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Pioneering hydroponics in the Cayman Islands

Sasha and Sandy with the Hon Jay Ebanks, Minister of Planning, Agriculture, Housing & Infrastructure (PAHI) and the Hon Julianna O'Connor-Connolly, Minister of Education with PAHI Chief Officer Eric Bush, Deputy Chief Officer Leyda Nicholson-Makasare and Senior Policy Advisor Demoy Nash

Beacon Farms has been invited by the Cayman Islands Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure (PAHI) to participate in a hydroponics project supported by the Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator in partnership with Sony Music Global Justice Fund and Fork Farms.

The Ministry has provided five participants, including Beacon Farms, with a Flex Farm hydroponic system and enough seeds and supplies for three months.

On 4 October, the Department of Agriculture delivered the system along with the necessary instructions, solutions, growing media and seeds, and kindly assembled the system for us. We have already started the first set of seeds and will soon transplant the seedlings into the Flex Farm hydroponic system where they will grow until harvest.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Beacon Farms to get acquainted with hydroponics and allow us to achieve the following objectives:

1. To supplement our income and continue contributing financially to our work as a non-profit organisation employing addicts inn recovery.

2. To implement simple, cost-effective propagation methods that engage our staff and provide them with new skills. This project will prepare our staff for future expansion of hydroponic farming at Beacon Farms.

3. To increase our appeal to local vendors and encourage the purchase of locally grown produce

4. To establish Beacon Farms as a pioneer in modern agricultural practices in the Cayman Islands and to be able to display those practices to interested farmers and visitors

We will continue to share updates as the project progresses.

The Flex Farm is the most efficient, scalable, and transformative indoor, vertical hydroponic technology on the planet. By carefully controlling everything plants need to thrive, each Flex Farm can grow more than 394 pounds of produce annually. They’re portable and only require a standard electrical outlet and less than 10 square feet of space.

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