What’s been going on!
Back from Jamaica, alive and well. Sixteen days is a long time to be gone and Betsy and Jennie did a great job in keeping everything rolling and protecting all the crops from the unusually cold weather, 14 degrees two days ago, way too cold for this early in the season.
Jamaica was beautiful and interesting. Enlightening, uplifting and depressing all at the same time. It is certainly a place of deep contrasts between the touristy north shore and the poverty of the south shore, particularly the far eastern parish of St. Thomas where I was. A good place to be working with small farmers to help move them both towards organic farming practices but also direct marketing of their products so they can make the most income possible from their efforts and help reduce the amount of food imported into the country.
The farmers were friendly, open, eager, hardworking and looking for a break in what has been a long line of difficulties including hurricanes, drought, diseases and unscrupulous exporters. The Jamaica Sustainable Farm Enterprise project is a three and a half year effort that will bring in 70 volunteers with both farming and marketing expertise to work with 150 farmers from all across the island but particularly in the eastern end of the country. I just happened to be the first volunteer to work with the first ten farmers, their fledgling farmers’ market in Kingston and look at the whole project from a 30,000 foot level.
More stories later but more immediately we have this big food holiday coming up. Two markets in four days for you to get everything you need for the big meal. Of course tomorrow 9:00 to noon and then Tuesday afternoon, the special pre-Thanksgiving market 3:00-6:00. The weather looks perfect for both. If you want to have us save something special for you in advance, for either market, please let us know as early as possible so we can set it aside.
Picture of the Week
Showing farmers in the Plantain Garden River plains how to use a walk behind tractor
What’s going to be at the market?
Remember that Market starts at 9:00 tomorrow, don’t be too early!
Salad greens Red Leaf, Green Boston and Salad Mix lettuces. Sweet Spinach. Beautiful cooking greens with Collards, Escarole and Bok choi.
Roots, roots. Carolina Ruby Sweet Potatoes, sweet Watermelon and spicier Black Spanish radishes, orange and purple Carrots, tender and sweet Japanese Turnips. Baby Ginger to go with the sweet potatoes.
Leeks, green onions and Fennel. Baby Celery, perfect for seasoning, on Tuesday. Cilantro, Dill, Italian Parsley in herbs. Still Red and Green Bell Peppers.
Winter Squash with Spaghetti, Butternut and Acorn.
As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.
Hope to see you all at the market!
Alex, Betsy and Jennie
If you know folks who you think would be interested in news of the farm then please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to sign up at the website.
Hi, Alex and Betsy,
Will you please reserve a few bells (red) and some baby celery?
Dorrie & Archie
Good for you, Alex, volunteering down there in Jamaica, although not sure whether you are envied or admired when the temperatures here dropped into the teens!
How did you keep celery alive in 14 degree weather; harvest before the cold?
In the tunnel with row cover over it.