BASSETERRE (4th March, 2021): Judging for the 2020-2021 Back Yard Garden Competition has begun, with 35 gardens in St. Kitts slated to be visited and assessed.
The Back Yard Competition officially started in November, 2020 with 26 applicants in the vegetable category and 11 applicants in the ornamental category. The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism organized the Backyard Garden Competition, to encourage the development of gardens, increase the awareness of healthy eating and the provision of fresh and safe vegetables for domestic consumption.
Kyle Flanders, the Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, said the Back Yard Competition aids in development of a sustainable, competitive and diversified agriculture sector.
“The hope of the Ministry of Agriculture et al is that the Backyard Gardening Competition can reignite the passion for subsistence farming,” Flanders said.
Mrs. Carlene Henry-Morton, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, said home gardens can more than just beautify the country.
“Visitors and even residents are drawn to places where they can buy produce direct from their local, often organic farmer or producer. And, kids see where their food comes from and how it is grown. The opportunities are indeed endless,” Mrs. Morton said.
The participants will be judged on the following categories:
Plant cultivation and health
A committee for the competition was created to assist gardeners, comprising officers of the Ministries of Agriculture and Tourism. Members of the committee visited participants’ gardens to ascertain what assistance was required for effective plant health, and applied fertilizer and pesticide to the plants where necessary.
The committee met with the Judges and briefed them on the score card, the format of the judging and the number of registrants. The Taiwanese Agricultural Technical Mission has also volunteered their services to assist with drone photos, to view the layout of the gardens.
Prizes will be given for first, second and third place winners for the vegetable and first and second for the Ornamental Category, with the prize giving ceremony is slated at the St. Kitts Eco Park on Saturday 13th March, 2021.