People in St Vincent and the Grenadines wishing to get involved in ecological farming now have access to a free, user-friendly booklet to guide their efforts.
The booklet, “Make Your Home Garden Flourish”, is published by Richmond Vale Academy (RVA), and is “Your permaculture guide to crop rotation, companion plants and seasonal planting in St Vincent”.
The RVA says that people who are new to home gardens might have challenges starting out and deciding what and when to plant.
The booklet focuses on seasons — which season is best for planting, crop rotation — what crops to plant after each harvest, and companion planting — the benefits of planting certain crops together.
The publication, which is available free online, draws on traditional and scientific knowledge of gardening.
(Download link: https://richmondvale.org/images/2021/publications/Make-your-home-garden-flourish-December_2020_Booklet.pdf)
For instance, it explains the impact of the moon on environmental factors, such as the amount and position of water in the soil, and how moon phases should be used to guide when crops are planted or harvested.
The booklet contains several pages of illustrated seasons’ calendars to guide gardeners on when to plant and harvest their crops, crop rotation, and companion planting.
It further details the impact of chemical fertilisers on the soil, and how intercropping, the use of crops to achieve nitrogen-fixing, and natural pesticides, can be used in place of chemicals, which are harmful to the soil, environment, and human health.
The booklet explains techniques that can be used to ensure more yield in a small space and the use of companion planting to improve the flavour of crops, The booklet is published as part of RVA’s Ecological Home Garden Movement, which is part of a 10-year St Vincent Climate Compliance Conference, 2012 – 2021
The conference focuses on food, water, and energy security, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation.
It was produced with financing from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives which has also supported the making of several home gardens in Barrouallie last year.
However, the home garden project in Barrouallie was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The RVA is seeking funding to print the book so that copies could be distributed to interested persons.