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Lu Shi Feng

A mature and hardworking lady from the village of Ruoli who has learnt to grow more drought resistant crops and has diversified her sources of income

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BESTSELLER FOUNDATION meets Lu Shi Feng on a Ruoli hilltop - where she grows a certain plant which can be made into cooking oil.

She is a strong women which has a long history living and farming in the area. Lu Shi Feng has lived in the dry area of Ruoli with her husband for almost 40 years. All her children have left for greener pastures in Bayin and Jinguyan.

Basic living
When we meet her, Lu Shi Feng’s husband has just left to take their 10-20 goats for grazing. The two now oversee 20-30 MU (3,5-5 acres) planted with maize, potatoes, wheat and oil-plants which bring enough food to sustain their household.

They may be less mobile and have less energy than before, but Lu Shi Feng still remembers how their village was before:

 People used to live in the caves on the mountain sides. It was not until the 1980s that people started to move into proper houses. They did it in stages without any support. Then later came water which changed everything. Life is so much more comfortable now. 

Water is life
Apart from the improvement in housing conditions, a major change came around 2010-2011, when the local government and BESTSELLER FOUNDATION helped bring water to the community and to the nearby fields. The water was brought there with help from a sophisticated pumping system linked to the Yellow River.

This system was followed by installation of communal water tanks – and irrigation schemes linked to selected farmland.

- All contributing to improved living conditions, better nutrition and better farming results.