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Blak Soil at Farmers Market

Source Farm continues to promote organic farming by selling nutrient rich soils along with seedlings. Come talk directly with farmer, Dwight Shirley, so you too can grow something and know it is safe to consume. Don’t miss this Saturdays Ujima Natural Farmers Market @ 10am – 3pm! Located at 22 Barbican Rd, Next to Orchid Village.

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Nature School Field Trip to Coconut Coir Processing

Nature School students enjoyed their field trip to the Prospect Coconut Coir Processing Center. They were able to climb the mound of coir in addition to learning the varied products that come from coconut shells. The students were able to see the coconuts, that some consider waste be reused for mats, rope, packing material in addition to the seed starter that they use themselves.

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New Office and FAVACA arrives

We got a new office!

We have doubled the size of the existing office space. We have a cool new white board, and two new desks with space for six more staff members.

Source Farm engages in so many successful projects, and our newest partner FAVACA brings even more support to the Foundation.

The Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas, Inc. (FAVACA), is a private not for profit organization formed in 1982 by Florida Governor (now former U.S. Senator) Bob Graham. FAVACA’s Florida International Volunteer Corps is the only program of its kind in the country and enjoys statutory authority under Section 288.0251 Florida Statutes. A state appropriation, voted annually since 1986, provides a funding base for an estimated 100 volunteer missions to Latin America and the Caribbean each year.

 

We are now able to reach a lot more farmers, and provide technical assistance with specialists in their field from the United States.

This will assist farmers to become entrepreneurs, and utilize better tools to build their businesses.

Summer Institute 2014

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Summer Institute 2014

July 7th- July 25th

Monday- Friday

(9:00am – 1:00pm)

 

Open House Wednesday, July 2nd

Come visit and learn about Summer Institute

Registration now open!

Summer Institute at The Nature School is a great summer experience for all kids!

We are located at The Source Farm in Johnstown, St. Thomas.

We take advantage of our location by going on daily explorations and working with nature. We also have inspiring arts & crafts activities that parallel our learning. Each day is filled with excitement, creativity and learning.

This year’s Summer Institute is titled How to be An Explorer: our focus is the plant & animal life cycle. We chose this area of study because our project is to landscape the area around the pond, build a runoff pond and propagate aquatic life in the pond. Students will learn about the life cycle of butterflies and frogs and understand the similarities and differences between them as they grow and mature.

The Summer Institute at The Nature School is a 3 week session and we encourage you to register early.

Hurry, limited space available. At orientation we will discuss meal plan and lunch options.

 

Summer Institute Fee

Johns Town Residents $3000 (3 weeks)

Non Johns Town Residents $5000 (3 weeks)

Nature School 2013 – Day 4

Today was day 4 at The Nature School! Take a look at some of the highlights from the day:

Meditation

We opened school today with 2 minutes and 15 seconds of meditation! Cy, Nahala, and Lula have been deepening and strengthening their mediation practice each day and our goal is to meditate for 2.5 minutes by the end of the week. Nahala made a very insightful observation today when she stated that it is helpful to meditate so that one does not get frustrated with other things they do in their lives. She concluded by saying we should meditate to help other parts of our lives be easier. I couldn’t agree more, Nahala! Before we begin meditation as a group we continue to remind ourselves that our goal during that time is to only focus on the present and be in the moment. So far, the three of them are doing a fantastic job!

Yoga

During yoga today we went through four rounds of sun salutation and learned some new balancing and floor postures. We have been practicing parts and stages of sun salutation all week and Cy and Nahala kept up incredibly well today with the flow. All three students definitely have a natural knack for the practice and the focus and concentration they bring to the practice has been quite impressive and inspiring. We also have a lot of fun doing yoga together and we get a little silly with “Happy Baby” and some of the balancing postures when we’re wobbling on one leg.

Farming/Science

Today we continued doing our field research project on Bamboo and surveyed the entire farm for places where we saw bamboo either growing, or being used in a functional way on the property. As we walked around, Lula, Nahala, and Cy practiced sharp observation skills. They were careful to scan the areas around them as they walked to keep their eyes out for bamboo. We saw bamboo being as a…

  • fence
  • pipe covering
  • curtain rod holder
  • Scaffolding structure
  • light post
  • Pillar for a roof
  • soap dish holder
  • drying rack
  • scooper/shovel (for soil and other things at the farm)

The highlight of our trip around the property was finding a cluster of bamboo growing behind Chaz’s woodshop. The beautiful, strong, green grass was taller than the coconut trees around it and provided us with some much needed shade as we investigated the area around us and the bamboo itself. The husk from the bamboo in its earlier stages covered the floor around the cluster of bamboo and we collected some of it to use in art class Friday. We also harvested a bundle of suckers that we will use to do some weaving projects with either tomorrow or next week. Nahala and Cy asked great questions as we observed the bamboo grass in its natural elements and they openly shared observations they were making as they continued their research in the field. They noted that the red ants like to make their home in the bamboo and when we knocked on the trunks, we took in how strong it was. All findings were recorded in each students’ bamboo field research books and overall, everyone enjoyed checking out all of the bamboo uses at the farm and actually seeing the bamboo in its purest form. I think we all now have a much greater appreciation for this amazing grass!

 

It was another great day at the Nature School and we have many fun activities and lessons planned for tomorrow as we finish our first full week!

Nature School Opening 2013!

On Monday, 14 October, 2013, The Nature School opened its doors to Cy, Lula, and Nahala at The Source Farm Foundation and Eco Village. The Nature School is a nurturing learning environment that inspires curiosity and creativity. We are dedicated to help children acquire the skills and tools to become better thinkers and problem solvers. We maximize student potential by fostering inquiry-based learning while focusing on environmental issues and natural living. We promote lifelong learning and empower students to be advocates of change

MEDITATION

 

We start school each morning at 7:30 with a meditation, yoga, and centering practice. Because meditation was new to our students, we spent some time talking about the benefits of meditation, being present, and centering ourselves right at the beginning the school day. On Monday, we meditated for one minute, and have been increasing the amount of time we meditate each day by 30 seconds. All three students were incredibly quiet and focused during their meditation practice and said they felt “Good, excited, and great” about the experience.



YOGA

We have also started to morning to prepare morning to prepare our minds, bodies, and spirits for the day ahead. On Monday we walked through a few rounds of sun salutations and today we learned the flow for lunar salutations. Everyone had a chance to make up their own yoga poses as well and we will continue to create postures each day. A popular pose so far has been the “airplane pose” and we have flown to North Carolina, Africa, Japan, and Pennsylvania so far and we will make sure to keep you updated on where we go next!

FARMING/SCIENCE

 

The Nature School students have been fully immersed in a study of bamboo this week, along with other engaging activities and lessons. Here is what we have learned so far about this fascinating and incredibly versatile plant:

Bamboo…

is a grass

is the fastest growing plant in the world

floats well (good for making rafts!)

is used all over the Source Farm

likes A LOT of water

As a group, we talked about other plants and natural resources and why it is so important to protect animals, water, plants, quality air, and the soil. We have been taking in a lot of new vocabulary and writing these words down in our word bank. All of our observations are being recorded in our Bamboo Study Books so the students can have a record of all of the great research they have done on bamboo during this project.

Today we also began exploring parts of the farm where we see bamboo being used. So far we have discovered that it helps the farm in many ways. We will continue to explore other parts of the farm tomorrow and analyze all the ways it is used here.

MUSIC AND MOVEMENT

Cy reports that today in Music and Movement, led by Nomi, they danced around the learning center as they listened to slow and fast music by Laurie Berkner. When the music was fast, they moved as fast as they could and when the music was slow, they tried to move like molasses. They also played with different instruments that Nomi brought to school including the trumpet, drums, tambourine, and shakers. Nomi also brought weaving sticks with ribbons that the kids used as they danced to the music. Cy’s favorite instrument to use today was the wind flute. Lula enjoyed playing with the trumpet, and Nahala very much enjoyed the class as well.

COOKING

Cooking takes place on Mondays and Thursdays. On Monday, for the inaugural class, Nahala, Lula and Cy went to Nicola’s house and made smoothie popsicles! Nicola helped everyone write down all of the ingredients for the smoothie.   These yummy smoothies were made up of:

 *Banana

*Coconut nut milk

*Chocolate powder

*Passion fruit

*Oats

After all of the ingredients were blended together, they put the puree in popsicle trays, stuck them in the freezer, and enjoyed them for a deliciously refreshing snack Tuesday. Nahala, Lula, and Cy also put together peanut snacks and shared them with everyone at the farm when they were done. Everyone is looking forward to seeing what they create and cook up with Nicola next!

ART

In art class on Tuesday, Corey read Cy, Nahala and Lula a story about a baby, the size of a thumb nail, who lived inside of a bamboo plant. After reading the story, the Nature School students used clay to make babies and other figures and characters from the story. After sculpting the clay, they painted some of the pieces and also painted some of the bamboo that was used earlier during science class. They clay is currently drying at the school and will be ready to take home soon.

Lot Sites for Sale!

Be a part of our Intentional Community.  The Source Farm Ecovillage offers an exciting opportunity to create your dream tropical getaway or retirement location!  

Our unique lot sites offer you the chance to design and build your own natural living home or cabin, including options for solar and wind power, rain harvesting, and more.  

The Source Farm produces natural organic vegetables for local hotels and the surrounding community, and you can choose to work exchange on the farm, or just enjoy it’s bounty.  We have lots of great natural features on the farm like streams, springs, and the beach is just a short mile or so drive down the hill.

1/4 acre lots overlooking the ocean are available on our 63 acre land trust, starting at $30,000.00 US.  

Contact us today for more information! codasourcefarmecovillage@yahoo.com

Natural Farmer Jamaica Project 2013 Kickoff

The Source Farm is in the process of launching Natural Farm Jamaica Project.   The Natural Farmer Project came out of the One One Coco Project which trained 10 young farmer to grow organically while using Permaculture Principles.  We are currently about to move into Phase 3 of the project of implementing a Natural Farm Stand in Kingston.  This Farm Stand will allow the Source Farm and other organic and natural farmers a place to sell their produce.

SUMMER 2013 PROJECTS

Terracing– The Farm will embark on terracing on contour additional farm land.  This important land preparation initiative is what we feel is vital to saving Jamaica’s top soil.  Using Permaculture Methods of swales and ditches and keeping water on the land in higher elevations are just a few methods being employed for this important project

Fruit Tree Planting–   Question: “When is there a good time to plant a tree?  Answer: Yesterday!

So for the summer we will be planting a variety of fruit trees and creating a orchard to supply abundance for tomorrow.

Coconut Tree Project –   The Source Farm has a number of coconut trees and many are suffering from Lethal Yellowing.  The project will evaluate the existing trees, access the health, clean the tree, create clear paths, map the trees and provide nutrients to aid affected trees

UPCOMING PROJECTS

  • Establish the CSA
  • Creating Terraces
  • Planting Lemon Grass
  • Establishing the Orchard

COMPLETED PROJECTS

  • Conduct a Topography on existing 63 acres
  • Research Aqua-culture and Hydroponics systems for Ecovillage
  • Clearing and Weeding 1 Acre of Land to plant 50 Jamaican Apple trees and 5 Jack fruit Trees
  • Create a kitchen garden
  • Plant 100 Ackee Trees and 100 Sour Sop Trees
  • Weed the Apple Orchard
  • Clean Coconut Trees
  • Establish WWoof Program in Jamaica
  • Seed Saving and Plant Research

Summer at the Nature School 2013!

The Year of the Coconut

The Nature School is a nurturing learning environment that inspires curiosity and creativity. It is dedicated to helping children acquire the skills and tools to become better thinkers and problem solvers. The summer program at the Nature School exposes children to literature and allows them to express themselves through art.

During the month of July, children from the Johnstown district and neighboring communities participated in an array of learning activities that combined these two areas of study. July 2012 marked the inaugural summer in the Nature School building. It was a community effort to prepare and maintain the physical structure of the Nature School during the summer program. Students, teachers, staff and parents alike were excited about having a dedicated space to work and play.

A continuous focus of ours is that of character development, the systematic approach used in nurturing responsible, caring citizens. This summer we embedded the principles of honesty and cooperation in our lessons and activities.

Students read books about characters that exemplified these principles. They also had discussions and participated in games and outings that required the use of both principles.
Some students received one-to-one instruction in the foundations of reading. They had daily, intensive study and practice focusing on their reading behaviors and strategies to promote continued literacy.

Summer at the Nature School included a creative outlet for students, offered a sense of adventure, supplied critical support in academics, sparked interests in new fields and provided a great opportunity to have fun. Yay !!! We can’t wait for July 2013.