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Backyard gardening for a good, healthy, vibrant island

Minister of Agriculture Hon. Easton Taylor

Montserrat’s Minister of Agriculture and the Environment, Easton Taylor-Farrell has urged person’s on island to help in raising the profile of Agriculture.  Mr Taylor was at the time speaking at the official launch of the second phase of the “Food Production Strategy for the Department of Agriculture” on Friday, June 22, 2012 at Jerome Meade’s Greenhouse farm in Lookout. “Join in our backyard production effort.  Produce good healthy food for a healthy vibrant island,” the Minister said.

As part of the Farrell plan to reduce Montserrat’s reliance on imported food and to reduce the food import’s bill, the second phase of the food production strategy for the Department of Agriculture which was formed in 2010, the Minister launched out with brief opening remarks. Director of Agriculture Melissa O’garro also made brief remarks after they were both introduced by Permanent Secretary, Camille Gerald.

St. Augustine Primary Garden

A bus tour around the island while tourists, media and invited guests proceeded to visit a number of famers to include schools, involved in “The Backyard Garden’production. “The backyard garden component consists of Kitchen/Home garden production of crops and a Poultry section.

Phase two food production strategy seeks to make the island self-sufficient in selected crops. Inputs of tractoring, seeds, fertilizers chemicals and extension and irrigation services were provided to all of the farmers in the program. According to the officials, the farmers’ only contribution was to provide the labour.

Lighthouse Academy

Minister Farrell conveyed that the support for the strategy initiative will continue for a second year. “Having gone through approximately seventeen years of coping with an active volcano and the corresponding challenges to life,” the minister stated, “Agriculture has been hit the hardest among all the other sectors on island,” adding,  “It faces challenges from depleted land resources as well as climate factors and the impact of ash and acid rain on our agriculture productions.”

After observing the increase of lifestyle disease such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, Minister Farrell said that one must agree that those diseases can all be combated by producing and consuming fresh locally grown produce. “Backyard gardening brings together all the necessary elements to effectively deal with the shortness of available land, while the same time fulfilling the nutrition and physical needs of many families,” he said.

Participants on the tour, included mainly Technical staff of the Department of Agriculture and personnel from the media.  The tour took in four households, where they also produce chickens in special designs backyard units, designed to carry twenty-five boilers. There were five families who are in the process of producing fresh vegetables and herbs under covered production which includes hoop houses, greenhouse and adaptations.

Jerome Meade back yard garden

Jerome Meade provided Feedback. His farm is located in Lookout. He is actively producing under the hoop house, he noted that Lookout is a very challenging area to farm due to the amount of excessive amount of breeze and pests. Nevertheless he is encouraging persons to take advantage of a backyard garden, “ …if everybody plants two or three square feet in their yard, Montserrat would go a long way in self-sufficiency.” Said Jerome.

Primary schools, Light House Academy in Brades and St.Ausgtine Primary in Woodlands have also been included in the Backyard Garden program. Director of Agriculture Melissa O’garro said that it is expected that the other two primary schools on island will be brought on board with the program at the start of the new school year in September.

The students at both schools showed off how they were taking care of their backyard garden. Each student took turn watering the plants and pulling out weeds. When asked how they are enjoying agriculture one child expressed that he enjoyed agriculture very much. “I like farming because my mother encourages me in the farm.”

The teachers pitched in expressing their own excitement at the students’ performance.

The farthest south garden visited was in Hope, Salem, where Donna Henry’s garden featured.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Minister of Agriculture Hon. Easton Taylor

Montserrat’s Minister of Agriculture and the Environment, Easton Taylor-Farrell has urged person’s on island to help in raising the profile of Agriculture.  Mr Taylor was at the time speaking at the official launch of the second phase of the “Food Production Strategy for the Department of Agriculture” on Friday, June 22, 2012 at Jerome Meade’s Greenhouse farm in Lookout. “Join in our backyard production effort.  Produce good healthy food for a healthy vibrant island,” the Minister said.

As part of the Farrell plan to reduce Montserrat’s reliance on imported food and to reduce the food import’s bill, the second phase of the food production strategy for the Department of Agriculture which was formed in 2010, the Minister launched out with brief opening remarks. Director of Agriculture Melissa O’garro also made brief remarks after they were both introduced by Permanent Secretary, Camille Gerald.

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St. Augustine Primary Garden

A bus tour around the island while tourists, media and invited guests proceeded to visit a number of famers to include schools, involved in “The Backyard Garden’production. “The backyard garden component consists of Kitchen/Home garden production of crops and a Poultry section.

Phase two food production strategy seeks to make the island self-sufficient in selected crops. Inputs of tractoring, seeds, fertilizers chemicals and extension and irrigation services were provided to all of the farmers in the program. According to the officials, the farmers’ only contribution was to provide the labour.

Lighthouse Academy

Minister Farrell conveyed that the support for the strategy initiative will continue for a second year. “Having gone through approximately seventeen years of coping with an active volcano and the corresponding challenges to life,” the minister stated, “Agriculture has been hit the hardest among all the other sectors on island,” adding,  “It faces challenges from depleted land resources as well as climate factors and the impact of ash and acid rain on our agriculture productions.”

After observing the increase of lifestyle disease such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, Minister Farrell said that one must agree that those diseases can all be combated by producing and consuming fresh locally grown produce. “Backyard gardening brings together all the necessary elements to effectively deal with the shortness of available land, while the same time fulfilling the nutrition and physical needs of many families,” he said.

Participants on the tour, included mainly Technical staff of the Department of Agriculture and personnel from the media.  The tour took in four households, where they also produce chickens in special designs backyard units, designed to carry twenty-five boilers. There were five families who are in the process of producing fresh vegetables and herbs under covered production which includes hoop houses, greenhouse and adaptations.

Jerome Meade back yard garden

Jerome Meade provided Feedback. His farm is located in Lookout. He is actively producing under the hoop house, he noted that Lookout is a very challenging area to farm due to the amount of excessive amount of breeze and pests. Nevertheless he is encouraging persons to take advantage of a backyard garden, “ …if everybody plants two or three square feet in their yard, Montserrat would go a long way in self-sufficiency.” Said Jerome.

Primary schools, Light House Academy in Brades and St.Ausgtine Primary in Woodlands have also been included in the Backyard Garden program. Director of Agriculture Melissa O’garro said that it is expected that the other two primary schools on island will be brought on board with the program at the start of the new school year in September.

The students at both schools showed off how they were taking care of their backyard garden. Each student took turn watering the plants and pulling out weeds. When asked how they are enjoying agriculture one child expressed that he enjoyed agriculture very much. “I like farming because my mother encourages me in the farm.”

The teachers pitched in expressing their own excitement at the students’ performance.

The farthest south garden visited was in Hope, Salem, where Donna Henry’s garden featured.