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DEAR Editor,
A few months ago writing to the local media I mentioned how I once started a profitable garden enterprise from scratch when in charge of the Santo Prison in Vanuatu and needed to find both occupational therapy for the prison inmates and nutrious food to supplement their daily dietary needs.
There was a small barren plot behind the prison which I considered could be turned into a productive food garden but there was no money available to make a start.
Using discarded and empty beers cans filled with a light soil mix and two donated 44 gallon oil drums, the garden quickly took shape by planting tomato seedlings in the beer cans, transplanting them out when ready and ultimately selling surplus good quality organic tomatoes to the local Santo BP store.
The income from the tomato sales led to the planting of beans, taro, lettuce, peanuts, bananas and pineapples.
In the two oil drums a sack of cow manure was suspended into water which made an ideal liquid fertilizer.
Eventually, chickens and rabbits were introduced as good sources of essential protein.
The pineapples did exceedingly well in the light soil and excess produce was also sold off to add to the costs associated with buying food for the hens.
In the last few days the SIBC featured what it described as the ‘Photo of the Day’ and presumably a photo taken at one of the local markets.  In the photo were several large pineapples which appeared to be of good quality.
It occurred to me that if such good pineapples can be cultivated locally then why not start a small pineapple canning enterprise, as has been done in several regional places, Thailand being no exception.
Very often the lack of finance is the stumbling block to the start of some idea with potential, but I did it with no money at all and so, I believe, can others.
Yours sincerely
Frank Short

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