Submitted by Readydone
How can we transform Barbados from an uncomfortable reliance on services?
Next time you walk into a supermarket take a good look around and enjoy the experience, after all, you are paying for it, the light bill, the manager’s mortgage, all of it is coming out your pocket even though you think all you are buying is food. Very little of your money is used to pay for food, the most of it is for the convenience of getting the food to you.
If you had to run down a yardfowl every time you wanted eggs for breakfast or pluck a chicken every time you ate a snack box, I am sure most of us would be father-thin vegetarians. So we go to the supermarket for our food every month or so but how reliable is the supermarket? The short answer is it isn’t. Let me illustrate.
It takes 3 days for all the shelves to empty in every supermarket when there is a hurricane watch, 3 days tops, that is how long it would take for us to start feeling the effect if the supply of food was to halt. Then what? I hope you have a backup plan, I got my kitchen garden.
Most people cannot believe how easy it is to grow plants without Miracle Grow or any other type of chemical fertilizer. Once you get your soil alive the micro-herd in the soil keeps plants growing very healthy. The actually types and numbers of bacteria are of little concern to the home grower. All we need to know is how to harvest them and encourage them to work for us.
Submitted by Readydone
At Baird’s village farms we use the most sustainable resources available. A main staple in our plant maintenance program is extracted from Mimosa seed enzymes and to a lesser extent coconut extracts. These are the equivalent of vitamins for your plants when applied at each stage of life and can’t be overdosed; we have noticed it drastically improves the transplant process. These organic, locally sourced extracts help provide the environment that encourages healthy plants, healthy plants grow faster produces more and resist negative outside influences.
Mimosa is an invasive weed traditionally used as feed to “slim down” livestock that have become fat from feed. The plants are easy to identify and the dry brown pods release seed with a quick, vigorous shake. The fact is that this is a free and abundant source. Anyone can harvest enough in one day to last a year and you don’t need specialized equipment or prior knowledge to extract. It produces plants way more productive than any synthetic fertilizer can. These are good reasons we think everyone should add this to their garden maintenance program.
Submitted by Readydone
Gale and her family paid a visit to my farm at Bairds village recently. She was the usual type of visitor. She proceeded to share that she has done some research and is very interested in agriculture for food production at home. It is the usual type of thing I hear. Many people are curious about aquaponics and are surprised to find a working system in Barbados and always take the opportunity and visit. I always welcome, this particular visitor. Gale asked all the usual questions but when she asked – why is there not a culture of domestic food production in Barbados because we have very conducive weather , the answer hit me.
We have free garbage collection; it’s that simple, free disposal of all our organic waste means we throw away that valuable resource that should be used to make compost we are sending it straight to the landfills. Compost is the absolute key to every productive kitchen garden, it has the ability to sustain a large population of micro life forms in the soil, without it you get very poor results. When you sweep your house you sweep out dirt, it has all the constituents of soil yet you can sense it has no life and could not even grow elephant grass, then look at real soil, same materials but the micro heard is alive and active, so it sticks together, it holds water, and most importantly grows food. These microscopic critters take care of our plants root zone and provide the conditions that promote active plant growth.
Baird's Village Aquaponics
Many of us are of the opinion that our little island is in need of good leaders (not saying we don’t currently have any). The Barrows and Adams type leaders who had a clear vision and the will power to give us what was needed for 50 years and even beyond. Our new leaders have so many problems on their plates I can understand why it seems as though there is no medium term plan. This makes it imperative that each of us do more to guide this island in the right direction and not leave such a heavy work load on our leaders.
Looking at the most advanced societies and economies worldwide to see what we can aspire to be, we see they are mostly industrial. Unfortunately Barbados cannot be an industrial based economy because of the obvious lack of natural resources and our small size. What we need is to look forward to a post-industrial type society. In my recent quest to get a glimpse of this almost “utopian” world of what Barbados could be, I came across Ivan Illich. In his work he refers to the concept of a convivial society and explained in some detail the prospects of what the next level of society can look like. Such a type of thinking is based on a Euro-centric view but can apply to Barbados in my opinion.
We are hearing a constant call for more small businesses to be established and greater innovation shown. Our leaders recognise the need to harness the people talent/power to make this an efficient society.