Richmond Vale

Farming Beyond Drought

Farming Beyond Drought
The Caribbean accounts for seven of the world’s top 36 water-stressed countries and Barbados is in the top ten. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) defines countries like Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis as water-scarce with less than 1000 m3 freshwater resources per capita. [caption id="attachment_11290" align="aligncenter" width="654"] Caribbean farmers have been battling extreme droughts in recent years. A FAO official says drought ranks as the single most common cause of severe food shortages in developing countries, making it a key issue for Caribbean food security. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS With droughts becoming more seasonal in nature in the Caribbean, experts say agriculture is the most likely sector to be impacted, with serious economic and social consequences. This is particularly important since the majority of Caribbean agriculture is rain fed. With irrigation use becoming more widespread in the Caribbean, countries’ fresh-water supply will become increasingly important. In light of the dilemma faced by the region, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) is spearheading a climate smart agriculture project in which 90 farmers from three Caribbean countries, including Barbados, will participate over the next 18 months. Executive director of the CPDC Gordon Bispham said the aim of the project, in which farmers from Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines are also involved, is to support sustainable livelihoods and reinforce that farming is serious...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

5 amazing benefits of mulching the garden (Infographic + Types of mulch)

5 amazing benefits of mulching the garden (Infographic + Types of mulch)
  One of the easiest ways to ensure success in your garden, especially a vegetable garden, is to incorporate mulching into your garden preparations. This doesn’t have to break the bank, but it will provide you dividends in the abundance of vegetables you will harvest from your garden. Whether you live in the city, countryside, or suburbia, and whether you have a huge garden, raised beds, or even if you are using pots and containers, mulch is the unsung hero in the garden. What is Mulch? The word ‘Mulch’ has its roots in German. It comes from the word ‘molsch’ which means ‘beginning to decay’. This is probably used in reference to the first types of mulch that were biodegradable. Mulch is a thin layer of any substance that is spread over the soil. It is used to mimic the conditions that one sees in the forest. What are the Benefits of mulching? Mulchin your plants can give you a lot benefits. Some of them are: (Click The Infographic to Enlarge ) Share this Image On Your Site </p> <p><strong>Please include attribution to http://richmondvale.org with this graphic.</strong></p> <p><a href=' http://richmondvale.org/benefits-of-mulching-the-garden/'><img src='http://richmondvale.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/INFOGRAFIA-MULCH.jpg' alt='5 Amazing Benefits of Mulching The Garden' width='540px' border='0' /></a></p> <p> #1- Gets Plants Through Extreme Weather. During dry spells, mulch can save plants. It acts as an insulator, keeping the soil cool and moist...
Continue reading
Tags:
Richmond Vale

4 Terrible Effects of Poverty on the Brain That You Should Know About It!

4 Terrible Effects of Poverty on the Brain That You Should Know About It!
Issues like hunger, illness, and thirst are all causes and effects of poverty . That is to say, that not having food means being poor, but being poor also means being unable to afford food or   clean water . The effects of poverty are often interrelated so that one problem rarely occurs alone. Bad sanitation makes one susceptible to diseases; and hunger and lack of clean water makes one even more vulnerable to diseases. Impoverished countries and communities often suffer from discrimination and end up caught in a cycle of poverty. However, poverty also affects the brain and the body of those who experience. In fact, poverty on the brain can extend well beyond the years of financial struggle; even helping to perpetuate this situation. What are the Effects of Poverty on The Brain? Imagine having to stress every penny and count every calorie to make sure you are getting enough into your system. Imagine being scared of getting sick because you don’t have medical insurance, or access to any health care service. Now, imagine you have children and you have to provide for them while not being able to financially support yourself. That is what goes through the mind of an adult person living in poverty  24/7; 365 days a year. There are several effects of poverty on the brain, like:  #1- Poverty on...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

Benefits of the Moringa Tree (Infographic) + Uses

Benefits of the Moringa Tree (Infographic) + Uses
Moringa oleifera is a small to medium-sized tropical tree native to the Indian subcontinent. The tree is easily recognizable from its light colored knotty trunk and highly branched compound leaves. The fruits of the Moringa tree are thin, 1 ½ -2 ft. long pods.  Click to go to the Uses of the Moringa Tree The M. tree has several names in different parts of the world including its common name of “horseradish tree,” since its roots taste similar to horseradish root when raw. In Ayurvedic medicine it is known as shigru. Although the sparse crown of the drumstick tree offers little shade from the hot sun of the tropics, it is a common fixture in almost every yard and by the wayside. The M. tree have innumerable health benefits. The leaves, flowers and the green pods of Moringa are all edible and are widely use in Indian cuisine. This miracle tree is beneficial as food because of its ability to grow in a variety of climates, especially subtropical climates. In fact, M. Oleifera grows in virtually all countries where malnutrition is widespread and may be a great part of a comprehensive plan to alleviate malnutrition throughout the world. Nutritional Value Of Moringa Moringa leaves and pods are a nutritional powerhouse.It is a rich source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

Impressions on St. Vincent by Karolina

Impressions on St. Vincent by Karolina
By Karolina St. Vincent, the place about witch I have been dreaming for a long time   I am in the place about witch I have been dreaming for a long time (without even knowing that it exists). One might wonder why St. Vincent is so special. To begin with, the nature here is just breathtaking. No matter where you turn, you are always surrounded by mountains. It is been two months since we are here, and I cannot get enough of the view. Vegetation is incredibly rich as well. The soil is so rich that if you stand on it for a while you will become taller they say. Moreover, there is a huge variety of fruits here. When one end, other start bearing fruits. By the way, mango season is about to start and when it starts people can survive just on mangoes. Also, coconuts are very important part of life in St. Vincent. If you are thirsty they provide you with water, if you are hungry they fulfil you with nutritious coconut meat and et cetera. Second off all, Vincentians are super friendly, it is even hard to describe in words how friendly they are. I really like to be around locals: they are bringing good vibes. Vincentians always greet you! Usually, after “good morning”, “good day”,  “good night” follows other sentences or...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

Fishing with locals by Karolina

Fishing with locals by Karolina
By Karolina On Friday I had a very unique experience. Octavian, Christopher, Ammon and I went fishing with locals. We set the time at 16:30, however they were fashionably late. A boat was almost full and the only one I knew there was Tyson. When I was about to jump into the boat, they gave me a specific look. It was not new for me, I call it “what that girl is doing here?!” However, it did not really bother me.  I could already smell the adventures! I used to go fishing with my father, brother and cousins a lot before but I have never tried a net fishing. I like watching how people interact with each other here. Locals were speaking very fast with a heavy accent so I barely could understand the content. They body language showed that they were relaxed and knew what they were doing. Yet for me all the fishing procedure did not seem very well organized. In the beginning we were diving in order to check the place. I did not bring the swimming suit with me, so I just jumped to the water with all my clothing. Also, if I would have one I would do the same because I really do not like this kind of attention in just guys company. After checking the place Tyson took a...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

A life-changing experience with the Fighting with The Poor Program!

A life-changing experience with the Fighting with The Poor Program!
Poverty is about not having enough money to meet basic needs including food, clothing and shelter.  However, poverty is more, much more than just not having enough money. The World Bank Organization describes poverty in this way: “Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways.  Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape. So poverty is a call to action -- for the poor and the wealthy alike -- a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities.” Money isn't everything. The greatest form of wealth is human connection and human interaction. It's one of the most influential currencies in the world. In our Fighting with the Poor Program, we go shoulder to shoulder, hand on hand with the Poor, to tackle the possible limitations they have to overcome this unfair situation where they are. What is The...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

4 Benefits of Intercropping that you never imagined!

4 Benefits of Intercropping that you never imagined!
Intercropping is defined simply as growing two or more crop types on one field. The practice of intercropping has actually been around since farming began. Modernization of farming equipment has changed our farming practices into what they are today, which is largely mono-cropping. Mono-cropping is planting only one crop on a field that was adapted with the intention of maximizing the amount of seeds you could plant on one field and in a shorter period of time.  Types of Intercropping These are the basic four methods commonly employed. Sometimes they involve annual grains and vegetables, such as the mixed intercropping classic of corn, beans and squash. Sometimes there are perennial species with annual crops growing amongst them, say perennial garlic and basil with annual tomatoes. Perennials also work well with other perennials. In parts of the tropics, bananas, papayas, coffee, vanilla and cacao make a crackerjack intercropping team (For example here at Richmond Vale Academy , we have what we like to call the “Dessert Field” with bananas, cacao and vanilla. Delicious!). In essence, these are all forms of companion planting, in which one plant provides some useful component for another. The technique can be small in scale, something seen in a home garden. However,  strip cropping is also becoming more common for progressive industrial models. - Row Intercropping It’s the growing of two or more...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

Volcano hike or teamwork at its best by Karolina

Volcano hike or teamwork at its best by Karolina
By Karolina On Friday us, the facilitators, and all DRET students hiked up the volcano. We left RVA quite early in the morning with a lot of water on us. Before starting to climb up Selly suggested gathering all together in the circle. I really liked that ritual because it lifted our spirits up. Also, since nowadays our pace of life is very fast we barely have time to stop, look, listen to others and especially consider other people’s needs. In DRET group was one overweight girl. Even though Ashika was very determined to go up, just looking how hard she was making her first steps made us question if she can reach the peak. And you know that, she managed! In the beginning Selly suggested to let Ashika go in front that she can set the pace. Seemed like people respected Sellies suggestion but it was impossible to keep that super slow speed up all the time. In order to entertain other students Selly started singing. However, this plan did not work out. So Vanessa and Jorge decided to walk with Ashika on her pace. It was so nice of them! I can just imagine how tiring it was physically as well as emotionally. They told that Ashika called her father and proudly said that she hiked up the volcano. Meanwhile Selly, Elin, Ammon, me...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

It’s dangerous out there, they said! By Chris

It’s dangerous out there, they said! By Chris
By Chris Before we came to St. Vincent many people told us over and over, how dangerous it can be and how many things have happened in this island. They were talking about robberies and fights and so on. Of course, we were a little concerned about the potential danger ahead of us. I guess all such things happen here, but let’s be honest, they happen everywhere. No matter where you go, you will never be 100% save. As mentioned before, we were quite concerned about the things that might happen, but after almost 3 months I haven’t witnessed one single situation that seemed somehow threatening. In fact, the people here in St. Vincent are the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever met. In my hometown in Austria there were more occasions that made me anxiety. Everybody here is so incredibly friendly and chilled, with a few exceptions I guess, but in all my time here I haven’t met a single person that didn’t put at least a little smile on my face. I really think that if more people would carry a little Vincy-Sunshine in their hearts, the world would be a better place.
Richmond Vale

Hitchhiking from Georgetown down to Kingstown by Karolina

Hitchhiking from Georgetown down to Kingstown by Karolina
By Karolina After the fair organized by St. Benedict church, Shie-Shie, Ammon and I decided to stay overnight in Georgetown and hike up the volcano the next day. However, due to bad weather conditions up there we decided to hitchhike instead. The first thing we did in the morning was running to the beach and swimming in the stormy sea. The waves were massive; I am not even kidding you! Ammon was hesitating a bit but I knew we could not miss this chance! Shie-Shie was super scared but did not try to stop us. It was really hard to stay standing when the waves were hitting the shore. After swimming we felt so refreshed. 10:10 we reached the main road and caught a van which speedy brought us all the way down to the capital. It was Sunday morning, so Kingstown was incredibly quiet. We left the city center and tried to get a ride but unfortunately no matter how hard we tried nobody stopped for a while. To begin with, it is not very common to hitchhike in St. Vincent because if you are stopping a car and asking to give you a lift in most of the cases they will ask you to pay. After many failures, Shie-Shie started to show her communication skills. And then one man stopped for us!!! He was...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

5 Effects of Global Warming that will make you think about it! INFOGRAPHIC

5 Effects of Global Warming that will make you think about it! INFOGRAPHIC
The Effects of global warming, the heating of Earth's, oceans and atmosphere, was a topic of debates in the scientific community. Today, the overwhelming consensus of researchers is that the effects of global warming is real thanks to human activity.  This affirmation was supported, as of 2013, by 197 scientific organizations around the globe , which is a stark difference from the levels of awareness in common citizens. Perhaps it is because when thinking about global warming, humans do not see themselves experimenting it now. However, they look at projections for what the world could become if global warming prevails. The truth is, climatic change is not a storm in the making ⎯the downpour has already reached everywhere around the world. Researches about Global Warming According to a Yale University study based on data collected by Gallup in the 2007-2008 period, “about 40 percent of adults worldwide have never heard of climate change. This rises to more than 65 percent in some developing countries, like Egypt, Bangladesh and India” . While this is understandable in developing countries ⎯where people often lack a formal education⎯ it results puzzling in those belonging to the developed world, like the United States. Another study by Yale found that, in 2015 , “fewer than 2 in 5 churchgoing Catholics heard about it from their priest in the month after it was...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

5 Awesome ideas for reusing and recycling water!

5 Awesome ideas for reusing and recycling water!
Around the globe, people are working hard to protect natural resources before their depletion. People today are ‘going green’ to protect their land and to prove themselves as good citizens. Some think that the natural resources need not to be protected but increased pollution in rivers, streams and lakes has become a great danger for life. Other than that, due to increased population, the consumption of water has increased greatly. Therefore, it is very essential to protect water resources and to maintain the balance in the ecosystems. That's why you need to learn the benefist of reusing and recycling water. What are the Environmental Benefits of Water Recycling? In addition to providing a dependable, locally-controlled water supply, water recycling provides tremendous environmental benefits. Some of them are: #1- Decreases the Diversion of Freshwater from Sensitive Ecosystems Plants, wildlife, and fish depend on sufficient water flows in their habitats to live and reproduce. The lack of adequate flow, as a result of diversion for agricultural, urban, and industrial purposes, can cause deterioration of water quality and ecosystem health. People who reuse water can supplement their demands by using a reliable source of recycled water, which can free considerable amounts of water for the environment and increase flows to vital ecosystems. #2- It May Be Used to Create or Enhance Wetlands and Freshwater Habitats. Wetlands provide many benefits, which...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

Clarity and Inspiration

Clarity and Inspiration
By Sara Auerbach I chose the Climate Change Activist Program , because it was an opportunity to do something different and to engage in meaningful action. There were a few things that I hoped to gain from my experience at RVA: Clarity. I hoped the program would give me a better picture of how I wanted to move forward both career wise and in everyday life. Inspiration. I wanted to revitalize my passion for environmental stewardship and addressing social problems. Practical skills . I wanted to leave RVA with ahandful of new skills that would aid me in living a life that would be more sustainable, more conscientious, and healthier. I can honestly say that RVA helped me to achieve all of these things. I am grateful for my experience at the school and for the opportunity to travel, create new relationships, and to broaden my understanding of the world. I believe that the community projects and sustainability goals that drive RVA are a positive force in a world that sorely needs effective programs that build people up and take care of our planet. I will say that the program is not perfect; I experienced frustrations as well as doubts over the course of my time at RVA. Ultimately, these are the things that open our minds and help us expand the way that we think and how...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

St. Vincent’s geothermal development approach

St. Vincent’s geothermal development approach
St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) with a population of approximately 104,000 people is 150 square miles and lies 60° 56’ West longitude and 13° 15’ North latitude, approximately 100 miles west of Barbados, 68 miles north of Grenada and 24 miles south of St. Lucia. From a morphological point of view St. Vincent shares similarity to the other Windward Islands, consisting of a central axial range of mountains starting from La Soufriere (1,234m) in the north, to Mt St Andrew in the south. The island is entirely volcanic with six main volcanic centres located along its central axis. Like most of the CARICOM member states, with the exception of Trinidad and Tobago and to a lesser extent Barbados, SVG is heavily dependent on imported oil for commercial energy need, particularly in electricity generation. The all-time high electricity rate of USD 0.43/kWh in 2014 was attributed to a 56% fuel surcharge. In response to the high electricity cost and oil dependency, the exploration of indigenous sources of energy became a top priority for the Government. A geothermal project became the preferred option given the limited baseload power alternatives and the already exhausted exploitation of hydro energy. Geothermal energy development , as stated by Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves, “will become the game changer for economic development in SVG” . The Prime Minister considers the reliance on imported oil...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

Planet of Slums

Planet of Slums
During the 18 months Fighting with The Poor Program , participants both study and take action to fight global warming and global poverty in St. Vincent, Belize and Ecuador. Part of this program is to also to plant trees, organize clean up actions, teach in schools and start vegetable gardens along with a number of theoretical studies to understand the causes of poverty. One of the study tasks focuses on the book "Planet of Slums" by Mike Davis , and here is from the introduction to the study task.   In 2008 the number of people living in cities for the first time surpassed the global rural population. The individual who tipped the scale might be a baby born to a city dweller or an adult migrating from the countryside, but in either case, it's likely that the newcomer will have arrived in a Third World slum. By 2030, an estimated 5 billion of the world's 8.1 billion people will live in cities. About 2 billion of them will live in slums, primarily in Africa and Asia, lacking access to clean drinking water and working toilets, surrounded by desperation, poverty and crime. Already these slums are huge. According to Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums, nearly 80% of Nigeria's urban population, or some 41.6 million people, live in slums. The comparable numbers in India are...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

How to look good in green

How to look good in green
Dressing sustainably can be very simple when you know what you’re doing! Commonly known as eco-fashion, it is the concept of taking into mind the long-term environmental and social impacts of our clothing every day. But often people don’t know what informed decisions to take in dressing fashionably without impacting the planet. For many people, this means recycling: instead of throwing away that tee shirt you ruined in the wash, could you make it into something? Could it become a cute pair of sandals, a pillow case, some cleaning rags, or a pair of socks through some careful stitches? In this article I’m going to give you... 10 steps on how to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle your stuff! 10- Second hand shopping Instead of going to your favourite high street store go to a vintage store or a charity shop. It’s great for saving money, you might be lucky and find an amazing piece. It’s crazy what people throw away sometimes 9- Get your hands dirty! (don’t be afraid to D.I.Y) Go online and learn how easy it is to make your own clothes or accessories from recycled and old clothing 8- Shop on Ebay You can find second hand goods that are still brand new! 7- donate to charity stores Give back and instead of throwing your old clothes away, someone else might like your unwanted clothing....
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

RVA launches Pass-It-On Model Garden Project

RVA launches Pass-It-On Model Garden Project
Richmond Vale Academy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Chatoyer Garden, and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Preservation Fund, will launch its home garden project today, June 5. The launch takes place at Richmond Vale Academy beginning at 13.00 with tour of the organic gardens and is open to the public. The Pass-It-On Model Garden Project aims to build the capacity of the local communities to live more sustainably, cost effectively and healthily by creating model gardens for families (or farmers) and for people to pass-on what they have learnt, to inspire others to start their own gardens. This project uses crop diversification and organic principles of production as a means of adapting to the effects of climate change while also using agriculture as a means of environmental protection. [caption id="attachment_11062" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The project teaches participants to cultivate food on small plots of land, without the use of chemicals. Using this model, a household or a farmer can use 800 square feet of land (a plot measuring 20 x 40 feet) to produce 130 heads of lettuce every two months along with 36 roots of chives soon after. Two intensive vegetable garden beds can produce okra, eggplant and hot peppers are other vegetables. An animal component can consist of a coup for raising two rabbits or layer five layer...
Continue reading
Richmond Vale

Organic Bananas

Organic Bananas
New technologies are being introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture, to improve Banana Production in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Ministry is partnering with H2K Agro to conduct trials on Banana Farms with the aim of controlling the Black Sigatoka and Moko diseases that have been affecting the banana industry. Speaking at a media conference, Mr. Rex Suckoo, Representative of H2K Agro, pointed out that the Company utilises natural means of strengthening the banana plant. He said that this will create a healthier environment for farmers and possibly open up a market for organic bananas. Mr. Suckoo also said that overall they have demonstrated that the technology works, and he ensured that it would have a greater benefit to the people of this country. Soruce:   agriculture.gov.vc
Richmond Vale

Learn more about our amazing Academy!

Learn more about our amazing Academy!
It’s 9 pm at Richmond Vale Academy, and a small circle of drummers sends rhythms into the darkness of the hills. The stars seem to be on steroids, but we still need flashlights for our dragon quest. Franklyn—the local hiking guide, night watchman, and nocturnal pollinator-in-chief—ambles ahead of our motley group: two young Scandinavian honeymooners, two mature ladies from Barbados, and a burly Dane who is minding a teenage boy with unspecified problems. Franklyn leads us into rows of tall, twisting cacti whose flowers reach full bloom only at this time. Lacking the right moths, they need human hands and a paintbrush to stimulate the production of dragonfruit, Hylocereus costaricensis. The huge white blossoms have a monstrous beauty. Tonight there are 54, significantly less than the record 1000, but enough to contribute to a crop. The succulent red globules that they’ll turn into helps make this institution the largest producer of this exotic fruit in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The extraordinary Richmond Vale Academy is full of such surprises. The first is that it exists at all. A part of the International DRH Movement (Danish “Travelling Folk High School”), RVA can trace its origins to 1970, when pioneering educators took a busload of Danish youngsters into Asia Minor to expand their horizons and learn by experience. Their encounters with poverty led to engagement, and eventually...
Continue reading