Category Archives: Nature Center

Kid Unlimited School Visits GARD Center Hydroponics

Two teachers of Grades 4 and 5 along with over 30 students from the Kids Unlimited School visited the GARD Center and its Hydroponics Unit on Wednesday, 4 March, 2020.

Mr. Ika Fergus, Extension Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture delivered a presentation on Hydroponics, which was very well received by the children.  During this tour they were able to see firsthand how lettuce is grown using this medium.  They were also able to receive a head of lettuce.

Thanks to Kids Unlimited School for being a part of our campaign to spearhead the ‘Hydroponics movement’ under the Sandals Foundation ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture Project Combating Effects of Climate Change’ on the local Agricultural Sector.

GARD Center partners with the Department of the Environment in the Grid-interactive Solar PV Systems for Schools and Clinics

“GARD Center , Guardians of the Environment, Guardians for our Youth” This is the theme of GARD Center’s  Grid-interactive Solar PV Systems for Schools and Clinics project. The overall goal of this project “is to ensure that during a drought or a hurricane, schools in the country will still be fully functional, better known as climate resilient.  Using clean technology will contribute to our national commitment of reducing our CO2 emissions” (Dept. of the Environment). Reducing our electricity usage, while increasing the trainees and trainers awareness of environmental management and renewable energy both at the Center and in the surrounding communities will be a vital outcome.

The Center just launched its project on September 18, 2018 with the Executive Director Ag. Mrs. June Jackson speaking about the project and its benefits, along with Ms. Shema Roberts, Environment Officer, with the Department of the Environment.  Ms. Roberts congratulated the Center on being the first to launch and to have an exciting program lined up for the youth. One of the highlights for the Center’s project is conducting a new course for Solar Panel Installation Assistant Technicians. Eighteen (18) young men and two (2) daring young women who are “thinking outside of the traditional women roles”, have registered for the course which is being conducted by Antigua Computer Technology (ACT), a strategic partner in this project.

Ms. Lucia Mings of  Environmental Tourism Consulting  who will be advising the Center in the development our Environment Management Plan also addressed the gathering of trainees , staff, trainers and other guests. Remarks were presented by Mrs. Karen Massiah , Customer Service Coordinator/Executive Assistant of  ACT stated that the company is pleased to partner with an organization like the GARD Center and to be a part of the Solar project.

Save the Date for Farm-to-Table 2018!!!

The much anticipated GARD Center Farm-to-Table is scheduled for Saturday, 14 April 2018.
The 4th annual fundraiser Luncheon will be worth the wait.
Once again, it will be held under the auspices of the Governor General of Antigua and IMG_1637Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Williams, at the GARD Center’s Agro-Nature Park, Mercer’s Creek.
 
On offer this year are more Chefs, Producers and a much wider mouth-watering 4 Course meal.  Each patron will be greeted with a ‘Signature Welcome Drink.’  Seafood Tastings will also be available.  From Soups to Mouth watering Desserts, your palate will be pleased with your selection.
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GARD Center 3rd Annual Farm-to-Table Luncheon, Thank You

The 3rd Annual Farm-to-Table, was recently held under the auspices of the Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Williams.
Farm-to-Table Group photo-20May2017
Roasted sizzling pork, cassava crusted layered Mahi Mahi, corn and coconut soup with croutons, Roots and scallop gratin and watermelon and cream cheese frosting cake with balsamic reduction…. Sounds intriguing to you? Well sorry you missed the 3rd Annual Farm to Table Benefit Luncheon on Saturday, 20 May, 2017 where over 200 exuberant guests supported this event under the sunny skies and the stately Casuarina and Neem trees.
The Chinese auction brought much excitement and laughs as the guests jumped to win the weekend for two at the Tamarind Hill Villas and the architectural drawings worth over $4000 from Mr. Curlson James (one the Center’s former graduates), of Rensol Construction and Associates Services Ltd.  As a result of this support, the programs and services of the GARD Center for vulnerable youth will get some of the needed funds to continue the technical vocational training opportunities for the many youth who have dropped out of school or who have done poorly academically. The staff and Board members of the GARD Center wish to sincerely say thank you to all the farmers, chefs, management of hotels and businesses who contributed to this event.
If you missed 2017 Farm-to-Table, start planning for 2018 it will be even better!

GARD Center 2nd annual fundraiser Farm-to-Table luncheon

The 2nd annual GARD Center fundraiser Farm-to-Table luncheon was held on site at the Gilbert Agro-heritage site on Saturday, 16 April 2016.  The Official Sponsor of this year’s event is the James & Maginley Charity and Care Foundation.  This Foundation willingly came on board and supported this venture of the Center.
This year’s event was held under the patronage of Their Excellencies, Sir Rodney & Lady Sandra Williams.IMG_1637
 
Principal of James and Maginley Foundation at Farm-to-Table luncheon-2016Of the many patrons who came to support our worthy cause, we wish to sincerely thank you for your support.  This event has truly been dubbed as Antigua’s most exquisite and unique outdoor dining experience!
A delicious meal, buffet style was available with mainly FRESH, LOCAL produce.  A true Farm-to-Table setting was provided while seated under white tents, with the fresh air gently blowing through the Casuarina trees.  Patrons were able to enjoy live entertainment, which was provided by Pannist, Bernard Duplesis; complimentary food samples, whichLive Entertainment - Pannist April 2016 included locally caught seafood, and locally made confectioneries.
There was a Chinese auction, officiated by Mrs. Chris Richards and the patrons had an exciting time, bidding forChinese Auctioneer and her helpers-16April2016 the donated prizes, which included a weekend for two (2) at Tamarind Hills; dinner for two (2) at the Galley Bay Resort and Spa; lunch for two (2) at Curtain Bluff; an Azumi Smartphone from Digicel; gift certificates from Gloria’s Beauty Salon and Midway Service Station.
IMG_1689Additionally, a beautiful artiste impression of the St. John’s Market scenery was donated by a local upcoming artiste, Ms. Sabiena Winston.
 
Patrons at the 2nd Farm-to-Table luncheon 16 April 2016Patrons so enjoyed the ambiance that they cannot wait for the next Farm-to-Table.  See you all on the Saturday, 15 April, 2017.
The GARD Center sincerely thanks everyone for their support and encouragement for the work carried out at the Center, as it carries out it’s programmes to reach at risk youth, with a second chance in life.  THANK YOU!!!
More About our Sponsors
The James and Maginley Charity and Care Foundation, is a non-profit charity, established in January, 2016.
Its founders are Ambassador Casroy James and Mr. Kirthley Maginley, co-principals of James and Maginley Ltd.
The primary mission of the James and Maginley Charity and Care Foundation is to  improve the lives and well-being of the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, particularly, those most vulnerable.

Farm-to-Table 2016

The GARD Center presents its 2nd annual Farm-to-Table Luncheon, under the patronage of His Excellency, Governor General Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Williams.
This year the Center wishes to announce our Official Sponsor, the James & Maginley Charity and Care Foundation
This fundraiser event will be held on Saturday, 16 April 2016.  It will be held at the Gilbert Agro Heritage Center, Mercers Creek.
Luncheon will be served from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.  It is a sit-down affair.
Antigua’s most exquisite and unique outdoor dining experience!
Come and Enjoy a delicious meal!!!  Only FRESH produce used – from Farm to TableIMG_20150419_021621
Live entertainment, complimentary food samples, Chinese auction and more.
Adult tickets cost EC$100.00, and children under 12 years pay EC$40.00.
SEE YOU THERE!!!
The GARD Center can be contacted at 463-4121 / 562-0084 for more details. Watch the video below.
https://youtu.be/vBgHH35JUFg 

Sponsorship for Farm-to-Table Fundraiser

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) has been blessed with sponsorship from the James and Maginley Charity and Care Foundation, for its 2nd Annual, and major fundraiser event.
This year’s event will be held under the patronage of His Excellency, Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Williams.
The Handover Ceremony was held in the recently constructed training facility which was donated by the People of Japan, at the GARD Center, Agro-heritage Center, on Thursday, 3 March 2016, 3:30pm.
The brief Ceremony was opened in Prayer by Rev. Patmore Henry, Secretary to the Methodist Conference.  The Master of Ceremonies was Mr. Colin C. James CEO, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.
Remarks were offered by Mrs. Roberta Williams, Executive Director, GARD Center, as well as by Ambassador Casroy James and Mr. Kirthley Maginley, Directors of the James and Maginley Charity and Care Foundation.
Remarks were also offered by Ms. Shirlene Nibbs, Consultant to the Ministry of Tourism, in the absence of Hon. Asot Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy.
Unveiling of the Poster, which signaled the launch of the 2nd Annual Farm-to-Table Event was Mrs. Ann Jonas, Private Secretary to His Excellency, Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams.
The James and Maginley Charity and Care Foundation is a non-profit charity, established in January, 2016.  Its founders are Ambassador Casroy James and Mr.  Kirthley Maginley, co-principals of James and Maginley Ltd.
The primary mission of the James and Maginley Charity and Care Foundation is to  improve the lives and well-being of the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, particularly, those most vulnerable.

Farm-to-Table Luncheon

The GARD Center held its inaugural Farm-to-Table Luncheon at the Gilbert Agro-Heritage Center, Mercers Creek, on Saturday, 18 April 2015.  This exquisite, unique, outdoor dining experience was enjoyed by over 140 visitors.
Guests seatedGovernor General MinglingThis fundraiser planned as part of the Center’s 25th Anniversary celebrations, was aimed at raising money for the continuation of the Center’s operation and to implement subsidized training courses for vulnerable youth.
IMG_20150419_021926IMG_20150419_024007Delicious local meals were prepared by our local volunteer chefs, Caleb; Jarvis; Simon; Simpson; with local produce grown and supplied by our farmers.  Even the centerpieces on the tables were ‘tastefully’ done, and created with locally grown vegetables.
Ebonites Steel pan
 
Excellent music was provided by the Cool and Smooth Ebonites Steel Orchestra and DJ Riddim Master.
Fisheries Tasting StationThe Fisheries Division provided tastings of Squid chowder and Conch chowder; Squid patties and Smoked Doctor Fish, much to the delight of everyone who was curious enough to try the various delicacies.
Greeting of Guests
The GARD Center looks forward to hosting its second Farm-to-Table Luncheon, early in 2016, and we look forward to having you join us.
 
Many thanks to all of our volunteers, advisors, farmers and chefs, who gave so generously of their produce, time and talent.  The Center also wishes to thank Corporate Antigua and Barbuda, the Friends of GARD Center, and those who sold and/or purchased tickets, or contributed to this fundraiser in any way.