Low German Mennonites; greenhouses and wind-tunnels; tropical farming; migration; agricultural extension; outreach communication
The Old Colony Mennonites of Belize practice a conservative form of Anabaptism where technology, dress and lifestyle choices are informed by church standards. Members live in a spatially contiguous Colony, which creates land pressure over time as population increases. The development of new Colonies is necessary for the Mennonites to participate in agricultural livelihoods. The Indian Creek Colony of Belize has experienced agricultural and economic hardships since its inception in the 1989 due to land costs, crop failures and debt structure. Old Order Mennonites of North America developed an outreach effort to assist with on-farm production of vegetable crops to alleviate these hardships. The author was enlisted by an Old Order Mennonite Committee to visit greenhouse sites in the country and provide advice to ensure project success. Indian Creek farmers have adopted high tunnel greenhouse vegetable production, overcoming challenges such as high pH soils and pests. Large scale economic relief would require Colony wide investment and engagement. [Abstract by author.]
The author gratefully acknowledges the editorial board of JAPAS, the LA Share Committee, and the people of Indian Creek, Belize.
Reid, Judson. 2021. "Agricultural Support for the Old Colony Mennonites of Belize: A Collaborative Effort between North American Old Order Mennonites and a Cornell Extension Educator." Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies 9(2):211-20.