Mr. Chet Jacobs from Vernon`s Estate, is one of many persons who have recently thrown their ‘backyard garden hats’ in the ring to help cushion any major effects that the COVID-19 Pandemic may have on the agricultural food chain.
Although this is his first backyard garden project which he started just a week after the first Covid-19 case was announced in Antigua, Jacobs was proud to say that he is not entirely new to the ‘field’ as he grew up in Bendals farming with his grand-parents, Seldom and Edith Martin.
We caught up with Jacobs at the ‘Farm Ah Ya Yard’ National Seedlings Distribution exercise at Pares Secondary School, and with seedlings in hand, he said that he could hardly wait to reach home to get them into the freshly ploughed soil that was awaiting them.
Jacobs said that he currently has four banks but plans to add more as the list of what he grows will definitely be expanding.
He said that he has also built four grow boxes and is currently filling them with top soil.
In terms of the production of lettuce, Jacobs shared how he chooses to grow them using used water bottles which many would normally throw away.
“I have eight (8) heads of lettuce which I planted in 8, gallon water bottles which I cut out and fill with soil. The bottles are actually currently located in my plum tree so that they can get some shade.”
According to Jacobs, the seedlings distribution programme is quite welcoming and is a very positive move.
He said that he hopes a lot of other people will take the opportunity to grow something, especially at this time.
“There is a certain joy you get from eating what you produce, can’t wait to start eating my own lettuce.”
Currently, Jacobs said that he has planted sweet potatoes, cassava, beans, okras and pumpkins which he has received through the ‘Farm Ah Ya Yard’ Initiative and plans to plant more.
‘I intend to add more pumpkins, butternuts, cucumbers and some seasonings like, peppers, chive and thyme.
The ministry definitely wishes Jacobs all the best with his backyard garden project.