Home gardeners snap up free DoA class

| 12/05/2022 | 16 Comments
Participants in the home gardening training sessions

(CNS): Places on a free four-week training session offered by the Department of Agriculture, aimed at introducing and equipping homeowners with the skills necessary to develop home gardens, were snapped up as soon as the official registration opened. With many people worried about supply chains, food quality and costs, more and more residents are trying their hand at cultivating their own fruit and veg. Officials told CNS that the class was oversubscribed and as a result they are looking at running another course.

The four Saturday morning sessions began last weekend with the 30 lucky people who secured one of the free spots at the Stacey Watler Pavilion at the Agriculture Ground in Lower Valley, Bodden Town.

Some of the topics that will be covered during the sessions include an introduction to vegetable gardening, crop nutrition and irrigation, principles of pest management, home garden safety, harvest and post-harvest handling. In addition to the theoretical components of the course, participants will engage in hands-on activities.

Agriculture Minister Jay Ebanks, who was at the opening session, said the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues have stimulated a renewed interest in food production.

“More people are realising the importance of growing their own food to offset rising costs, ensuring availability and to better know what goes into our foods,” he said, adding that it is a government priority to transform the agricultural sector and strengthen local food and nutrition security. The ministry has been making strides through a number of initiatives to support farmers, such as the CI-Farm programme, Tropical Grace Farmers’ Assistance Project, and the livestock development programme.

Agronomist Claudette McKenzie-Bowen and Crop Extension Officer Oral James from the Department of Agriculture will be leading the sessions.

For those who missed out on this course, the DoA has asked people to stay tuned to its social media pages for news of similar sessions this year.

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Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That you CIG!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Given the high subscription rate, and that it is being taught by DoA staff, this sounds like something they can repeat regularly (with good advance advertising), refining and improving with feedback from each class. – Lets keep this going DoA.

    And the idea of a series of online, localised, videos covering a variety of ‘DoA extension courses’ could also be a strong addition to this. – As others have suggested. – One you have the course material & presentation refined. I’m sure a lot of work has gone into preparing the classes so it would be great to really get the most value, i.e., participants, out of them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol – there are well over 60,000 people on this rock and the world class civil service will be releasing this knowledge to groups of 30 people at a time, sounds like – annually ….. Well done everybody, but maybe cut the numbers back to 20/60,000 per year, you don’t want to burn out your staff!

  3. Anonymous says:

    All Civil Service employees no doubt?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great news but yeah, stream it or offer good top soil and compost for us instead!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, the problem with top soil and compost on the island is urgent and desperate. I have about 2 inches and then its straight down onto the 12 inches of marl used to fill the plot where my house is built. Can’t grow anything in the ground. Can’t seem to source good soil that is any good for growing things. The stuff for sale comes from the swamps and is too salty to grow things.

  5. Anonymous says:

    When is Planning Minister Jay Ebanks going to do some planning????

  6. Anonymous says:

    Legalize it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Disgusting! Sad that they only allow 30 people to get this information. At least spent some of our $450,000,000 first quarter surplus to record the classes and make it available to all. Clearly shows that the government doesn’t want everyone to prosper in the face of food shortages.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is great news. Anyone who have even a few yards of garden space can grow something. Container gardening is even much easier for herbs and small fruit trees. Happy Gardening!

  9. Anonymous says:

    so when are we on the Brac/Little going to be offered the free classes?


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