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Youth conducts soil analysis at horticulture farm

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Students of the Sacred Heart recently visited the horticulture project at Rendez-Vous to learn how to conduct a soil analysis.

In the second week of a five-week course to inspire 6th graders to seek interest in agricultural curriculums, Principal of the Saba Comprehensive School Anton Hermans wanted to spark the interest of the future secondary school students in horticulture in collaboration with Gezondheid Farms CEO Jim Garza.

The six primary school students were exposed to native soil conditions 6 feet below grade as they conducted Nitrate (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) soil nutrient analysis themselves while also testing for pH levels, utilizing modern technology capable of simplifying the process.

While at the Gezondheid Farms greenhouse grounds, the students dug down 6 inches from the finished surface in the greenhouse already 6 feet below grade and took soil samples for testing. They sifted the soil sample with a strainer into distilled water from the reverse osmosis system at Gezondheid Farms and mixed it thoroughly.

Once settled, they extracted top level semi-clear water samples from the muddy water sample with an eye dropper and filled a test tube for testing. Then they added specific safe reagent powders to allow color formation in the settled water sample within a test tube. “The push of Commissioner of Agricultural Affairs Rolando Wilson to engage Saba youth with tomorrow’s agricultural practices started today,” said Garza.

While waiting for 10 minutes for the test tube sample mixture to settle, they conducted a control experiment with a Sonkir 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH probe tester to compare results between the two testing devices. The students used a RapiTest Kit Digital Spectrometer Reader for testing with a push of a button.

“The conclusion was staggering, but you will need to approach one of the Sacred Heart 6th grade students for measurements taken of soil 6 feet below grade with results they learned from the experiment,” said Garza.

“It was a great day for agriculture, inspiring youth through exposure to today’s technologies to open the door for curiosity learning that lead to science, technology, engineering and math careers,” said Commissioner Wilson, a staunch supporter of promoting agriculture on Saba.

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