Sustainable Agriculture Initiative
Trinity Yard’s Sustainable Agriculture Initiative has three simple goals:
(1) to educate and re-skill Trinity Yard students and the on-site staff in environmentally sustainable farming methods, renewable energy gathering, and waste recycling in order to decrease the exploitation and degradation of natural resources;
(2) to create a model environmentally sustainable farm – utilizing organic, permaculture growing techniques – that can be emulated by the local population; and
(3) to decrease our reliance on outside funding sources and become more self-sufficient by producing a higher percentage of the food we (staff and students) consume.
Even though they have been “going to farm” almost since the day they were born, very few of our students, staff, or community members are familiar with the practices of permaculture, organic farming, or sustainable agriculture.
As a result, the first step of our Sustainable Agriculture Initiative, by necessity, is to educate and inform. Through a series of interactive, hands-on, educational workshops we call “Green Days,” we attempt to answer three questions: What is sustainable agriculture? Why is it important? And how do you do it?
Our small, twenty-acre farm serves as a model of sustainable farming for the locals to follow. Using organic seeds whenever possible, we have planted gardens that have produced tomatoes, peppers, onions, eggplant, cucumber, watermelon, cabbage, beans, and much more. We’ve also planted hundreds of pineapples plus numerous tropical fruit and nut trees, including papaya, mango, avocado, cashew, sour apple, guava, and several varieties of citrus. Finally, we have started a small chicken farm with the idea being to raise and keep enough hens to produce a sufficient number of eggs to feed the staff and students while also utilizing chicken tractors to reduce our insect population and mow are lawns.
Lastly, an ongoing goal at Trinity Yard is to produce a significant portion of the food needed to feed our students and staff during the school year. This will not only decrease our reliance on outside funding sources and allow us to become more self-sufficient, it will greatly reduce the pressures students face while attending the school, especially those who are from neighboring villages who are unsupported and have no time to fish or do their own farming. We have taken our first step in fulfilling this goal by planting a wide variety of fruit trees and opening farmland for student-run farms. We currently feed students a daily breakfast snack and a filling lunch, in part with the food the students themselves are producing. Ultimately, we would live to revolutionize the way in which farming is “done” here, and to remove “farm” from the students’ notion that it’s a four-letter word.
Our Bee initiative was inspired by long time friend and supporter Robert Evans, who has introduce the Bee Keeping model to our students and staff. It is our goal to generate multiple hives to be managed by our agricultural staff and used to teach students and the Cape Three Points community at large about the import role bees play. Keep posted to see when our first queen arrives …
Our Talapia project aims to farm fresh water tilapia as a sustainable method of raising fish for our students lunch program. We are currently in construction of our holding tank, and hope to have our first batch of fish by October of 2016. Keep posted for more pictures and updates on our process …
Trinity yard has over 75 laying hens for egg production located on our lower farm. Chicken waste is used to add nitrogen to our vegetable gardens while kitchen waste is used to feed the chickens. Eggs are used to feed our staff and students and have the richest yokes in Ghana!!