Saba is full of natural resources. One of those resources, often overlooked, is all the greenery dumped in the Gut. To help fight climate change and global warming on the island, the Saba government purchased a commercial-grade Timberwolf Shredder to help the decomposition of local vegetation and excess pallet debris burdening the island.
Instead of placing the material to naturally decompose in the Gut, while producing global warming gases that harm the ozone, the Agricultural Department wants to shred the material to limit the harmful gas formations and have the finish compost offset costs for the Hydroponic Greenhouse Agricultural Project. Secondly, the finished compost will be used in the reforestation project.
This week is the start of the Mulch Program in the Gut; to limit the gases from forming by allowing aerobic composting methods to be implemented instead of anaerobic composting methods normally taking place by default in landfill pits. The more air allowed into the mulch, the less harmful gases are produced and released into the atmosphere. As a secondary benefit, both the Hydroponic Greenhouse Project and the Reforestation Project will benefit in cost savings from not having to import compost while reducing the carbon footprint from the transportation of goods.
Gezondheid Farms, a newly contracted corporation from the US, managed by Jim Garza, has started the initiative to help guide the proper process to compost while measuring heat temperatures, moisture content, N-P-K levels, and pH levels in the piles to maximize the decomposition speeds while minimizing harmful gas production from the pile with aeration methods.
Mr. Garza, together with the Saba Government, is managing the hydroponic greenhouse project and will develop the future Compost Mulch Facility at the farm as carbon capture, methane gas burning, closed system to provide carbon dioxide needed at the farm. CO2 is absorbed by the plants to maximize plant health and growth. Wageningen University has expressed interest to collaborate on efforts to develop the Gezondheid Farms technology to air scrub volatile organic compounds (VOC) gases and odors. The combined collaboration will focus on providing carbon capture solutions to a global issue while providing nutrient-rich compost to future agricultural projects on the island.
Gezondheid Farms will apply for grant funding to initiate their Carbon Activation Recycling Program Utilizing Local Litter (CARPULL), targeting a zero carbon footprint on the farm during operations.
Commissioner of Agriculture, Mr. Rolando Wilson had the following comments during the opening of the Saba Compost Mulch Program Started at the Gut. “We thank those who recycle and place truckloads of vegetation debris at the Gut for mulching. We encourage families to recycle coffee grinds, eggshells, fish bones, banana peels, seaweed, and bring those items to the Gut to be placed into a special bin as we continue mulching our local litter from going into the landfill. This is another important project to help restore the agricultural sector on Saba to its former glory”.