Guam - Over the weekend, island residents were given a special tour of the Blas Flower and Herb Farm in Yigo. The interactive exhibit up north demonstrated the ongoing efforts to sustain our environment along with building our economy.
Last weekend, the Guam Humanities Council along with Tom and Marianne Blas hosted the Blas Farm Tour. According to GHC executive director Kimberlee Kihleng, the tour was part of two projects the Council has been working on for the past couple of years - its "Between Fences/I Kelat" exhibition tour and its "I Tano Yan I Tasi" project, which promotes ecological literacy in our island community. "The farm is really about growing local and really promoting sustainable agriculture and they do it through their nursery, the plants that they grow that they use to rent to various businesses and more importantly through their herb farm," Kihleng explained.
The farm tour meanwhile ties in with the exhibit's theme, which looks at how land and agriculture through Guam's history have some association with fences. The exhibit is also part of the Smithsonian Institution.
And everything by the Blas Family is done in a more natural way by using recyclable materials instead of using pesticides. "So it's really about sustaining the environment and also as a way to build our local economy," Kihleng added.
She adds this wasn't just any ordinary tour, saying, "Part of the tour was also interactive, so we actually had our participants cultivating and harvesting the calantro and cultivating some of the pepper plants, as well."
Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta even stopped by and said his office would continue to promote and support a change in attitude in supporting local industries and in this case local farms. "There's nothing wrong with anything that we're trying to do," he stated. "It's good for our industry, it's good for our local economy, it's good for diversification of the economic base and for providing opportunities."
Ultimately, both officials encourage others to start a farm in their backyard as well.