Chatoyer Garden's ecological farm is located up Maloney, nestled high up in the lush, verdant mountains of Vermont. Named after Chief Joseph Chatoyer, the National hero of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; honored for his resistance against the colonial forces to protect his beloved homeland Hairouna.
Luke is telling how "following in the legacy of Joseph Chatoyer", we at Chatoyer Gardens seek to be an example for farmers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines by demonstrating regenerative methods of agriculture based primarily on Permaculture Design principles.
These design principles work along with nature and all life forms, rather than against them. In taking advantage of the natural processes of forest succession, they harmonize with the natural patterns of the local ecosystem, which majors in trees.
Instead of using outside input in the form of chemicals (ie.fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides) or unsustainably-sourced organic inputs, we use process-based approaches in the form of cycling nutrients from pruning productive and support perennial species on site, together with some grass fed animal manure and compost. This abundance of organic matter allows us to feed the micro-organisms in the soil, which in turn provide the diverse nutrients required for healthy and tasty herbs, fruits and vegetables. This mulch not only feeds, but protects the critical life in the soil from the harsh sun and heavy rains, whilst allowing them to continue their work effectively.
Our ecological system of combining intensive herb and vegetable cropping, edged with a diverse hedge row of high biomass producing species, allows for continued abundant cropping without chemicals.
Our pioneer homestead relies on renewable energy systems. We use solar power to provide our electricity and a biogas digester, which contributes a significant amount of non-fossil fuel based, clean cooking gas. We are ever so grateful to Richmond Vale Academy for their assistance and expertise in helping us set up these critical renewable energy systems.