Reinstatement of very old plantation
At the foot of the Naked Boy Hill you will find a little village known as The Keys. This village is part of the settlement known as Sucker Garden in Upper Prince’s Quarter in St. Maarten Dutch West Indies. As part of the Agroecology principle it is our belief to preserve historical relics and put them back to use. Relics in The Keys are ruins of slave walls and the old black berry vine which the village inhabitants in the mid 17th century planted. Back in the old days this typical black berry was used to make jam and wine. Together with a group of volunteers it will be our honour to reinstate this plantation and assist with the production of various national products made from this site.
Reinstating the remnants of this plantation called “Succour”, will be the berry orchard and the agri-fields which are demarcated by the 300+ years old slave walls. These “slave walls” demarcates the fields where crops were grown. The plan is to restore the slave walls where needed, 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.
As part of the Food Security movement on Sint Maarten it is our mission to make use of the agri-fields for educational purpose and help create a sustainable agricultural economy. We are busy creating an Educational Program that not only covers the history of agriculture at this plantation site. Its purpose is to teach island inhabitants the food cultivation process from back in the 17th century up to this day and age. This way we focus on enthusing islanders to consider an education and or a career in food cultivation and or become farmers.
Aside from restoring the berry vine and demarcated agri-fields, preparation work is being executed to create a section for Community Gardening and a section for Community Supported Agriculture. A public park will be designed at the front with terraced hillside community gardens (allotments) on the side reaching the rear of this site. At the rear will be hurricane- and earthquake challenged Greenhouse structures where all sorts of organic vegetables will be grown with an outdoor teaching center. There will be individual allotments, educational plots, a historical garden, a communal garden and a classroom for teaching gardening, landscaping, nutrition, and the concept from “ground to table” cooking. One has to become a member to apply for an allotment. See info on how to apply for a membership here.
If you are a volunteer with gardening skills, then by all means send in your volunteering application to help work at this agricultural project. More information on volunteering can be found here.
In addition to initiating food cultivation – in the context of self-reliance the Agri-education program is being created. The line-up of this program will be the history of arable farming from the slavery period to the present day which will be shown and performed at this plantation site. As part of this educational program, we have entered into a partnership with the local museums for information gathering. And partnership is sought with local schools, day care centres and university in order to offer our expertise in teaching Agroecology practicum at our agricultural site. According to the Agroecological principles various food cultivation methods and techniques such as permaculture, horticulture, aquaculture, hydroponics to name a few are applied at our location. With a group of volunteers, we want to assist islanders to grow healthy food while building a closer community.
Makes a Big Change
Community Gardening Allotments available