The Permaculture Team’s Parents Weekend meal was a huge success! To recap, the menu included appetizers such as tilapia and coconut meat. For the main meal, the parents were served grilled pork; the pig was raised and harvested here at The Island School. We also served local steamed cabbage, mashed pumpkin & sweet potato, bean roll ups, collards, and banana bread for the main entrée. The beverages included locally sourced coconut water with mint, hibiscus and lemongrass. Our local meal traveled about 205 miles total with the food being from our own campus, Eleutheran settlements including Deep Creek, Rock Sound, Tarpum Bay, Palmetto Point, and Andros, another island of The Bahamas. We were proud of this mileage when comparing it to the average American meal, which travels around 1,500 miles.
After saying goodbye to the families, the Permaculture Team began working on a scientific poster in preparation for the educational and research exhibition. In class, they read current event articles relating to food and agriculture. A few recommended articles by the Permaculture Team, if your interested, include “5 Food Apps That Make It Easy To Eat Sustainably,” which talks about eating sustainably by using apps that will help you find the right food with minimal effort. Another article is “Food That Travels Well” from the New York Times. It talks about the term “food miles” (how far food has traveled before you buy it) and people having different views on whether imported food is better or worse than locally sourced food.
The team cannot believe how fast this semester has gone by and is sad to leave their Permaculture family as they have all become so close. When asked about their favorite part of the semester, they all agreed it was visiting the different farms (Joseph's, Rodney’s and Island Farm). They were intrigued by the different types of farming, especially Joseph's which looked so different from what they have always imagined farms to be. Joseph also gave each student the “best banana in the world,” which may have swayed their opinions! The Permaculture team truly valued their time learning alongside their co-advisors, Joe Plant and Leigh Schmitt, and being an equal part of the research process.
Although the Spring 2018 Permaculture Team’s time at The Island School is coming to an end, they hope future Island School students continue to research permaculture and sustainable farming. Some of the ideas the Permaculture Team has for further research include: expanding the school’s animal husbandry with goats or cows, increasing crop diversity and rotation, and increasing outreach by possibly going to schools in Eleuthera and talking to other students about sustainable farming issues.
Moving forward, members of the Permaculture cohort will bring their learnings and assign them to their daily lives back home. Each member thinks they will be more aware of their food and promises to try to research where the food on their plate is coming from, as they each now feel a greater responsibility to eat as sustainably as possible. They all hope to educate and influence the people in their lives to do the same when grocery shopping and ordering at a restaurant.
Until Next Time,
Kelvin, Isabel, Ezra, Kate, Nora, Maeve, Susanna, Leigh & Joe