Food for Life!

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Food for Life!

Organic Farming @ Levera Nature & Beach Resort

Living up to its name, the ‘naturally refined’ 375-acre project, currently devotes eight acres to organic agriculture, with plans afoot to more than double the existing acreage within the twelve months ahead.

Watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin, butternut squash, cucumber, sweet bell peppers, local seasoning peppers, okra, bok choy, carrots, corn, Kentucky beans, tomatoes, bananas and plantain, are just a few of the crops which are grown in constant rotation. The purpose of this is to create a year-round ability to produce crops, by replenishing the soil with vital nutrients, after harvest takes place.

Specialist in organic farming, Jay Hathorne, joined the project in early 2018 and works along with a team of five local, St. Patrick, farmers, to implement bona fide organic farming methods. His viewpoint? “Grenada is such a fertile and organically rich island, all we have had to do is make use of the natural products close to home. For instance, we use bagasse (sugar cane waste) from the renowned Rivers Rum factory, here in the North of the island, as a natural fertiliser. Even the sargassum, which has been labelled an eyesore on our beautiful beaches, can be harvested as a light feeding solution for crop growth. The use of mulch helps alleviate some of the need for water, which can often be a challenge here in the dry season.”

All farmers working on the project came highly recommended and were hand-picked to be part of the team, which intends to make a strong impact on Grenada’s organic farming landscape. Their combined efforts are an integral part of their ethos for success.

Currently, produce is brought at source, by the state trading enterprise, the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB). However, as future plans come on stream, the organic crops will supply the resort restaurants and feed residents. Blueprints for expansion of the farming enterprise set the goal of it becoming one of the largest farming entities in the North of the island. This will be heavily dependent on self-reliant and sustainable methods required to ensure a year-round supply of water. To this end, Jay and his team are currently working on setting up water storage tanks which will supply the crops needs throughout the dry season, so that the farm can continue to produce throughout the year.

These concerted efforts will also enable the plans being made to establish a regular Farmers Market, for sale of the organic produce, to the local populace, and also to the increased number of visitors expected in the North of the island as the Resort and other northern based projects come on stream.

The main goal of organic production is stated as; ‘to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.” On this premise, Levera’s farming dovetails seamlessly with the eco-friendly vision embraced in its infrastructural planning concepts. With approximately twelve months to go, to fulfil the three years of planting using sustainable organic practices, required to be; ‘Certified Organic’, Levera Nature & Beach Resort, will definitely be ready and waiting to give its guests and residents a naturally refined experience.

AgricultureRobert Martin