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Beacon farms gifts land for addiction recovery

Local News 15 Dec, 2022 Follow News

His Excellency the Governor, Martyn Roper

Granger Haugh

the farm’s powerful Wood Hog Chipper which helps produce the compost

Building fertile soil from composted material at Beacon Farms

Robert Ramoon and Olivier Dobson at the farm’s shop which sells fresh fruits and vegetables, plus many different jams and preserves that are made in the farm’s production unit.

Some of the land, showing the new, deep rock-free soil

In the farm’s nursery, where seedlings are got ready for planting out in the fields.

By Christopher Tobutt 

The Haugh Foundation has officially gifted the land on which Beacon farms is located to the Beacon of Hope Foundation, a Cayman non-profit that provides jobs for people in recovery.

It’s been five years since Granger Haugh found 34 acres of badly overgrown farmland in North Side and made it into Beacon Farms, a place where people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction can go to find real work, a real pay check, and a solid support network of others who understand. Beacon Farms stepped in to address a problem, after West Bay’s Bridge Foundation, which takes people in recovery through a 12-step programme, noticed that many of their recovering addicts slipped back into their old life, simply because there was no work for them to do,

Presently about 5 acres are farmed, But Beacon farms is really a farm with a difference, and has spearheaded some impressive techniques for making the typical thin and rocky soil Cayman has to offer rich and deep and fertile. They installed a composting facility, which takes all the green plant trash from the farm (and local landscapers, too) and chips it, mixes it up in a giant mixer, and within less than a month beautiful compost is the result. Then they invested in a rock-pulverizing machine that is towed behind a powerful John Deer tractor, making rocks into sand. When the sand is mixed with the compost, deep, rich soil results. The farm has launched a new business – transforming the soil of other farms with its rock crushing machine and its compost.

Beacon Farms decided to grow tobacco, and start making cigars. The Cayman Cigar Company was formed, which makes hand-rolled cigars and sells them to tourists all over the island, and overseas too. All the proceeds go to help support the dozen-or-so workers who come on minibuses each day, and who are forging new lives for themselves.

The special land gifting celebration at the farm was attended by Agriculture Minister and North Side MP Jay Ebanks, and Deputy Govnernor Chris Saunders, and His Excellency the Governor, Martyn Roper.

The rows of seats were set out behind a new farm shop which sells all the different fruits which the farm grows, along with jams and preserves and sauces and bottles of coconut oil, and even coconut oil soap, all produced onsite at the farm’s little agricultural processing unit. Beacon farms breaks new ground by covering all the bases from making the soil to selling the finished, premium, high value product

“this is a truly remarkable day. We are celebrating the gifting of land from the Haugh family, who are sitting in front here. Marjory, Granger and Scott who supported the farm for five years. In fact they actually were the people who created it,” said CEO Sandy Urquhart. “Beacon Farms is a life – changing programme that gives new hope to some of the most vulnerable people in our society – people recovering from the diseases of drug or alcohol addiction.”

HE the Governor Martyn Roper is a long-time friend and supporter of Beacon Farms.  “I think this project is outstanding and it is phenomenal and it is incredible. helping people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction in Cayman has a positive effect on them. I’ve spoken to many of them and the enthusiasm that you get when you have those discussions is heartwarming. But it also has a wider impact on people – friends, families, and it’s a huge benefit to our wider community. It also gives them an incredibly important chance to try and rebuild their lives and really try and become productive members in our society,” he said.

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