Agriculture and growing fresh produce play an important part in Saba’s culture and daily life. It is also a sector that the Public Entity Saba continues to invest in. The Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) is doing its part by having added an agricultural class to its curriculum for practical education.
Under the guidance of teacher Shawn Skinner, seven Pro students are taking part in agriculture classes since January this year. In the garden area, the students are learning about the process to grow plants from seeds, how and when to plant the seedlings, how to maintain the plants, and when and how to harvest.
The students learn to grow a wide variety of produce and herbs, such as eggplant, cabbage, bell pepper, seasoning pepper, thyme, celery, kale, parsley, lettuce, carrot, bokchoy, and basil. Efficient use of water is, as always on Saba, an important aspect of this class. The garden is in an enclosed area, and while the fence stops the goats from getting in, it is a challenge to keep the chickens and iguanas out, said teacher Skinner.
The idea of the agricultural program is that the students learn about the farm-to-table concept. But it is also a part of basic life skills and how to be self-sustainable, said SCS Principal Anton Hermans. “We want to teach the students to be proud of what they grow and what they can do with the fresh produce that they harvest,” he said.
Commissioner of Agriculture Rolando Wilson is enthusiastic about the agricultural program at the SCS. This fits in the objective of the Public Entity Saba and my wish to bring agriculture into the schools. With this program, we teach children how to grow their own fresh produce and why that is so important. My compliments to Mr. Skinner and Mr. Hermans and to the students I say: keep up the good work!”