Catalyst communist and WCG Green Team Farm Director James Loomis will be traveling to the Caribbean this month as part of a US State Department funded farmer exchange program. Last fall, James hosted in Salt Lake Winston LaVille, an onion farmer from the Caribbean island of Antigua. As part of the Young Leaders of the America’s Initiative, LaVille spent a month farming with WCG and networking, gaining insight to help grow his business back home. Things went so well that two other fellows, an organic farmer from Guyana, and a quinoa broker from Bolivia, spent some of their extra time at the Green Team farm as well. James took them on a road trip to visit some farmers in southern Idaho, giving LaVille a particularly valuable opportunity to network with large-scale onion growers in our region.
LaVille and James submitted a grant proposal in January to continue working together and their proposal was one of 29 out of 250 to be selected! On April 14th, James will fly to Antigua to teach advanced composting techniques, soil organism microscopy, and the art and science of biological tea brewing. The project includes building an aerobic tea brewer and incorporating it into the farms existing system. The overarching goal being to decrease farm dependency on imported products, reduce or eliminate the usage of herbicides, and increase the ability to regenerate fertility on site.