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Media Release

U.S. Embassy Harvests Garden with CCA Students

October 31, 2011

On October 28, nearly 50 7th and 8th grade students and staff from the Calvary Christian Academy visited the U.S. Embassy to see the fruits of their earlier labor. They harvested Chinese cabbage from the Embassy vegetable garden that they planted back on October 3. In preparation for the visits to the Embassy, Soil Conservation Technician Gibson Santos of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service spoke with students at their school about home gardening and soil health.

The vegetables, including the Chinese cabbage, head cabbage, tomato, eggplant, and okra, were planted in a variety of raised beds to help students think creatively and understand that gardens can be created at home from local materials. The beds were made from coconut husk, coconut tree logs, bamboo, stones, wire fencing, and planting pots. The soil used to fill the beds was amended with compost to increase fertility.

Mr. Santos discussed pest control with the students as worms had been attacking the cabbage leaves prior to harvest. He emphasized keeping the garden clean and manually removing the worms to minimize damage to the plants.

When Santos asked the students if anyone knew how to weave a kiam, a small basket woven from palm fronds, student Caleb Abraham was eager to show his skills. In a few moments time, the kiam was ready for the first cabbage harvested by 7th and 8th grade class presidents Bomin Kwon and Jericho Akinaga, respectively. With their classmates watching closely, Kwon and Akinaga then presented the first cabbage to Charge’ Lori Dando, a custom locally bestowed upon Kings and Chiefs on Pohnpei. Ms. Dando welcomed the students and thanked them for the gift. When she asked the students what they had learned from their experience, one student exclaimed, “Organic gardening is good!”