The St.Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies is celebrating its own homegrown organic backyard garden.

Students from the CAPE green engineering class were elated to harvest delicious fruits and vegetables and herbs such as: kale, cabbage, basil, tomatoes, lettuce and watermelons after months of hard work.

The college is reaping the rewards as a result of funding from the Australian Direct Aid and assistance from Laynes Hardware Arnos Vale, Agricultural Input Warehouse and the Forestry Department.

“This project is an important one as it helped in reconnecting students with the natural environment and taught them how to apply theoretical knowledge gained from concepts taught in Green Engineering to practical real world experience,” said Nerline Ballantyne-Veira, green engineering lecturer and project coordinator of the SVGCC Waste Management Project.

“Our new organic garden gives students the opportunity to explore the benefits of healthy eating and also taught them to implement the reduce, reuse and recycle concepts in a meaningful way. We would like to thank students, staff and sponsors for their assistance and support,” she said.

One of the main goals of the project was to ensure students involvement in all aspects of the garden-preparation, planting and maintenance.

Students from the CAPE Green Engineering class and the Environmental Club played an integral role in the creation, and maintenance of the garden, while students from the Architecture and Building Construction Technology Programme at the Technical Division were instrumental in the construction of the fence surrounding the garden. 

In keeping with the “reuse, reduce and recycle” concepts central to SVGCC Waste Management Project, materials such as used tyres, plastic bottles, old pallets and a bamboo trellis donated by the Forestry Department were used to grow plants.

The produce grown have been sold to students and staff, and in the future, will be sold to the cafeteria. Funds garnered from the sale of the produce will be used to ensure the sustainability of the garden.

Nigel Scott, director of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Community College said:

“The backyard garden is an excellent initiative that serves many purposes: it helps the students see what is possible in growing their own food, it provides an opportunity that some may never have as they pursue primarily theoretical subjects at CAPE and it addresses several SDG’s all at once including Zero hunger, Good Health and Well Being, Quality Education, responsible consumption and production and sustainable cities and communities among others.  I commend the initiative and will support its continuation.”   

The SVGCC Backyard Garden is phase 2 of the SVGCC Waste Management Project, which was officially launched on April 26, 2017.  

Phase 1 of the project focused primarily on the implementation of bins on all campuses. This was done in an effort to reduce waste materials through the proper separation of waste which can inevitably result in a more sustainable and cleaner environment.

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