The annual St Croix Ag Fair happened this past weekend. I hadn’t been in 7, maybe 8 years – since well before the closing of Hovensa (the island’s oil refinery) and the consequent economic decline. I knew not to expect too much, for times are hard and there is little money for people to throw around…for those few who remain on St Croix, that is. So, you’d think…with the economy at such a low, blah blah blah, that people would be doing more for themselves, growing more, perhaps even making some simple craft items on the side, something? Apparently not. The produce section was much the same as ever, perhaps no less, but certainly no more. The rest…was simply awful. As an artist and “crafter” myself, I always look out for local baskets, woodwork, leatherwork, pottery, sewing, carving, etc…this time to little avail. Not one handmade basket (from St Croix) was to be seen. Not one simple ornament or knick-knack made from local natural fiber, coconut, seeds, etc. There was one, only one, booth with calabash pieces – toys, bowls, jewelry, etc – by Veronica Gordon, who has been doing the same items for many many years. All these drinking nuts (green coconuts) for sale, yet did I see one single palm frond hat, basket, star or fish? For shame, people, for shame. The booths upon booths of plastic junk? Shame! The endless rows of fried chicken and Johnny Cakes, when there’s an abundance of fresh produce available? Shame, again! Not to be negative, but we can do better than this, we are better than this!
On the note of betterment, next Wednesday we’ll be kicking off our very own produce table, and the West location of VI Prime Produce! We’ll be located right on Mahogany Road, just before the old stone house on the left-hand side, and will be open from 4-7pm. You’ll be able to order fresh produce from Ra’s Sunrise Daughter Stand and Toni Downs (among others) through the website, plus our own baked and canned goodies. We’ll have extras of all the baked goods on the table, and a free palm frond fish with your purchase! Our special of the week will be Artisan Focaccia with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh rosemary, for $10.
Meanwhile, in the land of Nid…
We just dropped some new products over at Cruzan Gardens, so go on over for some Sweet Citrus Bites or a jar of Flabeéd Banana Preserves (made with our homestead bananas and citrus, with a glug of Cruzan Rum). They still also have our Marmalade, Toasties, Chutneys, and more! The hens are starting to lay consistently, so we’re beginning to sell beautiful blue eggs by the half dozen to a few very special people…better get your name on the list!