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SJCM Young Leaders learn hydroponics

SJCM Young Leaders learn hydroponics

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Recently, Harry FitzHerbert, an expert in hydroponics from Kenya who is now living in St. Vincent, visited the SJCM Young Leaders to host a discussion on the methods and benefits of growing plants using hydroponics, that is, growing plants without soil.{{more}}

Many people are surprised that you don’t need soil to grow plants, but plants expend a great deal of energy growing root systems to search for water and nutrients in the soil. By providing a constant and readily available supply of nutrients and water to the roots, the plants can grow at a much faster rate. Plants are grown in nutrient solution with a growing medium. SJCM will use coconut fiber as their growing medium.

As part of the discussion, the students were informed of the different methods of hydroponics, as well as its benefits. These benefits include: Better tasting vegetables; Promotion of an overall awareness of the environment; Growing mediums can be re-used or recycled; Complete control over nutrient balance means healthier plants; Significant reduction in soil pests and diseases; Recycling systems use as little as 10% of water of that of traditional farming; Use of pesticides is decreased; Maintenance of plants is easy (no weeding); Higher yield of produce in less space, with less work and better results!

Meanwhile, Kamali Durrant, a fifth form student of SJCM, has graciously donated an 800 gallon water tank in honour of his father Kendall Durrant to the Young Leaders project. The senior Durrant, who was a great supporter of SJCM and also an active member of the PTA, succumbed to cancer last year. SJCM Young Leaders have also received donations from various businesses around St. Vincent in support of their project. The Young Leaders would like to thank the following businesses for their support: Aqua Services, Banfield Service Station, E.D Laynes & Sons, Flow, JG Agencies & Sons, Grand View Hotel, Mayers Milton T Consultancy Services, Patrick Marks & Sons, Photomax, Quik-Print Ltd, Red Dog Garage, Rotary South, Singer/CD Veira Ltd., S G De Frietas & Company Ltd, St. Hill Insurance Company, St. Vincent Distillers, Subway, SVG Tyres and Time Out Café. Without the help of these companies, the project would not be possible. The water tank is now in place and collecting the rain water. Soon it will have enough water to irrigate the farm lands and to start the hydroponics phase of the project.

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