A Local Back Yard Farmer Says The Benefits Of Growing Your Own Food Goes Way Beyond Nutrition


Mr. Kentley Samuel is a backyard farmer within the Jennings Extension Community who has been doing this for approximately six (6) years and has so far reaped crops ranging from; cassava, peppers, sweet potato, pumpkin, cabbage, lettuce, sugarcane, green banana and plum to name a few.

Mr. Samuel explained that there could be great benefits from growing your own food, as you know exactly how, when and where the produce was grown.

Apart from the nutritional and safety aspect, he shared how keeping busy in the garden can put worry on the back burner, even if it is only for a fleeting moment.

“I would encourage persons as it makes you a strong person mentally, you would not be wasting time worrying when you’re in your garden, as it is very difficult to worry and be busy, it is almost impossible,” stated Mr. Samuel.

Mr. Samuel expressed gratitude to backyard garden facilitator, Petranilla Estrada- Joseph, who he says has been a huge helpwhen he first began working in the soil.

According to the backyard gardener, Joseph has really educated him about a lot of different agricultural techniques which he has proven useful in backyard farming.

While conducting a ‘planting demo exercise’ at Mr. Samuel’s garden with the seedlings that were recently distributed, Ms. Estrada-Joseph, shared tips on planting space, watering and general plant care.

She further dismissed the notion that people who are interested in backyard gardening needs to have a lot of space and banks/beds to grow crops.

She explained that once there is a flat area and the soil is soft, you can plant.

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  1. I said it before and it is demonstrated here again. Agriculture is a science. You cannot just take a seed or seedling and put it in the ground and hope for the best. You need technical guidance from the technicians in the ministry. Especially those that have the university background. They have the theoretical skills and can educate others better. Not just from doing but from book knowledge. The ministry should also consider programs on ABS TV in which they teach the general public. I learn most from YouTube. But not everyone has that option. And a hands-on approach is sometimes what gives people the confidence that they are doing the right thing. Another project I would suggest to the ministry is to establish Community gardens in close-knit communities. That way you have greater participation from a wider group. Or like the Faith and Power Community did, make it a Faith Base Community Garden. That way all the parishioners from the church can come together like the early apostle plant and share the crops among themselves and even feed the poor. Sometime ago I use to buy some of my crops from them. They had very huge pumpkins for cheap. and lettuce. And they use the aquaponic technique to plant their crops, thereby using less water. Lettuce was planted in PVC pipes with holes in it. It was quite impressive to see.

    • @From The Sideline
      Your statement,”…Agriculture is a science.” is true. I know this even before studying Agricultural Science in School. But before studying the subject and learning about the NPK values and combinations, I was growing, potatoes, yarm, cassava, corn, etc… without any, “… technical guidance from the technicians in the ministry.” Yes, people should go and get the education which would help them vastly increase their yield. But you are letting it sound like you are blind about how our forefathers survived from farming. Go listen to one of the 90 year old Antiguan. They will tell that all they did apart from the hoeing, and some cattle $hit, was to put the seeds in the ground and did some watering.

      • My dear Coin Dadly, I’m sorry if that is all you take away from my comment.
        But progress is about bettering what your forefathers have been doing. I mean farming is the oldest profession in the world. I what has sustain mankind. And over the years people leaned and improved their farming techniques. And that is so for every profession. That is why we created schools and colleges and universities of higher learning. The farmers from 50 years ago saw the need to send their children to university in order to take the business to a higher level. And those children became the nowadays farmers with University degrees such as bachelor and Engineer, and Masters. And they even specialized in different sections of the agriculture field. Some went into the business aspect of agriculture some in agro-processing. Some in food technology. The field is so wide. To include Genetic Manipulation and pest control. Therefore when I say its not about just putting a seed in the ground and call yourself a farmer. We need to lift he standard if we want to compete in this global world. George Purcell went to the UWI and got his training. But in my opinion he is not implementing half of the knowledge he gained. The Chinese have come here and have taken a group of farmers to China and they all were impressed what they saw there. So I really do not need to listen to a 90 year old to tell me what I need to know, cause the 90 year old only knows so much as he has experienced. But things are changing. Nothing remains the same. Not in any field. I once went to CMC and asked one of the ladies about a fertilizer what the numbers stood for, and she couldn’t tell me. But she is selling the product. Guess what they have no training themselves. No university background and that in a field that is so technical. And you need expert advise to sell these products. I think the supplier should insist that persons selling their products have a certain level of education and are trained in their products. And another mistake people make is to think that a agriculturist is also a horticulturist. Anyway I leave it right here.

  2. This man and hundreds like him are to be commended. They are the true National Heroes. Keep up the ood work You make us proud.

  3. Melchisedec April 24, 2020 at 8:19 am
    This is how you put this project on steroids…..

    1 Create back yard garden competitions
    2 Create back yard garden whatsapp groups
    3 Create a barter market for participants
    4 Put out regular curious news articles on BYG…
    5 Put out funny reality appealing whatsapp vids on BYG…..

  4. All of a sudden farmers, and gardeners are more important than lawyers.🍈🥥🥑🥔🍆🌶🌽🥕 COVID 19, they’re still debating your origin and impact, however, one #Fact is certain. You’re a godsend!
    Nuff RASpect to ALL Farmers, especially the Rastafari Community, that had very few choices over the years but, to farm in order to live!

    YAH, definitely ain’t dead!

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