When I met Eva Marie three years ago I would not have imagined the challenge she was going to face and she was far to imagine the support she would get from the community in Treasure Cay, on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas where she lives some part of the year, by creating an organic farm to grow fruits and vegetables.
Eva Mary and I met during a teacher training course with Shiva Rea and we connected immediately, especially after we talked about what Yann – my boyfriend – does as a farmer working according organic technics in our cultivated fields in Saint-Tropez area, and what my life as a yoga teacher is living with him and providing seasonal local organic food grown with love for people, markets and restaurants.
I was extremely touched when Eva sent me a message shortly after we met to tell me she had been inspired and was going to create an organic farm in the Bahamas where her husband and her run a restaurant in Abaco, to provide food for people and for their restaurant.
She explains that this project came from necessity and scarcity with food access in the Bahamas.
She adds that everything is imported mainly from the US, that nothing is locally grown or even very fresh by the time it has been handled by suppliers, packaging and freight forwarders, customs clearance and duty, transport and more handling to get to the restaurant (about 5 or 6 separate handling processes!).
Hundreds of miles, days and even weeks later, from being harvested does it arrive in the kitchen.
They have to pay an additional 45% on top of the total cost of the order to pay for freight, customs and duty and handling fees.
It makes no sense because by the time the food reaches people in the Bahamas, it is not fresh and has lost its nutritional value and it is too expensive for most people to buy, so they cannot make healthy choices!
She states: “Healthy food access should be available to all on earth, with such an abundance of resources we can be self-sustaining and self-reliant- if we learn how and make a start, however small.”
Inspired and taken into a flow of creative energy she recently built an extension to the farm to provide more food and use food “as the healing, educating and re-connecting gift that it is because food is information. Food is medicine. Food is connection. Food is celebration!” she says.
She wants to use the restaurant as a platform to bring awareness of ecological issues and celebrate with the guests, staff and community.
Her wish is to attract interest from talented and experienced staff from France, to come to work at the restaurant and have a new Caribbean experience, while imparting some of their skills and energies to others who don’t have the opportunities to study, travel or work overseas.
So if you are interested please contact us!
She bought the building of the local pre-school called ‘head start academy’ for low-income community children. She begun a farm-to-pre school project, by including a patch designated especially for them in their farm from the generous contribution of our TSC guests, they will also be able to enjoy a healthy, nutritious school lunch every day!
So later in life, they will already have had the introduction to various kinds of vegetables and herbs, and know how they come to be!
She adds: “hummingbird shows us how to source the sweetness in life – that which nourishes us- so we make healthy life-giving choices more easily and naturally!”
And when I ask Eva what are the next steps, she is proud to tell me that the seeds are soon being planted:
“We are going to plant our first organic seeds in the grow houses at the end October and re-open our restaurant Treasure Sands Club (TSC) on the 5th Nov. We are also building two tunnel houses to grow more crop along side our high tech greenhouse.
We hope to create our new menu eventually from what we manage to grow mainly.
I am taking my head chef, to london at the end of this month.
Our inspiration has been club55 in Ramatuelle near Saint-Tropez for our beach bar restaurant and farm.”
(The Club55 is a restaurant that works with local and organic producer and have their own farm to do their own products such as wine and olive oil. This restaurant wants to show to the clients that green is the next step for the Earth).
To know more about job opportunities in Abaco please contact me narayani@yoga-Saint-tropez.com and I will forward your details to Eva Marie.
Some photos of the farms as it is nowadays…