United Farmers Aruba is born in Gasparito

It all started with Sonia Anaya, my neighbor, who told me about her composting experiments while we were visiting her grandfather, national treasure Padu Lampe, on Saturday morning, over pastechi and tamarijn juice, from home grown fruit.

Sonia told me she is joining United Farmers Aruba for a signing of a formal commitment that day, aimed at the formation of a farmers/growers’ association, “we can no longer wait for the government to facilitate things,” she said,” we have to move in the direction of sustainability, so local produce becomes more readily available here.”

The signing took place in the backyard of Gasparito Restaurant and the invitation called on all hobby and commercial scale farmers and their supporters, to come together for the founding of United Farmers Aruba Association, on Saturday July 21, 2018.

Fifteen farmers showed, that’s impressive, some already well-established and successful, some at the beginning of their journey.

A number of supportive members of Parliament, and the minister in charge of the agri-portfolio were invited, as well as representative of Santa Rosa, the island’s agricultural center in Santa Cruz.

Our fifteen brave farmers each deserves an individual column, but Gasparito is a great place to start

Rose and Danny Barros started three years ago to toy with the idea of farming, just because Dutch-born Rose is comfortable in the garden, and the consensus that farming is impossible challenged the couple to prove it wrong. Rose has been on the island for eleven years, and met Danny, a restaurateur four years ago. She calls it a farming love story.

They soon discovered their soil was not good enough and needed improvement with organic materials. They did that, composting and turning things around, slowly their three patches of growing fields were healthy enough for experimentation, corn, tobacco, and recently eggplant.

Their current eggplant harvest turned out well, and I have received a shipment of 4 perfectly round, firm and dark-purple beauties at my door step complete with cooking instructions, courtesy of Eco Living Aruba, the small business now run by Rose and Danny, in the famed restaurant’s back yard in Gasparito.

There is a water well on the property but Rose explains we should all trap more rain water, and become smarter about growing fruit trees, use efficient drip systems and mulch our gardens, so that our food improves, and our community becomes more focused, centered around communal activities.

From FB: Eco Living Aruba
The idea of ‘Eco living Aruba’ was conceived by Daniel and Rose Barros while discussing how they wanted to live their lives. It’s an idea based on a journey to learn and present what is sustainable and possible on the island of Aruba. Sustainable can mean many different things but for Daniel and Rose it means always pursuing a balance in life between what the environment already provides around us and using what is technologically available. A balance of living comfortably but also respecting the nature around us. Being blessed with the opportunity to grow food on a beautiful island has become a passion. A passion to share that experience with others.






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July 24, 2018
Rona Coster