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Sustainable Organic Farming Methods Taught in Jamaica

Source Farm Foundation (SFF) requested assistance for local farmers they are working with to help the farmers establish best practices for proper land preparation that meet organic standards, strengthen their ability to develop crop plans and budgets, and improve the farmers market that provides their main marketing outlet. Alex Hitt, of Peregrine Farm, Graham NC and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Farmers' Markets, Inc. was selected to provide technical assistance based on his 33 years of experience in all aspects of horticultural crop production and in teaching and training new farmers in sustainable farming techniques, and his service on the board of Directors of the 35 year old, farmer run and U.S. nationally known, Carrboro Farmers' Market for 29 years.

During his volunteer assignment from November 2-17, 2014, Alex met with 12 individual local farmers in the Plantain Garden River (PGR) Agro Park, the Rowlandsfield Community and various other locations in St. Thomas Parrish. He also conducted a training on organic farming to faculty and staff of the College of Agriculture Science and Education(CASE). On the marketing front he met with the leadership of the Jamaican Culinary Federation and evaluated the Ujima Farmer's market. During his assignment he had contact with at least 90 people. The farmers gained valuable technical support on appropriate crop and site plans and developed an increased understanding of farm design, nutrient management, crop rotation and soil preparation. The SFF gained valuable insight into how to improve the Ujima farmer's market, which should result in improved function and increased income.

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