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Soneva Namoona Launches its Online Gardening Series: Namoona Tutorials

September 21, 2020 Resort News No Comments Email Email

Soneva, the world-leading sustainable luxury resort operator, has announced the launch of a gardening series called Namoona Tutorials, which aims to help communities across the Maldives and beyond become more self-sufficient, develop useful skills and sustainable practices, while also advancing the Soneva Namoona programme.

Over 10 episodes, the Namoona Tutorials, which were all filmed onsite at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, cover a range of topics from preparing a growing space, planting, maintenance and harvesting, with additional episodes focused on enhancing the quality of the vegetables. The tutorials seek to make gardening more accessible and to help grow nutritious vegetables at home, while also learning to make compost to complete a self-sustaining cycle. Each of the videos is hosted by Justin Robertshaw, Soneva’s Waste to Wealth Manager.

These tutorials are part of the Soneva Namoona project, which is a partnership between Soneva, the islands of Maalhos, Kihaadhoo and, Dharavandhoo, and Commons Seas (an international NGO), and is a model for eliminating single-use plastics and to provide waste management solutions for island communities in the Maldives. Soneva Namoona has three strands: Reduce, Recycle and Inspire.

Reduce sees more collaboration between resorts, guesthouses and island councils, to encourage the Maldivian Government to ban single-use plastics. Recycle looks at waste management through Eco Centros (recycling centres) and an end to open burning on all islands. Finally, Inspire seeks to nurture ocean stewards among the Maldives’ youth with surfing and swimming programmes.

The model for a sustainable waste management system emphasizes single-use plastic reduction and recycling to end open burning on the islands. This also includes the management of organic waste with the aim to end the dumping of food waste into the ocean, a practice which is common in the Maldives and other small island nations.

The new system for waste management within Soneva Namoona provides the proper handling of food waste and green waste to create compost which can be used in the island gardens and farms. Gardening and composting fall under the Reduce pillar of Namoona, as much of the food waste on local islands is disposed of at sea, often with the thin plastic packaging it came in. These pieces of plastic are detrimental to marine life as they smother coral reefs. The first Namoona Tutorial on Tropical Organic Gardening reflects this element of a sustainable system. All the methods in this tutorial use natural resources available to anyone, without the use of any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. While the methods and vegetables shown in the tutorial are based in the Maldives and similar tropical climates, the information in the tutorials can be applied to any garden.

“The Soneva Namoona partnership seeks to provide a blueprint for all Maldivian islands on how they can cleanly and effectively manage their waste, reduce the use of single-use plastics, and inspire a love for the natural environment. In February 2020, we celebrated a Maldives’ first when Maalhos became the first island in the country to end the practice of burning its garbage in open bonfires. This was made possible by the opening of the island’s Eco Centro waste to wealth centre under the Namoona programme,” said Sonu Shivdasani, Soneva’s CEO and Founder.

“Growing your own food is the best way to ensure you’re eating the highest quality organic, fresh and most nutritious food – it’s also fun and a good way to relax, slow down and connect with nature. That makes it healthy, both inside and out. With the COVID-19 pandemic, taking better care of your health has become even more of a priority for many people,” said Justin Robertshaw, Soneva Fushi’s Waste to Wealth Manager.

“At Soneva we have developed tried and tested permaculture techniques for growing in a tropical climate that we want to share with our local communities. These techniques will also help beginner gardeners all around the world, whether you have access to a garden space or a simple balcony,” he added.

All the methods and techniques covered in the episodes draw from the expertise of Soneva’s Hosts (employees) and existing practices from the organic gardens at Soneva Fushi.

The topics covered in the 10 videos are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Preparing a raised bed
  3. Potting
  4. Seeds and planting
  5. Companion planting
  6. Regular care and maintenance
  7. Harvesting
  8. Pest control
  9. Composting

Worm farms

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