Going Green and Going Clean
By Connie Guerrero, SSND Associate, Guam
Despite the negative messages in the media about the Covid-19 pandemic, Guam experiences the “get-up and go,” “live with it” or “let’s do it together” attitude. As a result, various organizations rose to the challenge. Through the University of Guam (UOG), the Guam Green Growth initiative (G3) and AmeriCorps VETCORPS team answered the call to promote food security, healthy food choices and increased island sustainability through education and community involvement. The community garden supports Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger; Goal 3, Good Health and Well-being; and Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities. The community works together to promote food sustainability on our island.
We visited the community garden and hydroponic fish tank at our village in Talo’fo’fo’. It is one of the southernmost villages on Guam and is where the School Sisters of Notre Dame Convent and Notre Dame High School are located. There is a newly erected aquaculture system and a set of recycling bins. Planters made out of pallets donated by nearby “Moms & Pops” stores were made possible through collaboration with the G3 and UOG Sea Grant. The garden includes eggplants, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and other local vegetables.
“The persistence of this demonstration of people showing what they care about and doing it peacefully is incredibly powerful. We need to do what we can with our neighbors, friends, and people who can make a difference, who can demonstrate that it’s possible to be positive, to be an example to others. It’s especially nice that we’re here in Talo’fo’fo’ to celebrate an example of persons that show us all how to live as a community. Keep up the peaceful fight for positive change in our environment,” said Vicente Taitague, Talo’fo’fo’ mayor.
“All of the programs are in place. They are ready to serve our constituents. Our future is very promising. We have good people behind us. I have faith in them.” (Source: uog.edu)
After our educational tour, I was more determined to jump in and do my part. My two-year-old granddaughter, Alaia, joined me in planting green beans, taro, basil, local onions, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, and ghost peppers. Within a month we made pepper flakes and finadine dinanche’ (hot pepper paste) and shared them with our family. Alaia is so proud of our plants. There are only small patches, but now we don’t have to buy imported vegetables. Amazingly, we make our own compost which gave our plants a boost – miracle grower. Alaia was proud to show our garden. She’s our future growing green!