Curaçao’s nearly year-round dry and sunny weather has long been thought to make for beautiful beach photos but poor soil conditions for farming. But unbeknownst to the Curaçao public at large (and many visitors from abroad), a considerable number of farmers are flipping this perception by producing food locally and sustainably and selling it in select locations.
Aside from producing local food and livestock, these farmers provide employment and economic activity to other sectors, such as the local logistics and hospitality industries. This makes them supremely valuable to the island. This notwithstanding, they continue to exist on the fringes of public consciousness in Curaçao. The Hidden Green Movement, founded by Berber van Beek and Reina Keijzers-Bouma, is working to change that.
This photo documentary project aims to raise awareness about local food production in Curaçao. In doing so, they join other initiatives that are working to make Curaçao healthier, more sustainable, and more environment-friendly.
Another objective of the Hidden Green Movement project is to provide all locally produced food items with clear and easily recognizable logos on supermarket shelves and at other points of sale. By making them distinguishable from other (imported) food products, it will be much easier for consumers to buy locally and support the island’s community of farmers.
Henny ‘Barba’ Barbolina is one of these farmers, the first to be featured in the documentary. He founded the Nos Kunuku farm, where all food products are caught and harvested locally. He was previously a chemical engineer by trade and worked in the oil industry for a long time before being introduced to fruit and vegetable cultivation. This led him to build his first small aquaponics plant behind his house in 2011. This eventually developed into Nos Kunuku, a farming organization that has a growing following among consumers, supermarkets, and restaurants on the island.