Hydroponic agriculture – one solution to food self-sufficiency for Barbados

“Cucumbers hanging down grow six inches a day.”

Our thanks to an old friend for forwarding some websites about the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla. The resort features a hydroponic farm and organic gardens that supply vegetables and herbs to the hotel.

The hydroponic operation is run by Dr. Howard Resh, a Canadian who became involved with hydroponics in the early 1970’s while a graduate student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Upon graduation in 1975, Dr. Resh taught at the University of British Columbia for three years, but his interest was always in the commercial application of hydroponics. As a result, he became involved in hydroponic projects throughout the World including countries as Canada, United States, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Venezuela, Tortola and Anguilla.

Can hydroponics survive ‘island time’ culture?

Have a look at the video of the CuisinArt Resort project, then read some of what Dr. Resh has to say at his website. (www.howardresh.com) This method of agriculture seems to be working well in Anguilla. Could hydroponic agriculture assist in making Barbados self-sufficient in food production… or would the hydroponic facilities just end up a victim of the ‘island time’ malaise that prevents preventative maintenance on the island and sometimes kills initiatives that work well in other locales?

That’s an interesting societal question.

Dr. Resh believes that Caribbean islands can be commercially successful with hydroponics and eventually supply sufficient fresh produce for the cruise ship industry. Here’s some of what he says on his website:

“Dr. Resh is presently working with Cuisinart Resort & Spa in Anguilla, British West Indies in the Caribbean growing lettuce, herbs, bok choy, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers with various hydroponic cultures including raft culture, NFT, perlite bato buckets, and plant towers using perlite. This hydroponic farm is part of the hotel-resort complex that provides fresh salad crops to the hotel restaurants.

It is Dr. Resh’s belief that hydroponics will be used more in areas of the Caribbean having large tourist industries. Water is scarce on many of the islands having more favorable climatic conditions, so with the generation of fresh water from the sea water through a reverse osmosis process the water must be conserved in the growing of plants using hydroponic techniques. Islands having drier climates with the generation of fresh water provide opportunities for hydroponic production that may be exported to neighboring islands and cruise ships.”

Further Reading

Anguilla: a hydroponic paradise

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5 Comments

Filed under Agriculture, Anguilla, Barbados

5 responses to “Hydroponic agriculture – one solution to food self-sufficiency for Barbados

  1. Peltdownman

    Sandy Lane has a large area of land east of highway 2a below Mangrove Pond which is currently idle. It is the perfect place for them to operate their own vegetable and flower garden, including the use of hydroponics.

  2. Forward Is De Way

    There are a few in Barbados producing Food with such methods, like Tim Walsh up north but there is still massive playing room for more players in the market. Various farmers can perhaps specialize in certain produce. We don’t need 20 people producing lettuce. Barbados needs this soooo much. We need more farmers that are not afraid to tackle modern methods and technologies to grow better food more efficiently.

  3. 225

    Hmmmmmmmmmm…growing all those vegs in one spot WILL prove irresistible to the salivating praedial larcenists and you know they WILL drop by…growing is one thing, protecting and selling them another.

  4. Forward Is De Way

    @225
    That is a good point and one that needed addressing for donkey years. We are too soft on thieves to be frank.

  5. exelent Question posed here can hydroponic farms surive island time???? if you looking for an answer ceck me out here

    https://www.facebook.com/BairdsVillagefarms