Grow your own and save the planet

The Royal Gazette November 13, 2019





Green revolution: Chris Faria is aiming to set up a training centre on farmland in Bermuda to train people how to set up mini-farms.


People should grow their own food in backyard farms to help the island combat climate change, a farming expert has said.


Chris Faria, who is aiming to set up a training centre on farmland in Bermuda, outlined the benefits of mini-farming in a talk at Bermuda College.

Mr Faria said: “The human element is what is missing in farming today; we are the answer."


“To combat climate change, it is not simply about convincing farmers to change the methods that they use to grow food. Instead, it is about all of us taking responsibility for our food security and beginning to grow our own food sustainably. We need micro-scale farming down from big, unsustainable farms to small-scale backyard farms using sustainable methods.”

Mr Faria’s talk was delivered earlier this month at the Eco Lunch and Learn Series Two launched by the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce and Bermuda College. GROW Biointensive sustainable mini-farming is claimed to cut the amount of energy and land needed to produce crops and improve soil quality.


Methods include digging the soil bed down to about 24 inches, which helps plants to gather nutrients and water, which means less land is needed. Mr Faria added that the quality of soil can be maintained and improved by proper composting, close plant spacing, the use of complementary mixed plants and the growth of carbon and calorie-efficient crops. Hand digging in small-scale farming also cuts out the use of fossil fuels by tractors on large-scale farms. Mr Faria said his planned training centre would focus on the methods of GROW biointensive farming.


He told the audience:


“We want to use it to empower the community, educate individuals and give them the tools and skill set to grow their own food sustainably. We are looking for half an acre to an acre of land to set up our demonstration training centre, which will be really good for Bermuda.
“A lot of landowners want to see this in Bermuda and connect with other small-scale farmers to create a system where we can grow food sustainably and create a community of sustainable gardeners for a healthier Bermuda and a better planet.”