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Erika


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Dear friends

The gardener and I have lost our beloved daughter Erika. She was a beautiful young woman,both inside and out, and was loved by many.
She founded a wonderful organization called Be the Change.
Be the Change fundraises to give funds each month to different needy non profit organizations on the island.

Http://www.bethechangesxm.com

There is huge campaign going on now to fundraise for her organizationn in her memory.
I would deeply appreciate any support any of you would be willing to give in her memory.

Http://www.gofundme.com/EndowBetheChangeSXM

Thank you.


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Fools and Trees!


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Strange title for my little blog, right? Well, we have lots of fools here on St Maarten unfortunately and not so many trees any more, thanks to the fools..

"God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~John Muir

Such is the case of the latest "chop down the tree" scenario on our island.
It seems that "they" would rather chop down trees rather than try to save them.

Once upon a time...
Once upon a time there was a cute little bar on the boardwalk in Philipsburg called Get Wet Bar. This bar was owned by people who were kind to nature and animals.  The bar looked like this.  (Photos courtesy of Fran Levitt)



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Now it looks like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (photos courtesy of Jadira Veen)

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Why you must be asking right now. Why?
Well, only the fools know for sure.
It seems to be a long saga involving a family feud, the bar owners losing their lease, and money!
Ah yes, money. It's always about money, isn't it?
Greed!  Nothing but greed! Greed and disrespect for our environment.
Those trees have been growing there for years, providing shade  and beauty. They have survived hurricanes but they can't survive the work of fools! Fools by the name of Bishop, so I understand.

Unfortunately our government has never enacted proper laws or ordinances protecting trees and nature. Everything can be filled in or chopped down on the island for the sake of development. Everything can and everything has been.

I am so disgusted I am beyond words.


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A Visit to the Community Garden


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That's right, ladies and gents..those are strawberries..strawberries growing on St. Maarten at the Lowlands Community Garden.

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Man, is this a neat place. The gardener and I, and our daughter, Erika, were able to visit there today.
Although it is not open to the public, we were privileged to get a little tour from Elaine, the spirit behind this garden.

The garden is located in the area we call our lowlands, a flat scrubby dry area with sandy soil and mostly unfit for growing much. Through the "miracle" of aquaponics, there is a lot growing in the community garden.
According to their web site,

"Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines aquaculture, which is raising fish in tanks, with hydroponics which is cultivating plants in water.  The by-products from the aquaculture are broken down by nitrogen fixing bacteria, then filtered out by the plants as nutrients, after which the cleaned water is re-circulated back to the fish.

The system uses just 10% of the water needed for conventional growing and therefore, is perfect for use in the tropics."


The garden started about a year ago and they are rapidly expanding. They have plans for a second garden to start soon and they are available to aid other communities to start up their own neighborhood community gardens.
Currently they have about 40 members who receive shares regularly of whatever is grown.
The garden is not for profit but rather is a concept of providing local, sustainably-grown produce to the communities of Saint Martin and Sint Maarten.

And it's all really organic.. NO pesticides!
To find out about CSA membership please send an email to csa@lowlandscommunitygarden.com

Their web page is chock full of information and I suggest you take a look.

http://lowlandscommunitygarden.com/

Here are some pictures of what we saw today. As I said, pretty neat!

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It's a Holiday!


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It's a holiday in St. Maarten today. It's Ascension Day.
I remember Ascension Day as a holy day rather than a holiday!
We went to church and then to school or work.
But in the Caribbean, it is a holy day and a holiday it seems. Everything is closed.
Everything is shut down except perhaps the most important place..the French bakery!


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Yes, La Sucriere is open and busy!
And I bought breakfast!
Lovely nice croissants! and a baguette for lunch!
Life is good!


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NIght Time Visitor


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"Extraordinary Stories from an Ordinary Guy"
This is a blog I have followed off and on for some time.
http://www.lifewithldub.blogspot.com/

I first discovered this blog when someone alerted me to a great story on the history of Oyster Pond.
http://lifewithldub.blogspot.com/2011/09/oyster-pond-yacht-club-past-memories_30.html

Since then I have enjoyed reading this writer's stories about St. Maarten as well as other stories.
Recently this "ordinary guy" was on the island and contacted me because he wanted to meet the gardener and visit Cannegie Liquor Store. He had read the story about the gardener being in business for 50 years and thought this would be an interesting story for his blog.
Unfortunately he never caught the gardener in the store. One might guess that the gardener was otherwise occupied..maybe in his garden?

But the "ordinary guy"  wrote another "extraordinary" story about his visit to the store. He talked to a long time employee of ours and also to our granddaughter.
Take a look. You will enjoy reading this.

http://www.lifewithldub.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-sint-maarten-ambassador-story.html

I love this... It's such a nice write up on Diederick and the store... Hopefully on the next visit of the "ordinary guy" we can all meet.



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