The Jean Marie Vincent Center, better known to locals as the Grepen Center because of its neighborhood zone, is run in collaboration between the Montfortian priests and the agronomy team of Caritas of the parish of Gros Morne.
At first glance, Grepen Center is a well-kept green place. But it is so much more than that. Tucked behind the guesthouses is a large tract of land bursting with agricultural projects and experimental gardens. The agronomy team is never idle.
These projects are made possible by and are ever-growing thanks to partnerships with the Quixote Center, the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Mercy Focus on Haiti and Parish Twinning Program of the Americas.
Located north of the large guesthouse is the tree nursery, where the three nursery technicians aim to produce 60,000 trees per year. That sounds like an impressive number, but seeing it in person is even more awe-inspiring.
My role at Grepen Center is to translate for formations, which are learning sessions that bring together small farmers and peasant organizations with people who have expertise in agricultural techniques, like double-dug gardens or drip irrigation. I work with the agronomy team at Grepen Center to determine how participants measure their mastery and success of the new techniques, and my vocabulary of and affinity for agricultural terms has grown exponentially during my two years here…