The work/study program is for high school students and takes place over a 4-week time period during the summer. Each student completes a project that demonstrates their understanding of the issues surrounding sustainability on a small island, the ethics and principles of permaculture, and contributes to the demonstration of a permaculture method in the community. Students will also learn project management and leadership skills. In 2019, we hope to expand the program to include more possibilities for exploring marine-based permaculture.
One of the greatest things about mimicking nature in your approach to growing food, is that you will never need to deal with buying and maintaining a lot of equipment. When we started the GROW Exuma program we were lucky enough to have access to the only piece of equipment we could imagine needing...a wood chipper. We were able to chip the abundant brush that was cleared in maintenance of the campus, planting fruit trees, and even our neighbors cleared material to use in our compost systems, raised beds, nature trail, and chicken/duck coops, We were really making our own soil out of locally sourced ingredients, growing some great veggies, and starting to share our methods with others! Alas, our little DR Chipper has finally been repaired for the last time, and we are suddenly greatly challenged in our soil making business. Our dream is to get a commercial scale chipper that can help us make soil here on our campus, at the high school Sow My Dream project, and for use by fellow farmers on the island.
Thanks to the Sow My Dream Project
and Dan Topp, fellow beekeeping enthusiast,
we are getting our new chipper very soon!
GROW Exuma is a program dedicated to promoting sustainability on the island of Great Exuma through youth empowerment, community engagement, and practical demonstration of permaculture. The program began in 2017 with a generous grant from the Argus Fund that supported the entire program. We are building our team, our capacity to share permaculture with the community, and our ability to support our program through donations for our eggs, greens, seedlings, tours, and services.
HELP US GET A CHIPPER?!
The apprenticeship program provides a position for 2-4 young people to learn and practice working with permaculture systems, gain a true understanding of the need for sustainable food systems, natural ecosystems, as well as functional social and economic systems in an island community. In addition to farm management duties, Apprentices spend time in learning from traditional wisdom of elder farmers and contributing to projects like school gardens.