As my team arrived in St. Vincent and at the Richmond Vale Academy, we decided pretty early that we want to assist in re-establish a farmers market in Chateaubelair, a little village on the North-Leeward side of the main Island of St. Vincent. As there were attempts to build up a farmers market before we came to St. Vincent, which ultimately failed because of a lack of autonomy of it, we wanted to make sure that this time the market will persist for longer.
Because our program in the climate compliance team is segmented in several period, we started to work on the farmers market actively in the last two months. The four month before, we worked at making RVA more climate compliant and in the community on gardens to secure food stability and income. To ensure that the market will be a long lasting project that continues after our teams departure, we tried to give as much responsibility as possible to the organization of FPOOF (Family Producers of Organic Food), which is a group consisting of all the people who got help to build a home-garden on their properties. The idea is, that this group will continue to host markets on a regular basis, in Chateubelair.
To manage the future costs of the market we fund-raised 3000 USD for a big tent, tables and future events. To be able to witness the first of many farmers markets, we set the opening date on the 25th of August. One day before our program ended. We prepared everything the day before and as we arrived at the 25th at mission corner, which where the market will be hosted in the future, many people were already there, ready to sell their produce and crafts.
Music and Dance at the opening
Enter your As a part of the future fundraising of the farmers market, we sold crépes, cinnamon rolls and jam. Other people sold fresh vegetables, fruits, cooked food and even cups and bowls.
After a while the chartered steel-pan band arrived and played for several hours. In breaks and before the band arrived, we listened to reggae and soca music through the sound-system we brought.
It felt like everyone had fun, and because mission corner is located at the sea you could always get into the water to get refreshed in between.
I feel like, we have contributed a huge bit, to the development of a persistent farmers market in Chateubelair. Even though it was just one farmers market event of hopefully many, I think we laid cornerstone for a project that will help the community of Chateubelair to increase wealth and well being as well as cultural development. Many people can benefit from a market like this, for many different reason. Personally I hope, that this market will bring people together, create opportunity for growth, and especially will make people happy. Working with the people in the community, with my team and on this island was a great experience and our project with the farmers market showed me again that everyone can make a change, and that it is worth it to try to do so.Joost, March Team 2018