Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Deborah Rose farming her way to success

Published:Saturday | April 4, 2015 | 12:00 AM
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For Deborah Rose, 41-year-old mother of seven, there is nothing like tilling the soil and earning her living.

Growing up with a father who is a farmer and mechanic, she remembers tagging behind him whenever he was going to the field. It was there that she developed a love affair with the land. Rose, who has met many obstacles along her life's journey, doesn't believe in quitting.

A past student of Spaldings Secondary, she dropped out of school after getting pregnant with her first child. Two years later, she had another, and as life got harder, she became more resilient, turning to what was familiar: the ground. She went full-fledged into farming, all with the desire to effectively provide for her children.

Rural Xpress caught up with Rose in White Shop, Spaldings, where she, along with the other members of the Farmers' Brigade, were hanging out. Rose, who is now a part of the White Shop Agro Bizz & Food Processing Project, which was sponsored by the Canadian government to the tune of $3 million to develop agricultural projects in the area, is thanking God for this added opportunity.

She admits that she almost gave up as with the first few weeks of the project she lost her entire crop of sweet peppers. "I was so discouraged. To begin with, the ground was so hard to prepare, the soil was tough, [yet] we forged ahead and then that [happened]," she said. From somewhere deep within she found the strength to try again, and this time, her crop was threatened by would-be praedial larcenists. "Thank God an alarm was made and they were scared away!" she said.

According to Rose, the decision was made by the other farmers in the project to start a farmers' brigade, where "we all looked out for each other". They now work hand in hand with the Spaldings police and it's a programme she is encouraging farmers from other areas to embrace. "It's rough to work so hard, and at the end of the day you get nothing. I think this is what is needed," she said. Rose is reaching out to fellow females not to "roll over and die", no matter their situation, and encourages them instead to try farming. "If you have the land available, don't wait for a handout, but try helping yourself instead."

rural@gleanerjm.com