I love the name of this farm!

I have watched them from their opening and it is so inspiring to see their dedication to educating and informing all – about organic farming.

They visit the local schools to talk about Organic Farming. As a teacher I would definitely include them in my programmes no matter what level I was teaching at. This is one of the most effective ways of ensuring we have a future generation of young adults informed about the benefits of Organic Farming and the environmental and health ramifications of Farming with Chemicals.

school presentation

They give farm tours with hands on activities for children of all ages. this is just an amazing outing for youth of all ages. They get to see with their own eyes that Organic Small Farms are a fun viable occupation that provides healthy nutritious food for the nation; lowers imports and protects the earth for future generations.

rolling compost

Their tours include fun and educational activities such as rolling compost games.

compost video

Multi media presentations.

story telling

and story telling.

They tailor their tours to all ages.

Visiting the island?

Their Organic Farm Tour is a wonderful introduction to Dominica’s traditional foods and methods of farming. it is child friendly and interesting to the entire family. You get to savour our local foods with more than one sense knowing that you are contributing to the development of a strong and vibrant Agro Eco Tourism Sector on island. This is  Responsible Tourism at its finest.

You can camp there if you want a Farm Vacation.

Studying Tropical Agriculture or Organic Agriculture?

seedlings 2

Students from all over the world visit this thriving organic farm in a tropical  environment to study with their trained and experienced Organic Agriculturist – Dawn.

Living on the island? 

D-Smart offers Educational Programmes for children of all ages. This is a great way to enhance their environmental awareness; keep them active; foster a love of gardening and immerse them in nature. Children who have a chance to get excited about the foods they eat  in an experience such as this are inspired to eat more healthy. This program strengthens the children’s appreciation and respect for their culture, organic farming, eco living and local foods.

 Dawn Francis is a trained permaculturist…focusing on the areas of sustainability and organic farming. Her training was done in Trinidad in 2011; there she obtained a certificate  in Permaculture at Wasamaki Ecosystems. She also trained with Al Casimir of the Dominica Ministry of Agriculture – Organic Division. Dawn continues to increase her knowledge through self study and on site experience.

Check out their Road Side Booth as you pass by Corona/Corona Estate between Pond Case and Sylvania on the Trans Insular Road newly renamed the .

Contact them at D-Smart Farms on Facebook. They can also be contacted at 767) 449-0581; farm.dsmart@facebook.com

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“How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind ” ~ A Silent Spring; Rachel Carson 1962

“Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. According to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 9 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are pesticides. Pesticides are categorized into four main substituent chemicals: herbicides; fungicides; insecticides and bactericides.” – Wikipedia

On the left an organic farm whose main crop is citrus. This farm is shipping to other islands where the demand for organic produce is steadily growing. On the right a citrus farm using pesticides to kill everything at ground level. Considering that those who eat organic have much lower levels of chemical toxins in their body which do you want to eat?

From the first time I saw the results of gramaxone I was blown away that people were applying something that killed the foliage of plants almost immediately to the very soil they grew their food in. Even more shocking they were applying it around the food they were growing and soon eating.

I started researching this chemical – a chemical local people were told was “safe” – I talked to one farmer who remembered representatives of the agricultural companies coming out to the farmers fields in lab coats to tell them how “safe” it was.  A friend of mine remembers a UNESCO calendar advertising how easy life would be with gramoxone.

In Canada and around the world the same information was being disseminated about other pesticides and the results have been disastorous.

In the past only a few spoke out against this deluge of basically unproven chemicals being poured on our soil; those who did were soon silenced.

It was the 1990’s when I realized that a chemical pesticide known as agent orange caused a lot of sickness in Vietnam Vets – I began to feel it was my duty to inform. I realized that the chemicals in the lethal blend used in the Vietnam War were used on the food we eat too.

AFTER YEARS OF DENYING ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS AND DISEASE IN HUMANS; unrefutable evidence is showing that there is undeniable proof that agricultural chemicals do cause disease. Study after study is showing the links. Class action suits are gathering all over the world. If you or I caused this many people to get sick or die we would be jailed for life!

Some of our agricultural chemicals are neuro toxins first used in the second world war.

Farmers here are still using these dangerous chemicals many of them as in the case of gramoxone are illegal in other parts of the world.

Where ever I travel I find that farmers often say “Oh I don’t use those chemicals for the food I eat; just the food I sell!”

One way to encourage local farmers to grow organic is to request it; pay a little more for quality organic food and the farmers will address the need.

Nobody can deny the connections to disease now:

Canada

Pesticide exposure linked to lower birth weights and earlier birth Lower birth weights and premature births are linked to respiratory problems and problems with learning and behaviour.

Canadian Hydro Sprayed Agent Orange to Clear Corridors “The Toronto Star interviewed former Hydro employees, including summer students and senior managers, who were assured the chemicals were harmless. The illnesses they’ve been dealing with the past few decades tell a different story.”

Agent Orange Soaked Ontario Teens – Forestry use of Agent Orange

The Agent Orange Association of Canada – this small group got an immediate compensation package of $20,000 CDN because agent orange (gramoxone) was sprayed in this army base.

UK

Inquiry into sheep dip ‘sickness’.  Hundreds of Scottish farmers allege that organophosphate dips have caused serious physical and psychological damage.

Denmark

Pesticides and Non Hodgkins Lymphoma

United States

Rotenone and Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease. Participants with Parkinsons Disease were 2.5 times more likely than controls to have reported  use of rotenone or paraquat (gramoxone).

Birth Defects from agricultural chemicals. The coalition testified pregnant women and developing fetuses are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides, which can cause spontaneous abortion, growth retardation, structural birth defects, or functional deficits.

The Veterans Association – Veterans exposed to Herbicides Vietnam Veterans who contract any of the diseases listed on this page are able to get financial assistance.

The national birth defects registry shows the effects of agent orange on the next generation!

Study Links Pesticides to Parkinson’s Studies all over the world link pesticides to Parkinson’s; I just heard of a person in their mid 20’s with the start of this disease.

Elevated serum levels of pesticides linked to Parkinson’s Disease

Atrazine in well waters in agricultural areas Concentrations as low as 0.1 ppb have been shown to alter the development of sex characteristics in male frogs.

France

France’s highest court has ruled that US agrochemical giant Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of its best-selling weed-killer, Roundup.

Argentina

Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children.

Nicaraugua

Amvac Chemical of Newport Beach will pay 13 Nicaraguan workers exposed to DBCP on banana plantations nearly 30 years ago.

Dominica is a leading producer of Bay Oil; the West Indian Bay Oil is antiseptic and the scent is heavenly; we export the oil all over the world.

I have been using and promoting the use of bay oil as a cleaning agent for over 20 years.

I utilized this oil to make my own cleaning products for Eco Clean, an ecologically friendly cleaning company I owned and operated in Canada people raved about the scent.

Pimenta racemosa. Indigenous to northern South America and the Caribbean, this tropical bay is a sturdy, evergreen tree of the Myrtle family which has been cultivated for commercial purposes for 80-90 years in Dominica. Not to be confused with the bay leaf or laurel (laurus nobilis) native to the Mediterranean area.

To grab a handful of these leaves and steep a tea is truly heavenly and a gift from the earth ….. but that is a whole other post!

Bay oil is used in herbal healing preparations, perfumes and cosmetics of all kinds and also for making Bay Rum.

There are at least 3 kinds of Bay tree grown throughout Dominica but the distilleries I know use the most common bay and are concentrated in the Carib Territories and the south east of the island. As you tour the island you can often smell the distillery before you see it!

The oil is produced in several small distilleries, many of which are run as co-operatives, by distilling the steam from boiling leaves, a traditional process using fire that gives Dominican oil its distinctive dark colour and sweet, spicy, aroma. This oil can be used for many, many things and the agro processing waste is traditionally used as a soil enhancement.

Recently we have been producing a more highly refined bay oil extracted by steam distillation of  the leaves. This is a clear oil that is claimed to be more potent and is a natural product but I love the dark oil made traditionally and I hope efforts are made to keep this knowledge alive.

I clean with bay oil and wrote my first article about bay oil for the Times over 10 years ago. It is a great cleaning agent for almost all surfaces. It may stain a pourous surface so test it out before using if in doubt. It imparts a nice scent which is said to repel cockroaches and some other pests plus it kills bacteria without impinging on the environment.

I would hope other niche markets for tropical bay oil may also evolve as medicinal uses are further investigated.

It is, for instance, an important ingredient, in a herbal supplement promoted for aiding stress associated with the withdrawal symptoms people suffer when quitting smoking.

The bay tree itself is hardy and can even be grown on poor, rocky soils, we could take advantage of this and the fact that unlike some other plant extracts, it is not easy to produce an acceptable synthetic substitute, as bay oil is a particularly complex essential oil with over 20 components. We all know what happened to vanilla when they found a chemical copy.

This oil is easy to store and ship – as most essential oils do, it has a long shelf life. We could truly become the world source for organic bay oil!

Dominica Essential Oils and Spices Co-op right here in Dominica is the best place to get bay oil; you can buy the oil right there in small medium and large bottles. Once in a while they don’t have butafter over 15 years of purchasing there, that has hardly ever happened to me.

Buy Bay Oil add it to your mop water or cleaning water – just a few drops required and a few drops of any liquid soap (liquid soaps are very similar – dish soap and shampoo are not that different and they rarely contain phosphates) to distribute the oil evenly through the water; you will be amazed how easy it is to clean greenly.

Cleaning with Bay Oil means we keep the environment clean too!

I have always believed that God never gives a cross to bear larger than we can carry. No matter what, he wants us to be happy, not sad. birds sing after a storm. Why shouldn’t we? ~ Rose F. Kennedy

Whistle Like a Bird 2011

Main Event

Speeches and Presentations

Guest Performances


I love how the winner looks like he is in a bird trance!

Whistle Like a Bird 2010

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” ~ John Dewy

RESPECT to Forestry Division; for their immense contribution to Dominica from their inception. I am so thankful for the parks here; and for preserving those sites that are so unique and special to Dominica. Forestry’s work never ends; with storms and other natural occurrences wiping out their hard work regularly it is hard to get ahead; but they have. In the last 10 years we have up graded our paths and nature sites tremendously. Forestry provides educational programs for children and adults and over the years the books and periodicals that have originated from that office have been some of the only resources available for teachers who wish to teach about the local environment.  ………nuff respect.   

 

HOLISTIC EDUCATION

Nature Education – Dominica’s Rainforest Environment

 

We have one of the last remaining coastal rainforests of the Caribbean.  Our children need to be proud of these forests to help preserve them for future generations.

 

I found Dominica’s Rainforests to be a dramatic thematic teaching concept that most students greet with enthusiasm.  In my classes in Canada and in Dominica I used the levels of the rainforest as a way to look in depth at the animals and plants that live in the forests. We sang Songs about the Rainforest, did Rainforest Math; Rainforest Language Arts; Rainforest Science; Rainforest Social Studies; Rainforest Eco Education; Rainforest Health and Wellness and Rainforest Cooking.

 

 

 I tied everything together using a large wall mural; drawing a cross section of the rainforest showing basic concepts such as the 4 levels; the roots etc.  We drew and labeled the animals, insects, birds and plants of the rainforest and attached them to the levels of the rainforest they lived in. The water cycle is easily added to this same mural too. Most importantly we spent structured and unstructured but guided time in the rainforest.

 

Rainforest Educational Links

 

 

Dominica’s Coastal Rainforest

 

Dominica’s Rainforest Parrots

 

Leeward Islands Eco Regions