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Girls’ eco-garden exhibit gets second chance

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Top project: Eden Furbert, 11, and Maya DaSilveira, 11, are shown with their Agricultural Exhibition display, a container garden. Judges disqualified the exhibit due to size, but were impressed by the girls’ work (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

An Ag Show exhibit disqualified on size grounds could still be a winner.

Their eco-friendly school garden project created by two schoolgirls is to be auctioned off to raise funds for underprivileged families in Belize.

Eden Furbert and Maya DaSilveira, both aged 11, said they were disappointed when judges banned their work because it exceeded the 3ft by 3ft size limit by three inches.

But the eco-garden, in black containers, was exhibited at the show. Maya said: “The judges said they really liked it and it could have been first place, but because of the size, we were disqualified.”

Eden added: “I was really disappointed.”

But Maya suggested they turned their project into a fundraiser for charity to support Eden’s family mission trip to Belize in the summer.

They decided to auction the garden, which features tomatoes, sage, thyme, kale, lettuce, peppers and carrots.

Eden’s family will travel with a team of 25 people from the Cornerstone Bible Fellowship to work on construction projects, food programmes and a vacation Bible school in Belize in July.

Eden said “I like giving to others. I am glad I can help people with this garden.”

Maya added: “I feel really happy it will assist families in need because I know we are very fortunate to have a lot of food.

“I know a lot of people don’t have that and it feels good to provide the money from our garden to help.”

The girls, who are home-schooled, said they wanted to do something for the Ag Show and thought they would do it together since they lived near each other.

They chose a theme of recycling for their creation. Maya explained: “We had just moved so we had all these boxes.”

The girls said the project, done over five weeks, was educational because they had to carry out research on square foot gardening.

They learnt what plants grew well together and what plants prevented pests. Eden said: “It was a lot of fun. I never really did a garden before. I learnt how much it takes to grow food.”

Maya added: “When you buy it from the store, you don’t get that.”

Wendy DaSilveira, Maya’s mother, said she was proud of the girls.

Ms DaSilveira said: “We, the parents, are just really proud of these girls, of how hard they have worked and what they have accomplished.

We are proud of how they are turning this around for the greater good.”

The girls said they are now inspired to do more gardening and will start a garden together in their home neighbourhood on the border of Devonshire and Smith’s.

To bid for the garden, visit Bermuda Eco-Garden Charity Auction Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Bermuda-Eco-Garden-Charity-Auction-438814470286547/ or send a private message. Bids will be accepted until April 30

Girls Container Garden For Auction (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Girls Container Garden For Auction (Photograph by Akil Simmons)