Sunday, 27 March 2016

Lectures on permaculture at Curaçao

'Koperativa Fresku i Organiko' (Cooperation Fresh and Organic) organised an evening of lectures in Papiamento. First speaker was Gianne Balentien. She told how people become more aware on healthy food. We, consumers and gardeners, shape the future. We have to take it in our own hands. That's why this evening was organised.

Then guest speaker Ruben Prince explained the basic principles of the best solution for agriculture at Curaçao very well. The main principle is restoration of the soil. At Curaçao the soil is rich in nitrogen, but poor in organic materials. He recommends making compost. A compost pile has to be four parts carbon (plant materials) on one part nitrogen. Every four days you mix your compost. If you keep the compost moist, after 28 days it's ready for use.

Watering plants with the tap water of Aqualectra is not good. The pH of this water is too high, it's about 7 or 8, while plants need about 6.5. It contains chlorine too, killing all organic material (that's what it's for).

Because of the erosion the temperature in the uncovered soil rises to 45 degrees (C) during the day. Such a high temperature kills everything living in the soil. So the soil must be covered, this is done with 'mulch'. Mulch is a layer of organic material (leaves, wood chips, grass, cardboard, paper) of about 20 cm, to cool down the soil temperature to about 23 degrees (C). That's a nice temperature for your tomato and pepper plants!

Then he told about the iguanas: feed the enemy! Plant a reserved part in your garden with 'iguana food', so they'll stay there and won't eat your edible plants.

More information on permaculture, f.e. the chicken tractor, manure (how much and when to use), etc. you can visit him at his terrain near Sint Joris, where he is busy providing Curaçao professionally with organic food products.