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SXM Blog

St Martin Community Garden - French Lowlands

6/12/2014 - By St Martin Reservation Center

Fresh Local Organically Grown Food.

The Lowlands Community Garden is an exciting new initiative that provides delicious, local, sustainably-grown produce to the communities of Saint Martin and Sint Maarten.  All of our fresh produce is grown using the latest aquaponics technology, which means that in addition to vegetables, we will also be selling organic freshwater fish and eventually, langoustine.  Our produce is GMO-FREE and FRESH!  On this website you can find out about our (Community Supported Agriculture) CSA shares and order your share of produce for weekly delivery, you can register to become a volunteer to help create and promote the Lowlands Community Garden or make a donation.


Open Day June 14, 2014

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to visit the Lowlands Community Garden on Saturday, June 14th between 10am and 4pm for our 2nd Open Day.  Staff and volunteers will be available to guide you through the garden and explain what we do and how we do it.  Tours will take place every 30 minutes.  We’ll also have non-GMO seeds, plants and produce for sale and this will be your last chance to enter our Summer Raffle

Directions:
To find us come to the main entrance to Terres Basses and pass through security.  Tell them you’re visiting the Community Garden.  Take the road straight ahead for about 1 km.  The entrance to the garden is on the left immediately after the 2nd yellow speed bump.  If you pass lot 35B you have gone too far.  We have parking inside so please don’t park on the road.  Somebody will be on the gate to provide assistance.

Everybody is welcome but registration on entry is required.


Why Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines aquaculture, which is raising fish in tanks, with hydroponics which is cultivating plants in water.  The by-products from the aquaculture are broken down by nitrogen fixing bacteria, then filtered out by the plants as nutrients, after which the cleaned water is re-circulated back to the fish.

The system uses just 10% of the water needed for conventional growing and therefore, is perfect for use in the tropics.  In fact, the very first aquaponics system was developed right here in the Caribbean.  The nature of aquaponics is such that it must be managed organically.  No chemical pesticides are used because they would harm both the fish and the bacteria that are essential to the system.  There is no weeding to be done because there is nowhere for weeds to grow.


The first aquaponics system at the Lowlands Community Garden is now complete.  It includes a variety of growing systems that range from troughs with 1″ plugs, pipes with 2 1/2″ plant spaces, vulcanized rock media beds and wicking beds using coco fibre in net pots.  We’re currently growing tomatoes, pak choi, microgreens, baby leaf greens, lettuce, fennel, celery, cucumbers, summer squash, onion, okra, rainbow chard, watercress, basil, mint, dill, marjoram, oregano, chives, catnip, amaranth, spinach, passion fruit and strawberries.


When construction is completed in March 2014, there will be 3 independent aquaponics systems at the Lowlands Community Garden.  The combined systems will include 9000 gallons of fish tank capacity that will enable us to produce more than 3000 fish per year.  When in full production we’ll have have more than 5000 plants in the greenhouse growing a wide range of herbs, vegetables and fruit.




http://lowlandscommunitygarden.com/csa/
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