Damian Adjodha B.Sc. Envi. U of T
Master Farmer, Specialist in Soil Science, Agro-ecological Disease and Fertility Management systems.
I have been growing organically since I was a child here in Canada. After receiving the honours B.Sc. from the University of Toronto Environmental Science Program in 1999, I travelled to my parental homeland in the Caribbean and began growing soy beans and other mixed crops on river valley volcanic soils of the St. Lucian coastal foothills.
The challenges of tropical agriculture forced me to question every aspect of traditional agriculture and I soon began designing farming systems based on advanced organic farming/ permaculture system I had been exposed to throughout my travels in the region to Dominica, Cuba and Jamaica, where I successfully completed training to become an internationally recognized organic farm inspector (IOIA).
But the focus was always on designing a homestead system that provided most of the fruits and vegetables for our family while still growing enough herbs and leafy greens to run a small business selling to other families and to specialty restaurants and hotels on the Island. We founded an NGO on the Island with the mandate of promoting organic agriculture and held several training workshops for farmers and assisted farmers set-up organic plots.
Through the exposure generated by these activities a local farmer’s cooperative offered me a position to manage their new organic production greenhouse facility and prepare it for international organic certification. Once the staff was trained and the farm was certified I moved on to teaching at the secondary school in the area. There I headed the Life Sciences department, teaching Science and Agriculture and was given the assignment to create an integrated organic farming system including greenhouse production, tilapia (fish) and small ruminant production.
Recently our life has shifted gears as we are raising three baby boys all born within 3½ years! I am happy to be back here in the land of my birth building gardens on the fertile soils I was raised.