Conservation Corps members get their hands dirty at the Triton Farm
The Guam Green Growth Conservation Corps participated in a week-long training in June at the University of Guam Triton Farm, where members gained real-life skills while learning about various sustainability topics.
For several days, the Conservation Corps members learned about food security, invasive pest management, and culturally appropriate agricultural and horticultural techniques under the guidance of farm manager Jessica Nangauta and staff.
“We are an integrated farm system. We have four acres here. We do aquaponics. This is where we raise tilapia, and grow leafy greens like lettuce, basil, and mint. We have a horticulture field where we plant a lot of native plants on the ground like taro, tapioca, calamansi, lemmai, banana, and different types of ground and seasonal crops. And then we have an animal husbandry area where we raise over 800 egg-laying hens for the community,” Nangauta said.
The main goal of the farm is to increase food security, food sovereignty, and to invite the public over to learn about what it is like to grow food on Guam, according to Nangauta. The farm provides fresh farm products to the community as well as local restaurants, hotels, and other businesses.
During their service at the farm, the Conservation Corps members:
- Culled approximately 40 invasive frogs/toads as part of aquaponics pest management.
- Planted approximately 430 plus lettuce sprouts in the aquaponics raceway and harvested and prepped 5 lbs. of lettuce for sale.
- Collected and washed approximately 300 eggs from the hen houses.
- Prepped around 200 ft or drip irrigation.
- Planted around 200 taro seedlings, air layered 7 branches of lemmai, and planted 17 lemmai seedlings in pots.
Conservation Corps member Ryan Perez, the training experience at the farm exposed him to another aspect of sustainability. “This is an eye opener to see what other people on Guam are doing for food security and sustainability.”
The multi-acre organic farm in Yigo provides training, research, and outreach opportunities to the community in sustainable agriculture and food production. As a unit affiliated with the College of Natural and Applied Sciences and other colleges and schools of the University of Guam, the farm also hosts demonstrations and workshops on farming systems that integrate the island’s environmental, socio-economic, and cultural conditions.
“We are open from Monday thru Friday, between 9 to 4, and people usually call-in advance to let us know what they would like to order and to know what is available in the week. We also do farm tours. So, we invite the public over, from pre-school to the manamko to have them tour around the farm and do some hands-on work and volunteer,” Nangauta said.
For more information about the UOG Triton Farm, check out https://www.facebook.com/UOGTritonFarm