Our Permaculture Teacher, Luke, and his family, own land in the province of Vermont in Saint Vincent. This piece of land is located in the mountain, when you reach the end of the paved road you still need to drive for a couple of kilometers on a very bumpy rocky muddy road. At the end of the path, there is a small shed with a covered deck, full of tools and a bit of a mess! There is running water coming from the spring at the top of the mountain, and the whole area is surrounded by fruit trees, and basically pure nature. Because we love Luke and his Family, our team decided to help him with some projects for his future farm. That's how we ended up spending 2 days in nature, setting up solar panels and building a seed nursery.
We drove up until the end of the road with our famous old-fashioned van, and Luke picked us up with his pick-up for the last bit! Filling the back of the truck with all our tools, tents, backpacks, pots etc, and sitting on top of them for the rest of the trip was a great start to our little adventure. Feeling the bumps in the road, looking up at the trees surrounding us, being uncomfortable but with big smiles on our faces full of anticipation!
We reached the farm around midday hungry and ready for a fun weekend! We set out to the garden and harvested lettuce, carrots, kale, spinach, tomatoes, for our sandwiches and of course a lot of mangoes just fresh from the many trees on the property! What a good way to start the day!!! As soon as we were full and satisfied we split into different teams for the different projects of the weekend. The Solar Panel Team set up 6 solar modules on the roof of the shed, and made the whole electricity! I don't know much about it, but it seems like the guys did a great job, as after two days the whole circuit seemed to be ready to start! The Cooking Team made this fantastic Calaloo Soup, a local delicacy made with greens, all sorts of local roots (Eddo, Tania, Dasheen…) a lot of coconut milk (which is very labor intensive when you don't have a food processor!) and a lot of Love! Finally, the Seed Nursery team started creating a space to accommodate the seedlings that will then be transplanted to the whole farm! Working on the Seed nursery was a fun experience! My team had to measure an area, make sure that the angles were right and hopefully make a perfect rectangle for the base of the nursery. Then we dug 16 holes for the poles that will support the structure, filled them with concrete to prevent the wood from rotting and set the poles in. We did all this in just one afternoon, we really didn't expect to be so efficient 😉
The evening was spent around a beautiful bonfire, sharing travel stories and incredibly strange situations!
I got the privilege of sleeping in the Shed, thinking that it was a great idea, as camping is not my ultimate favorite… I had a real mattress and a roof above my head, this sounded like a good plan… until the rats that usually live in the shed started rearranging the furniture… not the best night's sleep, but now I can laugh about it!!!
The next morning was more relaxed for the teams, but a lot of cooking was involved! We finished up all projects and enjoyed the view!!! We even spotted some Vincy Parrots!!! Beautiful green, yellow and blue endemic parrots!! The weekend ended on a fresh note in the river below the farm. We drove down the road, to the river bed, where the warm rocks contrasted with the cool water. Like children sliding down the natural water slides and playing in the water. A beautiful end to an amazing team time! It's not easy to work with such different personalities and cultures, but spending so much time together really made our team bond and grow closer! What a nice feeling!!!