As part of its reforestation project, the Public Entity Saba will be offering a two-part class on fruit tree grafting. The class will take place on Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Friday’s class will be held at the Harry L. Johnson Museum. Saturday’s class will be held partly at Spy Glass Villa and partly at the farm of Justin Simmons-de Jong. The class will be led by Dr. Ken Banks and Barney Gibbs. Dr. Banks is a certified horticultural specialist from Florida, and Barney is involved in several horticultural and agricultural initiatives in Barbados.
Persons who are interested are invited to register for the class. To do so, please contact Justin Simmons-de Jong at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-3311 to sign up. There are a total of 8 spaces available. The first persons to register are guaranteed a spot. The number of spaces available are limited to this number to ensure that attendees are given the proper attention and guidance required for this class. There are no fees to register.
The focus of the class will be on the grafting of mango trees, but these techniques will be applicable to other fruit trees. The first day will involve mentored, hands-on instruction in details of grafting mango trees. This involves selection of grafting material and grafting techniques onto local root stock (young mango trees). The methods used will be the cleft and veneer grafts. The second day involves topworking larger trees and possibly grafting other types of fruit trees if time allows. Theoretical information on the proper care of mango and other fruit trees will also be provided.
Earlier this year, the PES carried out a pilot project to promote backyard farming. Through this project, residents received financial assistance to help them set up their own backyard farming systems to be able to grow food for themselves and their families. In November, various types of fruit trees were made available to the public through the PES’s reforestation project at the World Food Day event. The pilot project and the distribution of fruit trees are a continuation of the PES’s efforts to further increase local food production through the promotion of backyard farming, while also helping to reforest Saba. This grafting class is part of an ongoing effort to embed in the local community the knowledge and how-know to empower our island residents in producing their own food.