“Doing it for the next generation!”
“Everything that we do at Cashew Gardens, we include our children,” said Roslyn George-Mitchell at the Commissioning Ceremony for the community’s solar-and-wind-powered greenhouse, designed to promote sustainable income-generation for the residents of the Couva-Tabaquite-Talparo Corporation. “We know and we understand that they are the future.”
This is the impetus behind the resident-led undertakings that increase the sustainability of the community. The latest venture supports a community garden producing vegetables for external sale. Because of the existing relationship between Habitat Trinidad-Tobago and the Cashew Gardens Village Council, Habitat proposed a climate-smart agriculture product on the community’s communal land. The University of the West Indies and the “Adopt a River” programme of the Water Resources Agency brought the knowledge to build the community capacity to establish a solar–and-wind-powered greenhouse.
Jennifer Massiah of Habitat Trinidad-Tobago said, “I suggest that the national community take some pages out of the Cashew Gardens book. “Without an active executing community, you can have the world of funding and very willing partners, but nothing will succeed.”
The community will grow short-term crops using hydroponics in the ﬁrst instance, incorporate rainwater use through rainwater harvesting technology, and recycle nutrients by composting agricultural and household food waste.
Digicel Foundation, Republic Bank and The UNDP Global Environment Fund’s Small Grant Programme (GEF-SGP) supplied infrastructure funding. The 2400 square foot site began with lettuce and patchoi as a cash crop using labour from Cashew Gardens residents.