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Local farmer opens up his land for community farming

On the heels of last week’s 51st annual Agriculture Show one farmer says more people than ever want to grow their own food and he is allowing them to use his land to harvest.

“It organizes my life and to me, I have just learned to become a better person just by cultivating the land and I guess literally getting down to earth.”

Farmer Andre Gooding from Carlito’s Greenhouse said with the rise of genetically modified organic food available on the market people are wanting to grow their own crops.

“Healthwise to themselves, they realize that it is not much of a benefit from it, so I think a lot of people have slowed down mentally and said a lot of this stuff I could be doing it myself,” he said.

To help the rising trend in Cayman Mr. Gooding has sectioned off a piece of his farm in West Bay for the community to plant their crops.

“I think anything you do in life, everybody should benefit from it or just be apart of it and share the good from it, so if we are going to cultivate the land and I’m getting a sense of fulfilment from it, then I would want others to have that sense of joy and fulfillment as well,” said Mr. Gooding.

He said people have approached him regarding the plant beds he builds, but often can’t use one due to their living conditions such as strata.

“We are asking them to come on the property, so we shouldn’t really say pay us and come on the property, so here is a free option to if you want to be involved in growing your own crops,” he added.

As the community garden develops Mr. Gooding said he has bigger plans.

“Originally I just had the idea of building some boxes, putting them there with soil and then you know you just come and plant, but aesthetically I actually want the space to be more welcoming to even those who don’t want to or don’t have the idea to plant or farm,” he said.

For Mr. Gooding’s part, he said, farming is an essential part of Cayman’s history and he wants to continue the tradition.

Mr. Gooding said so far there’s been no takers on the offer.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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