Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, and Rural Transformation, Saboto Caesar, will be among three guest speakers to deliver 20-minute speeches at the next open day at the Richmond Vale Academy on Aug. 12.
Caesar will address issues related to the next steps for sustainable farming and the national soursop drive in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Conservationist Louise Mitchell will speak about the importance of eco tourism for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, while Ideisha Jackson will speak about her work for a more sustainable St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
A discussion and deliberation session will follow the presentations. The event is open to the public and there is no admission fee and will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The open day will also include a tour of Pat’s Farm in Richmond, about 10 minutes’ walk from Richmond Vale Academy, where one of the first new biogas digesters are installed.
Among other things, exhibits at the open day will feature the importance of local honey production, “The Angry Sun” book, recycling and waste management, and St. Vincent’s first ever permaculture design course which, will be conducted at RVA, Feb. 12-21, 2018. Guests will be able to learn about and sign up for the Permaculture Design Certificate Course.
The Permaculture Design Certificate requires a minimum of 72 hours of coursework/assignments and is designed to address this pedagogical sequence: Principles – Techniques – Application – Reflection. The course will be led by Leon-C. Malan, professor of environmental studies, M. Roy London Endowed Chair, and Vincentian and organic farmer, Luke Punnett of Chatoyer Gardens in Vermont, will be a facilitator.
The morning sessions will be devoted to principles and techniques and the afternoon sessions are mostly devoted to application (field trips, practical exercises and working on their own design). Each participant will work on an individual design project that will include goals articulation, complete sector analysis, and detailed design. The course concludes with each person presenting his or her design to the group. Ideally, these designs would be of sites around RVA or its immediate vicinity. To qualify for the Permaculture Design Certificate, participants must attend all sessions, complete a design and present it.
At the open day, guests will also be able to see the plans and design for the new SVG Preservation Fund/RVA permaculture home gardens being implemented at Yvernne Roberts’ and other homes in Chateaubelair, Fitz Hughes and Petit Bordel.
The Aug. 12 open day will see lunch being served to all guests and local vendors selling and promoting local products. There will also be activities for children and a tour of the RVA Sustainable Farm with solar energy, biogas, grey water recycling system, rain water harvesting, forest garden and intensive vegetable garden.