Community Gardens and Agriculture in Sint Maarten
Restoring The Food Valley project
We love to share our innovative initiative known as, “Restoring the Food Valley”. It aims to address and alleviate the pressing issue of food insecurity in Sint Maarten. This initiative will enhance local agricultural production. And to establish a resilient and sustainable food supply chain for the community.
“Restoring the Food Valley” is about restoring remnants of the 17th century plantation called Succour. This old plantation is located in The Keys village, Upper Prince’s Quarter area. At this 20-acre location several activities have started to help solve the food security problem. We are ready to support local farmers, and help islanders become less dependent on food imports and become more self-sufficient. Sint Maarten has the potential to do larger-scale food cultivation. And we will be doing this by applying all possible organic agricultural methods. We encourage Islanders to grow their own food. The next step is for islanders to be at the Community Garden. And or to make use of the Community Supported Agriculture initiative.
Community Gardens promote sustainable agriculture, food security, and community engagement. These projects often involve teaching locals about organic farming, permaculture, and other sustainable agricultural practices.
Restoring the Food Valley includes four sections which encompasses a comprehensive approach to agricultural development, focusing on:
- Capacity Building: As part of the Agri-Education Program we’ll assist local farmers with training and resources to enhance their agricultural practices, optimize yields, and adopt sustainable farming techniques.
- Infrastructure Development: Investing in crucial agricultural infrastructure, such as irrigation systems, storage facilities, and processing units, to improve efficiency and reduce post-harvest losses.
- Community Engagement: Conducting outreach programs to educate and engage the community in sustainable farming practices, encouraging active participation in the food production process.
- Partnerships: Collaborating with local stakeholders, government agencies, and international organizations to create a network that supports the growth of the agricultural sector in Sint Maarten.
We are working on..
Culture preservation and Heritage of the 17th century Plantation Succour: This section is about culture preservation regarding the 300+ year old walls built by slaves on this property. These “slave walls” demarcates the fields where crops were grown. The plan is to restore the slave walls. And a path as a hiking trail will be created along these walls. The hiking trails will be for those participating the plantation history tours, and for those who want to hike in the gardens.
Community Garden allotments: The Community Garden concept is introduced to Sint Maarten. To create access to home grown fresh produce we encourage locals to obtain an allotment at mentioned location. Also, we will provide guidance in gardening and pest control. The goal is to provide community support by establishing the Food Farm Gardens Association to create loyalty in sustaining this Community Garden project.
Community Supported Agriculture farming: For those not involved in gardening, will have the option to participate in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farming package plan. Locals can opt for a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or season subscription. In return, we do all the cultivation work and supply CSA participants with fresh produce according to the chosen CSA package plan. It is also our wish to partner with local farmers who want to add their produce to the CSA Package Plan offerings. The CSA will be the commercial aspect of creating larger scale agriculture in The Keys village. The CSA is linked to the Agri-Education Program.
Agri-Education Program: In the context of self-reliance the Agri-education program covers the history of arable farming from the slavery period to the present. This will be shown and performed at this plantation site.
As part of this educational program, Marlin Yard Foundation has entered a partnership with the local museums for information gathering. We look to partner with local schools, day care centres and university to offer our expertise in teaching Agroecology practicum at our agricultural site. The agroecological principles are applicable such as permaculture, horticulture, aquaculture, hydroponics to name a few. With a group of volunteers, we want to assist islanders to grow healthy food while building a closer community.
By successfully executing “Restoring the Food Valley,” we aim to achieve the following outcomes:
- Increased local agricultural production and food self-sufficiency.
- Improved livelihoods for farmers through enhanced skills and technology adoption.
- Strengthened community resilience to food-related challenges.
- Creation of a sustainable model for future agricultural development projects in the region.
If “Restoring the Food Valley” aligns with your and your organization’s mission to promote agricultural development and address food security challenges…then let’s connect and explore the potential for collaboration as soon as possible.
Get Involved Today, Let’s Grow Together!
This is not just a project, it’s a movement towards a healthier, more connected, and sustainable future for Sint Maarten. Your support means the world to us, and together, we can turn this vision into a reality. Feel free to donate to this cause HERE or go directly to https://www.marlinyard.org/donations/creating-community-gardens/
So…. can we look forward to working together, to make a lasting impact on the agricultural landscape of Sint Maarten?
Let’s sow the seeds of positive change together!
Also through the Eco Shares Program and Caribbean Eco Token initiative for backing Sustainable Development Goal projects you will be able to make investments and earn green profits. Feel free to click on the subjects for more info. Contact us directly at Contact Page.