Covid 19 and the Impacts of Eating Local
Mr. Chao wasn’t always a farmer. Originally from a city near Shanghai, China, he arrived in the Northern Mariana Islands a few decades ago as part of the economic boom in manufacturing and tourism. But when those businesses slowed about 10 years ago, he moved to Guam to start his new venture – agriculture.
Walking underneath the canopy of trees at Benny Chargualaf Sr.’s farm is like taking a stroll through a forest of food. Coconut trees, banana trees, and papaya trees are not in rows, but carefully-placed clusters, to allow the sunlight to filter through so that younger trees can take root.
A self-taught farmer, Chelsa is inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s One Straw Revolution where she read about how to farm in harmony with nature, and how to work with the island’s ecology to grow fruits and vegetables using the plants’ natural relations with each other.
Mr. Laguaña’s earliest recollections is on his grandparents’ farm where he with his siblings and cousins learned their first lessons of Chamoru culture and language. His grandparents had been farmers the pre-World War II days, and even farmed during the Japanese occupation.
At Åmot Farms in Dededo, Saina Bernice Nelson has a collection of over two hundred beautiful plants from achote to rosemary to hibiscus and roses and even strawberries. But her farm isn’t a typical farm. Saina Nelson grows åmot, traditional medicine, from the Marianas and around the world.
Wake up early on a weekend and head to the Farmer’s Market in Dededo. The Paloma Family, who collectively call themselves Paloma Farms, occupy three stalls in a row, selling a wide range of local products that can easily be a one stop shop for local meals.
Dr. Marilyn Salas has worn multiple hats in the world of education in Guam, but now she’s on a different mission – to empower our island’s community to create a more sustainable and food secure island.
Every Saturday and Sunday you can find local farmers at the Dededo Flea Market selling their produce. If you want fresh produce, along with ornamentals and other local products, the Dededo Flea Market is a one-stop shop.