In this article, we bring you updates on our Bonaire project from Bonaire and Texel.

Updates from Bonaire location

Workshop 'micro-credit in agriculture' on Bonaire.

There are many people on Bonaire who want to practice agriculture, but cannot start because investments have to be made first. The land often needs to be fenced and cleaned. Much of the soil on Bonaire is very compact, and energy has to be put into preparing the soil by mixing compost/garden waste and manure. For crop cultivation, a greenhouse can be desirable to keep sun, wind and animals at a distance. Other aspects that can cost money are water storage and safety. For this reason, the Salt Farm Foundation contacted Qredits, an organization that provides microcredits to entrepreneurs. Qredits held a workshop on the 14th of August and it was a great success: the room was (according to corona standards) full!

Salt levels measuring groundwater

It is known that the groundwater on Bonaire is brackish. However, little is known about the exact salinity levels. The Salt Farm Foundation Bonaire regularly measures the salt content of the water from public wells in order to gain more insight into the development of salt levels, for example after rain and after a drought. Most salt values are in the category 'slightly brackish', 1.7-8 dS/m. Below are some pictures of the public wells used by our farmers.

Growing plants
Our farmers are busy managing the early stage of the tests and are carefully monitoring the growth of the plants. The picture below shows one of our participating farmers who has been successfully growing tomato plants and rucola with brackish water. The seeds were provided by Salt Farm Foundation.

Updates from Texel location

Klein Bonaire op Texel

Salt Farm Foundation has two locations on Texel. At the location of De Petten, there is a tunnel greenhouse available with a 16 meter by 1 meter grow box. Here the crops can be tested under very warm conditions, climate worthy of Bonaire. Furthermore, due to the very hot summer, we had in the Netherlands, we had a day temperature of 35 degrees and a night temperature of 25 degrees.

At the terrain of "De Boet" there were two setup one with an open cultivation box of 7,20 x 1,20 cm and one in a small tunnel greenhouse of 7,20 x 1,20 cm, in all the grow boxes the same seeds were used as made available on Bonaire to the participants.

The results of the test were very encouraging for us. The test gives great opportunities to grow vegetables on Bonaire, (Dutch Caribbean) with saline water, although certain varieties will have to be tested further on Bonaire and compared to the results in the Netherlands to see how much sowing and harvesting is possible on Bonaire.

Also important in testing is to see what is growing above the soil, the salty water must be drained off along the root, important for Bonaire to make cultivation boxes of a 20 cm. placed high on the ground with anti-root cloth underneath, no weeds and always a good cultivation altar.

This picture of the tomatoes grown with brackish water was taken in the greenhouse (Location De Petten). This growth stage was reached in 14 weeks, yielding a nice result.

The carrots have been harvested from the open cultivation box, have been sprayed directly with brackish water from sowing, it is only the carrots that have done well in this cultivation box.

For the updates in Dutch, please click here