Heritage on Hooves

A half-century of very rapid growth and modernization has changed many things on St. Martin. Farmlands have been developed and the economy has tilted toward tourism. But goats remain. Goats make sense on St. Martin. They are one of the best animals for places that are dry, or seasonally dry. They require less space than …

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The Other Seaweed

In recent years, huge masses of floating sargassum seaweed have invaded Caribbean waters and beaches like a plague. Shorelines have been covered in rotting seaweed and marine life has suffocated beneath it. Islands have been searching for ways to keep beaches clean. Scientists have been researching how and why it is happening. The sudden arrival …

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From the Soil

People have farmed in the Caribbean for thousands of years. Some crops and methods used by Amerindian people in prehistoric times are still part of this tradition. Over the last 500 years, plants and techniques from Africa, Asia and Europe have also become part of Caribbean farming traditions. Local farming is adapted to the hot …

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From the Soil

People have farmed in the Caribbean for thousands of years. Some crops and methods used by Amerindian people in prehistoric times are still part of this tradition. Over the last 500 years, plants and techniques from Africa, Asia and Europe have also become part of Caribbean farming traditions. Local farming is adapted to the hot …

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St. Martin by the Book

How much do you know about St. Martin? Sometimes I feel like I know a lot about the island. Perhaps that’s because there are so many tourists. It is easy to feel like an expert when the person you are talking to doesn’t know the subject at all. More often, I feel like I don’t …

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St. Martin by the Book

How much do you know about St. Martin? Sometimes I feel like I know a lot about the island. Perhaps that’s because there are so many tourists. It is easy to feel like an expert when the person you are talking to doesn’t know the subject at all. More often, I feel like I don’t …

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Story Thyme

There is a hearty herb you can find in many St. Martin gardens. It has big, fuzzy leaves with serrated edges. During the wet season, it thrives. During the dry season it is surprisingly resilient. You can even find it growing on some stone walls and other inhospitable places. On St. Martin, the most common …

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A Culture of Nature

On St. Martin, nature and culture are like two vines endlessly twisted around each other. Following them back down all the way to the ground, we would find them springing from the same root. These vines are ancient. They twisted their way through centuries and back farther still. But today they are often overlooked and …

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A Notion of Nature

Scientists who study nature have many words to describe nature. They are useful and necessary. They describe what makes one animal different from another. They help us understand what is special and unique about one landscape compared to the next. Animals and plants can be native or endemic. Or they could be introduced, invasive or …

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A Notion of Nature

Scientists who study nature have many words to describe nature. They are useful and necessary. They describe what makes one animal different from another. They help us understand what is special and unique about one landscape compared to the next. Animals and plants can be native or endemic. Or they could be introduced, invasive or …

read more