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Oct 13, 2016

Healthy Living Visits Urban Garden for Sustainable Farming

Healthy Living requires healthy eating. Healthy eating means access to fresh and nutritious foods. Now we’ve heard the complaint – and in many cases it’s true – healthier can be very costly. That’s why in tonight’s segment, we visit a young man working to start a movement of urban gardens in Belize.  The approach though is more than just planting of tomatoes in your backyard. We visit the Department of Youth Services to find out more about Belize Perma Kulcha Academy.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

This bright colorful corner in downtown Belize City could easily be dismissed as a part of the décor of the Department of Youth Services. But this multicolored nook is the designated space of Belize’s first Sustainable Commercial Urban Farm Incubator. A very complicated title to encourage a very simplistic practice – sustainable farming – specifically farming smack in the middle of urban spaces. Kadeem Bennett is the president of the Belize Volunteer Club, the  group that manages the Perma-Kulcha Academy.

 

Kadeem Bennett

Kadeem Bennett, President, Belize Volunteer Club

“It started because I was looking at or current issues and all of these things tied into our current issues. I was wondering why we have so much poverty, so much crime, so much violence and when you start to get into the literature and you start to get into the literature you realize, it all has the same source, it comes from a lack of food security. It’s every country’s priority. We all need to eat. A hungry man is an angry man, so someone who can’t provide for themselves is not the happiest man we have. So our PermaKulcha Academy is essentially program to try to instill a sense of community within our members, a sense of sustainability. The PermaKulcha Academy targets the three sustainable development goals numbers two, three and four so no poverty, zero hunger and health and well being. So, that’s what it is.”

 

The Volunteer group has already assisted in establishing Belize’s first community urban garden on Zericote Street in Belize City. The project was done in conjunction with other organizations; but that experience prompted Kadeem and his group to work on building a base of young trained organic farmers.

 

Kadeem Bennett

“Our target is to go into the schools to instill the academy there to start with the younger generation. We even have a cartoon character coming out called “Raya Cycle” to teach about recycling, healthy living. But for us to reach the schools, we need a lot more trained people that will go in with us. And that’s what this is, but this is just a part of the solution. The training involves information. So before you even reach here; this is part two. In part one, you learn how to take care of one plant.”

 

The students then put all the theoretical knowledge into practice with their seedlings and once those are thriving; they will be replanted into the incubator. The trainees are also learning the basics of healthy eating – with the hopes that someday they’ll prepare food with the produce they have grown.

 

Kadeem Bennett

Kadeem Bennett

“On a maturity continuum—from low maturity to high—you go from a level of dependency then you become independent and then the highest level is interdependent, which a lot of people don’t know about. Interdependent means that I independently take care of me, but I acknowledge that you and me together can do a better job than I can do by myself and that is our highest goal—to take our trainees or students from dependent to interdependence. Together we’re creating and building. That’s our biggest goal.”

 

You can find out more about the PermaKulcha Academy by finding them on Facebook or drop by the Department of Youth in Belize City to find out more.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Healthy Living Visits Urban Garden for Sustainable Farming”

  1. Mike G. says:

    Now this program makes sense.

  2. Mary Loan says:

    Kadeem~ Pro-Organic Belize would love for you and some of your group to speak at an upcoming
    Pro-Organic Belize meeting. Meetings are held at Maya Mountain Lodge in Santa Elena Cayo on the first Thursday of each month. We will buy you a nice lunch from Nature’s Kitchen cafe at Maya Mountain and can help with bus fare if needed.

    Thank you.

    Mary Loan for Pro-Organic Belize 677-9658

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