GMS students take tour of NMC-CREES agri center

Solly Takai-Nakamura, left, extension agent of NMC-CREES Agriculture Production Program shows Green Meadow School students and teachers the various crops planted at the NMC CREES-Center for Agriculture Development in As Perdido. (Contributed Photo)

Green Meadow School students and teachers recently visited the Center for Agriculture Development of the Northern Marianas College’s Cooperative Research and Extension Education Services in As Perdido to gain valuable information about farming.

School principal Milagros Songcuan accompanied 25 students and three teachers to the center early this month and were met by Solly Takai-Nakamura, an extension agent of NMC-CREES Agriculture Production Program, and Dr. Don Rayome, NMC CREES horticulture and crop scientist.

Takai-Nakamura toured the visitors around, showing them the crops that are grown at the center while explaining how they are being taken cared off.

“We focus on small-scale vegetable production and growing vegetables like eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini,s corn, beans, melons, okra, and cucumbers,” Takai-Nakamura said.

She added that the dean of NMC-CREES oversees and supports the work at the farm. There are six individuals who work at the center and maintenance is done daily as the fields need to be monitored every day.

Takai-Nakamura also said they welcome visitors, especially students, at the center as NMC-CREES aims to promote awareness of farming and food sustainability.

“Part of promoting gardens at schools is to show the students where food comes from. Our islands import many perishable fruits and vegetables, of which may be produced on our islands. The importance of growing foods at school or at home is to help the students and their families understand sustainability. Sustainability in a sense where we can produce some foods at our homes for consumption, therefore decreasing some costs spent on imported fruits and vegetable,” Takai-Nakamura said.

Songcuan was thankful to NMC-CREES, Takai-Nakamura, and Rayome for allowing them to visit the center and sharing their knowledge.

“Our visit to the center was very timely because our Student Council recently launched a school garden program. We want our students to know how fruits and vegetables are grown so they will better understand why it is not good to waste food. It’s also nice to have a school garden so we can make good use of the extra space in our school,” Songcuan said.

“I would love to see some fruits and vegetables growing at our school garden. We can use them and not buy from the store for our school’s cooking lessons and other activities. I would also like to learn gardening skills that I can use to help my parents if they want to grow crops at our home,” GMS STUCO president Cloe Ferlyn Lagmay said. (PR)

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