; it piles up to over $100 a week for our family.
“The money my family makes actually depends a lot on how many vegetables we take to sell.” Living on vegetables has been the family’s way of life for seven years and Seira doesn’t see any reason to change what works for her family.
“My family has been living on vegetables for over seven years now,” she said.
“As soon as we moved here from the coastal road, we immediately started working on our plantation. We are starting to teach our children how to farm these crops properly because these skills will come in handy for them one day.
“They help us out in the plantation so they can learn better.” Aside from the pests who jeopardize her crops, Seira says her family is doing really well without any issues.
“I think the only issue we have with living this way are the snails and other insects that ruin the crops,” she said.
“Every morning, I wake up and go straight into cleaning up the land and plantation. Right after that I start my gardening work.
“Life with vegetables is great. We have no issues here at our house; we have running water and we have electricity.”