Mutthaiya Manimekalan, left, and Manimekalan Thayalan make organic compost in their yard in Cheddikulam, Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. The government encouraged farmers to produce organic fertilizers during the time it banned chemical fertilizer imports.
Budjargal Perenlei sells homegrown vegetables in Khan-Uul district, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Her stall is part of an eco-friendly market that features organic vegetables, shelves made of recycled products, and paper bags, which encourage consumers not to use plastic.
Sellamuthu Selvakumar, left, and Nahenthiran Surenthar make compost in Adampan, Mannar district, Sri Lanka. The import of chemical fertilizers has been banned, so farmers hire help to make compost on their land.
Batbold Purevdorj mows the lawn at the Puntsog-Choindenlin Monastery in Ikhtamir, Arkhangai province, Mongolia. The grass grew long after the COVID-19 outbreak suspended all activities at temples and monasteries for months.
Khongorzul Ganbold, 19, collects sea buckthorn in Dalanzadgad, Umnugovi province, Mongolia. When coronavirus cases peaked, the Inter-Soum Forest Squad, a government agency, allowed people to gather sea buckthorn from their planted shrubs to boost their immunity.
John Mary Visuvasam burns coconut shells in a pit in Kayts, Jaffna district, Sri Lanka. Coconuts are used for cooking, but the shells are typically discarded, so Visuvasam collects and burns them to make charcoal to sell.
From left, Munkhsugir Altaikhuu, Anudari Azjargal, 12, and Rashzeveg Altaikhuu herd goats on Zuunsaikhan mountain in Bayandalai, Umnugovi province, Mongolia. Most herders have reared less livestock than usual since they could not prepare sufficient animal feed and milk for newborns during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Delgermurun Uvgunkhuu, 9, helps his family rake and stack hay in Erdenebulgan soum, Khuvsgul province, Mongolia. In mid-August, herders in Mongolia prepare hay to feed their livestock during winter and spring.
Mary Ann Yonmary pours hand-mashed palmyra pulp on a mat woven from palm leaves outside her house in Naranthanai South village, Sri Lanka. When the pulp dries, Yonmary will cut and sell the final product, which is called pinattu.
Rasenthiram Kabilan welds a door for the shop where he works in Cheddikulam, Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. Kabilan, who used to commute to Colombo, now works locally because of the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s nice to be with family,” he says, “even though the salary is low.”
Battulga Ulziisaikhan paints a cement lion cast with bronze in Murun, Khuvsgul province, Mongolia. Battulga resigned as a history and social science teacher last year when he inherited a small farm from his elderly in-laws.
Varatharasan Dinarsan pours cow’s milk into a container in Cheddikulam, Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. Due to a shortage of milk powder because of a change in import taxes, the demand for and price of cow’s milk have increased.
Altansukh Tonya, right, and a team of workers install a vacuum toilet next to his home in Erdenebulgan, Arkhangai province, Mongolia. Altansukh says, “Since this toilet uses suction, it does not allow waste to infiltrate the soil, so it will reduce soil pollution.”
Anujin Darambazar, 5, plays badminton for the first time in Erdenebulgan, Arkhangai province, Mongolia. Anujin’s parents bought her equipment after she became interested in the sport while watching the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Lkhagvadorj Batbold, who is preparing two paintings of horses for a joint exhibit, applies paint to his brush in Erdenebulgan, Arkhangai province, Mongolia. Lkhagvadorj says that as a child, “The most favorite lesson of mine was drawing.”
Baatarjav Riimed and Tserendulam Chuluunkhuu wash sheep and goats in a cattle tub in Erdenet, Orkhon province, Mongolia. Small livestock are washed and disinfected once a year to prevent parasitic diseases.