Lotus Community Gardens is an extension of Bahamas Lotus (BL) a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing local knowledge about food-growing and the natural environment. The Lotus Community Gardens will be edible green spaces, containing vegetables, herbs and edible flowers and occasionally honey even a chicken or two. As gardeners will able to harvest their crops after fruiting or when they have reach maturity, the fruits and vegetables are to be harvested and shared with the community or cooked into delicious dishes for community events.
The mission of this initiative is:
Lotus Community Gardens are intended to be in every subdivision and managed by the neighboring community for the benefit of local residents. The aim of this initiative is to acquire allotment within the different subdivisions to encourage local residents to grow their own food in their community.
Note: Both spaces are available for residents to plant, maintain, and harvest. Bahamas Lotus through its partners will provide compost and good soil, seeds and seedlings, and encourage plant sharing.
Some benefits of the edible garden initiative are:
This initiative will be open to everyone – it’s for kids and adults of all ages to learn to grow food together. It’s an exciting, creative edible laboratory where we’re experimenting with organic, climate-friendly growing techniques, and harnessing local knowledge to experiment with produce.
"The main health benefit of locally grown food is that it’s fresher. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked, so fresher produce is more nutritious."
Climate change projections indicate that hurricane seasons are becoming more normal and increasingly devastating. Working land management sectors need to prepare for this future. Such events have caused severe damage to human life, settlement, local environment and, above all, to the economic sustainability of the seashores. Floods/Surges have ruined agricultural land, destroyed livestock, displaced biodiversity, reduced value of human health, and demolished habitation. These unfortunate periodical incidents increase the vulnerability of communities, fracturing their sources of income and undermining their sustainability practices. Further to this, communities, time and again, adopt unsustainable income practices which are characterized by inadequate planning, inaccessible markets, lack of organizational skills and poor coping strategies. Hence, the need for a holistic intervention, in which disaster preparedness is combined with a mechanism that sustains and increases livelihood opportunities for the communities.
Sustainable communities will act as a catalyst; it is crucial to avoid human, social and economic losses, it also provides room for expanding social and economic opportunities, which in turn uplift the quality of life. This process is needed to protect the environment and mitigate disaster risk and climate change. It can improve health, increase safety, and save money. It gives its residents a sense of belonging, the opportunity to take part in collective activities and the prospect of building social networks.
Bahamas Lotus promotes sustainable living through, sustainable communities known as “Lotus Communities” by way of educating, designing, and building. These communities intend to focus on environmental and economic sustainability, social equity food security (agriculture and our marine ecosystems) with the ability for sustainable trade and export (local to international), clean water systems and cycles, clean renewable energy (production, storage, and distribution), disaster relief housing (sustainable temporary homes designed for hurricane recovery), affordable sustainable housing (low-income cat 5 hurricane rated homes).
"Sustainable communities are communities planned, built, or modified to promote sustainable living. This may include sustainability aspects relating to water, transportation, energy, waste, and materials."
The availability and price of fruits, vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, and other healthy food throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas are scarce and costly, thereby reducing the availability in low-income communities. Inflation and Food insecurity are influenced by natural disasters which destroy arable farmland, exorbitant import taxes and shipping costs. During the past decades, farming in The Bahamas has experienced a drastic decrease as young people migrate from Family Islands to New Providence to pursue college and career opportunities, leaving an ageing population of farmers who can no longer bear the demands of subsistence and commercial farming.
Throughout history, community gardens have facilitated many different practices and processes such as fruit and vegetable cultivation, health benefits, food security, community participation, empowering the community, recreation, environmental education, and income generation. Recently, there has been a revival of community gardens to help mitigate the impacts of food shortages. Bahamas Lotus seeks to construct and establish three (3) Lotus Community Satellite Gardens, one (1) Lotus Agricultural Research Institute, satellite backyard gardens and community gardens for all age groups, ethnicities, races, incomes, and education levels. This will increase community ties, fellowship, and help sustain neighborhoods and improve families' health while building relationships among community members and creating a place to share information about bush medicine and Bahamian culinary dishes.
Bahamas Lotus aims to provide opportunities for residents to become involved with Lotus Community Gardens. We hope to reduce the impact of food shortages throughout the country and strive to provide long-term food security by supporting local agriculture projects while improving economic, social, and environmental problems.
Proposed Projects Objectives
That due to the world population rapidly increasing, it is estimated that up to seventy percent (70%) of people will live in urban spaces in the next three decades. This trend has enormous implications for both human health and environmental impacts.