Carmeta’s Corner

This space was created to discuss and exchange ideas about promoting good nutrition, food security and related matters – Blogmaster

427 comments

  • These youth should not have to ask twice for help to plough the space. Who is the MP?

    Here is another interesting statement from a party that had James Paul and Haynesley Benn in its fold.

    DLP sees farming as way forward
    The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is identifying agriculture as a viable support system to save Barbados’ economy from disaster as COVID-19 threatens to extract the oxygen from its flagship income-earner tourism.
    This is coming out of the party’s online discussion, Sunday Roast, with senators in their last administration: current DLP president Verla De Peiza; chairperson Maxine McClean; second vice-president and spokesman on agriculture and environment, Andre Worrell; and spokesperson on culture, Khadijah Collymore. The topic was A Vision For Sustainable Development.
    De Peiza said the vision for agriculture should include processing and manufacturing with an export component in case tourism comes under threat again.
    “The conversation with Barbadians is to get us to a place where we have options outside of tourism . . . that we can rely on [to[ take us through bad times [so] that [we] will be more cushioned against these external shocks,” she said.
    Worrell, in his contribution, said the Central Bank’s report gave viability to agriculture and that the sector was resilient to external shocks.
    18 per cent decline
    He said though the report recorded an 18 per cent decline in the economy, agriculture signalled a growth of 1.9 per cent mainly from non-sugar agriculture.
    “I have always been of the view that it does not take much for agriculture to grow in Barbados. . . . All of the persons who lost their jobs through the BERT (Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation) programme and those who recently lost their jobs in March as a result of the job losses in the tourism sector, many of them turned to agriculture,” said Worrell.
    De Peiza said the DLP would continue to show how different heads could sustain Barbados’ economy.
    “We may not be going at the same pace when we had the major earner tourism but, as Andre said, agriculture grew in that short space of time. But you have to put it in context – agriculture had been underfunded in a significant way by itself and in comparison to tourism,” she added. (JS)

    Like

  • Harvesting beans every 3rd day. Since I am on lockdown I thought what better way to make myself useful than by doing an “agricultural” task that is easily done inside, so I harvested some cassava on Monday and made a small batch of cassava flour this week. Maybe 2 gallons. I haven’t measured it yet. But since the supermarkets here sell it for $12 BDS for a twelve ounce package i don’t feel like I’ve wasted my time.

    $.68 USD per ounce on amazon, plus whatever it would cost to have it shipped.

    Like

  • Cheese on bread,that is some expensive cassava flour. Last time I checked, the African store near me was selling a kilo for $9.99. Maybe I should buy some to put in my coo-coo and dumplings. And, it comes all the way from Ghana.

    Like

  • HELP!!!

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/02/07/badmc-urges-farmers-to-come-forward-with-produce-to-fill-care-packages/

    Feverish attempts are continuing to ensure vulnerable families can benefit from Government’s care packages expected to be delivered this week.
    Despite the Pack House of the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) at Fairy Valley and Bridgetown being a hive of activity yesterday, it is still short of a number of the produce required for filling the care È packages as distribution days draw near.

    Like

  • @ Donna and Cuhdear Bajan,

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has its first female and youngest ever Chief Agricultural Officer, Keeley Holder, whose appointment took effect from February 1, 2021.

    https://www.nationnews.com/2021/02/08/new-agriculture-chief-appointed/

    Like

  • Hants,

    Yes, I saw that. She seems promising. One can only hope. She has been brought into the MOA from the outside. Maybe she has hive connections. Hope she can shake things up and still get support from the inside.

    Kammie Holder,

    Missed you offer of lemon basil. I have hatched numerous basil but as yours seems to be different and proven I may take you up on that offer soon.

    You never got back to me on the watermelons. I since planted sugar babies but they struggled.

    Cuhdear Bajan,

    I see what you mean about taking a break. The ground is hard and dry and and the wind can be fierce.

    Dame Bajans,

    The neem works well for all the crops but the cucumber. Trying the dishwashing liquid again. Trying it on the squash and zucchini for the powdery mildew too. One teaspoon colourless Ivory with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of vegetable oil to 1gallon of water or maybe I mixed it up a bit. Got to check the proportions again. Will see how that goes. Got a few squash, zucchini and honey dew melons on the vines. Pulled up the cucumber after reaping only four. Planting new seeds tomorrow.

    Got cherry tomatoes now in abundance. Plum tomatoes blossoming. Bananas, pigeon peas and pomegranates soon to be picked. Plenty beets, kale and chinese greens being reaped. All thirty odd of other crops doing very well. Onions coming slowly.

    Cut down my okra plants. Bearing fresh again. Cut down the eggplants yesterday. Still have some in the fridge to be used. Mine store well for a couple of weeks.

    So many people are realising that it is not so hard to feed yourself. Rasta cousin being booked for work. I told him he can always take some seedlings to start them off.

    Oops! Time to turn off the irrigation.

    Like

  • @ Hants

    For once we have made an appointment that is incredibly brilliant. I believe she is one of the most dynamic, insightful and ambitious young people in Barbados and was destined for the top.
    I hope she can bring some of that brilliance and imagination to her new position, she was the person I always had a mental picture of when we talked about developing agriculture as an industry in Barbados.
    With a good team of advisers around her, loyal and hard-working, Barbadian agriculture can take off.

    Like

  • Well, that is certainly “good news for modern [wo] man”!

    I saw the signs that we were getting serious about agriculture. It is not all doom and gloom.

    John Knox be damned!

    I told him that agriculture is becoming “sexy” in Barbados!

    Young people no longer equate it with slavery. This I know from talking with them and seeing many of them getting involved and from the features in the newspapers.

    Like

  • I wish the young lady success.

    Let us hope she does not have to deal with the political geniuses in government.

    Like

  • This is a shame.

    No outlet for their pawpaws
    THE LOCKDOWN is having a serious impact on farming couple Alvin and Tamara Mottley.
    The couple, who primarily plants pawpaws, said they were having great difficulty getting the fruits to market.
    Alvin explained that roadside vending was their primary avenue for selling the fruits, but since it was prohibited, they had thousands of pounds of excess pawpaws which they were anxiously trying to get off their hands.
    He said they were hopeful when the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) appealed to farmers to bring what they had to the corporation’s packhouse in Fairy Valley, Christ Church to supplement the promised 60 000 care packages.
    However, Alvin said that when they took the fruit to the packhouse two weekends ago, only a few pounds were purchased and they were told pawpaws were no longer on the list of fruits required.
    A well-placed source at the BADMC said the fruit was removed from the list because they could not be “kept for long”. (SB)

    Like

  • Produce high quality
    Dr Worrell says focus on growing fresh food
    A senior economist is recommending that Barbados focus on producing more “high quality” fresh foods instead of seeking to attain food security.
    Dr DeLisle Worrell argued that locally produced food would not be cheap for consumers, adding that mass production could even mean people having to “pick or dig” their own food supply.
    In his February newsletter titled Eating What You Grow Won’t Increase Food Security, Worrell recalled how a resurgence of locusts in Somalia devastated crops in that East African nation, which he said was a stark reminder that “depending on food you produce yourself is a very insecure way to live”.
    “If Barbadians depended mainly on fruits and vegetables grown locally, we would suffer from acute shortages whenever there was drought, flooding or extreme weather, or whenever crops were affected by infestations, predators or other adversity.
    Growing your own food does not increase food security, it decreases food security,” the former Govenor of the Central Bank said .
    “In order to turn the corner on what is still a failing agricultural sector, farmers need to focus on the production of high quality fresh foods, produced organically and distributed to consumers safely, quickly and conveniently. This will not be cheap food for mass consumption. If the product is cheap to buy the return to the farmer will be low, or you will not find the product fresh in the supermarket, and you will have to go pick or dig your own supply,” he said.
    The former central bank governor said a focus on organically produced fresh food production “offers ample scope for vigorous expansion in farm output in Barbados and the Caribbean”, adding that there was already a demand for healthy, nutritious food.
    “The Caribbean now boasts creative chefs who use local products as the basis for exciting culinary experiences for residents and visitors alike. With the use of suitable incentives, governments can provide the stimulus for the growth of a sustainable agriculture that does not depend on bans, prohibitions or tariffs on imported foods, and which provides a comfortable middle-class lifestyle for farmers,” he said.
    Worrell also suggested that the practice of how crops are being protected from harmful insects and diseases should be revisited.
    “It does matter how the food is grown. We need to ask whether current agricultural practices in Barbados do in fact produce high quality food that is healthy and nutritious to eat. My wife Monica and I live in the country, and I have to confess that the frequent scent of herbicides and pesticides, wafting across from cultivated fields nearby, is more than a little disconcerting,” he said.
    The Mia Mottley administration has been focused on boosting food security over the past two years, implementing several farming programmes to encourage ramped up food production, while encouraging farmers to engage in certain practices including water-harvesting.
    Barbados is said to import about 80 per cent of the food it consumes.
    Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir has in the past said his ministry was developing climate change mitigation strategies to help protect the industry from climate change threats as the island moved towards food security.
    He has also indicated a push by his ministry for farmers to use more environmentally controlled systems to produce high crops despite adverse weather or climatic conditions “thus ensuring the island’s food security”.
    “In this regard, he said the Ministry of Agriculture was seeking to promote container farming, which he said would provide for year-round production of certain vegetables, herbs and shallow rooted crops,” Weir said.
    However, in his newsletter, Worrell argued while there were good reasons to promote competitive local production of quality fresh produce, “they have nothing to do with food security”.
    “Instead, local farmers should be encouraged to provide top quality food in support of healthy lifestyles for Barbadians. Nutritionists attest to the fact that fresh produce, locally grown, is the key to a healthy diet,” said Worrell.
    The local agriculture sector was the best performing last year, according to the latest Central Bank report, which showed that agriculture output was 1.9 per cent higher than in 2019, with the main source of growth being as a result of higher food crop production.
    The report showed that while the sugar industry contributed about $4.2 million to the island’s gross domestic product (GDP) last year, compared to $4 million a year prior, the non-sugar agriculture contribution increased by $1.9 million, to reach $117 million of GDP last year.

    Like

  • The Mottleys should pick their pawpaw before they get ripe. Just as or before they start toturn. I bought two this week imported from Mexico. One has ripened and the other should be ready tomorrow. Price was .88 cents a pound from Food Basics. In Barbados, I bought a small one for $6.

    Like

  • @Dame
    Very good suggestion. I bought pawpaw over here and sometimes I have to wait until they ripen.

    Hopefully, they are not waiting until the pawpaws are ripe and juicy.

    Like

  • @Hants
    I tried to read, but when the man said
    “Growing your own food does not increase food security, it decreases food security,” my eyes glazed over.
    I think I got the point he was trying to make, but it is expressed so inaccurately I couldn’t take anymore.

    Like

  • @ TheOGazerts,

    Dr DeLisle Worrell’s argument is beyond my comprehension.

    My advice to Bajans is do like Donna and Cuhdear Bajan and grow as much of your own food as you can.

    Like

  • Oh, thank heavens! I thought I was losing it!

    I still have not been able to make heads or tails of his submission.

    Since you TheO have deciphered it, perhaps you could enlighten me.

    P.S My paw paw tree leaves seem to be wind burning. Maybe no paw paws for me this year.

    😩

    Like

  • Oh, I lied! I did not really think I was losing it.

    But we should be into eco-farming. Pesticides are counterproductive. Can’t we move towards controlled environments? They are really not as expensive as they are made out to be. I wanted to learn the basic way so that I would be able to function in natural conditions. There could be a time when the do das are unavailable. Soon though, I will be switching to combination greenhouse/ shadehouse conditions.

    My Rasta cousin has taught me what he knows and I have taught him a thing or two from the scientists.

    My crash course is over. I’ll be without him, mostly, from now on.

    But here’s the good news! My son says he does not want me to work alone. He is rearranging his timetable and committing himself to an hour in the garden with me.

    Killing several birds with one stone, he says. Regular sunshine, exercise, fresh air, less screentime, learning to grow food and great interaction with his mom. Increased creative juices from communing with nature and improved brain power.

    Don’t tell me there is no God! From the very beginning I prayed for help in raising a worthy son. A few stubborn mouthy hiccups along the way but in this case I did not press him. Figured this one out by himself. This was ALL HIS IDEA!

    Life is soooo good!

    Like

  • Donna, there was a pawpaw blight in Barbados several years ago. All the leaves would fall off leaving just the pawpaws on the stalk. They would eventually turn yellow but were not sweet. Bajans wont eat them, but I did. Cleaned a neighbours tree when I was home.

    Like

  • @Hants February 11, 2021 12:44 PM “mass production could even mean people having to “pick or dig” their own food supply.”

    I read the report in Barbados Today and I too found it confusing. Maybe the reporter made a hash of it? I think that I should read DeLisle’s newsletter for myself.

    My position is that we need both big and small agriculture, both local and imported food. A local flood or drough can create hunger or famine anywhere. And that anywhere can be Barbados or the United States, or Cina, or Russia. All countries are subject to the vagaries of weather.

    I know not a ting about macro economics, nor do I know a thing about agricultural economics, but what I do know is that growing food locally has certainly created my own food security. My freezer is still full of organically self grown pumpkin, multiple kinds of sweet potato, okras, Chinese cabbage, and cassava, and pork and lamb from a neighboring “disabled” farmer. My small batch of dried cassava turned out to be a bit more that 2 gallons which I shared with my planting buddies. A have some set aside for a cousin and a young working woman. In spite of predictions that there would be “food riots” in Barbados during Covid that has not happened yet. Please note that I am not saying that it can never happen.

    My parents, neither of whom went past elementary school, raised 9 children to healthy productive adulthood, and they themselves both lived past the age of 85. So far the one child who ironically moved to the most food secure country in the world, the United States, died “early” at only 65. All of the others have gone well past 60 and a couple so far have gone past 80. My 80+ brother is still driving, since he is married I take it that he is still “looking after” his wife, still managing his own household without ZERO outside help. Hasn’t spent a day in hospital in the last 16 years. My parents raised a large family by my father working at his trade, AND by both of my parents and ALL of the children working to produce much of our own food. It may not work for everybody, but it has worked for us. Some might call it good luck or good genes, but I believe that hard outdoor work, and healthy home grown food has had a lot to do with it.

    Having to “pick or dig” their own food supply is not necessarily a bad thing. There are 168 hours in a week, and after we have worked for pay for 40 hours, and slept for 56 what exactly is it that we do with the other 72 hours? The way I look at it few things can be better that using 10 or 15 of those 72 hours to get some healthy outdoor exercise working agricultural plots both small and large.

    Like

  • Correction: with ZERO outside help

    Like

  • @Hants February 9, 2021 1:25 AM “The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has its first female.”

    I wish her well…but she is so young and beautiful, that she looks like she should be sitting on a cushion sewing a fine seam and feasting on strawberries, sugar and cream, rather than getting her hands dirty.

    Just kiddin’

    Like

  • The Dust Bowl was the name given to the drought-stricken Southern Plains region of the United States, which suffered severe dust storms during a dry period in the 1930s. As high winds and choking dust swept the region from Texas to Nebraska, people and livestock were killed and crops failed across the entire region.

    Like

  • I’ve hatched some broccoli and some plum tomatoes, they both germinated in about a week. I’ve never grown either before so I will see how that goes. Last year I grew some Chinese cabbage and that did so well I had plenty to give away including some to a city feeding program. Organic cabbage leaves and rice is much better food than plain rice.

    Like

  • I think cuhdear has the best explanation “Maybe the reporter made a hash of it?”

    I think he was saying… If you plant your crop on become self dependent, then one day something might happen and destroy your crops..
    “If Barbadians depended mainly on fruits and vegetables grown locally, we would suffer from acute shortages whenever there was drought, flooding or extreme weather, or whenever crops were affected by infestations, predators or other adversity.
    Growing your own food does not increase food security, it decreases food security,” the former Govenor of the Central Bank said .

    True, but if you depend on others, something might happen and destroy their crop as well. Plus, what about reducing imports… Going to apply for the head COB position.

    Like

  • CRIME RING
    Agriculture officials: Some vendors masterminds in crop theft
    By Sheria Brathwaite sheriabrathwaite @nationnews.com
    There is an organised crime ring behind praedial larceny, say some of the country’s top agriculture officials.
    And they are saying that some members of the vending community could be the masterminds behind it all.
    Officials at the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) and the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) told the Sunday Sun they had sufficient proof linking members of the vending community to crop theft.
    Chief executive officer of the BAS, James Paul, said it was discovered that larceny was connected to the vending community. He suggested that the relevant authorities should have regulations and monitoring systems in place at market areas.
    Alarming
    Chief executive officer at the BAMC, Orlanda Atherley, said praedial larceny
    was a perennial issue for years but within recent times it was occurring at an alarming rate.
    He said the Government agency had to get help from a security consultant to help mitigate the issue on BAMC properties, adding this move had proven to be effective.
    The security consultant, who did not want to give his name but has 20 years’ experience in the field, said based on his operations he was able to compile information on the culprits.
    “We believe the people who are handling and selling the stolen produce are behind the entire operation in most incidents and we actually have an idea of who they are. We now have the names of 12 people so far who are well known for stealing property. The majority of these people are drug addicts or what we refer to as ‘paros’ and they are being used to dig up rows of provision. They admitted to taking produce to persons who ply their trade mainly in The City,” said the security consultant.
    Atherley said he would like all those involved in the illegal activity prosecuted.
    “We don’t think we can solve this problem unless we go after them (those organising theft) because
    they are using vulnerable people to acquire wealth . . . . We would like to see it pushed to the ultimate end where those selling stolen produce are charged.”
    Paul said larceny should be treated as a serious crime and those involved should not be mislabelled as “vulnerable”.
    “The BAS is continually asking for the vending markets to be scrutinised more closely, especially since we are seeing a proliferation of vending markets in Barbados.
    “There should be some sort of regulation that from time to time inspectors can request from vendors some sort of proof that they came into possession of the produce by legal means.”
    “These people are not ‘vulnerable’. These people set out to do a malicious and wicked act. They know the law, they know what they are doing is wrong and we need to be careful of the inappropriate labelling of people committing these actions,” he said.
    The BAS boss called for the legal system to impose stiffer penalties on those involved.
    A source connected to the Ministry of Agriculture said it was not fair to place all the blame on vendors, as that community could not move the thousands of produce being stolen alone.
    He said: “Some of it is sold to supermarkets. Large-scale theft needs a large market . . . . But the ministry is working on traceability legislation whereby the produce could be traced back to the farmers.”
    Head of the Barbados Wayside Vendors Association, Keith Franklyn, said the claims were just allegations.
    “We are not aware of that, but I know that vendors grow some of the food they sell and purchase some from farmers. If James Paul and the other associates want to look into stolen property they should check supermarkets because they take the volume of (local produce) in Barbados instead of looking at the small man.”
    President of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN), Alister Alexander, said he could not deny there were some truths to the claims. “The free-for-all in vending gives the persons involved in praedial larceny an easy market, and BARVEN
    is not about that. I cannot say at all …but that is a small minority.
    “If they have the proof, we would like to see it . . . We are about stamping out any kind of crime among the vendors. But if you are talking about real organised crime you are talking about something much bigger than people who deal with vending.”
    Different level
    Police public relations officer, Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss, said he could not comment on any kind of development regarding the police Praedial Larceny Unit, as it was “something that would be discussed at a different level”.
    On April 29, during a national address to the nation, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced that a Praedial Larceny Unit was to be established within the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF).
    She said Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Dale Marshall had “agreed to issue instructions” to the RBPF to establish the dedicated unit, following discussion of the issue.
    BAMC officials said praedial larceny was on the rise and it was affecting the Government agency’s cash flow and research programmes.
    Officials reported that the main crops being stolen are ground provisions such as sweet potatoes, cassava and yams.
    During the planting cycle of yams for the period 2019 to 2021, 20 000 pounds (valued at $90 000 to $110 000) were stolen from Groves in St George, which were to be used
    as clean planting material for farmers so they could increase their yields.
    Theft has also been occurring at Constant Plantation, also in St George, and Wakefield Plantation in St John.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Crop theft unit
    Stiffer laws against praedial larceny ‘by next month
    by RACHELLE AGARD rachelleagard @nationnews.com
    GOVERNMENT says it will soon be moving to rein in what is said to be an organised crime ring responsible for an increasing amount of praedial larceny.
    In fact, says Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir, legislation for a Praedial Larceny Unit within the police force should reach Parliament by next month, which would see offenders being dealt with severely.
    His comments came after agriculture officials complained in yesterday’s SUNDAY SUN of the racket behind the stealing and selling of crops. The main produce they reported being stolen were ground provisions such as sweet potatoes, cassava and yams.
    Weir said consumers would also have to play a part in tracking the thieves.
    Seed to retail
    “We are dealing with praedial larceny and I believe what we are putting in place will significantly reduce it. Of course, it is going to take the will of the consumer to participate in the system that will be put in place, and that is traceability or blockchain technology, so you know from seed to retail where the produce is coming from,” he told the DAILY NATION.
    He said everywhere selling produce – be it at a vendor, supermarket, shop, minimart or market – would have barcodes, which would trace right back to where the items were planted and harvested.
    “The person who has purchased will have that barcode or certificate as proof that they actually purchased the produce. We have set March as the timeline to take this to Parliament. And, with the deployment of the Royal Barbados Police Force as well, it should also add an additional layer of protection. Of course then, farms and farmers would have the option of using GPS and RFIDs [radio-frequency identification] so that they too can be informed when unusual activity is taking place on a farm,” he said.
    “I personally think that people who are actually going out and stealing produce should be severely punished by law. That also is going to be part of the legislation.”
    Officials of both the Barbados Agricultural Management Company and the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) said they had sufficient proof linking members of the vending community to crop theft. Chief executive officer of the BAS, James Paul, said it had been unearthed that larceny was connected to the vending community.
    However, while he agreed those involved in praedial larceny were very organised and it was a “big business”, Weir said he did not want to pick on vendors.
    “I don’t know how to accuse members of the vending community. Until people can bring evidence to support that, I think it is wrong to finger
    people that way. You don’t know where people involved in praedial larceny are selling their produce because . . . they can be going to the supermarkets as well. To isolate people and start to finger them, to my mind, is wrong,” he said.
    “We don’t have evidence to prove this totally, and while there may be isolated cases, I think we need to get facts first. What we really need to deal with is the people involved in praedial larceny. If I am involved in praedial larceny and you are a vendor, you clearly can’t get the produce unless I bring it. Some people will wilfully and deliberately purchase stolen produce, because they will be buying it at a price which has no overheads or investment costs,” he said.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • ALL these things about praedial larceny have been known for decades. So have the solutions. Will they be implemented this time?

    On the good news side, I just had me some lemongrass tea. For the first time NOT IMPORTED OR STORE BOUGHT. What fools we often are! A little local sugar, high quality stuff and I good to go!

    For breakfast – eggs and plantain – local.

    Lunch – breadfruit pie and local pork chops. The white sauce will be made with breadfruit flour and local milk All local veg, some from my own garden – kale, okra, beets, pumpkin, carrots, beans, celery.

    Good stuff!

    Got a new monkey repellant tip, newspaper on the groundaround the crops, preferably with photographs of humans. Apparently they don’t like to step on it and the photos confuse them.

    But… I have confirmation yet again that if you don’t chase them, they have mercy on you. Apart from my own experience, two ladies told me that they mostly leave their stuff alone also. They take a little bit to eat and that’s all. They do not pull everything up before they leave.

    Saw Cuhdear Bajan talking about the “nuisance” cowitch on another blog. Looked it up and saw that the plant has numerous uses and the pods are even edible and nutritious.

    When will we ever learn????

    I guess when we visit Indonesia. Or when we get hungry enough!

    Liked by 1 person

  • And I forgot! Going to wash the lunch down with some coconut water from my cousin’s tree.

    Island life! Sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well! Two days of intermittant rain and my plants have grown twofold. FRESH from the skies always does the trick. No garden hose or watering can can compete, even when they spout stored rain water.

    Maybe that is where the saying “right as rain” originated from long ago.

    My garden is surely looking right as rain now. Everybody is green and standing tall.

    Rain is good for young plants AND old plants, it seems because even the old eggplants stood up and took note. And finally the onions and butternut squash look healthy. Got four squash on the vines. Third time lucky! Thyme and marjoram also coming along nicely. It is all in the watering.. You must let the soil dry out before watering them.

    I have discovered that nobody should buy basil. The things just love to grow and no pests bother them. Herbs on the whole are easy. Everybody should grow their own.. Nobody should buy celery, kale, radishes, eggplant, spinach. None of these are hard to grow. Celery grows well in pots and so does kale. Eggplants just keep on producing. Spinach is hard to keep from growing.

    The most trouble I have had so far is with the curcubit family. Cucumbers grow easily but the leaves are susceptible to aphids. Gonna try basil between them. Neem does not work well enough. The leaves of squash and zucchini are susceptible to fungus, as are melons. You have to catch it very early and control it with dishwashing liquid, cooking oil and water mixed to exact recommended proportion..

    Caterpillars and worms love tomatoes. You have to plant basil in between to repel them. Neem extract works but homemade is trial and error wrt to strength.

    EVERYTHING else has been a breeze!

    But it is best to start from seed as seedlings may already have been stressed before you buy them. Only my basil, spinach, okras, cucumbers and eggplants grew well from seedlings so far.

    Rain forecast for a couple of hours every morning for the next two weeks..

    Less work for me and more produce.

    Like

  • Poultry pain
    Layne: Farmers taking financial hit in lockdown
    by SHERIA BRATHWAITE
    sheriabrathwaite@nationnews.com
    POULTRY PRODUCERS are losing thousands of dollars due to the closure of chicken depots during the national lockdown.
    Today, the Barbados Egg and Poultry Producers Association (BEPPA) is appealing to the authorities to have them reopened.
    President Stephen Layne told the DAILY NATION that all depots were closed throughout the entire lockdown and it was hurting farmers.
    “We had a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture [Indar Weir] last week to highlight the problem and we were promised that the ministry would try to make provisions for them to reopen,” he said.
    “We also had a situation where supermarkets were not ordering like they used to as they didn’t want to end up with excess chicken on their hands so they were only buying enough to serve one or two days at the very most.
    “So a lot of consumers weren’t getting the variety of cuts as supermarkets only carry certain cuts unlike the chicken depots. So this was impacting a lot of people including the farmers,” he explained.
    ‘Optimistic’ meeting
    Layne said farmers were feeling “very optimistic” following the meeting, adding that poultry farmers were in a “very difficult situation financially”.
    He attributed the issue to the closure of restaurants and food vending businesses and the drastically reduced occupancy at hotels.
    “During the shutdown they would have experienced a lot of losses and they are hoping that with the reopening of the depots they could increase sales. They won’t be able to recoup all the losses but they would be able to do things like pay their feed bills and pay staff,” he added.
    Layne, however, explained that processing plants were still allowed to operate.
    While he did not give specifics, he said there were several hundred thousand pounds of fresh meat in bountiful supply as well as eggs.
    Chairman of Chickmont Foods Peter Defreitas said the closure of his depots – Chicken Galore – was a blow to business but did not give the quantity of stock at his disposal.
    He said: “Our business is predicated on restaurants and also our depots.
    Only about 30 per cent of our business comes from supermarkets and minimarts, so our business has been cut in half.”
    Defreitas said he received many reports of some supermarkets not having stock on the shelves, adding that the stores were only ordering “’X’ amount” and only ordered more after that set was depleted.
    The businessman said the reopening of the depots would also be beneficial to low income earners as chicken outlets supplied the cheapest prices and had the cuts most consumers desired.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • @Donna “I have discovered that nobody should buy basil. The things just love to grow and no pests bother them. Herbs on the whole are easy. Everybody should grow their own.. Nobody should buy celery…”

    I’ve also had an excellent experience with basil. It grows so well for me that I don’t need any excuse to throw some in the pot, and every time I clip some I get more new growth. My experience is that the monkeys tend to leave herbs alone, but they do like chives and the flat leafed garlic chive as well, so I plant chives both at home and at the plantation since chives grow so easily I can still harvest more than enough for me and some to give to family/friends/neighbors, even after the monkeys have taken “their share.”

    Celery seems to hate me. Zero success so far. But I will try again. I don’t like defeat, and I don’t easily accept it.

    Like

  • Strokes could hit stressed-out Bajans, experts warn – Strokes could hit stressed-out Bajans, experts warn: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/02/25/strokes-could-hit-stressed-out-bajans-experts-warn/

    Like

  • Cuhdear Bajan,

    My celery died. That was from seedlings. My second set was from seed. It took a little while but I have enough to give away. Somebody said I have enough to sell.

    I don’t take defeat in the garden either. So I now have squash bearing on the third try. Third time lucky with thyme. Third time lucky with beets and carrots. Had to start from seed rather than seedlings and plant straight to bed. Third try at sugar baby in progress.. Third time zucchini still fighting on. Hot peppers still to be conquered. Cantalope also.

    Emerald City Supermarket now sells seedlings so I bought some string beans yesterday.

    I intend to grow just about everything for my own consumption.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Planted a few beans at home yesterday. Still harvesting some from the first and second planting. Ate some, gave away some to close family. Still have quite a bit of frozen and dried produce from last year’s crops. Next week I will continue clearing the “plantation” of weeds in preparation for ploughing in April.

    Like

  • A number of young people waiting for land to pursue their agriculture careers could soon receive a call from the authorities.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/02/27/more-land-being-allocated-for-agriculture/

    Like

  • Is that not what I told John Knox who judged the interest of young people by those present at and absent from farmers’ meetings? Got my finger on the young people’s pulse. Agriculture is becoming “sexy”. Slowly but surely.

    Like

  • Dairy dilemma
    Kendal’s milk production takes a hit, says farm manager
    by SHERIA BRATHWAITE sheriabrathwaite@nationnews.com
    THE STRUGGLING DAIRY industry has taken another hit with its major producer, Kendal Dairy Farm, dropping from producing 25 per cent of the island’s milk to seven per cent.
    Yesterday, operations manager of the farm, Patrick Butcher, said there were two major issues impacting the St John farm, adding that the entire dairy sector was facing difficulties.
    “We had challenges with ageing equipment and under-performing machinery here at Kendal so that, in combination with pasture quality led to the decline we are having. But there is a forage issue affecting the entire dairy community. Sourcing adequate grass and the food content of the grasses we have is a problem.
    “We got a lot of invasive species coming into the pastures that are affecting the nutrient content of a lot of the grass fields at this time,” he said.
    A source connected to the dairy also said the farm had financial issues and suggested that management may be interested in businesspeople investing in the company.
    He said: “Managing a farm is not easy but the farm is not closing. It is downsizing. But if it can get any suitable body that is interested in helping, anybody willing to invest, so be it.”
    The source said the farm’s corn crop, which is used to supplement feed rations, had failed last year, adding that a number of the heifers on the farm were not producing milk and the milking herd was cut from about 200 animals to half that size.
    Chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society, James Paul, said he was aware that the dairy was not producing milk to adequate levels, which was a major blow to the sector.
    Major impact
    President of the Barbados Beef and Dairy Producers’ Association, Annette Beckett, said Kendal’s reduction would have a major impact on the industry, adding that there were still a number of issues dairy farmers in particular were facing.
    Beckett pointed to the lack of access to adequate supplies of hay, drought, the increase in farmers’ water bills, high production costs, a promised Government subsidy that did not materialise and no farm gate increase within the past ten years.
    “If we didn’t import the cows last year there would not be sufficient milk to supply PHD (Pine Hill Dairy). But a lot of what we are reaping now is a result of having to cut back around 2012 or so when PHD reduced their intake significantly,” Beckett said.
    A well-placed source in the industry said the sector did not experience any real growth in years and this development further compounded the situation.
    “The milk supply last year was the lowest ever recorded. It was worse than 2016’s and 2017’s, which were very bad years. We have been bringing in cows that have helped us to barely save the industry but not that they have stabilised it or helped progress the industry.
    “The latest figures, when broken down, show that the farm (Kendal Dairy) has moved from supplying 25 per cent of the overall total to seven per cent of the overall total. Obviously there have been serious challenges in the industry throughout the years but a drop of this magnitude, which has occurred over the past three years or so, would cause [further ] strain in the sector.
    “I don’t think this has developed into a shortage of milk but there would be an impact as the raw material the processing plant is getting is shortening, which could impact what is put out on the market.”
    Efforts to obtain a comment from Pine Hill Dairy, the island’s lone milk processor, were unsuccessful up to press time.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Hants,

    Following that Thickets story with interest.

    Been watching a BBC documentart called Follow the Food. Urban farming on rooftops, underground parking lot mushroom farming, mussel farming, seaweed farming, indoor computerised vertical farming complete with robots. Drones collecting data over fields.

    Interesting stuff! Food security is not a pipe dream if one embraces technology and innovation. Higher yields and lower costs are possible.

    Learnt a new monkey trick – guttaperks and marbles from Carters of all places! I am told they are sturdy and worth the $30.

    Murdah!

    I wonder who makes the guttaperks?

    Like

  • @ Donna,

    Ask your son to make one for you. ( bicycle tire inner tube and a y handle cut from a clammy cherry tree )

    Google ” sling shot “.

    Like

  • This one, I am told, is more sturdy and durable and carries a harder punch. I laughed when my cousin told me about her purchase. I figured I would make my own as I did as a girl although I never shot any living thing with it.

    i’m sure my son could make one, though I suspect it would be his first. He used to spend all day making Star Wars weapons and body armour, helmets and all tyoes of guns.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Hants
    Amazing.
    We grew up with guttaperks/sling shots.

    Have to give the gentleman an A for salesmanship. I like the high level of marketing, but I think it is much ado about nothing. This is perhaps the ‘one toy’ that is resistant to meaningful changes.

    Like

  • @ TheOGazerts,

    I intended the video for Donna and her son.

    Like

  • As Parliament was amending the law to lighten drug possession penalties on Friday, the Prime Minister scolded Barbadians for their “addiction” to macaroni pie, pigtails, alcoholic beverages and other “bad habits”.

    The PM drew on her own current love for the heavily salted meat and her past love of cigarettes, as she expressed concern that Barbadians continued to be addicted to several unhealthy food choices.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/03/06/pm-mottley-concerned-about-bajan-addictions/

    Like

  • Hants,

    I do not have a monkey problem at present but I do have a dirty dog problem

    Sooo…. the mad woman has been sitting hidden in her patio for an hour now waiting with two big rocks.

    Instead of walking their dogs, the people in the development area have taken to letting them loose to stool on other people’s property.

    I aim to catch the culprits with their pants down. I’ve been practising my throw.

    One dog comes between 5 o’ clock and 6 ‘o clock. The other comes around 9 o’ clock.

    On the upside, i now wake without prompting at four o’clock, rearing to go! Stay outside until 10 o’clock taking care of the garden.

    There is indeed a silver lining in every cloud.

    Like

  • Wow! The sunrise is magnificent!

    Like

  • The Dereck Foster-led board of the state-owned agricultural marketing agency has suspended its Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
    Dr Brian Francis.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/03/09/board-and-ceo-lock-horns-over-handling-of-employee-dismissal/

    Like

  • The newly appointed female Chief Agricultural Officer Keeley Holder talks about what is required in the POST COVID economy.

    New chief: Invest more in research
    A POST-COVID-19 agricultural policy for the Caribbean should include increased funding for research and development and strengthening synergies with the services and manufacturing sectors.
    This is the view of newly appointed Chief Agricultural Officer Keeley Holder.
    She was on an online panel discussion Monday organised by the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to mark International Women’s Day.
    Speaking on the theme Caribbean Conversations On COVID-19, Holder said more agricultural projects were coming on stream in Barbados. She noted a commitment by Government to agriculture.
    “We have to invest in these areas (research and development) and be serious about it,” she said, adding that agriculture and services sectors such as tourism were integrated.
    COVID-19 has challenged Caribbean economic models while the cost of living and freight costs have risen. Shipping containers were arriving with goods but there were “empty containers going out”, Holder said.
    “Freight is about 300 per cent more,” she added.
    In arguing for increased regional investment in research and development, she contended that not only were the services and manufacturing sectors interconnected with agriculture, but they were inseparable.
    With increased research and development investment the sectors would become more robust, Holder said.
    The new Chief Agricultural Officer spoke of a declining agricultural sector and the role of policy in addressing food and nutrition security. She noted the impact of climate change with longer droughts and reduced rainfall. Research and development could result in a change in the types of crops planted, it was suggested.
    She also linked research to increased productivity. “You can build out food and nutrition security,” Holder said, noting the relevance of “a healthy diet and healthy body”. Sponsored by CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, the COVID-19 discussion also addressed the impact on health services, gender-related violence associated with lockdowns and the financial impact on entertainers. (HH)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • https://barbadostoday.bb/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/75BF7D64-CEE3-477F-AE4C-1972B90A4EFD-730×456.jpeg
    Agriculture Ministry sets up Monkey WhatsApp Hotline
    Avatar
    Article by
    Barbados Today
    Published on
    March 12, 2021

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification, has established a hotline for members of the public to bring to its attention any challenges they are facing with monkeys, across the island.

    The Monkey WhatsApp Hotline number is 535-5237, and it will only accommodate messages. No calls will be accepted.

    Persons contacting the hotline should include the following information in their message: Name, Address, Telephone Number and WhatsApp Location Pin.(BGIS)

    Like

  • Keely wukking?

    Like

  • This is good news. Very good news.


    100 more acres for food crops

    Barbados’ food production is likely to receive a boost in the next few months as 100 acres of arable land at Bath, St John, goes into production.
    For close to 30 years, the land was overrun by bush and river tamarind, but yesterday during a site visit, Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir said that the area would be divided and leased to farmers.
    So far the Ichirouganaim Council of Rastafari and Pan Africanist group Alkebulan have each been provided with 20 acres where fruit trees, vegetables and ground provisions will be grown.
    Weir said he wanted the farming district to have its own farmers’ market, outfitted with a canteen to sell ital food and natural juices.
    He said Government was supplying the inputs to get planting started, storage and other facilities and providing irrigation.
    Manager of Area Two at the Barbados Agricultural Management Company, Anderson Eversley, said two tractors retrofitted with tipping trailers would be used to help remove rocks from the land allocated to the Rastafarian community and the group would also receive advice from a food crop agronomist.
    He said that planting should begin next week.
    Head of the Agricultural Services Unit, Arlie Connelly, reminded the farmers about the various rebate programmes the ministry facilitated.
    Alkebulan member James “Rudy” Greenidge thanked Government for the assistance, adding that 60 per cent of what the group planted would be sold to raise funds to purchase more planting material and other farming necessities. The remaining produce would be donated to the vulnerable.
    (SB)

    Source: Nation newspaper

    Liked by 1 person

  • Taking agriculture to next level
    By Gercine Carter
    gercinecarter@nationnews.com
    Keeley Holder was in the process of laying the academic foundation for a career in medicine when she was derailed by an accident that landed her in the agricultural field.
    As Barbados’ first female and youngest ever chief agricultural officer, the 41-year-old St Joseph resident is excited about the new mission she has undertaken. Her only downside about the “rear-ender” that has resulted in her accepting a job that gives the opportunity to execute agricultural policy for Barbados, is that she continues to suffer the physical pain and discomfort 11 years after that accident.
    Like her father, she was born with joint hypermobility (commonly known as “wring-joint” – the ability to move joints around beyond the usual range) and as a child, was amused at seeing her father demonstrate biting his toenails. But there is no joke in suffering the excruciating pain of myofascial pain syndrome which was exacerbated because of the “wring-joint” condition.
    As Holder explained: “After the accident I had this muscle-type pain and the doctor was saying that for some people they don’t ever seem to recover and I seemed to be one of them.”
    Forced to quit
    The pain was so bad, it was affecting her studies to the extent that she was forced to quit her Phd programme.
    Already holding a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and computer science, she was at the time studying for a doctorate with a view to pursuing a completely different career path.
    “I did not have agriculture on my list. It was only because the accident forced me to evaluate my idea of going overseas and studying biochemistry. I wanted to study cancer.
    “But I said, ‘What am I going to do with my life,’ because my doctor said I would get two to three exacerbations a year. I told myself I can’t live my life not being able to work, because I would be in so much physical pain that I would have to crawl down the stairs backward. I could not even walk.”
    She immediately began thinking about how else she would use the biology and computer science degree and reasoned: “Agriculture is applied biology, how hard can it be,” all the while mulling over the idea of a career in agriculture.
    Utilising skills from the training she had already received in the Phd programme as well as her research skills, she devised her own Phd strategy “as if I were doing my own Phd – and planning how she would go about learning everything about agriculture in a very structured way”.
    That led to the idea of starting her own farm.
    A “country girl at heart” she set out from her rural home on a drive to Bridgetown one day in 2007 when she noticed along the way, several greenhouses being set up in a rural area.
    “I approached the owners and applied for a job. I told them this is most of what I was studying (plant biology) at UWI Cave Hill. And I said a lot of the work we had done was plant-based work and he hired me as his integrated pest management specialist.”
    In the course of the work she got welcome “hands-on experience” in “a pretty low-impact job where I would go around and assess the plants for pest and disease problems; troubleshoot and solve any problems with the plants” in the company’s 4.2 acres of green houses.
    It was valuable exposure to the business of cutting edge green house hydroponics. The experience led to a scholarship to Israel’s Galilee College, considered one of the leaders in the world when it comes to agriculture.
    She holds a post-graduate diploma in crop production and water management from that institution, but more valuable in her estimation is the exposure, knowledge and experience afforded by her visit to a country regarded as one of the leaders in agricultural development and techniques in the world.
    “I was able to visit all of the top firms in Israel, interview them, tour their operations and see what world-class looks like.
    “The thing I learnt about Israel is that there are no bad lands, there are only bad farmers. I saw firsthand how they were doing phenomenal things on all fronts. I saw what they were able to do with desert land that was producing richly. It turned my thinking on its head,” Holder said. She was then in her late 20s. Stirred by all she had seen in Israel, Holder quit her job on returning to Barbados and began working on her own business plan for her own $100 000 farming project. She had no land but had no problem finding a willing investor who saw the plan and was immediately sold on the
    idea. She received that financial support when she leased 25 acres of land in St George and started her farm, planting butternut squash as the signature crop during what she recalls was “the worst drought” Barbados had suffered in 100 years. The yield enabled her to dominate the local butternut squash market for three consecutive weeks.
    That success was followed by other crops, only to be deluged by the water devastation caused by Tropical Storm Thomas which hit Barbados about two weeks before harvest time.
    That experience has put Holder in a position where she now says: “I understand farmers’ pain because I have been there.”
    She wrote two more personal business plans and got land for one, but meanwhile, she had begun to spread her wings, getting involved with farmer organisations; being invited to conferences; receiving requests for consultancy work, writing papers on aspects of agriculture. She was a technical officer for the Caribbean Farmers Network (CAFAN) making valuable connections through this association that provided the opportunity to see best practices in agriculture around the world.
    It all set her thinking about Barbados’ position in agriculture even then. “I started to build out models in my head; how would I transform Barbados’ agriculture; what are the things that are practical for Barbados?”
    She was given the opportunity to put those thoughts into action with her appointment as chief agricultural officer on February 1. For Holder, it is the mandate to get involved at governmental level in “the thing that excites me”.
    Policymaking
    “I am a technocrat; I know the science behind agriculture; I have been a farmer so I know the practical aspect of it; so now that I am a part of the policymaking, I am almost like a translator. I get to hear everybody’s position and now I get to articulate it in one form or the next.
    “Everybody talks about the fact that I am young,” Holder noted, “but I say to people that is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants who have come before me who have mentored me, who shared their stories and I listened, because that is how I learn. There is a place for old systems that can be married because there is so much value in what we have done in the past,” Holder said.
    Her voice conveyed the excitement when she added: “Agriculture plays a multidimensional role. Agriculture is a business; agriculture is a basis for subsistence, for innovation. It has all of these roles and part of the problem has been that very often we are trying to build out a model to address one aspect where sometimes there are several aspects involved. Sometimes when we are not clear about what it is that we want to do, we are trying to do too many things at once and we do one part well and we do not do the other part well.”
    Her approach, she said, would be to give an ear to all sides and to consider all the dimensions of the issue.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • So yuh call de monkey hotline, then what?

    Like

  • “Spring” is here.

    Plenty of blossoms and some “baby” fruits on the mango, pear and breadfruit trees.

    The spinach plants which had “died off” have started to put out tiny new leaves, so I cut off all of the dry bits and added some new soil and fertilizer to the roots.

    The yams, even those in the baskets in the kitchen waiting to be cooked have started to grow vines, which means the yam wants to be planted outdoors.

    Still it is the dry season. Although we are still getting a few very brief showers most nights.

    The rainy season begins in 10 weeks.

    Like

  • My sweet potato slips are 6 inches and have been transplanted to small pots where they will grow for the next 6 weeks. My ginger all have shoots. Put them outside to catch some rain will bring them back in tonight to evade the -2C. The tomatoes are thriving under the grow lights. The Bajan spinach just put out shoots. Everything looking good for this May’s planting.

    Like

  • Good going Dame Bajans.

    I’ve never planted plum tomatoes before, but I checked today and baby tomatoes are beginning to form, so far just as big as the tip of a little finger.

    I’ve read that in order for a sweet basil plant to continue flourishing and not go to seed that the flowering buds should be pinched out. I did NOT do so, and a couple of days ago I noticed that the flowers are attracting plenty of bees. I am glad to have the bees to help in the pollination of the cucumbers, tomatoes, and string beans so I will not pinch out the basil flowers. I’ll just plant a new basil and leave the old one to keep the bees happy, as I’ve found that basil is so easy to grow.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    The Dame is well ahead of me. Good for her. I have no where protected to store seedlings. If I can grow basil anybody can!! lol

    Like

  • @ NO; I have a slim table near a south facing window where I place my seedlings. I also have a ‘heat pad’ that I use when I am starting the seeds. My house was built in the early 80’s when the walls had to be 6 inches thick, so I have wide window sills that I also use when I transplant to pots. The large garden centre in my area closed last fall, so I have to start many plants.

    @Cudhear:
    I have a basil plant on my front window seat (I have a box window with a 16 inch seat) since last fall. Every two weeks I have to pinch flower heads. I let some mature and harvested the seeds which I will sprinkle in the herb garden later. When I pinch the flowers the plant sends out more branches. So, I have had to prune it back, too bushy. I have the leaves drying.

    Like

  • I have plum tomatoes so sweet and plentiful that I started biting into them as a snack like I did during childhood before they became almost tasteless.

    Fresh is best for sure!

    Got sweet cherry tomatoes too!

    Got sweet potatoes so pretty that the breadman joked that I must have painted them.

    Lawson sure got it right when he named me Eggplant Whisperer because the same eggplants are bearing like rabbits again. They have not really stopped for months and months and months.

    Got pigeon peas, squash, lettuce, cabbage, sweet pepper, bananas, carrots. Enjoying my lemongrass tea.

    The celery is taking over the bed and crowding out the parsley. I had to start giving it away. Giving away some kale tomorrow. There’s too much of that too. Giving away spinach seedlings and banana suckers. Too many of them and they are flourishing and growing like weeds. Got one pomegranate only and one honey dew melon so far. Got pumpkin, string beans, cassava, cucumber, okra, beets, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, chives, garlic chives, sage, thyme, marjoram, basil, oregano, dill, bunching onions, onions, coriander, pineapple, radishes, chinese cabbage all coming along nicely and some ready for use.

    Going to plant some ginger, garlic and sorrel. The yam in the kitchen basket is sprouting. Time to plant it out. Bought me another pineapple. Going to plant the top. Trying to figure out where is the best place to plant the corn patch.

    No blossoms on the old mango tree as yet. Old sour sop catching itself after pruming, fertilising and watering which I never did for all of the 17 years it’s been mine. Old coconut tree still bearing. New sugar apple tree growing slowly as well as the lime tree. The wind burnt the larger pawpaw tree leaves until I had to pull it up. The smaller one lives on just barely with only a few leaves. I get the strong salty air straight off the Atlantic. All the leaves are feeling the burn.

    I am growing basil between my plants now. I’ve been pulling off the blossoms but the bees do love them, it is true so perhaps I’ll leave them as well. Not many bugs attacking my plant leaves. I have even been able to ease off the neem spray.

    Discovered only this week that a cousin of mine has taken up beekeeping. He is bringing me a hive. He will tend it and share the honey with me fifty:fifty. All I am providing is the space for the hive. So that queen bee that keeps disrespecting my garden by sending only one or two bees at a time will be out of business.

    Kick restarted two of my cousins by sending my Rastaman cousin to fork up their beds. He is going to mix some cow dung in. He says once he does that he has no need to fertilise after planting. Going to get him to hatch whatever seedlings they want. I’ve got about forty packets of seeds of just about everything. Hatching for another cousin and the cousin of a cousin right now.

    I have realised that my mother’s family loves growing produce, raising livestock, fishing, diving for shell fish and now beekeeping. Sooo many of them! Now I think about it I realise where it all came from with me. It’s in the genes.

    So much planting going on up this side you would not believe!

    Like

  • Oh David, why is my innocuous garden comment awaiting moderation?

    Like

  • This morning I had to deal with a tobacco worm/Manduca sexta, as big as my little finger munching my tomato plants so I’ll have to keep a sharp daily watch on them. Tobacco is indigenous to Barbados, so I expect so is this pest.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @SS
    use Btk, it is safe and effective. Those little buggers (and their cousins) love cabbage and broccoli too, and can do a job on peppers too.

    Like

  • Cuhdear Bajan,

    You dealt with one and I dealt with twenty in one day. Did not know that’s what they were. Just looked them up online. After that I checked my tomato plants four times a day. Killed a few more and that was that.

    Now going to look up Btk in case they ever return.

    Like

  • Thanks Northern. I’ll add Btk to my shopping list.

    Like

  • Pingback: Rekindling that Old time Community Spirit | Barbados Underground

  • Bajans rush for flying fish
    For the Easter weekend and Lent, fish is usually a hot commodity on the market.
    For the past few days, flying fish was the number one seller at the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex on the Princess Alice Highway.
    On Tuesday, before the market could open at 8 a.m.
    scores of people were gathered outside waiting to get in. At some points, tempers flared, with people venting their anger about the length of time it was taking to get in.
    Members from the Royal Barbados Police Force were summoned to calm the situation and enforce the physical distancing health protocols.
    Around 10 a.m. the confusion was over but the police officers remained on the scene.
    Fish vendors said fishermen were bringing in flying fish in bountiful supplies. They said the Sargassum seaweed was affecting the habitat of flying fish, adding that for the past two to three seasons, fishermen were finding it difficult to source the fish and people were glad to see it back on the market.
    ‘Selling out’
    They said the crowds at fish markets also had to do with the upcoming Easter weekend.
    “From last Friday we were getting a lot of flying fish and we don’t have enough for the customers,” said fish boner Paulette Noel. “Right now we are getting them at $130 for 100 whole fish and selling to customers for $10 a pack (of ten fish). But they are going really fast and most of us are selling out before the end of the day. Last Thursday I bone and sold 500 fish in less than six hours.”
    Fish vendor Esther Beckles described the situation as a “mad rush”, adding that it would help get things back on track for the vendors, who were home during the February 1 to 28 lockdown. (SB)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Heard a humming so loud this morning I thought I already had a hive in my palm tree! My bees are back full force Saw a ladybird last week. I guess they will also return. Butterflies on the decline at present. Less prettiness but fewer devoured leaves as well. I get to ease up on the neem spraying.

    The spinach seeds have gone so the birds have taken to my plum tomatoes and sweet peppers big time. Had to put a net over the tomato plants. Gotta find something for the sweet peppers.

    Found out that my old mango tree has tricked me AGAIN by bearing on the high and far side. There are not only blossoms but also mangoes. On closer examination I discovered that the old soursop tree has put out a soursop as well.

    The banana plant is leaning with the weight of the bananas. Had to cut some of the bananas green. Got to prop the plant up.

    Checked my last post and realised I forgot to mention the carrots.

    The lawn man remarked that I hardly needed the market. I replied that that was indeed the plan.

    “I love when a plan comes together!”

    Hannibal Jones ( The A Team)

    Like

  • Uh-oh! Got my Smiths and Joneses crossed!

    The Pooping Prowler is disturbing my rest!

    Last time I saw him was three weeks ago at 5.30 a.m. when I did not have my guttaperk in hand. Instinctively, I charged at him like a bull before he could make his deposit. The big bad dog that scares other people took of like scaredy cat.

    But… he ain’t no elephant so he was lured back by the smell of freshly cut lawn.

    He left his calling card yesterday just as I slipped inside at 6.15 yesterday morning when dry taps foiled my attempt to water the garden.

    The bull is ready to roll again!

    Like

  • Correction- took OFF

    Like

  • Surely, the dog has an owner that you can complain to or there must be an SPCA that you can call.

    Was that a purchased gutterperk or home made.

    Sounds as if you and cuhdear are living the good life. Keep it up.

    Like

  • TheO,

    The dog is a big dog that the owner, knowing the average Bajan’s fear of strange dogs, is allowing to roam free against the law. That dog is most likely not pooping at home. There are not so many vacant lots in his area. We can already assume that the owner does not give an RH. I am not about to walk all over the place trying to find out who the owner is just to discover what I can reasonably deduce.

    I could call the dog pound but the dog may end up being put to sleep.

    So instead I wake up at four, drink my own lemongrass tea, commune with God and Nature, read the news, do some crossword puzzles and word coach, listen to some wonderful music I had forgotten and do my gardening early. And dance while I garden, to the amusement of the early morning walkers. Nice interactions.

    Seen some beautiful sunrises, heard all the delightful animal sounds magnified and without the interference of mechanical noise pollution.

    MADE LEMONADE FROM DOG LEMONS!

    My brain fog will clear up after my body adjusts to my new and improved schedule.

    P.S. I got lazy and bought the guttaperk. It is made of sturdy material and looks like a keeper.

    I just read a news report that says the AG demands that we STAY INSIDE between 9.00pm and 6.oo a.m. now adjusted to 5.oo a.m.

    If that wording is correct, it means I am breaking the law.

    I do not step outside the boundaries of my property. I ent going inside when a police car passes or if the Acting Inspector passing here to head home because…..

    I would love to test that one in court!

    Dem would have to be RH drunk!

    Like

  • The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) wishes to advise customers in St. Philip and Christ Church that today Monday, April 5 it is carrying out repairs to a ruptured 16-inch main in Fairview, Christ Church.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/04/05/bwa-reports-burst-on-large-main-in-fairview-christ-church/

    Like

  • @ Donna and Cuhdear Bajan. Plant a Bajan Cherry tree.

    ” Acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) is one of the richest natural sources of ascorbic acid and contains a plethora of phytonutrients like carotenoids phenolics, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. There is an upsurge of interest in this fruit among the scientific community and pharmaceutical companies over the last few years. The fruit contains an exorbitant amount of ascorbic acid in the range of 1500–4500 mg/100 g, which is around 50–100 times than that of orange or lemon. Having a reservoir of phytonutrients, the fruit exhibits high antioxidant capacity and several interesting biofunctional properties like skin whitening effect, anti-aging and multidrug resistant reversal activity. Countries like Brazil, realizing the potential of the fruit have started to exploit it commercially and have established a structured agro-industrial based market. In spite of possessing an enriched nutrient profile with potent “functional food” appeal, acerola is underutilized in large part of the globe and demands greater attention”

    Like

  • My aunt has a cherry tree growing at the end of her drain before it goes into the gully. The tree bears year round. I never knew that before. There was one at the back of Edgewater Hotel that grew the largest cherries I have ever seen. they were sweet even when green. In St. Vincent I saw some growing wild. They call them bird cherries and don’t eat them. I picked some and my friend did as well.

    Like

  • I don’t have a cherry tree. Planted one once but it did not thrive. I may try again. However a cousin in my natal village has one. It hangs over her fence nearly into the road. She tells us “help yourself, don’t ask me.” It bears so abundantly that even though it is near to an elementary school, lol! we still get plenty.

    Like

  • Put a check on crop and livestock theft

    Wed, 04/07/2021 – 5:00am

    Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS), James Paul, is again raising concern about praedial larceny in this country, expressing the desire of the agricultural sector to see it brought under control sooner rather than later.

    Paul, contending that praedial larceny continues to cut into the profits of the farmers and is putting the sector in jeopardy, stated that if allowed to go on unabated, not only could it discourage those interested in getting into agricultural production from doing so, but it could very well put those already operating in the sector out of business. He spoke to this while pointing out to The Barbados Advocate, that even during the various periods of lockdown that had been introduced to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, crop and livestock thieves did not let up, and remained focused on profiting from someone else’s hard work.

    He is therefore of the strong belief that steps have to be taken to ensure that those who are selling various agricultural produce in this country are in possession of them by legal means. He made the point while noting that the vendors themselves may not have stolen the produce, but may have purchased it from someone who did and so, Paul is adamant that a paper trail is imperative in safeguarding the livelihoods of local farmers.

    “We need to put in place a stringent system where we monitor the persons who are selling in the farmers’ markets, wherever they are located, to try to get a better understanding as to how they are sourcing the produce and where they are sourcing the produce from. Certainly, this is not a system that calls for any rocket science. All it means is that we need to have people who are frequently going out there checking the persons who are selling produce in the various market areas, because we know that stolen produce can end up at these locations, and the public then unwittingly buys stolen produce,” he stated.

    In that vein, Paul is appealing to Barbadians not to buy stolen produce, by verifying from vendors where the produce has originated. The BAS’ CEO made the point while noting that the loss to farmers when produce is stolen runs into the thousands of dollars. He commended the Royal Barbados Police Force for the work they have been doing to bring the culprits to justice, but he frowned on the way that the court system continues to handle these matters, contending that a mere slap on the wrist for those caught red-handed, was a slap in the face for the farmers and their businesses.

    “When you take into consideration that sometimes you could lose a whole field of crops like cassava, let’s say that is 1,000 pounds, but it is usually more than that, with a market value of $2 a pound, that’s $2,000. If you take a crop like onions that could be $25,000 if they lose an acre and that’s just the value of the produce. Remember you also have to look at the preparation of the land – so it is not just the value of the crops, but the inputs, time and energy that went into growing those crops,” he stated.

    Paul maintained that greater willpower is needed to get a handle on praedial larceny in this country, contending that failure to do so could see a reduction in local agricultural production, which would no doubt have a direct negative impact on the country’s food import bill and put our efforts to achieve food security in jeopardy.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Hants,

    My grandmother had one growing next door years ago and it grew the biggest and sweetest cherries I ever had. It was irrigated by water from her shower drain pipes.

    Place is rented out now so I don’t know if it is still there. I must ask my brother.

    I had actually forgotten about cherries. I will surely plant one soon.

    Meanwhile…. I just saw a beautiful sunrise and I am off awatering.

    Planted some ginger, turmeric and yam yesterday.

    Feeling irie!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I went to the garden yesterday and checked my garlics. They are all up. I removed some of the mulch and left it betwwen the sprouts. Today I am going to fertilize them.

    Like

  • Planted beans on February 25th. Began harvesting on April 13.

    Like

  • Inspirational.

    Like

  • My asparagus has burst the surface. Cant wait to eat some.

    Like

  • Now more than ever, we need to know what is in our food, say youth

    Sun, 04/25/2021 – 5:15am

    THE Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) is calling for there to be clear and visible front-of-package warning labels on products, so individuals would be more aware of the nutritional content of the foods they are purchasing.

    To get this message across, the HCC’s youth arm, Healthy Caribbean Youth, yesterday staged a Call to Action in front of the Frank Walcott statue.

    Standing silently at the Culloden Road, St. Michael location, participants wore shirts and held signs which read, ‘High in Sodium’, ‘High in Sugar’, ‘High in Fat’ and ‘CARICOM Leaders We Need Warning Labels Now, Why? Now More Than Ever, We Need To Know What Is In Our Food.’

    Speaking to the press, Technical Advisor with HCC, Pierre Cooke, gave background about the activity.

    “The idea is for us to send a signal and show in a very visible way the need for front-of-package labelling. It is to create the healthy environment for children and just Barbadian people in general.”

    He added, “The idea of the front-of-package warning labels is that they help to signal to persons in the supermarket when they are buying stuff that this food product is high in sugar, high in fat, high in sodium and we have seen models of this that have worked in Peru and Chile. Just to signal to persons that they need to take better control of their health and we know that it is the duty of the Government to necessarily put systems in place and create that enabling environment in order to live healthier lives.”

    Meanwhile, HCC’s Project Assistant, Kerrie Barker, stated the location was selected because of the establishments in its vicinity, two of which are the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the National Insurance Department. She reminded that “NCDs have a significant burden on productivity and life in Barbados, which does affect our economy”.

    Beyond the day’s activity, the representatives of HCC will continue their lobbying. Cooke indicated they “have been having conversations and meetings not only in Barbados, but across CARICOM. So this type of action was not only done here. It was also done in Antigua and it is to signal not only in this country but across the region, there needs to be a change in consumer behaviour. The incidences in childhood obesity and diabetes are not only particular to Barbados, but we have one in three children being obese across the region and these need to be addressed”. (MG)

    Source: Barbados Advocate

    Like

  • Had some showers yesterday morning AFTER I had just watered. This time the dark clouds meant something. The forecast said there was only about a 3o % chance of rain.

    Dark clouds again today. This time the forcast is more promising. Almost certainly it will rain.

    Had some homegrown cabbage last week. Boiled with a tiny pinch of salt and eaten only with some homegrown carrots and I enjoyed it!

    Fresh is definitely best!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Planted my potatoes two days ago and we are supposed to get 20 mml of rain today. What a blessing.

    Like

  • Cuhdear Bajan

    Still harvesting beans. I am washing, drying, slicing and freezing the surplus. Beans freeze well.

    Started harvesting the plum tomatoes last week. They didn’t turn out as well as I expected, not as many and not as big. I must admit though that I neglected them a bit and discovered “blossom end rot” which my reading tells me is caused either by insufficient calcium in the soil or inconsistent watering or maybe by both. My watering was indeed inconsistent. Anyway most are good and even the ones with blossom end rot can be eaten once the browned part has been sliced off. I’d never seen blossom end rot on the common small tomatoes grown here. I’ve planted some of those as well. They are definitely more heat tolerant and have a deeper more tomatoey flavor than the imported plum tomatoes, so I think that I will stick with those.

    The cassava is thriving, in spite of dry periods and the volcanic dust, or maybe because of the dust there is plenty of new growth. I have about 125 plantings and hope to get about 10 pounds per planting. There is still some cassava flour and some frozen grated cassava left over from last year. So cassava is the easy go to crop in this climate.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Cuhdear bajan

    Cassava is high in starch, so eat it sparingly, because too much does a job on the pancreas, though we need the carbohydrates for our energy.

    Like

  • Oh dear! I have stumbled upon another lecture! Is there no safe space left on BU?????

    Out to the Garden of Peace! Leaving the phone behind.

    I bet the rain yesterday and the volcanic ash has greened the place overnight.

    Tuning out..

    Liked by 1 person

  • @cuhdear, @GP, @older guys

    Getting older is scaring the hell out of me.

    Aging cannot be a avoided, but for me it is like an arriving train sounding a warning whistle. Even though I have medical insurance, I have avoided doctors and even routine examinations.

    The past year, I have been running to two specialists, an urologist and an infectious disease specialist. Nothing nasty or caught from anyone, but for some reason I seem to be getting urinary tract infections. Each time, we think the problem solved and then it reappears.

    One bad outcome is my use of google for self-diagnosis. Scaring myself with thoughts of prostate cancer, bladder cancer or testicular cancer are often mentioned in results of my search.

    My BS (blood sugar) and BP are well controlled, but this reoccurrence of an infection has me apprehensive of the future. I am afraid of what is coming down the pipeline.

    Now where is GP when I would like to hear him.

    Like

  • Google is the doctor of last resort.
    I am now drinking cranberry juice and taking cranberry tablets. I have done the ginger, beets and garlic routine.
    My greatest fear is now that I cook up a poisonous stew without realizing it.

    (Just thought I would put aside being a joker for a few posts, but the clown is now on duty).

    Like

  • Theo:

    I am no doctor, and you need not take my advice, but you might want to try half a pint of water every half an hour for a few days. You will need to be near a bathroom at all times.

    Like

  • During waking hours. No need to torture yourself by setting a clock to alarm every half an hour during the night.

    Like

  • TheO,

    Worrying never helps.

    You will have the strength to deal with whatever it is. Your lovely wife will lend you some of hers.

    Like

  • New project to push small farmers
    By Sheria Brathwaite sheriabrathwaite@nationnews.com
    Barbadians interested in kitchen gardening or backyard farming stand to benefit from a new programme the Ministry of Agriculture plans to launch.
    The Project Care initiative is aimed at supplying them with the tools needed to get their planting projects off the ground during the current pandemic.
    In a recent interview, Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir told the Sunday Sun that the programme was developed to create a resurgence of community farming so people would grow more of what they eat.
    Weir said this would give parishioners access to healthier options, an opportunity to create a small business, and generate additional means of income.
    “Project Care is a carry-on from the care packages programme,” he said. “It is targeting kitchen gardeners and community farmers. People can grow their own food for their own consumption and to sell within their neighbourhoods.
    “We are doing this to provide an opportunity for people to make a living or generate additional income at the community level. We are also using it as an opportunity to deter people who may otherwise . . . get involved in praedial larceny.”
    Weir said the ministry would be providing tools, fertilisers and cultivation services. He added that extension officers would go around to each small farm to ensure the correct husbandry techniques were being applied and to provide technical assistance.
    One of the fruits Weir said he wanted people to start growing more widely was pineapple, which was mostly imported. He said the fruit could be grown here once the right growing medium was utilised.
    Following a visit to a pineapple farm in Orange Hill, St James, he said he wanted more Barbadians to replicate the technique small farmer Devon Slater was using to grow pineapples as it was an effective method.
    For the past six years, Slater has been growing pineapples in buckets and drums using a special soil mix from Portvale Sugar Factory.
    More than 300 plants
    To date, he has more than 300 plants in about four to seven varieties.
    Slater said Barbados did not have the correct soil type to grow the fruit and he had to find another medium to grow them. He added that the plant could take a year or more to produce but the soil mix from the factory could grow a plant that produces in less than 12 months.
    At first he grew the fruit for his household and to sell at the community level, but after being highlighted in the media last year, he said scores of people were visiting his farm to purchase the fruit and to seek knowledge so they could grow them as well.
    Slater explained that growing pineapples was easy and affordable. He said simply remove the fleshy part of the fruit from the crown, prune the leaves and place it in the soil mix.
    However, he said he could only guarantee success if the soil mix from the factory was used. He said that mix had the correct nutrients and was the best soil type for the fruit.
    Portvale factory manager Michael Armstrong said that more people were learning of the byproduct the factory produced. He said that since the demand for it had grown tremendously a decision was made to label and market it. In the near future, he said the product would be available in hardware stores and other distribution centres.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Got the land ploughed today.

    Moving forward…

    Like

  • @Theo

    The treatments will alleviate the symptoms. However, to get a cure, you need to lay off beer, barley, wheat, etc. and any product with those ingredients for a good month after all symptoms are gone and continue the cranberry fix for good measure. After all, Prince Phillip had battled those infections for years and I may be wrong but with the best treatment available he still kicked the bucket. Racist ole bastard.

    Like

  • @Cuhdear

    I am tilling my allotment on Saturday. $50 for the daily rental, so we will be doing mine and two friends. As soon as it is tilled I will be spreading the chicken shit and planting the brassicas. Got my broccoli plants today. After the periodontist tomorrow, I will plant my water cress. Finished pulling all my weeds yesterday.

    Like

  • Another woman to be admired.

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s