A poet working for the land

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: February 28th, 2022

Lajanda Blake (’25, Jamaica) was born with many talents. She can turn words into poetry and has strong hands to plant and grow much of the food she and her family eat in their Jamaican village. Lajanda had no doubts about her vocation. Since she was little, she watched her grandparents, with whom she grew up, go out in the mornings to work the land to feed the family. When her grandfather died, she and her grandmother Veronica continued the daily tasks of farming and thanking agriculture for being a source of life.

At school in her country.

She studied at an agricultural high school, where she soaked up knowledge and passion for this world full of possibilities. She learned about seeds, caring for the land, and animal farming. As she became more involved in agriculture, she wrote poems about her surroundings, her loved ones, and daily experiences. In both fields, Lajanda was always an outstanding student, winning many awards for academic merit, her passion for farming, and her sensitivity and talent for poetry and literature.

Representing Jamaica at EARTH.

She arrived at EARTH a few months ago for the Spanish Language and Cultural Immersion Program, and found herself immersed in a multicultural panorama that piqued her fascination and curiosity. She suddenly had friends from Kenya, South Sudan, Guatemala, and Mexico. Since the academic year began on January 17, when the University welcomed the Class of 2025, she has even more friends and feels an affinity with new possibilities she never before imagined.

“I dreamed of coming to EARTH because I think agriculture is facing increasing challenges in supplying food to millions of people. I am just beginning my career, but I already know that I will learn a lot about sustainability and solutions for food security at this university. I am delighted to learn everything I can to use it in the future,” Lajanda says confidently.

Lajanda and her cousins, showing the recognitions she has received.

After graduating, she dreams of returning to her country to pursue agribusiness and work with small farmers. She wants to teach them how to use good agricultural practices and increase their income and quality of life. She also wants to inspire other young people to get interested in farming.

“I think farming is life. We need food to survive, and we should all recognize how important it is to grow food without wasting natural resources,” she adds.

Lajanda is a born creator, and we know that with her sensitive soul and passion to help her community through agriculture, she will achieve great things.

Never stop creating, Lajanda!