WEDNESDAY, APR. 20: Greenrock today announced that Catlin Bermuda is the lead sponsor for the Phase II component of its Healthy Harvest project expected to officially rollout this summer.

Healthy Harvest, initially created in 2009, is a movement in which Greenrock is trying to revive Bermuda’s local food production and consumption by establishing plots for vegetable gardens and fruit orchards around the island.

Today’s announcement at a press conference revealed that Catlin is supporting Greenrock’s aim over the next 5 years to build, plant and maintain a series of community gardens and orchards across Bermuda within schools, playgrounds, parks, commercial spaces, public land and private property.

Greenrock has currently established a plot development plan which divides the island into three zones: East (Smith’s through St. George’s); Central (Devonshire through Warwick); and West (Southampton through Somerset).

The Healthy Harvest initiative will be overseen by Project Director Mr. Omari Dill, a sustainable agriculture and edible landscaping consultant.

Catlin President and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Graham Pewter commented: “We are delighted to become lead sponsor of Healthy Harvest. Encouraging the community’s involvement in the growing, harvesting and consumption of locally grown produce is an initiative that we are only too happy to support.

Greenrock President Andrew Vaucrosson said: “We are extremely grateful for the level of support that Catlin is willing to provide us as we look to really gain some traction on the Healthy Harvest initiative. Growing and eating local food is better for us health-wise, economically and socially speaking, as well as for our environment. I want to thank Catlin for their belief in Healthy Harvest and for helping us to get started with Phase II of this project in which plots will be identified, built and planted to prepare for the next growing season.”

Greenrock is actively seeking assistance from the community for financial and volunteer support. Volunteer bases for Healthy Harvest will be utilized to help reduce the cost of building, maintaining and harvesting community gardens and orchards. Volunteers will likely be comprised of company employees, members of various church groups, schools and programmes such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and other community and charity-based organizations. Members of the community interested in financially supporting or volunteering for Healthy Harvest can email Greenrock at info@greenrock.org.   

Following the successful completion of Phase II, Greenrock anticipates that community harvesting can eventually take place where members of the public can pick their own fruits and vegetables, as well as participate in a “giving back” basket to donate produce to a local food bank. Greenrock also envisions creating a growing cooperative that will partner with local supermarkets to exchange harvest yields for cash and provide a wider variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables to the customers.

Mr. Dill explained: “Greenrock believes that the Healthy Harvest project can create a sense of community where everyone can not only benefit, but also participate in the project’s success. The unique tastes and variety of locally grown food in Bermuda is slowly being forgotten from one generation to another.

“I believe that this project allows individuals to participate whether it is building, maintaining, harvesting, or simply eating what is grown. ”

The Healthy Harvest project was first created two years ago as a concept to introduce the benefits of locally grown produce. A pocket-size guide was produced showcasing the types of seasonal foods that can be grown or found in Bermuda. The guide was distributed at local plant nurseries, schools and various businesses, and supported by a local PSA campaign around the importance of eating locally.

More background on Healthy Harvest and access to the pocket-size guide is available at www.greenrock.org (under ‘Projects’).