Young Zahari Burgess is pictured buying his favourite Kenyan snack maize. *Photo supplied
Young Zahari Burgess is pictured buying his favourite Kenyan snack maize. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7: It has been just over six months since Quincy Burgess and his family moved to Kenya to help local communities learn about sustainable farming.

And already the fruits of the Bermudian beekeepers’ labours are beginning to reap great rewards for his neighbours.

Mr Burgess, his wife Joanne, and their two young sons Yeshai and Zahari, travelled to East Africa in August last year to set up a new home in Nairobi.

In his first few months in Kenya he visited refugee camps and local farming settlements in a bid to teach them how to make the best use of their resources at their disposal.

And since then he has branched out to help children in a nearby orphanage suffering from HIV.

Mr Burgess told the Sun: “Not a day goes by that I am not surprised by the overwhelming encouragement we receive and the progress that we are making.

“We have started a fund to raise money for a local student so he can take his Bachelor of Arts in Community Development.

“I have also helped monitor the introduction of low chill blueberry cultivars from the US to help local small holder farmers.

Earning potential

“After a year the cultivars will be released to farmers in suitable growing areas as a means to increase earning potential, expand and diversify the local market with the potential of the export market. 

“This is an exciting new initiative brought about through a partnership with a US grower.”

Plans are also being put in place to build the first greenhouse in Nguluni to provide food for an orphanage of HIV children.

Mr Burgess said: “The revenue from sales will help to expand the present clinic to a hospital.It is the goal that a subsequent greenhouse will be erected in a year creating increased self sufficiency and lessening dependency.

“The goal is to plant 100 guava, mango, avocado, jack fruit and other plants.”

Mr Burgess gained a Masters Degree in Plant Sciences while he and his wife lived in Israel between 2003 and 2006.

The couple then returned to Bermuda in 2006 and he worked for the Department of Parks as trainee superintendent of horticulture.

He also divided his time with beekeeping.

Since arriving in Africa the 30-year-old has put his skills to good use, speaking to schools and community groups about the importance of sustainable development.

He has also introduced a queen bee-rearing project to the area, which has expanded to Limuru.

Mr Burgess added: “Next month I plan on continuing the greenhouse project in Nguluni and also expanding it to another identical project in Garissa, where there is also a school.

“Last week I was planting fruit trees as apart of the ‘Honeystix for Sustainability’ idea. This means that for every $10 worth of Honeystix sold, one fruit tree is planted.

“I have a stand set up at the peoples’ market for this as well.”