Twenty families in Barrouallie will join the scores in other parts of St. Vincent and the Grenadines who are benefiting from Richmond Vale Academy’s (RVA) award-winning ecological farming in model gardens.
The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives have given support to RVA to help 20 Barrouallie families establish its Pass-it-On Sustainable Model Gardens
The funding will support the continuation of efforts with 50 families in North Leeward who have these home gardens.
Six of the 20 gardens in Barrouallie are nearly ready for start-up and families are excited to learn and farm without imported fossil fuel based chemicals that damage the soil directly and affects rivers and reefs through runoff.
The gardens, which are individually designed depending on the size and gradient of the land, often benefit from micro-climate created by the supporting vegetation.
They often include a seed nursery table, chicken coup and use rainwater for irrigation.
The Pass-it-On Sustainable Model Gardens teaches farmers to reduce soil erosion, with raised beds are constructed along contours on the hillside and supported by gliricidia tree logs or bamboo.
Organic matter, including a lot of banana trunks, is often used to build up the level of the soil in these raised beds and provide a fertile medium for growing vegetables.
In some instances, vertical structures with mesh are provided for climbing crops and the necessary galvanised bins for compost and some farms have a chicken coup.
When these 20 gardens are completed in April, it will bring to 85, the number of gardens that RVA, with the support of multiple partners, has helped farmers in Fitz Hughes, Chateaubelair, Rose Bank, Troumaca, Rose Hall, Barrouallie and Fancy to establish.
RVA will take the technique to Layou, Buccament Bay, Vermont, and Sandy Bay before the end of this year and is hoping that a farmer will be sowing seeds in the 100th garden by the middle of the year.
Under its “St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference 2012-2021”, RVA is hoping that 200 home gardens will be established by the end of 2021.
“We are so impressed with people’s effort and welcoming ways to people from different corners of SVG and the world who team up and make the gardens happen step by step,” said Stina Herberg, director of RVA.
This year RVA will host 50 volunteers from St. Vincent and around the world contributing to a more sustainable SVG.
“Young people from around the world are waking up to make a difference, they stand up and protect the environment,” Herberg said, adding that RVA offers a possibility for people to get involved.