After a rainy weekend spent indoors, Christian and I needed to go out for a couple of errands and took the chance to take Nikol out to enjoy the fresh air. Showers persisted in the morning and afternoon but that didn’t discourage us from venturing outdoors.
It was the first time I passed through the Marsa area in a very long time, and the area was almost unrecognisable with all the work going on in preparation for the new flyover. The oak trees and some of the ficus trees have sadly succumbed to development, but in all honesty better traffic management is needed in this area, so hopefully, these uprootings would not have been in vain.
We continued towards Kirkop, a small village in the southern region of Malta. The plan was to stay in the car with Nikol until Christian gets back from a recording job at the Kulleġġ San Benedittu, secondary school; a huge building… hard to miss! The weather eventually got colder so going indoors was more of a sensible option. While rushing inside to avoid wind and rain, I noticed a little green patch. Such a pleasant surprise, I must say!
Inside I was greeted by Mr. Michael Bondin, the head of this school, and also the brains behind everything that’s happening here. After a much needed cup of coffee and some relaxation time in the welcoming ‘Reading Area’ I caught up again with Mr. Bondin to learn more about present agri-business activities carried out in this school.
The green patch I had spotted earlier (a raised bed full of edible crops) was the perfect place to get in touch with nature, right where it was the least expected. I filled my lungs with aromatic smells coming from the mixture of herbs growing in the area. The plants were evidently taken care of, properly labelled and free from pests. I was told that some of the students carry out the work here guided by their tutors. The gardeners, who manage all the landscaping within the school premises, also assist with the growing of the crops and herbs.
There is an endless list of reasons why youths should be more in touch with nature. For some, the knowledge of food production might seem rudimentary, it is also a fact that such skills are sometimes under-appreciated and as yet, agriculture is the sector that receives the largest share of funds in the EU. Activities such as the ones happening at this school give me hope that we are finally on to something!