UNWEVSITY OF THE VIRGIN ISLAIDS
THE V. I. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
THE COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
AGRICULTURE EXPERIMENT STATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Message from the Honorable Juan Luis,
Governor of the Virgin Islands .............................................
Message from Commissioner Rudolph Shulterbrandt,
President of the Agriculture and Food Fair ...................................3
Message from Dr. Arthur A. Richards,
President, College of the Virgin Islands ................. .....................5
Agriculture and Food Fair Administrative Staff .................................. 7
Two Agencies Working Together For Islanders .................................. 8-9
Milk A Bargain at Any Price ...............................................11
Agricultural Production on the Last Few Acres..................................15
Wanted: Aquaculturists! ......................
Forestry Today in the Virgin Islands ..............................
Some Interesting Tropical Vegetables.............................
Saving Energy in Agriculture ...................................
The Use of Tropical Fruit Trees in the Home Landscape .............
Chemical Fertilizers are Expensive Use Them Efficiently............
The Frangipani Worm Take It or Leave It? .....................
Role of the Compost Pile in Intensive Gardening ...................
From Our Photo Album ............ ........... .......... ....
Diseases of Dogs and Cats in the United States Virgin Islands........
Diagnosing Your Soil Problems ....................... ........
Agricultural Systems of the Aborigines of the West Indies ...........
Prize-Winning Food Fair Cooks ..................... ...........
Island Hopping with 4-H Do Rabbits Have a Future
in the Virgin Islands? ........... ...... ...... ..............
W hy Agricultural Quarantine .................................
. ...... 35
..... .. 49
.. .... 67
......... ..... 83
All photos by Liz Wilson, unless otherwise noted.
Pages 1, 3, 5, 15, 16, bottom 53-V.l. Gov't; pages 23, 24, 25-U.S. Forest Service; pages 35, 36, 37-
Clinton George; pages 45, 46-Walter Knausenberger; page 63-John Matuszak; pages 67, 68, 69-
Smithsonian Institution; page 79-Investigator's Book of Smaller Livestock, F.S. Bolger.
Mention of product names in this book in no way implies endorsement
by the authors or by the Agriculture and Food Fair Administrative staff.
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Message from Honorable Juan Luis
Governor of the Virgin Islands
Once again it is a special pleasure to welcome the
annual Agriculture and Food Fair here in St. Croix --
the twelfth year that this event has been held. My
heartiest congratulations to everyone whose dedication
has contributed to this entertaining and educational
fair, especially the hard-working farmers and the
board and committee representing the two sponsors,
the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture and the
College of the Virgin Islands Extension Service.
The theme this year is apt: Grow More Food in '82'
-- Eat Well and Preserve Some Too. I't is heartening
to note the increase each year in the number of people
who participate in growing some food, as a means of
saving and especially of eating a more healthful and
flavorful diet. Most of these growers have enough
bounty to put some aside for the future in the form of
our especially flavorful Virgin Islands preserves, pic-
kles and other good recipes that are being shared with
everyone at the fair this year.
Agriculture continues to be a high priority in my
administrationn and I am'pleased that the higher bud-
gets for which I have fought are paying off in the ar-
rival of new equipment for all three islands with which
the Department of Agriculture can assist farmers and
home gardeners and in the development of more land
for agriculture .purposes. Cooperation among govern-
ment departments has led to, among other things, the
initiation of energy-saving projects for agriculture such
as the use of energy from our abundant trade winds
through windmills. These and other projects'will con-
tinue to receive heavy support and subsidy from my
A legislative goal high on the list for this year is the
development of marketing potential.and a viable mar-
keting strategy for agriculture in the Virgin Islands.
This will greatly assist in the overall economy, which
must be more diversified during these times of world-
On behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands, I
commend all the participants and organizers of the
Twelfth Agriculture and Food Fair and wish you con-
tinued success as you strive for a viable agricultural
program for the Virgin Islands.
ST. CROIX, U.S.V.I.
your way ....
Message from Commissioner Rudolph Shulterbrandt
President of the Agriculture and Food Fair
Once again I have the pleasure of welcoming you to our
12th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair. Our motto "Grow
More Food in '82, Eat Well and Preserve Some Too" should
serve as an appropriate stimulus for addressing a most im-
portant need of our islands. The problems of adequate food
are world-wide and a major concern of almost all mature
persons wherever they may live.
There are some who daily wish that they did not have to
eat or could just forget food and get by without eating. This
may be so because of dietary restrictions or limitations, the
high cost of food, or the desire to lose weight. Fasting or
hunger strikes have personal justification or application, but
to the great majority of us, after five or six hours of fasting
the pangs of hunger soon remind us that food is a required
It is projected that by the year 2000 the population of the
world will double, but the land for agriculture will not in-
crease to meet the needs of an increasing population. Food
shortages and starvation are now being experienced and mil-
lions are starving and even dying in certain parts of the
It is rather unfortunate that the world power nations who
are spending billions of dollars for weapons of destruction
or so-called defense, could not be channeling this money to
food production systems or for other life prolonging needs
which will lead to increased health and happiness. It is also
unfortunate that here in the Virgin Islands, agriculture has
such a low priority that we have not been able to purchase
some of the idle acres of land for food production, but we
are able to find the money to meet crises as they occur in
It should not be too difficult to perceive the phenomenon
of the rapidly increasing population versus the decreasing
land areas for food production. We should not allow this to
happen here. We must increase our acreage of farming in
the Virgin Islands. In this regard, I am urging you to follow
the motto of this fair: "Grow More Food in '82, Eat Well
and Preserve Some Too."
As you observe'the activities of the fair this year, be sure
to pay special attention to the demonstrations on canning,
freezing, and drying. You may find one of these methods of
food preservation handy in the near future.
Enjoy our 1982 Agriculture and Food Fair!
Very best wishes from
VIRGIN ISLANDS TELEPHONE CORP.
I I '
e... OMessage From Dr. Arthur A. Richards
President, College of the Virgin Islands
The 1982 Agriculture and Food Fair theme, "Grow More
Food in '82--Eat Well and Preserve Some Too" is particu-
: larly appropriate as an expression of an important priority
direction for all island residents. With new energy crises
looming on the horizon which threaten the tenuous lifeline
of food importation by ocean transport and air cargo lines,
and with the cost of food rising daily, we in the Virgin Is-
lands must address ourselves to the imperative for increased
food production at home.
This year's Fair theme is closely allied with the continuing
goals of the College of the Virgin Islands which are to pro-
vide our community with the best in academic instruction,
research and public service. Continual emphasis is being
'k- placed on strengthening our teaching program in agriculture
as an important aspect of our goal commitments. Our re-
search programs have already reached a stage of reliable cre-
dibility in the community and the main thrust of the Col-
lege's extension service activities are well known.
Presently the research being conducted by our Agricul-
tural Experiment Station in horticulture,, agronomy, pest
management, animal science and aquaculture are directed
chiefly toward providing information to our residents about
the best food crops to cultivate for their tables and the best
feed crops to grow for livestock. Assistance to local dairy-
men and livestock producers is aimed at increasing produc-
tion efficiency. Our work in aquaculture is aimed at encour-
aging the potential of augmenting our table protein with
homegrown freshwater fish.
Bringing this information to the people in a practical and
jiE vi easily applicable way is the task of our Coopertive Exten-
sion Service which goes out to the community to demon-
strate the results of our research to farmers, gardeners,
homeowners, housewives, and island young people. Whether
it be problems with insects on crops, learning how to propa-
gate fruit trees or how to start a garden, or learning about
L;a the best methods to preserve your produce, the extension
1962 .staff is there to offer assistance and demonstrate the best
techniques to achieve increased self-sufficiency.
The College of the Virgin Islands is dedicated not only to
provide service to our community here at home, but to the
Caribbean at large. As president of the College, I have com-
mitted myself to develop CVI as a center for educational,
COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS technical, and cultural interchange with the eastern Carib-
bean. Our land-grant programs will play a very important
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT role in this new outreach effort.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
I would like to commend the board of directors of this
year's Fair as well as others who contributed so much time
and effort toward making this Fair the success that it al-
ways is. The Fair has become an important tradition in our
island community and I urge Virgin Islanders to visit all of
the exhibits, but in particular, our CVI booths which de-
monstrate our goals and efforts.
A GRAND UNION
The iOIAL Supermarkets in
the Virgin Islands
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF 1982
Commissioner Rudolph Shulterbrandt
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
Eric L. Bough
Director St. Thomas/St. John Activities
John A. Bernier. Jr.
Director of Food Exhibits
Director of Farm Exhibits
Director of Caribbean Participation
Director of Facilities
Director of Special Activities
Director of Schools and Youth
V.I. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
By Commissioner Rudolph Shulterbrandt
A The Virgin Islands De-
partment of Agriculture
and the Cooperative Ex-
tension Service of the
College of the Virgin Islands have branches on the three
Virgin Islands St. Croix. St. Thomas and St. John. On
St. Croix, the major agricultural island, these two
agricultural agencies are less than one-half mile apart on
the centerline road, approximately in the center of the
Though these agricultural agencies serve agriculture in
different ways, their goals are the same. That is, to serve
the agricultural interest of the islands to assure that the
maximum potential of agriculture will be attained. It
does not matter if it is a new farmer or an old established
farmer, he will still need the service of these two agencies
in some way.
The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture has
developed its organization biased on areas of necessary
agricultural service or basics. Our organization is not
geared to produce food for self-sufficiency of the islands.
That is not the policy of our government. Rather, we exist
to help others produce food by serving most of the island
farmers who utilize our services in many ways.
If a farmer wants to know what variety of tomato or
melon to plant, or what varieties will perform best on the
islands, he should call on the Cooperative Extension
Service for this assistance. They have already conducted
the scientific research to develop this type of information.
However, suppose after receiving the desired information
the farmer needs to have his land prepared to enable
production of the crop, and he does not own the
necessary equipment to prepare his own land: he will
have to turn to the Virgin Islands Department of
Agriculture to fulfill this need. After the land has been
prepared for planting, the farmer will again come to the
Department of Agriculture for the necessary slips, seeds,
or seedlings. Since it is almost impossible to produce
certain vegetable crops without some application of an
insecticide, the farmer must again turn to the
Cooperative Extension Service for the proper
identification of the pest, and the most effective control.
The foregoing is the basic relation between the Virgin
Islands Department of Agriculture and the Cooperative
Extension Service of the College of the Virgin Islands.
Both organizations work together to provide the effective
technology and service to the Virgin Island farmer.
The following are the services offered and rendered by
the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture:
1. LAND PREPARATION
a. Land Clearing
c. Harrowing (Refinement)
2. SOURCE OF SEEDS, SEEDLINGS, AND
a. Horticultural Spraying
b. Livestock Spraying or Dipping
4. VETERINARY SERVICE
b. Regulatory Inspection and Surveillance
a. Slaughtering and Wholesome Meats
b. Egg Inspection Service
a. Reforestration Program
b. Tree Trimming
c. Nursery Administration
7. POULTRY AND SWINE SUPPLYING
8. LIVESTOCK ROUGHAGE PROGRAM
a. Hay Making
b. Green Chop Feed
9. SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION
a. Farm Pond Drainage
b. Drainage Ditches
c. Terrace Construction
10. MARKETING ASSISTANCE
11. ASSISTANCE WITH TAXES AND
OTHER INCENTIVE PROGRAMS
12. COMMUNITY GARDEN
If you are a farmer in need of assistance in any of the
above needs, the Virgin Islands Department of
Agriculture will use its available resources to assist you.
C.V.I. LAND GRANT PROGI
By Director Darshan S. Pad
The Annual Agriculture and Food Fair stands as a
concrete example of what can be achieved by the efforts
of various public agencies working together for the
benefit of the people of the Virgin Islands. Under a
limited resource situation such as ours, multiplication of
expertise through joint projects is absolutely essential.
Neither the V.I. Department of Agriculture nor the
Cooperative Extension Service has the capability of
organizing and managing such a high quality event alone.
But working jointly we have not only succeeded in
providing educational exhibits to our farmers and
homemakers but have offered the general public a three-
day sociocultural function. We hope this years' fair will
receive the same acceptance from our people as has been
in previous years.
We, at the College of the Virgin Islands under the
leadership of President Richards feel committed to work
with other public agencies and particularly with the V.1.
Department of Agriculture since mutual endeavors, if
pursued vigorously and sincerely, can greatly enhance
our quest for increased food production in the islands
and the ultimate realization of our hopes for self-
sufficiency in food production. The technology
developed by the CVI land grant staff is made available to
the agriculture department in many areas including
information on recommended varieties and cultural
practices of crops suitable for the Virgin Islands climate
and soil conditions; proper pesticides for use on crops
and livestock; and assistance with beef and dairy cattle
and smaller livestock.
The fair is only one of various methods that the
extension service at CVI uses to reach our diversified
clientele with educational information on farming, home
gardening, home economics, 4-H and youth, and
community and rural development.
The Cooperative Extension Service is a part of the
land-grant system at the College of the Virgin Islands.
The other two parts of the system are (I) the agriculture
teaching program that offers curriculum leading to an
Associate in Arts degree in Agriculture, and (2) the
Agricultural Experiment Station which serves as a local
research base to provide extension with the latest
technologies to be transferred to the public. The
Cooperative Extension Service, therefore, is a
technology transfer agency. It is organized with four
main programs and the technical services they offer are as
1. Agriculture and natural resources offers assistance
in the areas of kitchen gardening, vegetable production,
pest control, pesticide use
2. Home economics programs offer assistance in
food preparation, nutrition and health, clothing
construction and crafts, consumer education, family
development and personal growth, and housing and
3. 4-H youth programs offer services it the areas of
leadership development, practical skills for self reliance
and production, ecology, interpersonal skills, cultural
identity, and organization development and
4. Community and rural development programs
offer assistance in business management and economics;
government operation and finance, rural development,
agricultural energy, and cooperatives.
These services are provided through individual
contacts, field visits, seminars and workshops, teen-age
classes, 4-H clubs and annual 4-H summer camp. The
Cooperative Extension Service reaches approximately
50,000 people every year.
The Agricultural Experiment Station conducts basic
and applied research to support these educational
services through the following projects:
1. Improvement of vegetable production in the Virgin
2. Improvement of fruit production in the Virgin Islands.
3. Irrigation research on minimum water requirements for
important tropical crops.
4. Development of papaya resistance to diseases.
5. Sorghum production for grain, silage and forage in the
6. Selection of superior forage grasses and management
practices for the Virgin Islands.
7. Breeding methods for beef cattle-Senepol development.
8. Development of culture techniques for freshwater fish.
9. Studies and research on ciguatera fish poisoning in the
10. Pesticide impact assessment.
For additional information please call the following
numbers: St. Croix Extension Service 778-0246; St.
Thomas Extension Service 774-0210; St. John Extension
Service 776-6492; Plant Science Research 778-1043;
Animal Science Research 778-0050.
CASTLE NUGENT FARMS .... MARIO GASPERI
CORN HILL FARM
MON BIJOU FARM
........ HENRY NELTHROPP
.......... ST. CROIX DAIRY
............. OLIVER SKOV
....... CHARLES SCHUSTER
VIRGIN ISLANDS DAIRYMEN'S ASSOC.
Fresh Grade "A"
For Your Table
Milk A Bargain at Any Price
By Harold Hupp
C.V.I. Cooperative Extension Service
Milk is a nearly perfect food that all female mammals
feed their newborn young until the young are able to eat
solid foods. Man has learned to "harvest" milk from
many different mammals for his consumption. The dairy
cow is a very efficient "milk factory" that converts forage
and grain into a nutritionally balanced food.
Throughout the world man gets milk from other sources
such as goats, sheep, reindeer, llama, yak, camels and
water buffalo, According to the definition of milk used by
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, 1978)"milk is
the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum (first
milk) obtained by the complete milking of one or more
healthy cows." This article is meant to inform the reader
about the nutrient value of milk and dairy products. The
article will also familiarize the reader with the various
dairy product terminology.
Nutritional Value of Milk
Milk is considered one of nature's nearly perfect foods
because it has the majority of substances essential for
human nutrition. Milk not only nourishes the young but
it also can be used to balance diets for humans of all ages.
The body requires water, carbohydrates, fats, minerals,
proteins and vitamins for proper growth and
development and milk has all of these components.
Milk is about 87% water. The water carries all of the
other major components of milk, though liquid milk has
a very high concentration of food solids compared to
other food stuffs. Carbohydrates (4.9% of milk) are the
major source of energy and also help in the body
adsorption of calcium and phosphorous. The major
source of carbohydrates in milk is lactose or milk sugar.
Fats comprise about 3.5% of milk and provide energy
and the rich milk taste. Milk fat also provides certain
essential fatty acids the body needs to generate body
tissue. Milk fat contains fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K.
Minerals (0.7% of milk) help the body grow and keep
healthy. As the primary source of calcium and
phosphorous for bone development, milk includes
smaller quantities of potassium, sodium, sulfur,
aluminum, copper, iodine, iron, manganese and zinc.
Three and a half percent of milk is protein which is
essential for proper growth and tissue maintenance and
can also be used for energy if necessary. Proteins are
'made of amino acids which are the building blocks for
blood and tissue.
Vitamins, as we know, are essential for proper growth,
body health and the prevention of certain diseases (i.e.
beriberi and rickets). Milk has adequate supplies of more
vitamins(A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, K and niacin) than in
most other single natural foods. Since milk contains low
levels of Vitamin D, most processing plants add vitamin
D to the milk to bring it up to adequate levels. Additional
components of milk include at least 20 enzymes that have
been isolated from milk and the activities of an additional
15 enzymes have been reported. These enzymes are not of
nutritional importance. However, they are important
because some pose problems during the production,
storage and processing of the milk.
Although some foods have more individual nutrients
than milk, very few can compare as a source of as many
nutrients of milk. According to the FDA guidelines one
serving (240ml) wil have 10 or more of the U.S.
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein,
riboflavin, niacin, calcium, vitamin D and B12,
phosphorous and iodine.
From the Farm to the Table
The raw milk produced by the cow is a highly
perishable product because harmful bacteria grow
rapidly and some enzymes start to decompose the milk
unless the milk is kept cool and clean. Methods have been
developed to extend the useful shelf life of the whole milk.
Virgin Islands and U.S. departments of agriculture have
We are proud to be a part of the 12th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair
THE ONLY LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER SERVING THE VIRGIN ISLANDS SINCE 1844
.. and we are proud of our 137 years of service to St. Croix
LOOK FOR US AT OUR NEW LOCATION # 1A LA GRANDE PRINCESS (Near Wadsworth)
hAon gat fitk-
946 LITER (1 QT.)
MANY THANKS TO
Produced Daily On St. Croix
From Five Purebred Dairy Herds
ISLAND DAIRIES' FRESH DAIRY PRODUCTS
Non Fat Skim Milk
Fresh Whipping Cream
24 Ice Cream Flavors
Fruit Punch Drink
Ask for Island Dairies Products at your local grocery store
or stop at THE GOLDEN COW in Christiansted.
ST. CROIX DAIRY
#19 Richmond, Christiansted
ST. CROIX DAIRY
set health and cleanliness standards for the V.I. dair,
farms and the milk processing plant. The dair\ farms and
milk plant are monitored by the V.I. Department of
Health to make sure minimum health standards are
maintained for all Virgin Islanders.
Milk for human consumption is classified according to
the sanitary quality as either Grade A (fluid or market
milk) or Grade B (manufactured milk). The Grade \
Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (I'.S. Public Health Sert ice.
1965) sets guidelines for the dair% industry in the \ irgin
Islands to follow with reference to milk and its products.
The USDA requirements for manufacturing milk (i.e.
reconstituted milk) are generally less strict than for Grade
The dairy industry on St. Croix according to the last
census, is generating nearly 65' of all gross agricultural
receipts in the Virgin Islands. This induLstr is providing
the Virgin Islands with a fresh wholesome product. The
fresh milk produced bh these dairies is onl\ meeting
about 85'' of total consumption for St. Croix St.
Thomas is almost exclusiselv using reconstituted milk.
At the dairy farm, the milk is stored in a bulk tank at
about 40F. A tanker truck takes the milk to the
processing plant where a sample is taken and sent to the
plant laboratory for fat and bacteria tests. The milk is
held in a storage tank until it can be clarified. pasteuriIed.
homogenized and bottled. The bottles or cartons of milk
are kept in a cold storage room until transported to the
retail outlets for sale.
Milk is passed through the abo\e processes to assure a
quality product reaches the consumer. Clarification uses
centrifugal force to remove all of the hea\y particles from
the unprocessed milk. Pasteurization is a process heree
the milk is heated to a specified temperature for a
specified time then cooled for storage and processing
This process kills all the microorganisms and en/\mes
that cause spoilage and disease. Homogenization is a
process where the fat particles are broken into smaller
particles so they will recombine later to float on the milk.
Dairy Products and Terms
There are a number of dair\ products that are made
from various components of milk. The\ are surmmari/ed
in the following table. Dair\ products can also be
classified by the \way the% are processed. These cla-ses
are: Fluid milk products. cultured products. tro/en
desserts, and manufactured dair\ products.
Fluid milk products include homogenzied milk. skim
milk, creams, and chocolate drinks. Pasteurized.
homogenized milk has already been discussed. Hall and
Half is at least 10.5(; fat. Creams \ar\ in fat content from
16-40.: fat. Chocolate drinks are a combination of lo
fat milk, cocoa, sugar, stabilizers and possible other
Non Fat Milk
Cultured products include such items as cultured
buttermilk, sour cream, sour half and half, yogurt and a
few other products. This requires the fermenting of
certain milk products with bacteria. This is not done to
any large commercial degree in the Virgin Islands,
therefore most of these products are imported because we
are not meeting the total fluid milk requirements in the
Frozen desserts produced in large quantities are ice
cream, ice milk, soft serve products, sherbets and other
novelty items. These products can be made from whole
fluid milk or from dried milk products. The frozen
dessert products are both imported and made locally.
Manufactured dairy products include cheese, butter,
nonfat dry milk and dried whole milk. Other products in
this class are evaporated milk, condensed milk, casein
and a variety of modified products and blends. The
difference between condensed and evaporated milk is
that both products have less moisture than whole milk
but condensed milk has an average of 44% sugar added
for sweetness. The Virgin Islands produces almost no
manufactured dairy products. However, we use dried
whole milk and rehydrate it to make fluid milk for
consumption to supplement our fresh milk supply.
Typical Composition percentages of selected dairy products (Adapted
from Hugunin, A.G. & N.L. Ewing, 1977 Dairy-based ingredients for food
products. Rosemont, IL. Dairy Research, Inc.
Ingredients Moisture Protein Fat
Fluid whole milk 87.4 3.5 3.5
Fluid skim milk 90.5 3.6 0.1
Condensed milka 27.1 8.1 8.1
Condensed skim milkb 28.4 10.0 0.3
Dried whole milk 2.0 26.4 27.5
Dried buttermilk 2.8 34.3 5.3
Light cream 73.0 2.9 19.3
Light whipping cream 62.9 2.5 30.5
Heavy whipping cream 57.3 2.2 36.8
Butter 16.5 0.6 80.5
Cheddar cheese 37.0 22.0 32.0
Cottage cheese curd 79.0 16.9 0.4
Plus 44.3% added sugar for sweetness
Plus 42.0% added sugar for sweetness
ST. PETER'S MINI MART
5 ESTATE PETER
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
OPEN TO SERVE YOU
7 DAYS A WEEK
TELEPHONE 773 3785
PLOT 82 -C 772 -0556
ESTATE WHIM, F'STED., ST.CROIX
WILL CATER FOR GROUPS
RESTAURANT & GUEST HOUSE
MAIN DISHES: STEAM SNAPPER,
PAELLA, TURTLE STEAK
OPEN 10:00 A.M. TILL..........CLOSED SUNDAYS
CENTRALLY LOCATED ON NORTH ROAD WEST OF CHRISTIANSTED AT LA GRANDE PRINCESS 773-0787
THE 1982 AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
AWN & GARDE
Merwin True Value Center
and Ortho invites you to visit
the Lawn & Garden display
in our True Value booth.
Merwin True Value has a complete
line of Lawn Chief mowers for any
Agricultural Production on the
Last Few Acres
By John A. Bernier, Jr.
Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture
St. Thomas/St. John
"And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could
make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to
grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew
before, would deserve better of mankind, and do
more essential service to his country, than the
whole race of politicians put together."
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
By substituting improved techniques of production for
outmoded traditional methods, and with some shift in
land use, the U.S. Virgin Islands, particularly St.
Thomas and St. John, could have a well-deversified and
highly productive agricultural industry. The resulting
increases in production would enable the islands to
become much less dependent on imported food. Since
only a relatively small area is available for farming
purposes, the main hope for raising the level of
agricultural output lies in obtaining higher yields from
each acre. This requires widespread utilization of good
management practices and a breaking away from some
traditions which are non-productive and outmoded. It
means the general use of improved varieties, greater and
more effective use of fertilizers, application of sprays and
dusts to control insects and diseases, and use of various
other measures that effectively contribute to high level
Only a few farmers in the Virgin Islands now follow
many of the production practices necessary for high
yields that are recommended by the C.V.I. Cooperative
Extension Service, which is a cooperating agency with
the V.1. Department of Agriculture. The farmers who
plant a crop but do little in addition to make it grow are in
the majority. These farmers are planters, not growers.
About all they do is put the seeds in the ground and leave
the rest to the whims of Mother Nature.
They use little or no fertilizer, and rarely protect the
growing plants from insect damage or diseases by
spraying and dusting. When the harvest is ready, these
farmers must accept whatever yield there is. Small, at
best, is the reward of being a planter and not a grower.
Presently at the Dorothea Station in St. Thomas,
plantings of pineapple and plantain in our seed
multiplication program are extremely prolific due to
proper maintenance and the controlled use of pesticides
What the U.S. Virgin Islands needs is for more of its
farmers to be growers, good growers who will employ the
improved methods and practices of crop production
recommended by the extension service. Their offices on
St. Croix and St. Thomas provide a vast amount of
information on agricultural production, techniques
developed through many years of experimentation and
research. With all of this readily available to farmers, we
still find that most of them continue to follow their own
traditional and outmoded production methods. Thus, if
production from the limited amount of land or, as I
prefer to say, the last few acres in the U.S. Virgin Islands,
is to be increased, the wide gap that now exists between
modern techniques and outmoded traditional practices
will have to be bridged.
Extremely steep terrain on St. Thomas is now dotted
with home sites.
More positive efforts on the part of the Department of
Agriculture will have to be made to encourage farmers to
adopt improved production methods and utilize
improved varieties which result in higher and more
profitable yields on our limited acreage. For the most
part, the farmers who produce beef cattle, which is by far
the major area of agricultural production in the Virgin
Islands today, stand head and shoulders above all the
other farmers in their use of advanced production
With greater yields per acre, less land would be
required for producing the vegetables and fruits that the
farmer would be able to market. Large numbers of
farmers could double or even triple their present yields
and returns by employing the right combination of
growing practices, which would include proper land
preparation, use of improved varieties, use of adequate
amounts of fertilizers, control of damage from insects
and diseases, and proper soil management to control
moisture retention and keep down weeds.
Energy efficient motor design reduces
kilo-watt hour consumption for lower
operating costs now and continued
savings in the future.
Peter's Rest, St. Croix
Terracing system has been used extensively by St.
Thomas farmers for decades.
Finally, there is a big need for more and better home
gardens, and yet much of the land available to
householders is not used for food production. Much of
this land is in small plots, but no matter how little the
patch may be, it still can be mae to produce some food.
The Virgin Island Dept. of Agriculture encourages this
use of the last few acres to the maximum.
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Working To Be The Best ... Not The Biggest
By James Rakocy
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station
Aquaculture, the art of culturing aquatic organisms for
food, began thousands of years ago in China. Today the
art of aquaculture is becoming a science as aquaculturists
from around the world look for efficient-ways of growing
aquatic animals and plants to help'meet the increasing
demand for food by the world's burgeoning population.
The culture of aquatic food, primarily fish, is an
important supplement to the supply that comes from wild
stocks. Global fishing statistics reveal that annual
catches, which increased by about 7 percent per year from
1945 to 1970, have levelled off suddenly during the 1970s
at about 70 million tons. One reason for this is that wild
stocks have been poorly managed and several species are
being depleted. In contrast, aquaculture production,
which stood at 6 million tons in 1975, has expanded
rapidly during the 1970s and experts estimate that annual
production may reach 50 million tons by the year 2000.
There are shortages of fish in much of the world that
could be alleviated through aquaculture. The United
States and the Virgin Islands are good examples of areas
that do not posess sufficient stocks of wild fish to meet
local demand. The U.S. annually imports about 60% of
its total consumption of fish and fish products. In 1977,
these imports accounted for a $2 billion trade deficit,
which was 28 percent of the total non-petroleum related
trade deficit. The situation is similar in the Virgin Islands.
In 1979, fish imports to the Virgin Islands amounted to
5.7 million pounds worth $6 million compared to local
catches of about 1.3 million pounds. There is little hope
of increasing local catches because this fishery is close to
its maximum sustainable yield. The potential for
reducing these deficits is in aquaculture. In some
countries over 40% of the total fish supply is grown by
An alternative supply of fish is needed because
nutrition-conscious Americans are eating more fish. In
1978, Americans consumed 13.4 pounds of fish per
person, up from 12.8 pounds the year before and 11
pounds in 1964. Further increases in demand are
projected because the superior nutritional qualities of
fish are being recognized by more people. Fish is an all-
purpose protein food. The flesh contains the 22 amino-
acids commonly found in animal protein and an excellent
balance of the eight essential to human health. The fat
content of fish muscle averages less than 5%, a value that
is lower than almost all other meats. Fish muscle contains
little connective tissue, making it easy to digest, and has
high levels of the essential minerals and water soluble
Aquaculture may help increase the demand for fresh
fish in the Virgin Islands, which has been hindered to an
extent by the problem of ciguatera, a naturally occurring
toxin in marine fish. The toxin becomes concentrated as
it passes through the food chain of salt water fish and
reaches harmful levels in a very small percentage of
predatory fish from certain areas. .Research is being
conducted by the Biology Department of the College of
the Virgin Islands to characterize the ciguatera toxin and
devise a simple test to find out if a fish has the toxin
before it is eaten. Being stricken by ciguatera is a serious
matter and generally requires a trip to the doctor and
several weeks of recuperation. There is no reliable way of
determining whether a fish has the toxin at present
and people are cautious about eating locally-caught fish.
Many people have eliminated fresh fish from their diet
altogether. Fish produced through aquaculture are being
raised in freshwater and are free of any toxir. Knowledge
that these fish are completely safe would certainly
stimulate demand for fresh fish in the Virgin Islands.
Caged tilapia are fed fish pellets every day to insure a
well-balanced nutritious diet which will lead to proper
Other benefits to be derived from aquaculture would
be an increase in employment opportunities and a greater
degree of self-sufficiency in food production, which is
particularly important in the Virgin Islands. During this.
period of economic recession, federal spending cutbacks
and the ever-present threat of disruption of our oil
supplies, high priority must be given to the
encouragement of local food production.
The United States Senate and House of
Representatives have recognized the -importance of
aquaculture development and have responded by the
passage of the National Aquaculture Act, which was
signed into law by President Carter on September 26,
1980. As national policy for aquaculture, the Act calls for
the establishment of a National Aquaculture
Development Plan by April of 1982. The plan will
identify aquatic species that have significant potential for
culture on a commercial basis and recommend actions
that are necessary to achieve increased yields. Programs
for research and development, technical assistance,
demonstration, extension education and training will be
included. Aquaculture, as defined by this plan, is not
restricted to food production but includes the production
of industrail materials, pharmaceuticals and energy as
well as the use of aquatic resource management as a
means of control and abatement of water pollution. The
National Aquaculture Act should encourage extensive
aquaculture development, greater domestic production
of aquatic food, decreased reliance on foreign imports,
creation of new industries and job opportunities and
other national benefits. Locally, a bill to explore the
potential of aquaculture in the Virgin Islands is currently
being considered by the V.I. Senate.
There are a number of programs already in effect that
could be utilized to aid aquaculture development in the
Virgin Islands. One of these is an aquaculture
loan program sponsored by the Farmers Home
Administration (FmHA) of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. FmHA has several types of loans available
to prospective aquaculturists, but the two most
important ones are farm ownership loans and operating
loans. Farm ownership loans are made to eligible
applicants to become the owners and operators of family
farms. Ownership loans are used for the purchase of land.
including water resources, for the development of a
successful aquaculture operation. Operating loans are
made to enable applicants to become operators of family
farms. This loan is available to finance equipment, brood
stock, fingerlings, feed, family living and farm operating
expenses and minor land and water improvements.
Operator loans are designed to improve the farmer's
standard of living and help him establish a sound
aquaculture' system. Additional information about
aquaculture loans can be obtained from FmH A offices in
the Virgin Islands.
To obtain technical assistance for an aquaculture
venture, a farm owner can call upon the Soil
Conservation Service (SCS), an agency\ o't the L.S.
Department of Agriculture. SCS personnel I ill isit the
farm, and inspect construction as it proceeds. Moreover.
the SCS in the Virgin Islands has access to an aquaculture
specialist with the Puerto Rico Department of Natural
Resources, who will travel to the Virgin Islands and offer
technical assistance to would-be-aquaculturists based on
experience gained with aquaculture in Puerto Rico. The
proposed National Aquacultural Plan calls for the
establishment of an aquaculture training program for
SCS field technicians and the readjustment of workload.
to increase aquaculture technical assistance.
The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture aids
aquaculture development through its freshwater pond
program, which has been in operation for man\ \ears. A
1975 inventory lists 225 ponds that were constructed or
renovated on St. Croix since 1920. The purpose of this
program has been to provide water storage for livestock
and wildlife, irrigation, ground water recharge. flood
prevention and fire protection, but man\ of these ponds
could be used for fish culture. There is no charge for this
service. In addition, the Department of Agriculture
instituted a cost sharing program in 1981 to encourage
freshwater fish farming and other types of agricultural
production. A farmer who marketed more than S1.000
annually was eligibleto receive 20 cents for each pound of
fish he marketed. The continuation of this program in
GAS FOR COMMERCIAL,
AND DOMESTIC USE
1982 is dependent on the availability of funds.
Aquaculture program utilizes one of many St. Croix
ponds. Suspended fish culture cages are seen in
background; a new self-feeding device has been installed
on cage in foreground.
Aquaculture is a diverse field consisting of hundreds of
cultivated species and systems of cultivation. Before a
viable aquaculture industry can be established in a new
area, feasibility studies should be conducted for the
species and systems showing the greatest potential for
that area. Moreover, culture technology that has proved
successful for a species elsewhere will have to be modified
to fit a new environment and basic information and
training will have to made available to farmers who do
not have experience in aquaculture techniques. This
work is being carried out by the Agricultural Experiment
Station of the College of the Virgin Islands.
From the beginning of the aquaculture research
program at the Experiment Station, tilapia was selected
as the fish showing the greatest potential for culture in the
Virgin Islands. The culture systems with the most
promise were cage culture in freshwater ponds and
5 COMPANY ST.
ST. CROIX 00820
The store that's a 25 year tradition.
THE COMPASS ROSE
intensive culture in tanks with adjoining filtration
systems. Experiment Station aquaculturists have written
a number of articles in previous Agriculture and Food
Fair Bulletins providing general information about
tilapia and these culture systems (Freshwater
Aquaculture a Possibility for the Virgin Islands, 1978; A
Prospectus for Cage Culture of Freshwater Fish in the
U.S. Virgin Islands, 1979; Marketing Tilapia in the
Virgin Islands, 1980; A New Approach to Backyard Fish
and Tomato Production, 1980; Fish Culture and
Hydroponics in the Virgin Islands, 1981.) Recently, the
aquaculture research installation was expanded by the
addition of 30 new cages, 34 pools, 6 recirculating
systems and a field laboratory. The new facilities will
greatly increase aquaculture research capabilities.
Information generated through experiments will be used
to develop detailed procedures for tilapia culture that are
efficient, practical and profitable. Results of this research
will be made available to the public through articles, fact
sheets, bulletins, demonstrations, seminars and
As the world's annual catch of wild fish reaches its
limit, aquaculture offers to increase this vital source of
nutrition for many years to come. National and local
governments stand ready to give an unprecedented level
of support for aquaculture development. The challenge
now rests with individuals who want the fulfilling,
profitable and important career of growing aquatic food.
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Forestry Today in the Virgin Islands
By Eric 'Larry' Bough
Director of Forestry
V.I. Department of Agriculture
The Forestry Division of the V.I. Department of
Agriculture was officially started on July 1, 1967. Prior to
this it was known as Road Side Tree Improvement. Later
it became the V.I. Forestry Program, a title that was
replaced with its present one in 1974.
Many residents are not aware as to the purpose of the
Division of Forestry; the majority class us as "tree
cutters", a title which carries some merit as most of our
public contacts come in the form of tree felling.
Nevertheless, our primary purpose is that of
To accomplish the reforestation phase, the division
operates a nursery where seedling of timber species,
predominately hybrid mahogany, are produced on an
average of 10 to 15 thousand annually and made
available to landowners to establish woodlots and
plantations. This is free of charge including the technical
advice that accompanies the seedlings, due mostly to
a reimbursable program sponsored by the U.S. Forest
Service known as Rural Forestry Assistance. This
program includes production, procurement and
distribution of tree seeds and trees; development of
genetically improved tree seeds and planting for
reforestation and afforestation; and technical assistance
to private forest landowners and managers, vendors,
forest operators, wood processors, public agencies and
individuals. Mahogany plantations and woodlots extend
as far east as Estate Green Cay and west to Ham's Bay.
Almost all of these were planted through our program,
but there are a few natural stands.
In addition to this program, we also have the Urban
Forestry Assistance Program whose primary is to
improve activities to benefit the lives and environment of
urban residents and public agencies of the Virgin Islands
through the use and appreciation of trees. To accomplish
this purpose some objectives had to be established, the
The oldest tree plantation in the Virgin Islands is located at Davis Bay. These Honduras
mahoganies were planted in 1908 by the Danish government.
most important being the following:
A. Develop island-wide urban and forestry plans
for all three Virgin Islands including inventory
of existing roadside urban trees, parks, green
spaces and particular community needs.
B. Plan the maintenance of existing trees,
development of tree planting and removal
guidelines, development of technical training
programs for responsible agencies, individuals
and civic groups in tree planting, care,
maintenance and removal.
C. Develop an information and education
program for the general public on the benefits
of trees, including planting of trees and care for
In order to effectively operate any forestry program,
there are two very important controls that must be
stressed: fire prevention and control, and insect and
disease control. Unlike the forestry operations in most of
the United States, our fire protection is administered
through our local fire department under a federally co-
sponsored program known as Rural Fire Prevention
Control. Our insect and disease control program gets
assistance from the U.S. Forest Service in the form of
research personnel, if, and whenever needed. Besides
insect and disease, we do conduct various other types of
research, such as adaptability studies and growth rate
studies. These research areas are scattered over the island
of St. Croix on estates such as Thomas Experimental
Forest, Kingshill, Betsy's Jewel, Jealousy, Annaly Bay,
Bodkin, and Ham's Bluff.
To a forester engaged in commercial forestry on the
United States mainland (the production of lumber,
Forester Axel L. Frederiksen measures girth of Pacific
Mahogany at Estate Thomas, St. Croix in 1968.
pulpwood and related by-products) the idea of a forestry
program in the Virgin Islands at first sight would seem
unrealistic. Land values alone would seem to prohibit
such a program. But the forestry operation in the Virgin
Islands is much more than the reforestation of our bushy
hillsides. It is a project which utilizes and develops our
natural resource, the land, in a manner that compliments
our tourist industry and enhances our environment.
Forestry is an agricultural enterprise that requires a
minimum input of scarce labor to produce an end
product such as furniture, craftwood items, and fence
posts. The expansion of the forest tree planting program
into a tropical fruit tree program would be a further
Fencepost treating plant is in operation today at Estate
Lower Love, St. Croix.
Some Background Information on Forestry
in the Virgin Islands
1930 Bureau of Efficiency asked Forest Service (FS) for
investigation and recommendations and resident forester
(W.V. Roberts) carried out a modest program for the
next two years.
1940 FS staff men from Puerto Rico initiated occasional
surveys and investigations with cooperation of Soil
Conservation Service and Agricultural Research Service
1953 Virgin Islands Corporation (VICORP) of Interior
Department allotted $5,000 for use of FS personnel and
set aside Estate Thomas (147 acres) for forest research.
1955 First of $30,000 annual grant funds (to VICORP)
for administration of the present Virgin Islands Forestry
R.F. Haussman and J.E. Lefebre assigned full-time
as Forester-in-Charge and Forestry Aide, plus five to ten
1957 R.W. Nobles replaced Haussman.
1959 J.E. Munoz assigned as Forestry Aide.
1963 FS purchased Estate Thomas from VICORP and
established the Estate Thomas Experimental Forest.
1965 Program financing transferred to FS from
1966 Axel L. Frederiksen transferred from horticulture
in ARS to Forest Service to replace Nobles who
transferred to Puerto Rico.
1967 CFM and CM-4 Agreements completed with the
Government of the Virgin Islands (GVI). Commissioner
of Agriculture (Hodge) was designated Territorial
Forester, and responsibility for forestry programs was
assigned to his assistant (Shulterbrandt).
Eric "Larry" Bough appointed horticulturist by
GVI as GVI became full partner of FS in sponsoring the
VI Forestry Program.
1973 Juan Nunoz replaced Nobles who transferred to
1974 Bough became director of the Division of Forestry
and coordinator of US Forest Service activities in the
1976 A.L. Frederiksen retired from U.S. Forest Service.
Maintenance responsibilities for U.S. Forest
Service program transferred to V.I. Forestry Program
under V.I. Department of Agriculture.
Present U.S. Forest Service contributes funding and
assistance through Atlanta and Puerto Rico to V.I.
Tree planting along the Glynn Road took place in 1978
as part of the Urban Forestry Program. Shown are
director of forestry Larry Bough (left) and Tom Steele.
With the Compliments of
THE BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA
Goldenrock, Christiansted, St. Croix
P.O. Box 773 Telephone 773-2350
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IT'S NANCEES FOR HANDMADE SANDALS
Part of the
For more than 15 years St.Thomas Dairies
has been supplying the Virgin Islands with
locally-made, always-fresh dairy products,
juices and drinks from tropical fruits. Fine
quality foods produced in the islands for
our island neighbors. We're part of the
Some Interesting Tropical Vegetables
By A.A. Navarro, Vegetable Specialist
C.V.I. Agriculture Experiment Station and
O. Henry, C.V.I. Cooperative Extension Service
There are a number of tasty tropical vegetables that
gardeners in the Virgin Islands could be growing to
augment their dinner table menus. Many of these crops
hold an important place in the diets of people in tropical
regions around the world. They are as delicious and
nourishing as those vegetables that we commonly use
here in our area. These crops, being inherently tropical,
are well adapted to the rigors of a tropical environment.
Most of these crops are highly resistant to the destructive
pests and diseases so numerous in the tropics. These
crops are also so easy to grow that even with very little
care they manage to produce considerable yields. Some
of these plants, aside from being sources of delicious and
nourishing vegetables, also provide other very important
Of these less known, important and interesting
vegetables of the tropics, the one at the top of our list is
the loofah gourd also known as Chinese okra, Chinese
loofah, vegetable sponge or dishcloth gourd. The loofah
belongs to the squash family. Like all the species under
this family, loofah has a viney growth habit. The gourds
are produced by two species, Luffa acutangularis (ridged
gourd) and Luffa cylindrica (smooth gourd).
Picked young or before the fibers toughen up, loofah
gourds can be made into various culinary delights. They
are excellent in salads, stews, and soups, and for making
into delicious stuffed luffah and other delectable recipes
(See recipe section)
The leaves and the flowers of the loofah plant are used
also as vegetables. In Malaya, the young leaves are
popular vegetables. In China, the flowers are prepared
into appetizing recipes. Left to mature on the vines the
fibers toughen up and the loofah gourds become a source
of excellent bath sponges or perfect pot scrubbers,
particularly for non-stick pans. Loofah sponges are also
made into pot holders, doormats, gloves, sandals and for
stuffing mattresses and cushions. The method of growing
loofah is to start from seeds, and as soon as the plant
starts growing it is trained to climb a support or trellis.
Some gardeners let the plant run on the ground, but for
increased production of high quality fruits and
convenience in harvesting, it is better to grow loofah with
some kind of support. Usually three months after
planting the first green fruits can be harvested and used as
a vegetable. For sponge production, the loofah is left to
dry-on the vines until the color of the fruits has changed
from green to tan or brown.
Edible luffa ready for harvesting is displayed by CVI
experiment station assistant Bob Yearwood. When
allowed to age further, luffa makes a good bath sponge.
Loofah production can be a profitable enterprise in the
Virgin Islands. There is a good market for loofah sponge
in the continental United States and in other countries.
The tropical climate of the Virgin Islands is well-suited
for loofah production. Trial plantings of loofah at the
Agricultural Experiment Station have shown that loofah
performs very well under our soil and climate conditions.
The horseradish tree (Moringa oleifera) also known as
malunggay and as moringa is another very useful plant of
the tropics. Almost all parts of the plant can be used as
cooked human food. The leaves and the pods or fruits are
the parts most popularly used as vegetables. The young
pods when cooked taste like asparagus. Among the green
leafy vegetables, the leaves of the horseradish tree are
exceptionally rich in sulfur-containing amino acids. The
soft roots, of the tree are a good substitute for the true
This plant is a perennial, growing into a small tree of up
to about 25 feet. Being a perennial, the tree can provide a
Some tropical vegetables easily available in the Virgin Islands are (clockwise top left) bush okra,
horseradish (moringa) pods, horseradish leaves, and flowers of squash.
supply of nourishing and delicious vegetables throughout
the year. The plant is very easy to grow and needs only
minimum care. It is highly resistant to pests and diseases.
Termites are the only pests that have been observed to
bother the plant. The plant can be propagated either by
seeds or by stem cuttings. Planted along property borders
or fence lines, the trees serve as excellent windbreakers
and li\e fence posts.
An excellent substitute for cabbage in the tropics is a
leafy vegetable popularly known as Pak-Choi, also called
Pechay or Petsai. It belongs to the same family as the
cabbage. Among botanists, Pak-Choi is known as
Brassica rapa var pekinensis.
Cabbage is a high-risk crop in the tropics since it
attracts many destructive insects. Pak-Choi, on the other
hand, is seldom bothered by insects or diseases and is also
heat and drought resistant. It is a perfect crop for the
Pak-Choi is a short-season crop. Usually ready for
harvest 6-8 weeks after planting, it is a heavy-yielding
crop which produces a rosette of green leaves with white
succulent stalks. Except for the roots, all parts of the
plant are edible and can be served as delicious vegetables.
Blanched or raw, Pak-Choi can be mixed with other
vegetables to make satisfying salads. Sauteed either by
itself or with other vegetables, Pak-Choi is turned into a
delicious dish and is also excellent for making soups and
various kinds of stews. (See recipe section)
Pak-Choi is a perfect crop for the Virgin Islands as it is
resistant to heat, drought, insects and diseases.
For gardeners in the tropics who have a special
fondness for beans, it should be welcome information to
know that there are a number of bean species well-
adapted to the tropics. One of the most important is what
is popularly known as Bodie beans (Vigna sesquedalis).
They are an excellent substitute for the French snap
beans, the only kind of green beans most of us are
accustomed to, but French beans are quite difficult to
grow. Most available commercial varieties of French
beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are sensitive to high
temperatures prevailing during most part of the year in
our area. Bodie beans on the other hand, are beans of the
tropics. They can be grown successfully in our islands any
time of the year, are heat-tolerant and better able to
withstand long periods of drought. They are heavy
yielders, producing pods 10-12 inches long. Picked at the
right stage of maturity, Bodie beans will substitute for
any uses of snap beans.
Pole Bodie beans are a delicious substitute for northern
French stringbeans and grow to a yard in length!
Bodie beans either are of the bush type or have a
climbing growth habit.-The bush type is an improved
variety developed by researchers at the University of the
Philippines. Many gardeners prefer the bush type
because it does not need to be staked or supported, an
operation expensive in both time and materials.
However, some gardeners prefer to grow the pole types
for their unusually long pods which in some varieties
measure more than a yard in length.
The young leaves and vines at the tip of the Bodie bean
plant known as bean tips are a popular vegetable in many
places in the Pacific. Bean tips can be prepared for the
table in many different ways. (See recipe section).
The true spinach (Spinaeia oleracea) is not a crop of
the tropics. This vegetable only grows well in areas with
cooler temperatures, but vegetable gardeners- in the
tropics will not miss the true spinach very much because
there are a number of excellent substitutes. One of these is
what is commonly known as malabar, ceylon, or up-the-
island spinach. Scientifically, it is known as Basella alba.
Malabar spinach is a perennial climbing vine. If it is
well-cared for, the plant can be maintained almost
indefinitely; otherwise it would start dying after two
years. The upper portion of the stems and the leaves can
be utilized as substitutes for all the uses of the true
spinach. Not only does Malabar spinach substitute for
the true spinach but it is also a good substitute for lettuce
in making salads. The plant bears fleshly fruits that are
purplish black in color. The juice of the fruit can be used
as a dye.
Malabar spinach can be propagated either by seeds or
stem cuttings which root very readily. A month after
planting, the first harvest can be made. The plant is
adapted to a variety of soils and has been observed to be
almost totally free of diseases and insect pests.
Bush okra is one of a number of plants whose food
value and culinary properties are unknown to many
people in the islands. Here in St. Croix, bush okra grows
wild all over cultivated and uncultivated fields and road
sides. It is treated as an ordinary troublesome weed. In
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Africa. India, and many other places in the Pacific the
edible qualities of the bush okra (Corchorus olitorius),
also known as Jute mallow or saluyot, are widely known.
Some even believe that bush okra has invigorating or
The parts used as vegetables are the shoot tips and the
leaves. Ihe protein content, particularly of the older
leaves, is desirably high. They are always eaten cooked.
The leases and the shoot tips need only little cooking for
they soften rapidly. They are excellent substitutes for
almost all the uses of okra. They can be used to make
appetizing vegetable stews and soups.
Bush okra is an easy plant to grow. It is adapted to a
wide variety of soils and is very drought tolerant, a
characteristic so suitable for cultivation in the islands.
The plants are only grown from seeds. Four weeks after
planting, one can start picking the leaves and tips to be
cooked into a delicious dish.
The importance of bush okra does not only lie in being
a source of delicious vegetable. Bush okra is grown on a
commercial scale in many tropical regions around the
world for its fibers, and among other things, provides the
world with what is popularly knows as Jute fibers which
are used for making ropes, twines, and bags.
SOME SUGGESTED RECIPES
Wash Pak-Choi leaves and remove hard stem and spoiled
parts. Use only tender green leaves and soft stems. Save
large, whole Pak-Choi leaves or use cabbage leaves tor
Start by blanching large Pak-Choi or cabbage leaves
until flexible enough for rolling. Remove from pot and
lay flat on clean counter or foil.
1 cup chopped onion
2 cup chopped red sweet pepper
I tsp. cooking oil
I tbsp. margarine
31 cups shredded Pak-Choi
I tsp. parslied salt
14 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup American cheese
2 cup mozarella cheese
3 tbsp. cream mushroom soup (canned or
3 tbsp. cooked rice
Saute: Chopped onion and sweet pepper in
cooking oil and margarine until
tender but not brown.
Add : 31 cup shredded Pak-Choi. saute
Add : tsp. parslied salt. Remove from fire
and cool slightly.
Add : Cheese and rice. Toss together until
evenly mixed. Cool completely.
Place one heaping tablespoon of mixture on each
blanched leave (cabbage or Pak-Choi). Roll over top
edge of leaf, tuck in sides and continue rolling over top
edge. Secure last fold with tooth pick. Continue process
until mixture is used up. Set rolls in glass casserole dish.
Combine 2 cup cream of mushroom soup with 1', cup of
water. Pour over rolls in dish and cover with foil or
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P.O. BOX 2606, CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX ', U.S.V.I. 00820
V.I. INDUSTRIAL GASES & SUPPUES
300 PETER'S REST, CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX, 00820 Telephone: 773-0233
casserole cover and cook in oven 4000 F for one hour.
When finished, rolls should be partly covered with juice
to be served with rolls.
Bodie Beans with Pork and Guava Juice*
I cup water
I cup fresh pork without skin, cut in cubes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
14 cup chopped onion
2-3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 cup snap Bodie beans
2-3 cups (firmly packed) Bodie beans tender
tips and young leaves
8-10 medium guavas
In medium size pot, cook cubed pork in /2 cup water until
all the liquid evaporates and brown slightly. Add
crushed garlic and cook until brown. Remove and
discard garlic. Add chopped onion. Cook until tender but
not brown. Add snap beans and whole guavas. Cover
and cook gently for about 5-8 minutes or until guavas are
slightly tender. Remove guavas. Add tips and leaves.
Cover and continue cooking. Crush guavas with spoon or
potato masher. Add 1/2 cup water, agitating slightly to
extract flavor. Strain juice from pulp. Discard pulp. Add
guava juice and soy sauce to beans and tips, cover and
continue to cook until done. Serve with white rice.
* If guava is not available Beans and tips can he prepared
according to recipe, omitting guava juice.
2 cups diced tender squash or loofah
(peel if old)
I tbsp. onion (minced)
I tbsp. olive oil
I tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. garlic (minced)
'/s tsp. black pepper
I tsp. salt
Dash sov sauce
Wash and slice squash (loofah) into thin slices, measure 2
cups and set aside. In a medium size skillet combine the
other 6 ingredients and saute on medium heat 5 minutes.
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k VITRACO PARK
St. Thomas, Home: 775--2996
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Add squash, (or loofah), stir into ingredients and cook
until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Soy Sauce adds a /estx
flavor to this vegetable, and all other vegetables .
Bodie Beans with Onions
4 cups snapped bodie beans
I large onion
I tsp. cooking oil
I tbsp. margarine
I tbsp. soy sauce
I cup water
I tsp. parslied garlic salt
Dash parmesan cheese
Saute: Chopped onion in cooking oil and
margarine until tender but not brown.
Add : Snapped beans and saute a minute
or two longer.
Add : cup water and parslied garlic salt,
cover and steam another two or three
Add : Balance of ingredients. Cover lightly
and steam to desired degree of done-
ness. If water cooks out before beans
are done, add a little more to complete
process. Very little water should be
left after beans are done.
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
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FOR RESER VA TONS CALL:
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SAN JUAN (809) 791-0676
Your Travel Agent
Saving Energy in Agriculture
By Frank R. Prince
Director, V.I. Energy Office
The U.S. Virgin Islands, like the rest of the United
States, has experienced hardships as a result of oil
shortages and energy prices. Scientists estimate that
unless Americans become more conscientious about
conserving natural resources we may find ourselves
without domestic oil within 25 years and without natural
gas even sooner.
The energy problems of the Territory could become
more severe in the near future. Currently, residents pay 2-
3 times the national average for electricity and import
nearly 100 percent of our energy supplies since we have
no energy resources such as oil, coal. natural gas. or
uranium. Meanwhile, the average le\el of income here is
65'( of the mainland average. let the cost of living is
approximately 30(' higher. People in the Virgin Islands
can't afford the luxury of ignoring a problem which is
cutting into their actual incomes and standard of living so
Where Does The Energy Go?
(Information provided by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture refers to survey done on U.S. mainland)
No one in the Virgin Islands should be exempt from
learning energy conservation techniques. Although, local
energy problems won't disappear overnight, with
persistence and patience energy self-sufficiency could be
achieved. The V.I. Energy Office has been educating the
public for the past two years in regards to energy
conservation measures for both industry and the small
During the past several months the Energy Office
began addressing energy conservation methods for
farmers. VIEO's Energy Extension Service, (VIEO-
EES). in cooperation with the Department of
Agriculture, has already sponsored two seminars on St.
Croix and St. Thomas, dealing with energy conservation
and self-sufficiency for farmers. Good attendance at
these meetings and the interested response from
participants has proved the timeliness of the subject
matter. VIEO-EES has additional seminars and a wind
irrigation demonstration project scheduled for 1982.
There are several possible ways to reduce dependence
here on electricity produced b\ fossil fuels. Alternate or
renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power
could significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Climate conditions in the Virgin Islands offer special
opportunities for the highlN effective use of alternate
energy technologies: low cloud coxer, almost daily
sunshine, intense sun rays. natural lighting, and
persistent tradewinds. Alternate energy measures which
could be explored in the Virgin Islands include gasohol.
methane from wastes and the possible significance of
biomass (including sugar cane.) Energy management
systems need to be developed for local farms to lessen the
operational costs which make farming so expensive.
VIEO-EES is presently implementing se\cral
agriculture projects for the benefit of the community :
a) Anemometer Loan Program The Energy Office is
loaning out two wind measurement deices, one on St.
Thomas St. John. and on St. Croix. to people who are
interested in finding out whether a particular site has
potential for wind energy use. Ihis program is pro ing to
be \erv popular and the anemometers are n constant use.
Individuals who borrow an instrument are being gixen
literature to guide them in their investigations. In return.
the\ are asked to provide VIEO \with copies of the data
b) Farmer's Program This EES Program is aimed at
alle eating the high operational costs of farm machine\
in the V.1. Clinics are being planned for interested
farmers, teaching them to develop practical maintenance
schedules as w ell as how to save money through optimum
fuel efficiency\ techniques.
c) Wind Energy Irrigation Test Site In cooperation
with the V.I. Department of Agriculture. the VIEO-EES
Program is setting up a wind energy irrigation
AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
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demonstration program. Farmers will be able to see for
themselves how the wind can replace expensive wind
driven electric pumps. Also, EES personnel will ha\e an
information package available soon that includes details
about zoning laws, prices, financing, and other issues that
a farmer should study before deciding whether he can use
wind energy irrigation to benefit his business.
Our energy future is, to a great extent, in our hands.
and we must act now. In addition to all the available
programs, we need farmer input, planning and intent%
of desire. Although farming the territory\ can be difficult.
there are ways to make it a successful venture The EES
staff will be making onsite farm sitss during 19S2 to
make recommendations on energy saying techniques to
Anyone interested in finding out more about the EES
projects is welcome to call the VIEO Hotline Information
number at 772-0063 or visit the Energx l-ibrar\ either at
its St. Croix location (47A Mars Hill. Frederiksted) or
the St. Thomas location (40 Subbase. Charlotte Amalie.)
Copies of the Follo\w-Up Reports from the three EES
Agriculture Seminars already held are available upon
The Use of Tropical Fruit Trees
in the Home Landscape
By Clinton George
Horticulturist, Cooperative Extension Service
A well landscaped home is a credit to the owner and his
family, his neighbors and to the community as well.
Virgin Islanders, like everyone else, enjoy seeing their
home with striking shade trees, well pruned shrubs, and
delightful flowers. One can attest to this by simply driving
throughout the islands and observing some of the most
beautiful landscape imaginable.
Today, with the increasing cost of land and the
inflationary effect on food prices in the Virgin Islands,
home owners must utilize landscape wisely. One way in
which Virgin Islanders can benefit is by including dual-
purpose plantings in their home plan trees that may be
used both as ornamentals and for fruit production.
The aesthetic value of trees and shrubs that produce
edible fruits has long been recognized. Coconut and
seagrape, in particular, are often used in some areas
strictly as ornamentals. These fruit trees, as well as
numerous others, could make a valuable contribution to
the diet and nutritional well-being of the home owner.
Imagine the enjoyment of seeing the beauty of the trees
and their fruit, the joy of harvest, and the pleasure of
eating tasty fresh fruits or using them in various home
The list of fruit trees selected below represents a partial
list and could be augmented according to the likes and
taste of the individual. For each species, specific
Dwarf Malayan coconut sets off the attractiveness of
this house and provides fruit which is easily accessible.
information including growth habit, ultimate expected
dimensions and preferred method of propagation are
discussed. The use of vegetatively propagated plants, (by
cutting, air layering, grafting, etc.) is advantagious
because seedlings often times vary greatly in fruit quality
and growth habit. The ultimate tree and fruit size will
vary depending upon cultivars, location, soil type,
management practices, pest control and other
environmental factors. For information on cultural
operations and available plant sources please contact
C.V.I. Cooperative Extension Service on St. Croix, St.
Thomas or St. John.
Medium sized grafted mango is planted at a distance
from house so that fruit does not fall on roof.
The following are some fruits that can be included in
the Virgin Islands home landscape plantings:
AVOCADO (Persea americana Miller) Tree useful for
shade and for "framing" a structure, canopy ranges from
low, dense and symmetrical ("Fairchild", "Waldin") to
upright and asymmetrical ("Lula"). Limbs easily broken
by strong winds and heavy crops. Tree demands perfect
drainage. Compact cultivars can attain a height and
spread of 16 ft x 25 ft. Method of propagation is grafting.
BANANA (Musa spp.) Fast growing herbaceous plant of
palm-like habit, useful for imparting a "tropical" aspect
to planting. Bananas need a constant supply of water and
a rich soil to do well. Many cultivars are grown in the
Virgin Islands including "Cavendish" (dwarf & giant),
Horse banana and bacuba (silk fig). The Dwarf
Cavendish reaches a height and spread of approximately
8 ft. for the individual plant; a clump may be 13 ft. or
more in spread. The Giant Cavendish and Horse banana
grow to a height of about 9-12 ft. with a spread of about
10 ft. The Horse banana has the added advantage of its
tolerance to drought and requiring less attention.
Method of propagation is by division.
This dwarf grafted Julie mango in Catherine's Rest has
an attractive bushy appearance.
CAIMITO; Star Apple (Chrysophyllum cainito L.)
Strikingly handsome, ornamental tree which reaches a
height of 45 ft. given favorable conditions. Vegetatively
propagated plants are somewhat smaller. Growth is
graceful, and no pruning appears to be necessary. Leaves
are oval, shiny dark green above and coppery gold, silky
and heavily hairy beneath. There are two types of
caimito, distinguished by the color of the ripe fruit. The
purple fruit has slightly more flavor, and the green is
sweeter. Methods of propagation, are grafting, cutting
CARAMBOLA (Averrhoa carambola L.) Small, slow
growing evergreen, with round symmetrical canopy.
Light to dark green compound foliage and yellow or
cream-colored fruit with five prominent longitudinal
ribs, star shaped in cross section. Fruit matures
throughout the year. Some cultivars need cross
pollination to fruit well. "Golden Star" fruits well in
isolation. Preferred propagation methods are grafting
and air layering. Dwarf cultivars are expected to reach a
height and spread of about 13 ft., tall cultivars 26 ft.
CHERRY, West Indian; Acerola (Malpighia glabra L.)
Large branched shrub or a small tree if pruned to form a
central trunk. It varies in shape from a low spreading
habit to a more upright and open habit. Useful for hedges
with a moderate degree of pruning or as single, standing
specimens. Leaves tend to maintain a healthy dark green,
even on calcareous soils. The small, attractive flowers
range in color from pale pink to rose. The bright, waxy
red fruit is also attractive and has an incredibly high
amount of vitamin'C'. Preferred methods of propagation
are air layers and cuttings. Ultimate dimensions are
approximately 16 ft. by 13 ft.
CITRUS Species; Many citrus fruit trees are of
considerable ornamental value. However, the grapefruit
and limes are much more adapted to Virgin Islands
GRAPEFRUITS (Citrus paridisi Macf.) One of the
largest citrus trees in deep soils often time reaching a
height and spread of about 45 x 35 ft. Two groups are
known: The white ('Duncan','Marsh') and the pigmented
('Thompson', 'Ruby Red') cultivars. Preferred method of
propagation is budding.
LIME, Tahiti (C. latifolia Tanaka) Tree is small, to 20 ft.
in height and 23 ft. in spread, with round canopy hanging
close to the ground. Easily pruned to shape. Methods of
propagation are air layering, budding, and cuttings.
LIME, West Indian (C. Aurantifolia Swingle) Highly
prized for home plantings because of its brisk-flavored
fruit. This tree is of somewhat disorderly growth unless
shaped by pruning. Methods of propagation are seed, air
layering, and budding. Attains a height and spread of
about 20 ft.
COCONUT (Cocos nucifera L.) This tree has long been
recognized for its fruit and ornamental value. Young
palms contribute to the landscape picture from a young
age if adequate attention is paid to fertilizing and
watering especially during dry periods. The 'Malayan
Dward' is actually a semi-dwarf which grows more slowly
than other cultivars and reaches a height and spread of
about 40 ft. and 20 ft. respectively. There are three
'Malayan' Dwarf forms green, yellow and golden,
recognized by the bright color of the petiole and the fruit.
These palms can be successfully grown on a wide range of
soil types providing they are well-drained. Propagation is
entirely from seed.
GUAVA, Common (Psidium guajava L.) This drought
resistant tree, with training, makes a small shade tree of
attractive proportions. The smooth, reddish brown
bark peels off in large flakes to reveal a smooth, gray
inner bark. The fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin'C'
that can be eaten fresh or made into preserves, jelly or
jam. Methods of propagation are air layering, grafting
and cuttings. The tree reaches a height and spread of
about 25 x 30 ft.
GUAVA, Strawberry or Cattley (Psidium cattleianum
Sab.) Superbly attractive shrub or small tree with glossy
green leaves and distinctive peeling bark in various
shades of brown. Two cultivars of this species bear light
yellow and red fruit, respectively. Plants may attain a
height and spread of about 16 ft. x 13 ft., and are best left
natural in screen plants or planted singly as mini-trees, in
which case they may be judiciously pruned to shape them.
Method of propagation is seeds which come true to type.
MANGO (Mangifera indica L.) This popular fruit makes
a desirable ornamental and deserves a place in every
home yard. Several heavy producing cultivars have been
brought into the Virgin Islands including the smaller
compact ones such as 'Julie' and larger ones such as
'Tommy Atkins'. Preferred method of propagation is
grafting. Compact cultivars may attain a height and
spread of 20 x 25 ft., and larger ones easily reach
30 x 35 ft.
Mesple sapodillaa) can attain a height of 36 feet and
should not be planted too near the house. The dense
canopy when full grown provides refreshing shade.
MESPLE; Sapodilla (Manilkara zapota (L) Royen) One
of the most handsome of all broad leaved evergreen trees
grown in the Virgin Islands. The mesple tree is slow
growing with dark green leaves and a dense spreading
canopy. It withstands drought well and makes few
cultural demands. Large fruited cultivars such as
'Prolific' and 'Russell' are good for home plantings.
Method of propagation is grafting. Tree readily attains a
height and spread of 36 by 30 ft., and older ones may
become much larger.
NATAL PLUM: Carissa (Carissa Macrocarpa A. DC.)
This plant is used extensively as an ornamental shrub for
foundation, specimen, and hedge planting. When planted
as a hedge it forms an almost impenetrable barrier.
Shrubby and dense in habit of growth, the plant does not
develop a tree shape, even though a height of 15 ft. may be
attained. The white fragrant flowers are in evidence
several months of the year. The dark red fruits are eaten
fresh, in salads, and as a sauce. Both the flower and fruit
make a refreshing contrast with its glossy green leaves.
Cultivars such as 'Fancy' grows moderately upright,
while 'Alles' is low and spreading. Propagation methods
are seeds, air layering and cuttings.
PLUM (Spondias purpurea L.) A small tree seldom
exceeding 25 ft. in height usually spreading in habit, with
smooth bark and rather graceful foliage. Two distinct
cultivars of this species bear yellow and red fruit,
respectively. The yellow plum is more commonly planted
and is a larger tree with larger leaflets. Preferred method
of propagation is cuttings. Large woody branches may be
set directly in a desired location to grow.
The adaptable seagrape can serve as a handsome border
SEAGRAPE (Cocoloba uvifera L.) This distinctive and
attractive tree is most popular for seashore plantings due
to its high degree of salt tolerance. It varies from a low
shrub along coastal areas to a spreading tree up to 35 ft.
high in more favorable growing conditions. The large,
rounded leaves are closely spaced along the branches.
Fruit is produced only on female trees but a male tree
must be present for pollination. The fruit is utilized to
make jelly or eaten fresh. Methods of propagation are
seeds and cuttings.
Li l l I
Chemical Fertilizers are Expensive
Use Them Efficiently
By Christopher Ramcharan
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station
Cost of chemical fertilizers forms a major part of the
cost of production for the average farmer. However.
because of poor cultural and storage practices and lack of
knowledge of some of the basics about (chemical)
fertilizers, the farmer often greatly reduces the
effectiveness of the fertilizer he uses and does not receive
the full value for the money he invests.
The amount of fertilizer applied, timing and placement
can all affect fertilizer efficiency. In areas such as the
Virgin Islands, soil factors have a great influence on
fertilizer practices Soil texture, organic matter, pH,
moisture, salinity and nutrient content influence the type,
amounts and efficiency of the chemical fertilizers used.
Plant factors affecting fertilizer efficiency include the
crop type, rooting system, disease and insect damage,
plant population, weeds and tissue composition. Under
the hot, humid tropical conditions that exist locally,
improper storage conditions most often account for the
greatest losses of fertilizers.
In applying fertilizer, important points that must be
considered are method and time of application, the
quantity, and the placement of the fertilizer.
Where fertilizer is applied by hand great care must be
taken to insure that there is a uniform application
particularly with row crops where there is often a
tendency to over apply fertilizer at the beginning and
under apply at the end of the row. Hand application
works well where the fertilizer is to be surface applied and
particularly where the applicator has a certain amount of
skill. Greater uniformity and faster application can be
obtained with machine spreaders, but these are only
feasible for large areas.
Fertilizers must be applied in time so as to be of
maximum benefit to the actively growing plant. Very
often farmers delay fertilization too long after
germination of the crop so hindering early rapid growth
and allowing for unfavorable weed competition. Fast
growing, short term crops such as corn, tomatoes and
beans need nutrients early and rapidly so that all or most
of the required fertilizer should be applied at time of
planting. For slower growing fruit and tree crops
fertilizers are applied at varying stages in any one year of
the plant's growth.
In areas of heavy rainfall and soils of low organic
matter as occur in some parts of the V.I., small and
frequent applications of tertili/er are more effective than
one or two hea\v doses. This practice is particularly
essential during the wet months of the year in the V.1.
when greater losses of fertilizer. particularly nitrogen and
potassium can occur by leaching.
How much fertilizer to use? This is a question most
often asked by farmers since they wish to get optium
yields with the minimum amount of fertilizer. Even with
the same crop fertilizer recommendations can vary
widely from place to place. Soil and plant analyses are
two basic tools that the researcher must use in order to
determine the best fertilizer composition and rate for a
particular crop. These can be extended to the farmer in
terms he can understand. Where fertilizer is applied by
hand it is difficult to uniformly apply less than 400
kgs Ha rate particularly for row crops. For this method
therefore low analyses fertilizers are more effective. With
machine application low application rates (200 kilograms
per hectare) of high analysis fertilizer can be made very
Placement of fertilizer is another aspect of fertilizer
application that is critical to the farmer. Above soil
placement is often easier and quicker than soil
incorporation of fertilizers, but the former method can
lead to inefficiency. Heavy rains can wash away most of
the fertilizer and in high pH soils (above 6.5) under high
sunlight most of the nitrogen in ammoniacal fertilizers
can be lost by volatilization. Surface application is
therefore advisable only for pastures and certain tree
crops where it is impractical to cover the fertilizer with
Soil incorporation ol fertilizer is therefore adx isable in
most cases but is essential for phosphorous. Most
phosphate fertilizers are slowly soluble and move slowly
in the soil so that they r1ust be placed close to the roots of
the plant, very often beneath the planted seed. Where
machines are not used for fertilizing, fertilizers can be
hand applied and then \cry effectively hoed or disked
into the soil. Ammoniacal fertilizers should be covered by
at least 4 cms. (approximately I'/, inches) of soil.
Light textured soils are most subject to leaching of
nutrients than heavier soils so that it is more efficient to
apply several smaller doses of fertilizers in the former soil
types than large single applications.
Organic matter helps to hold most nutrients in the soil
in a form that is easily available to the plant roots. Soils
low in organic matter will therefore require more
fertilizer for optimum crop production. Incorporation of
organic matter not only improves soil structure but will
also increase fertilizer efficiency.
High pH soils as occur in many parts of the V.I. can
lead to high losses of nitrogen by volatilization from
common ammonium fertilizers such as urea and
ammonium sulphate if these are placed on the soil
surface. In addition many nutrients, particularly the
minor elements are tied up and non-available to plants in
such soils. Such minor nutrient deficiencies must be
identified and corrected before the proper absorption of
fertilizers can take place.
Soil compaction is another factor that can cause
reduced fertilizer absorption and plant growth. This can
easily occur with the repeated use of heavy farm
machinery particularly when the soil is wet.
Optimum soil moisture is also important for the proper
absorption of nutrients from applied fertilizers. When
soil moisture is deficient applied fertilizer is of little use to
the plant. In these circumstances irrigation can improve
the efficiency of fertilizer. On the other extreme flooding
and/or poor drainage of the soil can cause oxygen
starvation of the roots and reduce their ability to absorb
High soluble salts in the soil is a chemical factor that can
cause an unbalanced condition and deter roots from
effectively absorbing applied fertilizer. Soil pH and
soluble salts are always given in the routine soil test so
that the farmer can be made aware of these soil
conditions and take the appropriate measures.
Fertilizer rates, composition and methods of
application will vary from crop to crop. Short growing
crops such as tomatoes and onions will require most of
their fertilizer at an early stage and onl\ rapidly .
Fertilizer applications will be spread out oxer a greater
period of time for tree and fruit crops. Knowing the
fertilizer requirements of a particular crop w ill certainly
help the farmer use his fertilizer more efficiently.
A healthy root system is essential for good absorption
of nutrients. A farmer can be literally pouring his
fertilizer down the drain when the roots of his plants are
damaged by pests, bad drainage, or soil restrictions. He
must be able to detect and correct these deficiencies
before getting the full benefit from his fertilizers.
Very often a farmer will apply extra fertilizer to insect
infested or diseased plants in the hope that the\ x\ill
recover. The foliage of the plant is needed for the \ital
processes of food manufacture and the roots serve as the
system of absorption for all soluble inorganic nutrients.
When the foliage or roots are damaged or reduced by
pests the growth of the plant and the efficient utilization
of applied nutrients are adversely affected. Nematodes
are a common pest affecting the roots and their effective
absorptive capacity of many crops in the Virgin Islands.
Control of nematodes will give healthier roots which can
then more efficiently utilize applied fertilizers.
Weeds in a farmer's crop can compete severely not only
for space, light and water but also vital nutrients. Early
and good weed control will ensure that the fertilizer
intended for the food crop will not be all or partially
absorbed by invading weeds.
Storage of fertilizers especially under tropical
conditions can be a major factor in the loss of their
effectiveness. Whenever fertilizers are bought in large
amounts that are not used immediately proper storage is
A fertilizer shed or storeroom should be completely
waterproof. Whenever fertilizer bags are stacked they
should preferably be placed upon wooden pallets to allow
for adequate air circulation. Stacking of more than 10
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bags upon one another creates excessive weight which
compresses the fertilizer in the lowest bags into cakes or
hard blocks so reducing its effectiveness. Fertilizer bags
older than one year also become old and caked and
should be used before this time.
Where fertilizers are to be stored temporarily in the
field they should always be covered with a waterproof
material or plastic sheet, making sure that the bags are
never resting directly on the bare ground. It is important
at all times to keep moisture out of stored fertilizers, if
they are not to be damaged and their effectiveness
TH E%-SEWI NG CENTER
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A PERFORMANCE BREED FROM THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
The Senepol Breed is Noted for Being:
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JOHN A. BERNIER, JR.
The Frangipani Worm Take It
or Leave It?
By Walter 1. Knausenberger and R. Dean Cosper
C.V.I. Cooperative Extension Service
Almost every year, many Virgin Islanders discover
enormous yellow-banded black caterpillars feeding,
often in large masses, on their frangipani trees. (Plumeria
rubra and P. alba). And every few years, outbreaks of
these "frangipani worms" are so extensive as to cause
widespread concern. This was the case in 1981 on St.
Croix and in 1978 on St. Thomas. Usually, these occur
between May and September. In as little as 10 to 14 days,
a tree may be completely stripped of leaves (but 20-30
days is more usual). The sweet-scented flowers generally
are not eaten by the worms. Rarely will a given location
have a serious infestation two years in a row, but every
year there is at least a small outbreak somewhere on these
islands. However, as we will explain below, you need not
normally be too concerned for the health of your
frangipani trees, because even if the worms eat all the
leaves, the trees most likely will survive well. Similarly,
the "worms" themselves are no threat to human health in
any way, because they can neither sting nor bite
significantly, and their droppings are not poisonous.
The discussion that follows will give some
background about one of the largest and most striking
caterpillars to be found anywhere, and about its host.
Surprisingly, almost nothing seems to be written on this
insect, either in scientific or popular literature.
Frangipani worms and trees (about 50 species) are
native to the Caribbean region. The tree is now a
widespread and popular ornamental throughout the
tropics, but the worm apparently causes outbreaks only
in its native region. The many-hued flowers of various
frangipanis introduced on Pacific Islands quickly were
adopted for making flower necklaces leiss). Besides their
beautiful flowers -- a source of the red jasmine perfume,
the trees' unique open-branched appearance, their
drought-tolerance, general hardiness, and ease of
maintenance explain their popularity. Another
contributing factor is ease of propagation--stem cuttings
will take root if merely placed on the ground.
The only significant frangipani pests here, for all
practical purposes, are the frangipani worm, an armored
scale insect called the "greedy scale" (because it infests so
many different hosts!), and a yellowish-orange rust
fungus (Coleosporium plumeriae). This rust infects the
undersides of the leaves, forming powdery circular
pustules which may coalesce and become extensive
enough to cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop
prematurely. However, if the condition is encountered
soon enough, it can be controlled readily by applying a
metal-containing fungicide, such as mancozeb (e.g.
Dithane M-45), zineb or maneb. Trees infected by this
fungus seem to be free of frangipani worms.
The frangipani worm, known scientifically as
Pseudosphinx tetrio, belongs to the family Sphingidae,
which includes the tomato, cassava, and papaya
hornworms. As adult moths, these hornworms are
known as "hawk moths", or "sphinx moths". Frangipani
hornworms feed almost exclusively on leaves of
Plumeria, and grow to a voracious 5-6 inches in length.
The worms sport a red head, bright yellow bands on'a
velvet black body, and a black whip-like protection (the
"horn") on an orangish rear end (Fig. 1). This "horn",
which may be whipped back and forth, perhaps appears
to some people to be a large stinging ,device, but is
completely harmless. As a visual display andcfrightening
device, it probably helps ward off predators such as birds.
Fig. 1. Spectacular frangipani "worm" is actually a
caterpillar which can grow up to six inches in length.
The life cycle begins with the large (5-inch wing-span)
dull-grey moth that lays the egg. This hawk moth is a
strong and rapid night flier which spends its days resting
on the bark of trees. The color of the moth is a
camouflage, and allows it to rest unnoticed by birds
which otherwise might find this stage of the insect
appetizing. The eggs are whitish to cream-colored
(darkening when about to hatch), cylindrical to spherical,
about 1/8th of an inch in diameter, and are deposited in
small clusters of 5-25 eggs (Fig. 2). Hatchling worms are
about /4 inch long. This tiny caterpillar will moult five
times and increase 20 times in length and probably 400
times in weight. A few days after it reaches full size (3-4
weeks), the worm drops off the tree to change into the
pupal stage in the soil, where it will transform into the
Fig. 2. Egg cluster of frangipani worm shown on
frangipani leaf (greatly enlarged).
Most of the caterpillars will enter shaded soil near or
under the frangipani. but some will migrate quite a
distance from the source. The pupa is 2-3 inches long,
dark brown glossy, with a bluntly rounded head end and
a pointed tail end which the insect can move in corkscrew
fashion to burrow into the soil. This is the stage least
likely to be seen. The pupal stage lasts approximately
three weeks before the moth emerges, if it is still early in
the season (May-August). Thereafter, more and more
pupae apparently enter. into a form of dormancy (or
hibernation) in the soil, until the next spring rains begin,
when the moths will emerge to begin the cycle again.
PROTECTED BY MOTHER NATURE
Frangipanis contain a milky thick sap which flows
profusely when a leaf is broken off or when the stem is
cut. The word frangipani is adapted from one of the
meanings of the French "frangipan", referring to a form
of evaporated or coagulated milk (described, among
other places, in a mid-nineteenth century medical
dictionary). In some people, the sap can cause skin rashes
not unlike those of poison ivy, mango or monkey puzzle.
The sap therefore should be washed off promptly if it gets
on the skin or in the eyes.
This same sap strictly limits the number of insects that
can feed on frangipani. It is either toxic or unpalatable to
most any animal other than the frangipani worm, which
has evolved a tolerance of the sap. The toxic chemical
element is incorporated into the caterpillar's tissues. The
worm's conspicuous colors therefore are an
announcement to potential predators that it is distasteful.
Predators soon learn to associate the bright colors and
conspicuous pattern of the frangipani worm with an
unpleasant taste to be avoided. This phenomenon is
known as "warning coloration", or aposematism.
According to the theory of natural selection it is because
such characteristics ensure an increased chance of
survival that they become established.
So, without an adequate number of natural enemies to
keep the frangipani worms in check, the worms defoliate
entire trees rapidly under ideal weather conditions. The
only natural enemies we have observed personally to date
(other than a famished dog eating them off the ground
under a frangipani tree!), are very tiny parasitic wasps
emerging from the eggs (Fig. 3). These wasps are being
identified by specialists at the U.S. National Museum.
Quite possibly, the egg parasites play a significant role in
the regulation of the frangipani worm population during
non-outbreak years. The other most likely factor
involved in the control of the worms is wet weather--the
wetter the soil stays for a prolonged period, the more the
insects will succumb either to drowning or disease related
Fig. 3. Tiny parasitic moth emerges from caterpillar egg.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM? MAYBE NOTHING.
Control is readily achieved by hand-picking from small
trees. On large trees a fruit hook or wrapped stick might
be used to knock the worms to the ground, where they
may be collected and destroyed by drowning in a bucket
of soapy water, and" then burying in your compost. For
truly heavy or large-area infestations, especially if the
abundant droppings accumulate on walkways and other
living space, insecticidal intervention may be justified.
An excellent material, and one absolutely harmless to
humasn, animals or most other insects, is a bacterial
preparation such as Dipel or Thuricide. This material
causes a disease which infects only the caterpillar stage of
certain moths and butterflies that feed on the treated leaf
surfaces--in this case only the frangipani worm. The
bacterium paralyzes the gut of the worms so they will
starve to death in only a few days. Feeding stops within 24
to 48 hours after treated leaves are eaten.
Even though the frangipani worms may defoliate a tree
entirely, this defoliation will not kill the tree. New leaves
will develop readily, but these should be protected,
because the frangipani, like any other tree, does not have
unlimited reserves. Repeated defoliation in the same
season, or over several seasons in succession, may
weaken a tree to the point that it may not survive the
normal period of dormancy during the dry season in the
V.I.. where most frangipani trees lose their leaves
naturally anyway. But this is unlikely to happen to the
extent that treatment would be required to save the tree.
So it is really a matter of personal preference whether to
destroy the worms or to allow them to remain. The most
you would normally lose is the leaves affected, but you
would gain the opportunity to experience a dynamic but
benign phenomenon of nature, and to observe one of the
larger jewels of the Caribbean insect world. Either way
you choose, there is an aesthetic benefit.
v ) aaI i
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OFFICE OF DELEGATE TO CONGRESS
Role of the Compost Pile in
By Jose Torres *
The moment intensive gardening is mentioned the
mind recalls intensive cultivation as if this is implied.
Both practices combined are best suited for a limited
operation--a small garden plot. For the purpose of our
discussion we may define a small garden plot as an area of
about one-eighth to one acre of land.
Usually the first concern in gardening should be soil
preparation. I would start with the preparation of
materials for a compost pile with any discarded vegetable
material, leaves, grass trimmings, kitchen scraps, wood
ashes, and manure if available, to fill the bill of fare.
Ideally a compost pile should be started six months
before the planting date.
To build a compost pile dig four poles in the ground
placed about 4 feet by 6 feet and one foot deep. Set in four
6-foot stakes, fence three sides half way up with discarded
galvanized sheets and the rest with salvaged chicken wire.
Leaving one open side is very convenient for dumping in
and forking the materials which should be turned over at
two months intervals or sooner depending on the
temperature which is to be kept around 130 degrees
fahrenheit. Higher temperatures may burn the material
and you'll end up with a heap of ashes. It has happened to
me. Concrete blocks or wood planks may be used, but for
convenience and economy galvanzied sheets are best.
Punch as many holes as possible, about one inch in
diameter, on the galvanized sheets to provide ample
aeration for the bacteria to break down the fibers.
Bacteria beneficial to plants work best with good
oxygenation and so decomposition can be kept under
control. The best site for the compost pile is a spot away
from the planting area in ashaded.location, under a tree if
possible, where it can be kept going year-round so as to
always have a good supply of compost. By using such a
location, space that could be planted on would not be
compromised. Build up layers six inches thick of material
previously chopped and dried in the sun. Seeds in weeds
will present no problem since these will also be
decomposed. Between layers scatter about ten pounds of
manure and about two pounds of a complete fertilizer
(6-6-6) mixed with fine, sifted topsoil to add to about one
inch over the whole area. Additional alternated layers
may be built up as necessary or as materials become
A mound of good topsoil may be made along the three
fenced sides to help retain run-off. I have obtained very
*Mr. Torres and his wife were chosen Farm Family of the
Year at the 1981 Agriculture and Food Fair.
good results by planting cucumbers or tomatoes on this
mound on the outer perimeter of the pile and tying the
vines or stems to the chicken wire previously mentioned.
A good bit of the juices from the pile seep out and
anything planted around the sides takes a free ride. The
pile should always be kept moist, but not too wet. The
fertilizer, manure and soil act as innoculants or activators
and greatly assist the microorganisms in the process to
decay the vegetable residues. This process takes between
three to six months depending on the particular method
used. The coarser the chopping of the vegetable residues
or the lesser the innoculants incorporated, the longer the
period of the composting process. Since insects,
earthworms, millipedes and other organisms play an
important role in the composting process, never spray
with insecticides on or around the compost pile. Frequent
forking over will discourage rats and other vermin
unwanted in the heap.
% 1 f YF -Tal
Giant bunch of bananas raised by Jose Torres (right) on
his farm attests to the benefits of composting. Looking
on is CVI extension horticulturist Clinton George.
A hundred pounds of discarded vegetable materials
will produce not more than a few pounds of completely
decayed compost but is well worth the effort at harvest
time. A few spoonfuls mixed in the planting hole will do
the trick or if a sufficient quantity is available, ten to
twenty pounds for every 100 square feet can be scattered
over and then forked into the soil. Compost also has been
used as mulch or in combination with it. For the latter
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practice compost needn't be completely rendered. for it
will continue the decaying process while spread o\er the
ground, but never incorporate it into the soil if planting is
to be done immediately. In sandy soils, where intensive
cultivation is not recommended, a combination of mulch
and compost is unbeatable. In this instance the mulch \ ill
retain moisture in the soil by discouraging c\aporation
and the compost, once mixed into the soil. will act as
storage for that extra moisture that does not evaporate or
percolate. No undesirable odors will result from
decomposing vegetable matter if done under controlled
The advantages ot organic gardening can hardly be
over-emphasized. However, extremes are al\war,
misleading. The rejection of modern methods such as the
use of chemical fertilizers and safe. proven insecticides is
a fallacy. These products if used judiciously can be of
great help to the farmer, in man\ cases the difference
between success and failure.
A plant cannot assimilate food from any source unless
it is first broken down to its original elements, be this
organic or chemical. Nitrogen will still be nitrogen
whether obtained from leaves or synthetic salts, and there
isn't significant difference between one or the other. Nor
is there conclusive evidence indicating that crops grown
"organically" are more resistant to disease or pest
damage than similar vigorously grown crops using
commercial fertilizers. If the end product of the compost
pile were to be expended commercially it ma\ not be
legally labeled as a fertilizer, even though it contains
small amounts of the three main chemical elements, but
rather as a soil conditioner. The latter is by far more
important since the majority of soils are more deficient in
their physical structure than in fertility. Analysis of a soil
may show no lack of the essential elements, yet it renders
a very low yield. A good soil conditioner will surely
correct this. In most of these instances what happens is
that air and water do not reach deep or far enough to the
tiny hair roots because of the tightness of the soil. there\
making the nutrients in the medium unavailable to the
plant. This condition also affects the absorption of the
minerals, some of' which interact as catalysts in the
assimilation of some of the nutrients.
In preparing this article, complicated terminology was
avoided in order to present a more amenable reading to
the un-initiated, to stir the interest of the average person
and involve the greatest number of people in the tight
against inflation. It may sound as cliche but bears
repeating: a pound of food grown in the backyard in \our
spare time is a pound of food not imported. Also
materials recommended are preferably salvaged from the
junkyard, garage or in last resort, the garden shop.
Fertilizers mentioned are locally available. Practices
described are especially suited for our soils, inexpensive
and easily performed by the lay person.
May your gardening endeavors be pleasant and
WRAPS says, "Wrap up a healthy body"!
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From Our Photo Album
Young dancers stand by awaiting signal
to entertain crowd during fair's enter-
Fair director of Caribbean activities Bill
Bass joins hands with St. Kitts-Nevis
exhibitors at 1981 fair.
Farm Family of the Year award winners
Jose Torres and his wife display their
beautiful clock award, assisted by
Senate president Ruby M. Rouss, as
fair vice-president Darshan S. Padda
By Liz Wilson
Arona Petersen, St. Thomas author,
renowned cook and world traveler,
dangles a pair of tasty salt fish which she
prepared for food and preserve
demonstration at fair
Island fruit trees were part of the
extension agriculture exhibit.
Displaying their prize ribbons are two
representatives from Tortola in colorful
booth which exhibited produce from that
_/ ; c- ,j^M
Well-known Virgin Islands culinary artists gathered to demonstrate their expertise at food fair
demonstration. From left are Lena Shulterbrandt, Esther Moorhead, Alma Doward, Edith Bond,
Arona Petersen, Margaret Carter, Amy McKay, Alice Petersen, Agatha Ross, Mary Joseph,
Ingeborg Hector and Eglantine Isaacs.
Looking alarmed at being in such close
captivity, tilapia freshwater fish are
displayed to show fair visitors the
potential of raising their own fish as a
source of protein. CVI aquaculture
program prepared the exhibit.
Seed identification display was prepared
by agriculture department hoticulturist
Michele Thurland. Looking on is fair super-
intendent Larry Bough.
. i. .,
Sheltered Workshop displayed
handmade dolls and preserves at 1981
Young Arawak Program farmers pose
proudly with their calves and ribbons.
St. Croix farmers discuss Paul Lindquist's exhibit of vegetables. With him are Charles Schuster
and former senator Fritz Lawaetz.
Your ELECTRONIC CENTER on St. Croix
enaman's ELECTRONICS, INC.
Box 6-T, Christiansted, St. Croix
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For the Best
Diseases of Dogs and Cats in the
United States Virgin Islands
By Eugene A. Petersen, D.V.M.
Many problems confront the pet owners of these
islands and can cause a cute little puppy or kitten to be a
big headache and a source of frustration and heartbreak.
Some of these problems occur naturally, such as
infectious diseases, parasitic infestation, (worms, ticks,
fleas, etc.) and skin problems. But many of the problems
are created because of misinformation or lack of
knowledge about the general care of our pets.
The axiom, "an ounce of prevention is better than a
pound of cure", is very true in veterinary medicine and
should be considered when one is acquiring a pet of any
kind. Prevention and early detection of common diseases
is the key to a good and healthy pet. A well-informed
owner insures that a pet will receive proper care and
The following description of diseases, their symptoms
and treatment, is not an attempt to teach the reader to
diagnose and treat diseases, but to make you aware of
some of the problems affecting us here in the Virgin
Islands. The description of some suggested therapy is
only an attempt to improve your self-awareness and
encourage one to seek proper assistance early in the
course of an apparent problem.
Canine Distemper: This is caused by a virus that affects
the intestines, nervous systems, and respiratory (lungs)
system. It may cause inappetence (not eating), fever,
discharge from the eyes and nose, twitching and shaking,
paralysis, and death. This disease is very prevalent and
dogs that recover may continue to show nervous
symptoms of twitching and shaking especially in the head
and jaws. Veterinary assistance is a must at the first
appearance of symptoms and all young puppies should
receive a series of vaccination to prevent this disease.
Canine Parvo Virus (CPV): This is a virus that affects
mainly the intestinal tract, but can affect the heart of
young puppies. Bloody diarrhea, severe vomiting,
dehydration, fever, inappetence, and sudden death are all
symptoms of CPV. Fluids (life water), antibiotics and
good nursing care must be given as soon as possible by
your veterinarian as a high percentage of young dogs will
die from this disease.
CPV can cause sudden death in young puppies by
affecting their heart which may lead one to think that his
pup was poisoned.
Canine Ehrlichiosis: (Bleeding disease, Dog Tick
Midnight, the kitten, and Tan-Tan, the puppy, grew up to
be strong healthy pets because they were vaccinated and
wormed when young.
Fever, Tropican Canine Pancytopenla) is caused by a
blood parasite that is transmitted by ticks. Nose bleed,
fever, pale gums, listlessness, poor appetite, and excessive
bleeding from small cuts are all symptoms of Tick Fever.
Sedatives, blood transfusion, antibiotics, and vitamins
must be given by your veterinarian. Tick Fever is very
unpredictable and may cause sudden death or prolonged
sickness. Ticks must be kept under control to avoid this
Cat Distemper (Feline Pancytopenia) is caused by a
virus and the symptoms are similar to distemper in dogs,
but the nervous symptoms are not pronounced or absent.
Cats may recover from this disease with medication and
good nursing care from your veterinarian.
Cat Leukemia: This is caused by a highly contagious
virus. Pale (white) gums and nose, inappetence, lethargy,
some nasal discharge, and labored breathing are
symptoms of this disease. There is no treatment for this
condition and cats that recover from the symptoms may
remain carriers. A blood test must beferformed by your
veterinarian to confirm the diagnosis and, if positive, the
animal should be humanely euthanized (put to sleep).
Fleas and Ticks: These are small skin parasites that
cause constant discomfort to both pet and owner. They
can transmit disease and cause skin allergies and severe
dermatitis (inflammation of the skin). They can survive
for extended periods (months and years), in rugs, grass,
cracks and crevices, and many other places in the home.
There are many preparations to kill fleas and ticks, all of
which are poisonous ana snouia oe handled properly.
Mange: There are two types of mange that are caused
by very small mites that burrow into the skin. Demodex
or Red Mange is the most severe and is very difficult, if
not impossible, to treat in the advanced stages.
Sarcoptic Mange (Scabies): This is another type which
causes excessive scratching and hair loss. Scabies is much
easier to treat, but can also affect humans causing skin
rash and itching. Treatment should be closely supervised
by a veterinarian and recovery should be complete before
treatment is stopped.
Intestinal Worms: There are many types of intestinal
parasites but in the Virgin Islands we are affected by three
or four major ones.
Hookworm: These are picked up in the soil and can
penetrate the skin or be ingested. They migrate to the
intestinal tract where they attach themselves to the walls
and suck blood. Young puppies with severe hookworms
can become anemic and dehydrated and die suddenly.
Pups should be checked at 10-14 days of age and
deformed regularly if found to have parasites. Older
dogs should be checked annually or semi-annually and be
deformed if necessary.
Roundworms: These are larger than hookworms and
are picked up also in the soil by ingestion. They affect
mostly puppies and in large numbers, can cause severe
problems. Most medication for hookworms will also kill
Tape Worms: These are transmitted from dog to dog
by the flea and can cause obstruction in the bile ducts or
intestinal tract. The eggs are eaten by the flea where they
develop and when the flea is eaten by the dog, the tape
worm matures in the intestinal tract. Specific medication
is needed to treat tape worms and often must repeated
several times to affect a cure.
Whip Worm: This is increasingly becoming a problem
in dogs on St. Croix. They are small pinworms and cause
severe irritation to the intestinal tract and anus. They
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cause a smelly diarrhea and a stool test must be
performed to detect their presence. In se\ere cases.
vomiting may occur but dogs recover well \with
Heart Worms (Dirofilaria): This is a parasite
transmitted by mosquitoes. The adult worms reside in the
heart and adjacent vessels where they cause obstruction
to the flow of blood and interference with the function of
the heart valves. They produce larxae (babies) which are
called microfilaria. These larvae are picked up b\ the
mosquitoes when they suck blood and are transmitted to
other dogs when the mosquito bites them. Your
veterinarian must do a blood test to determine it
heartworms are present. Treatment in\ohles a series ot
shots to kill the adult heartworm followed b\ tablets to
kill the microfilaria. Advance cases are difficult to treat
and the dog can die from the disease.
Fortunately, we have medication that prevents
heartworms by preventing the larxae (microfilaria) from
developing once an infected mosquito bites a dog. This
medication must be given ever day and dogs should be
checked annually for heartworm disease.
It is clear to see that if one can a\ oid or present an\ of
the common ailments that afflict our animals that w\e \\ ill
enjoy a healthier and more appreciative pet.
Here are some general ideas about pet care that ma\
vary depending on the animal but are good to follow as a
general guide to pet care.
1. Check all animals for parasites and properly
vaccinate before breeding.
2. Check all pups at 10-14 days of age for parasites
and follow your veterinarian's instructions
3. Vaccinate and check for parasites at 6-8 weeks of
age and follow the vaccination program suggested
by your veterinarian.
4. Start Heartworm preventive medicine at 4-6
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months of age and continue as long as the dog
lies in an area where Heartworms are prevalent.
5. Routinely check dogs' skin for fleas and ticks and
take proper measures to control them. Bathing in
sea water does not kill fleas and ticks.
6. Any hairless and sore areas, especially\ on head and
back. should be checked To eliminate mange.
Excessive scratching could also mean mange or
fleas are present. Note: We are also affected b\
many plant and grass allergies which must be
differentiated from mange.
7. Give a veterinary check-up once yearly which
should include vaccination, stool check and
COMMON TALES AND MISCONCEPTIONS
1. Here are no worms under the tongue of your dog
that affect its appetite and must be pulled out b,
pliers or other similar tools. That is the Lyssa
which is a part of the tongue.
2. Salt water does not cure any skin diseases,
3. Some herbs, oils, and weeds haxe minor effects on
intestinal parasites and other conditions but are
unpredictable and in most cases useless.
4. Gun powder does not make a dog vicious and
5. Mercury (quick silver) does not prevent dogs from
being poisoned and. in fact, is poisonous itself.
6. Distemper vaccination is to prevent the dog from
getting Distemper Disease and does not affect the
dog's temper or behavior.
7. Do not give cats aspirin, dips or spray with any
other chemicals unless you check with your
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Diagnosing Your Soil Problems
By Kim Steerman
C.V.I. Cooperative Extension Service
The Cooperative Extension Service of the Virgin
Islands is constructing a soil diagnostic testing laboratory
to assist islanders in determining their soil problems. The
laboratory is located in the New House building at C.V.I.
on St. Thomas, and will serve St. Croix and St. John, as
well as St. Thomas.
Since soil is the source of nutrients for plants, a soil
testing program is essential to the improved management
of Virgin Island agriculture. Because of the wide variety of
soils present in the Virgin Islands, it is important to
chemically classify these soils so that soil fertility
problems can be recognized and corrected. One of the
objectives of the Cooperative Extension Service is to
chemically classify the soils on St. Croix, St. Thomas and
St. John. This will complement the existing Soil Survey
book on the Virgin Islands published in 1965 by the Soil
Soil What is it?
Farmers and home gardeners have genuine interest in
the status of their soils. Soil is the reservoir from which
plant roots draw essential elements and water to the
vegetative and flowering parts of the plant. The term soil
refers to the outer loose material of the earth's surface, a
layer distinctly different from the underlying bedrock.
This region of the earth's crust, known as soil, supports
plant life by mechanically supporting the plant as well as
supplying most of the nutrients the plant needs.
The soil is composed of five major components:
mineral matter, water, air, organic matter, and living
organisms. The mineral fraction generally comprises 45%
of the total volume of soil, while organic matter
constitutes from 2 6%. The remaining 50% of the soil
volume is termed pore space, which is filled with both air
and water. When the soil becomes saturated with water,
there is no room for air in the pore space, and the soil is
What is a Soil Testing Program?
The soil testing program consists of five major steps:
sampling, sample preparation, extraction, analysis, and
recommendations. The major source of error in this
program is most likely to occur in the initial step, the
There are thousands of pounds of soil in a garden plot
and a soil sample consists of only a half of a pound of soil.
Therefore, the probability of a misrepresentation of the
total garden plot exists, if one does not carefully
represent the garden by taking several samples and
mixing them into the composite sample. It is impossible
to analyze all of the soil, therefore it is very important
that the sample is representative of the area involved.
In each area, where the soil is similar in color, texture,
and relief, a number of samples are taken and mixed into
the composite sample. From this composite sample a half
of a pound of soil is taken to the extension service for
analysis. If the soil varies in color, texture, or relief a new
sample must be taken for that specific soil, so that two or
more samples might be required to characterize an area
of soil. The soil sample is usually taken to a depth of 6 8
CVI extension soil specialist Kim Steerman is shown
analyzing a soil sample in the new testing laboratory on
the St. Thomas campus.
After the soil is received by the Extension Service it is
dried and passed through a 10mm sieve to. sure the
extraction of a uniform volume of soil. Extraction, the
next step, is the process by which the available nutrients
are removed from the soil particles and suspended in
solution. This is accomplished by adding various
chemicals to the soil and agitating or stirring the soil
solution mixture. The soil solution is then filtered and
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analyzed for the elements of interest. The final step
consists of recommending fertilizers. based on results
from plant soil studies lor a specific crop.
What does a Soil Test tell you?
[he soil test is a chemical method for estimating the
nutrient-suppl ing power of the soil. It reveals the status
of the soil. whether it is balanced. deficient or to\ic in
regard to the \arious nutrients. Specifically. the soil test
results report pH, organic matter. soluble salts, nitrogen.
phosphorous, potassium. calcium. magnesium, sodium.
boron. copper. /inc. iron. manganes,c and suiltur. l\ it
tells w whether calcium and magnesilum are balata ncCed as
well as magnesi lum1 and potassium. I lie pH imeasurIlemlent
is the most inforimat ie of all the nmeasurIements I shoin i
whether the soil is acid or alkaline. \t pH -. the soil is
neutral: as the pH rises abose 7. the soil becomes more
alkaline. I he optimum pH lor most crops is between .5
Organic matter content indicates ho\w much nitr ole n
may be supplied from the minerali/ation prices in the
nitrogen cycle. Soluble salts reach to\Ic proportions in
some Virgin Islands soils and cause salt hurnt to plants.
Generally. Virgin Islands soils are alkaline \with a
relatively\ high salt content. Ihese problems can he
remedied by adding elemental sulur to the soi s which
forms sulfuric acid, reducing the pH. I teaching ol the soil
by a hea\\ rainfall or irrigation treatment \\I1ll isult in
ridding the soil of toxic salt le\cls. Ho\c\ cr. some
problems arise from the salt spra\ Irom ocean \winds,,
burning the foliage of plants. especially !ioutng.
She remaining soil analysis consists at miea-suincL
individual elements, all of whichh are important in a
balanced soil fertility\ plant nutrition program
Island farmers and home gardeners \will find the ,oil
testing program a useful and necessary compotnnt to
assist them in their agriculture ettorts. For ans ers- to
questions on soil problems, call \our local extension
office on St. Croix and St. homas.
AND VILLE LA REINE
ST. CROIX, V.I. INFANTS
BUSTER BROWN CLOTHES WEAR
NYLON HAIR RIBBONS
BY THE SOIL TESTING LABORATORY
Indispensable constituent of
amino acids and proteins.
Provides for leafy, green growth.
Essential for energy transfer and
fruit and seed formation.
Helps resist drought and lodging.
Activates enzyme systems.
Essential component in some
amino acids, also present in
enzymes, vitamins, and other
essential organic compounds.
Important in cell elongation and
Part of chlorophyll molecule
necessary for photosynthesis.
Essential for proper cell
development and normal growth,
flowering and quality.
Indispensable for chlorophyll
synthesis. Component of enzymes
and carriers operating in the
Involved in enzymatic activity,
chlorophyll synthesis, carbohy-
drate transformations, and
growth promoting substances.
Associated with chlorophyll
synthesis, nitrogen metabolism
and carbohydrate breakdown.
Found in combination with
selected proteins in the plant.
Plays role in respiration.
General yellowing of leaves and
slow growth, occurring in older
Dark blue-green leaves possibly
with red or purple veins. Slow
growth. Appears in older leaves.
Margins of lower leaves appear
yellow and may develop grown
spots. Slow growth.
Yellow, chloritic leaves. Appears
in lower leaves first. Resembles
Failure of terminal buds to
Yellow blotching beginning at tips
of leaf and on lower leaves first.
Cessation of growth of terminal
bud. followed by younger leaves
turning pale green at the base
(rather than the tip).
General yellowing, appearing first
in younger leaves. Leaf tissue
between veins turns yellow while
veins remain green.
Small yellow leaves that may turn
brown and drop.
General chlorosis of young leaves
between the veins. Often gray
spots or streak on leaves and
Young leaves first develop faded
green color with a grayish cast.
Necrotic edges may develop on
Reflects the clean shore breezes that freshen our
pastures and blue sea that frames them.
Our healthy flocks of cattle give St. Croix the taste
treat and eye appeal to please islander and tourist alike.
SUPPORT ALL LOCAL AGRICULTURE
Home of the
and the big
White Cows ...
Agricultural Systems of the Aborigines
of the West Indies
By Alfredo E. Figueredo
Many scholars, when considering the agriculture of
American aborigines, choose to make a distinction
between 'vegetative' and 'seed' agriculture. The late
geographer Carl O. Sauer was prominent among these,
another eminent advocate being the anthropologist
Donald W. Lathrap.
Sauer held that there were two original and distinct
modes of agriculture in the New World. One of these,
-arising in the Mexican area, was based solely on the
cultivation of crops propagated by their seeds; for
instance: beans, maize, and pumpkins. The other, coming
out of the South American lowlands, was based on the
culture of crops propagated vegetatively; that is, by
means of their cuttings or suckers: examples are manioc,
potatoes (both 'Irish' and 'sweet'), and tanias. Lathrap
has accepted Sauer's two distinct modes, and has
emphasized both the antiquity and the importance of
vegetative agriculture, which until recently lacked a
champion. Most scholars formerly had emphasized only
the importance of seed agriculture.
In truth, we have nowhere in the New World any pure
system of agriculture, restricted significantly either to
seed or vegetative propagation. In the Mexican area,
work by David Davis of Tulane University has made a
good case for the early presence of a 'vegetative' crop,
manioc, in the heartland of 'seed' agriculture. On the
other side of the coin, the most significant crop to appear
in Peru's Early Horizon is maize-this, in the home of the
To brush aside finally this artificial distinction between
two modes of agriculture which, like East and West, are
assumed never to meet, one could state decisively that if,
as Lathrap proposes, the diffusion of agriculture from the
Old World to the New was due largely to the spread of the
bottle gourd (Lagenaria) from Africa to South America,
then the origins of South American 'vegetative'
agriculture are to be found in an industrial plant which is
propagated by its seeds!
The agriculture of the aborigines of the West Indies
included crops which were propagated both vegetatively
and by their seeds. Neither group of crops can be said to
have been more important than the other.
It is customary to divide the West Indies into two
A lfredo E. Figueredo is the Administrator of the Virgin Islands
Archaeological Society. His article is taken from a lecture he
delivered at the College of the Virgin Islands Cooperative
Extension Service on St. Croix.
major areas, with different climates, flora, and fauna.
The larger area is the Greater Antilles, which includes
Cuba (by itself, half the landmass of the West Indies),
Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin
Islands. The Bahamas are distinct geologically, but for
the purposes of the biologist or anthropologist, they are
in the Greater Antilles. The Lesser Antilles is the smaller
area, and this includes all the Caribbean: the small islands
to the southeast of the Virgins and north of Trinidad
(which is a continental island): examples are St. Martin,
Guadeloupe, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, and
Early Tarno pottery bat head from Megans Bay, St.
Thomas. The fruit bat was thought to represent the soul
of the dead.
Before the settlement of the West Indies by Europeans,
two major races of aborigines divided the islands between
them. The more civilized of the two, the Tamnos, were
related distantly to the Arawak of South America, and
occupied the Greater Antilles (including the Bahamas).
Their less polished neighbors, the Caribs, also were
related to the Arawak of South America, but much more
closely so, as is to be expected from their greater
proximity to the continent. The Caribs inhabited many of
the Lesser Antilles and, late in their history, had
conquered from the Tainos the island of St. Croix,
gaining thereby a foothold in the Greater Antilles.
Most of what we know about these two aboriginal
races (neither was ever a single political unit) is gleaned
either from the rather dull work of archaeologists or from
the writings of Europeans who were the contemporaries
of the aborigines. Much of this information (of either
kind) has yet to be published in detail, but of what is
published the two most useful authors for the Tainos are
the Spaniards Oviedo and Las Casas, and the Frenchman
Breton for the Caribs.
The first valuable agronomical study of the Tainos was
published almost a century ago by the famous Cuban
scientist Alvaro Reynoso. Thirty years ago, his
countryman Perez de la Riva published another excellent
treatise. The Caribs, less proficient agriculturally
anyway, have not been favored by similar monographs.
The agriculture of the aborigines of the West Indies,
taken as a whole, has been studied'in detail also by the
great Swedish archaeologist Sven Loven, and the
American ethnologist William C. Sturtevant. Sauer,
another American and already cited, has devoted much
attention to aboriginal agriculture in his controversial
book, The Early Spanish Main.
Three-pointed stone from St. Croix was buried in the
field by early Tainos to help promote growth of crops.
The Taino agricultural system was complex and
sophisticated. It included a wide array of food crops, of
which the following were outstanding: manioc (both
'bitter' and 'sweet' varieties), sweet potatoes (many
varieties), maize ('Early Caribbean' race, with
multicolored grains), pumpkin, tania, peanuts, the
'common' bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), pepper (Capsicum),
pineapples, guava, mammee apples, both 'sweet' and
'sour' sops, and many other fruits and roots of lesser
importance. (Some crops common in the modern West
Indies, which seem native because they are everywhere,
such as avocados, caneps, mangoes, pigeon peas, 'sweet'
limes, tamarinds, and yams are not endemic to these
islands nor were they cultivated by the aborigines; they
were brought in by Europeans during the Age of
Industrial, medicinal, or 'ritual' crops included
tobacco, physic nut (Jatropa), cotton, 'bottle' and 'tree'
gourds, annatto, and the hallucinogenic snuff cohoba
Taino turtle pot from Virgin Gorda.
Animal husbandry was less well-developed among the
Tainos. The most common domesticate, the dog (four of
whom were met at the beach by Columbus' men when
they landed on St. Croix), was not only a pet and a
hunting companion, but it was eaten also; it was of a race
which growled but never barked. Other domesticates
raised for consumption include the guinea pig (Cavia),
and the agouti (Dasyprocta), the former kept confined
and the latter let go into the bush. An extinct rodent,
Isolobodon, was kept in a manner similar to the agouti,
and so perhaps was the iguana (both 'rock' and 'tree'
genera). The only domesticated fowl may have been the
parrot, which was valued as a pet and for its plumage, but
there are persistent (if perhaps mistaken) reports of the
presence of the common domestic fowl (Gallus gallus) in
pre-Columbian America, including, of course, the West
Fish farming was conducted in inlets, particularly the
mouths of rivers and streams, and coastal ponds; the only
species of which we are certain is the mullet (Mugil
brasiliensis), kept in 'fish corrals'until harvested. There is
a record of a seacow (Trichechus manatus) in captivity,
but as the pet of a chieftain.
This admirable array of food crops and minor
domesticates, all of which are suited perfectly to the West
Indian environment, was supplemented by extensive
foraging from the wild, Fishing and hunting were of great
importance, mollusks, fish, turtles, West Indian seal
(Monachus tropicalis), seacows, and whales being taken
from the marine environment (the last probably only
when standed), while many now extinct or nearly-extinct
species of insectivores, reptiles, rodents, and sloths were
taken from the land environment. Wild birds and their
eggs were important also.
Wild plants collected for food include the stem of
cycads (Zamia), from which flour was made, prickly pear
(a true West Indian native!), various wild yams-one of
which is related to but not identical with the African
cultivated yam, fruits such as hogplums, seagrapes, and
the true grape, which exists here in several wild species
and which the aborigines fermented into wine, as they did
with many other things. Sisal and other wild fibers were
collected for industrial uses, as were many hallucinogenic
and medicinal plants.
The instruments used in this agricultural system were
very few; a fire-hardened 'dibble' or digging-stick (called
by them coa), and a stone hoe. The first of these, the
digging-stick, was the main implement, whether for
rooting in the wild or planting in the cornfields, for at
least the last 7,000 years of aboriginal settlement in the
West Indies. Simple, efficient, and changeless, it was
indispensable in a society with neither steel tools nor the
Through much of the Tahno area, cultivation followed
the 'swidden' or 'slash-and-burn' system of rotating fields
with woodland. Population pressure in restricted valleys,
however, led to complex irrigation projects and
permanent fields systems, the densely cultivated,
thoroughly irrigated XaraguA Valley in Hispaniola is a
good example of the Taino advances in this direction.
The planting of maize was done by poking holes in the
ground with a dibble, dropping three or four seeds into
each hole, and then covering the holes with earth using
one's feet. A root crop such as manioc was planted on a
small artificial hill (called a conuco) about six or seven
feet across and one to two feet high. These hillocks were
practically overlapping in fields of many hundreds or
thousands of them, every one heaped up laboriously by
men using nothing but dibbles!
On areas of a marked karst topography, such as the
Bahamas or the Greater Antilles islands of Saona and
Mona, and perhaps others, a'pothole'system was used as
may be seen practised still by the descendants of Puritans
on Eleuthera, or by the rustics on Anegada. This means
simply that where soil is to-be found only in pockets amid
limestone outcroppings, these widespread pockets (called
'pots' because they are often in shallow depressions) are
cultivated, with no attempt to bring them together into
united fidlds. The provision grounds of Saona and
Mona, thus cultivated, were productive to a superlative
All planting was timed to the lunations, always taking
place on new moons so that, according to the aborigines,
'the crops would grow with the moon.' The varieties of
maize and sweet potato were selected and planted
keeping in mind their time to harvest, so that harvests
would be staggered throughout as much of the year as
possible. Varieties of maize, for example, matured after
two, three or four months, while some varieties of sweet
potatoes took as long as six months to mature.
Fertilizers, other than ashes and unripened green
manure left accidentally from both clearing and burning,
were unknown. Good yields of corn, according to
Oviedo, depended on the variety planted, the soil,
growing conditions, and so forth, but went from sixfold
for an early variety on poor soil, to an-hundred-and-fifty-
two-fold harvested in one of his estates.
A good sign of the advancement and complexity of
Taino agriculture is that men did both the clearing and
the planting, as well as much of the harvesting and some
of the processing of foodstuffs. In a primitive world
almost unilaterally dominated by men (the Ta'nos had
patrilineal succession), their dedication to agriculture
entails its great importance: the Tainos could not survive
without their crops, they were that removed from the
easier life of gathering and hunting.
The Carib agricultural system was everywhere similar
to an impoverished Taino system, except that
refinements such as permanent fields and irrigation were
nowhere to be found. The importance of marine
resources in the smaller islands of the Caribs, and their
decided large scale practice of cannibalism due to a more
restricted supply of animal proteins in their habitat, had
one telling consequence: women were the farmers among
them,.despite a society even more male-oriented than the
A St. John petroglyph.
A curious ambivalent development in the Carib world,
then, was that even though young brides must move from
their kin and settle with their husband if he were a war-
chief, in all other instances the young grooms moved to
the houses of their brides' kin: boys being much easier to
move about than cornfields! Another curious
development is the presence of outright slavery among
the Caribs-the Tainos never passed the bounds of
serfdom to plain servitude except when captured by their
enemies the Caribs.
Here, in brief, are the agricultural systems of the
aborigines of the West Indies. We may still learn much
from them, and we still do not understand all there is to
them. To the archaeologist and to the historian belongs
the happy task!
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Prize-Winning Food Fair Cooks
By Ruth Lang
Department of Agriculture
Every year the islands' top cooks are busy for weeks
receding the fair as they get their utensils and
ingredients ready for the judging at the annual
Agriculture and Food Fair in February.
Chosen by the V.I. Department of Agriculture are
three judges who are selected for their knowledge and
expertisee in the art of local cooking. Generally judges
include two women and one man, and attempts are made
o change the judges each year.
cooks come back every year to compete, win or lose. As
many judges have observed, each entry reflects its own
There are five categories for food booths in the fair
building: native and old fashioned (heritage) foods;
cakes, tarts, pies, breads, candies and ice cream;
condiments; preserves, jams and jellies; local fruit and
vegetable juices and beverages (non-carbonated). In
addition, prizes are also given for the best decorated table
and a special prize is offered for the best original main
dish using locally grown vegetables in season at the time
of the fair.
In recent years, singing groups from St. Luke's Church
have taken many blue ribbons and everyone remembers
with fond nostalgia the fine dishes made by the late
Rebecca George who displayed her art of cooking at the
fair each year. Top winners in 1981 were Delores Hansen,
Gladys Griffith, Louise Samuel, Gwendolyn Fludd,
Alma Doward, Fedelia Harrigan, St. Luke's Gospel and
Junior Choirs. and Alice Schuster.
SOME 1981 WINNING RECIPES
by Delores Hansen
I bunch sweet marjoram
1 bunch rosemary
I bunch anise
4 lb. ginger
Fair officials Pholconah Edwards and Elaine Xaviar assist
Judge Emelda Allick tabulate results in annual food fair
contest for islands' best cooks.
Judging by numbers assigned to food items takes place
every day of the fair from noon on throughout the
afternoon in a special secluded room in the Food
Building at the fair. Judges do not know the names of the
entrants. Participants are allowed unlimited entries for
each food unit category and items are judged carefully for
flavor, consistency, aroma and eye appeal. The food
which is submitted for judging actually becomes the
property of the food fair management, and the prize
winning dishes must remain on display throughout the
day, except for the Best Decorated Cake, which is judged
Choosing the top prize winners is not always easy
because the cooks have exerted their energy and best
efforts to produce the finest mouthwatering dish they can
make. Each year different entries take prizes but most
4-5 sticks maubi bark
1 inch white root
I dried orange peel
11/2 gal. water
Boil the above the day before you are ready to' use it.
Later that night, strain, then add 11/2 gal. of water to
strained contents, stir and toss up and down a few times
and sweeten to taste. Get a bottle of stale maubi or 4 tsp.
of yeast then bottle it out and leave it to work overnight.
Sweet Potato Pudding
by Gwendolyne Fludd
1 lb. sweet potato (grated) 1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 lb. pumpkin (grated) I tbsp. mace
I lb. tannia (grated) 1 tbsp. nutmeg
1 coconut (grated) 1 tbsp. black pepper
1 lb. sugar brown or white
1/4 cup Crisco or shortening
Start by pealing potatoes, pumpkin, and tannia. Wash
and grate. After these ingredients are grated, add your
spice and mix well, then pour in melted shortening. Place
in a greased baking pan and bake at 3000 F for about 1'/2
hrs. You could also add a piece of fat pork. Cooking is
done very slowly. Test to see if done by inserting a knife.
If knife comes out clean then pudding is done.
Jaw Bone Candies
by Fedelia Harrigan
I tbsp. peppermint oil
5 lbs. sugar
6 pt. water
Bring sugar, peppermint and water to boil. Boil until it
reaches 250' F. Then take boiled mix, pour it on a marble
stone and roll for about 15 minutes. Nail a 6" nail into a
piece of lumber about your height. Take rolled mix from.
marble stone and hang it on the nail. Pull mix on nail
causing it to go around into a circle for about 15 minutes
or until mix becomes very smooth. Remove from nail and
return to marble stone where it is cut into pieces.
Makes 11/2 dozen.
by Louise Samuel
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 to 6 eggs
4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
11/2 cup milk
I tsp. vanilla essence
I tsp. almond essence
4 or 5 preserves
guavaberry and lime.
Cream butter, add sugar gradually still creaming about
15 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time until light. Sift flour
and baking powder and add little at a time with milk &
essence while folding.
Grease 3 layer cake pans and bake in oven 3500 F approx.
20 to 25 minutes. Let cool. Preferable to bake a day
before. Slice each layer into two using 4 or 5 flavors of
preserve, preferably local green lime, guavaberry, guava
jelly or jam, pineapple preserve. Mix each preserve with
rum or brandy. Put a layer of preserve between each layer
and sprinkle lightly with liquor. Ice cake.
by Louise Samuel
Approx. 3 fish 3 conch
1/2 lb. ham or /2 lb. salt beef
ham bone and skin
3 pig tails 4 lbs. spinach (chopped)
3 lbs. okra (chopped or ground)
kalaloo bush (chopped)
2 crabs or crab meat 3 quarts water
Soak meat overnight. Fry fish and have it boned. Wash
crabs well, set aside. Cook meat and conch until almost
tender. Add chopped okra, kalaloo bush and crabs. Let
cook for about 30 minutes while skimming occasionally.
Add frozen chopped spinach and fish. Let cook for
another 10 minutes. Add hot pepper to taste and let
Roast Pork Gravy
by Alice Schuster
Add hot water in the pan the pork was roasted in, set
aside. Brown I pot spoon of flour in some oil, add onion.
sweet peppers, celery, garlic (crushed) in the browning
flour and cook all up a little. Add some tomato sauce then
St. Lukes Choir has taken top prizes for their entries in recent years at the fair.
kow mi. 1 "Qp,
the hot drippings from the pan that the pork was roasted
in, and keep stirring as you throw in the water. Add some
thyme, and 4 whole cloves. Let it all cook about 10
minutes, taste for salt, and add what is needed.
not overcook, 8 to 10 minutes is enough.
2 cans evap. milk
3 egg yolks
2 cans water
I tbsp. cornstarch
Congratulations from food exhibits director Ruth Lang
(left) go to Louise Samuel for her Vienna Cake and other
prizes as Mary Henderson (center), her assistant, smiles
by Alice Schuster
8 cups water
24 guavas, cut-up
4 oz. tapioca ('/2 box)
Sweeten to taste
Juice from I lime
Boil guava in 8 cups of water for 2 hrs. Strain and taste for
a tang, if none add the juice of 1 lime. Put back on fire and
when water comes to a rolling boil sprinkle in the 4 oz. of
tapioca. Keep stirring (it lumps very quickly), sweeten to
taste. Remove from fire and let cool for hour, stirring
now & then. Add V2 tsp. of red food coloring, mix in
slowly. If it does not color enough add a little more. Do
Mix out egg yolk with some of the liquid. Then sweeten to
taste, add I heaping tbsp. ofconrstarch to mixture. Cook
over boiling water until slightly thickened, remove from
fire, add vanilla flavor.
St. Luke Senior Choir
4 cups watermelon juice
7/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
6 oz. fruit pectin
Pour watermelon juice and lime juice into a large
saucepan, add sugar. Mix well. Place saucepan over high
heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Bring to a
rolling boil. At once stir in fruit pectin. Then to a full
rolling boil and boil hard I minute stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, skim off foam with metal spoon, and
pour into clean glass jars.
Color Developing Film Duracell Batteries
ON THE ISLAND
BOX 7021, SUNNY ISLE, CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
TELEPHONE 773- 7827
Qokers Travel & Tour Center.Inc.
(Your Travel Consultants)
NOW HAS TWO CONVENIENT LOCATIONS
Caravelle Arcade Sunny Isle Mini Mart
Chrlstlansted, St. Croix Chrlstlansted, St. Croix
IT DOESN'T COSTANY MORE TO MAKE YOUR TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS WITH US
Tickets and Cruise Ship Reservations Airline to Anywhere Car Rentals Island Tours Bus Information
MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED
5 DAYS PER
FLEMINGS' TRANSPORT CO., INC.
ALEXANDER HAMILTON AIRPORT
P.O. BOX 596, KINGSHILL, ST. CROIX
Warehousing, Storage, Packing, Crating, Local and
Overseas Household Moving, Office Moving,
General Trucking, Custom Brokerage.
Air Express International
TAT Air Freight
Southern Air Transport
Carolina Puerto Rico
Storage & Consolidators
778-0160 or 778-1212
IN SUNNY ISLE SHOPPING CENTER 773-3537
Oferstou trhe best in/
HOURS SERVICE MERCHANDISE PRICE
OPEN EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR 8 AM 9 PM MON. THRU SAT. 9 AM 9 PM SUN
Paul A. Boulon
SALES & SERVICE
BOX 52 TEL: 776-6747 -
CRUZ BAY, ST. JOHN, V.I. 00830
Cooking Gas & Industrial Gas
Large and Small Electric Appliances
PROFESSIONAL HAIR CARE AT
9'Agnes' Beauty World
Enter AGNES' BEAUTY WORLD for a beautiful
experience. Begin with a hair and skin consultation.
Then, depending on what you need, treat yourself to
the famous JHIRMACK hair and skin products.
You'll love AGNES' WHEAT GERM nourishing &
DEEP CLEANING facials, scalp massages, condition-
ers, coloring, hair relaxing and waving.
Remember, AGNES' hair stylists can style your
hair into the latest looks. AGNES' Beauty World,
specializing in building and maintaining your hair and
scalp. Located across from Sunny Isle Shopping
Center, open Monday through Friday from 9-5,
Saturday from 7-7. Closed on Wednesday.
for an appointment.
2 3 STRAND STREET, CHRISTIANSTED
FEATURING FASHIONS FOR MEN & LADIES
LEVI HAGGAR, JARTZERS, KAYSER
COMBUSTIBLE FUEL DELIVERY
ST CROIX, VI 00820
MURAL Office: 773-6060
~ C.C.. C.E. INC
CHOICE CARIBBEAN CONSTRUCTION ENTERPRISES, INC.
GENERAL CONTRACTORS, DESIGN DRAFTING
First Pennsylvania Bank
has an answer-
FOR THE NEAREST OFFICE, PHONE
In St. Croix 3-0440
In St. Thomas 4-2300
i FRst Pennsqlvania Bank
SERVING THE VIRGIN ISLANDS SINCE 1905
St. Croix St. Thomas Tortola
1982 First Pennsylvania Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
Centerline Rd.-Grove Place Rd.
"Your One-stop Service Center"
Top Quality Mechancial Service
Instant Tire Repair
Any Time, Any Place!
For all your auto needs call:
Francis Laurencin, Prop.
Island Hopping with 4-H Do Rabbits
Have a Future in the Virgin Islands?
By Alan S. Oliver and Charles Smith
C.V.I. Cooperative Extension Service
We most often think of rabbits in northern woodland
landscapes or as a favorite image at Easter. Rabbits are
always cute and lovable as we are told in the cartoons and
mostly suitable as pets for our children.
New information is now available that will increasingly
put the rabbit under a banana tree as well as under an oak
tree. Ghana, a nation in West Africa, has started a
nationwide rabbit raising project to increase the supply of
protein in people's diets. Belize, in Central America, and
the Dominican Republic are cooperating with Michigan
State's Extension Service to increase rabbit production.
Many other islands in the Caribbean, such as St. Kitts,
are encouraging people to try their hand at raising
rabbits. It is in the French speaking islands of the
Caribbean and in France and Belgium that rabbit is
considered a welcome addition to the regular diet.
4-H is interested in rabbits as a way to involve more
youth in a productive animal husbandry experience.
Often the space is not available for a calf, horse or even a
A simple rabbit hutch bedded with straw will serve as a
shelter from weather and predators, and is easy to
goat but very little space is needed for a couple of rabbit
hutches. Raising a few rabbits is a worthwhile experience
because youth learn responsibility through caring for an
animal. 4-H is very concerned with the practical side of
life. Can the food budget be extended by raising your own
meat? Can we help families be more self sufficient? How
can we teach youth to earn money through their own
business or by forming a cooperative? 4-H is interested in
the rabbit because it is a small scale animal which takes
up little space, is cheaper to feed than chickens but can
provide the family with food or be offered for sale after
about eight weeks of growth. A 4 to 5 pound rabbit can be
produced in the same amount of time as a 4 to 5 pound
chicken. It eats about 18 ounces of food daily, and feeds
naturally on grass, shrubs and green shoots because it is
an herbivore (plant eater).
Food crops which can be grown in the back yard
garden for a family household and at the same time feed
some rabbits for home use are, carrot, cabbage, lettuce,
beet, chicory and sunflower. All of the above vegetables
plus peas and beans grow well in the Virgin Islands. Local
grasses like "french weed", better known as water grass to
some people, are also good for feeding. Rabbit manure,
in addition, could be of very good use to a small back
Do rabbits have a future in the Virgin Islands? There
are people here who are already raising rabbits which
indicates they can be raised productively here. However,
the question might also be a cultural one. Will Virgin
Islanders change their eating habits to include rabbit
meat in their meals? Educational efforts will be crucial to
INVESTMENT & TRUST
The whole idea behind Redfield &
Associates is selling real estate.
(809) 773-1010- Res: 773-5943
3ABC Queen Cross Street
REALTOR* Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
ST. THOMAS V.I.
ST. THMA VI
UNITIME IND. INC.
the success of a rabbit project. The large food and drink
companies are constantly changing food habits through
advertising and public relations campaigns. so it can be
done. Chicken legs will nexer be replaced, but some
delicious home grown rabbit legs. raised by \our son or
daughter who is proud of contributing to the family\ food
supply, could be part of our culinary\ future here in the
When starting rabbit production you should treat it as
a business and learn some elements of business
management. Your children will need to find the initial
capital to invest in their hutches, breeding stock and feed.
Where will they get it? If they earn it. fine: but borrow ing
is also a part of good business and by borrowing the\
could start a larger project. They should pay interest on
the borrowed money,just as other businesses and farmers
Building the hutch will require young people to learn
some carpentry skills. The minimum dimensions for
rabbit hutches should be 3/2 feet long b\ 2'/ feet wide b\
2 feet high, and home hutches could be constructed
without much trouble. Regular wooden boxes with '/4"
mesh wire in front make an easily constructed hutch.
Two does and a buck or access to a buck will be
enough breeding stock to start with. Each doe \ ill require
about 20 square feet of yard space. 4-H will be offering
workshops in March and April for those who want to
learn how to start their own rabbit project. The
important decision to make is whether Nou want to raise
rabbits as a pet or raise them for food production. The
latter requires you to face the reality of killing 'our
animal for meat production at the appropriate time.
Someone has already done that for you when you bu\
those neatly packaged meats at the supermarket.
This year the 4-H Program will begin experimenting
with the rabbit project and rabbit recipes to see if the
rabbit can become more than just a fictional visitorr at
Easter and can contribute to the basic food supply in the
Virgin Islands. If you have any questions about rabbits or
you are interested in helping us involve \outh in rabbit
production, contact the 4-H office at 778-0246.
OPEN 7 DA YS
0 A WEEK
COME IN FOR A DONUT or
TRY ONE OF OUR DELICIOUS SANDWICHES
North Side Road near Ville La Reine
HENNEMAN ICE COMPANY
BLOCK ICE AND CUBES
"Serving St. Croix Since 1954"
29 COMPANY STREET
RICHMOND, CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
Telephone: 773-4140 or 773-1268
0 TRAVEL SERVICES INC. OF ST. CROIX
Z KINGS ALLEY CHRISTIANSTED ST. CROIX VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
Sy St. Croix's E
STRAND STREET MALL
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
Enjoy them here or on
your Buck Island trip.
Cold cuts & imported
cheeses, cold drinks
wine & beer, gourmet
Conic by or call to order
Tutu Paint f Hardware
HC House and Home
S774-5010 Hours 9- Dlly/Tutu Sunday 10-4 775-0415
Barbel Plaza & Fort Mylner
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR YOUR GARDEN
Soil Testing Kits
Electric & Gas Weed Eaters
CloLfibLZ /o, t&e Qun,,,, -ady
Ce Qantici, kc.
Lime Tree Court
67 ing Street, 7reerikste
Size 16-2-1 /2 77 2-1561
Compliments of JOHNIE JOHN'S
RELIABLE TIRE SERVICE, INC.
Hannah's Rest, Frederiksted
6A La Grande Princesse, Christiansted
SHOCKS & MUFFLER
DYNAMIC WHEEL BALANCING
TIRES & TUBES
PREMIUM GRADE TIRES
For Passenger, Trucks, Farm
POST OFFICE BOX 1523
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
UNITED STATES, VIRGIN ISLANDS 00840
ALSO KNOWN FOR
PART TIME WORK
FULL TIME PAY
For more information
CABLE T.V., INC.
Heron Park, Estate Diamond
P.O. Box 7288, Sunny Isle
St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 00820
Tel. (809) 773-8701
G.P.O. Box 2140
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
Ponce de Leon 103 Pda. 27/2
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
753-6471 753-6492 753-6053 753-6893
Why Agriculture Quarantine
By Roy Cole
USDA, APHIS, PPQ
For those who may be unaware, travelers entering any
part of the United States of America from a foreign port
are required to pass through an agriculture inspection
just the same as Customs and Immigration inspections.
Usually the agricultural check is an integral part of the
Customs Inspection and many travelers are scarcely
aware that they are being checked for the Department of
Agriculture also. Obviously, close cooperation with U.S.
Customs is required. The agency responsible for this in
the U.S.D.A. is the Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine Programs
(APHIS, PPQ). There is an Officer in Charge with a staff
of plant protection and quarantine officers on both St.
Croix and St. Thomas who are charged with the
responsibility of enforcing federal quarantines to prevent
the introduction of additional pests. The regulation of
plant and animal pests occurring on the mainland is
accomplished with domestic and state quarantines that
prohibit movement of given pests from areas of known
infestation to uninfested areas.
Recent outbreaks of Mediterrean fruit flies (Ceratitis
capitata Wiedeman) in California and Florida point up
the importance of maintaining an effective barrier to
exclude additional plant and animal pests from entering
the Virgin Islands. The more plant and animal pests we
have, the more our food and livestock production are
reduced. The exclusion of pests is accomplished by
promulgating quarantines on specific pests or hosts.
Consider for a moment the fragile food production
programs that currently exist in the Virgin Islands. It
doesn't take much imagination to visualize the loss in
food production that would occur in the event a pest not
established here found its way into the papaya fruit so
common on the islands. The papaya fruit would be
destroyed and thus create a shortage of one of the food
items grown and consumed here. The same applies to the
poultry being grown in the Virgin Islands. An
unsuspecting traveler could return to his home here
bringing a piece of chicken or fresh eggs carrying New
Castle Disease. The result could be death to the local
chicken business and increased poultry and egg
shipments from the mainland. Another example is a
traveler visiting from down island and deciding to
conceal a piece of fresh pork he is carrying in hopes the
customs officer won't find it. If the meat goes undetected,
the result could be the introduction of Hog Cholera into
the pig population and the attendant loss of pork and
pork products. Obviously hog cholera is no bonus in the
production of pork. From these examples you can see
that the introduction of additional pests will further
weaken Department of Agriculture and Cooperative
Extension Service efforts to bolster food production
It has been calculated that in 1975, the citrus industry
alone was a business of $1,391,000,000 in the United
States. Assume for a moment that only 10% of the crop
had been destroyed by invading foreign plant pests. That
would amount to a dollar loss of $13,910,000, a
substantial loss any way you look at it. Reliable estimates
for the year 1978 place the total loss of crops in the United
States due to pests as $30.8 billion for that year alone.
That's mind boggling, to say the least.
Another aspect of the foreign pest problem is the case
of the sugarcane root borer, Diaprepes abbreviatus,
originally feeding on the roots of the sugarcane plant.
With sugarcane production almost a thing of the past,
now we find the adults feeding on citrus plant leaves and
the flowers of the yellow candle (Cassia alata). So even
without sugarcane production we are still plagued with
the root borer larvae feeding on the roots of other plants,
including avocado and croton.
Looking at the quarantine problem from the other side
of the coin, there are plant pests that are established here
in the Virgin Islands but are not found on the mainland.
For this reason we have what is known as 'territorial
quarantines' that prohibit the movement of certain pests
and host material to the U.S. mainland. One example of
this is the West Indian Fruit Fly, Anastrepha obliqua,
that feeds in mangoes. An examination of the exterior of
the niango does not reveal the presence of the larvae
feeding under the skin. Consequently, there is no way of
knowing if a particular mango is a potential carrier of the
fruit fly unless the fruit is completely dissected and
examined. Therefore, to help prevent the spread of the
West Indian Fruit Fly to the U.S. mainland, a ban is
placed on the movement of mangoes and other host
material that could carry it to the mainland.
I'm sure you will agree that we have enough animal and
plant pests already and are wise to do all we can to
exclude additional pests from the country. So, the next
time you are being checked in Customs and the Inspector
asks if you are carrying any fruits, plants, or meats, he is
not hassling you but rather helping to protect your food
supply. Careful attention to the Customs Declaration
Form will reveal that there are two questions that deal
with agriculture The first asks if you are carrying fruits,
plants, meats, or other agricultural material. The second
question asks if you have been on a farm in the past thirty
days. Your answers to these questions helps the Customs
Officer with his examination. Often he will summon one
of the PPQ Officers to examine the plant material or
animal products. In the case of travelers who have been
on a farm, the individuals' shoes will be examined more
thoroughly to be sure they are not contaminated with
SHEET METAL WORK
Fabrication and Erection
Solar Hot Water Heaters
P.O. Box 3785, Christiansted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00820
ELECTRICAL SUPPLY, INC.
ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES 773-5655
EVERY KIND OF
ELECTRICAL MATERIAL DISTRIUTORS FOR:
Alien Bradley Co
WAREHOUSING T &B
COMPLETE STOCK AVAILABLE Repub
S Republic tMT
ESTIMATING SERVICE ITE
7 C PETER'S REST
CENTERLINE ROAD, CHRISTIANSTED
P.O. BOX 6- W SUNNY ISLE, CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
METALS & MARINE
THE METAL EXPERTS!
Any kind of metal work with
any kind of metal.
Mig / Tig Oxy / acetylene
Welding and Cutting
Ornamental and Security Grills
WE SUPPORT THE
AGRICULTURE FOOD FAIR
mud or farm manure. By questioning the traveler as to
the exact origin of plant material and countries he may
have traveled in, the PPQ Officer can use his expertise to
assess the situation and make a determination as to
whether or not to permit the traveler to enter with the
material or to seize it. Remember, the only alternative is
the use of pesticides, which is expense e, and may pollute
Following are some items that ma\ be moved to the
mainland after examination to xerijf that the% are free of
plant pests and soil:
Avocado, Banana. Ginger, Dasheen. Pepper.
Pineapple, Plantain. Lime & House plants
free of soil.
I he following are prohibited mo ement to the mainland:
Cactus plant. Guaxa fruit. Mangoes.
Soursop, Sugarapples. Sugarcane. and Plants
For information regarding fruits and plants. contact one
of the offices in St. Croix or St. homas. Each country\ i,
treated individually as to what can be imported and a
general statement cannot be made as to vMhat can be
imported from all countries and w hat is prohibited from
all countries. The telephone number for the St. Croix
office is 778-1696 or in St. Thomas the numbers are
774-2787. 774-2561, or 774-5719.
and receive this
For your 1-year subscription
send only $10.00 ($15 US for foreign
CARIBBEAN DIET DIGEST
Box 191, Frederiksted, St. C5oix, Virgin Islands 00840
or phone: (809) 773-0190
(The Caribbean Diet Digest is a quarterly publication
of the Diet Institute.)
bob eaton V V NL
phone (809) 776 6666 REALTOR
box 56, st. john, u.s.v.i. 00830 ALT
Norfh Side Road
La Grande Princesse
LA GRANGE FARMS
Bob and Harriet Soffes
ALSO COMPLETE LINE OF
BATTERIES INDUSTRIAL & MARINE
FOR DINING AT IT'S BEST,
ALWAYS VISIT JUNIE'S
WE ARE ALWAYS OPEN LATE
132 PETER'S REST
CHRISTIANSTED, ST CROIX
U. S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
( 809 ) 773 -2801
People's Bank Bldg.
ECAI c --
DAY (809) 778-0630
WILLIAM BOHLKE, JR.
Emergency NIGHT (809) 773-1829
*AI CHARTR e AI AMBULANC
VISIT ST. JOHN
THE TRANSPORT TA TION SER VICES W4A Y
ON ONE OF THE MANY CONVENIENT
SCHEDULES FROM 7 AM to 7 PM.
FOR INFORMATION CALL US AT
Congratulations on the
1982 AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
The Home of
Fresh Grade AA Eggs
Vit. Suppliments & Animal Accessories
Estate Solitude Star Route 00864
Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
TELEPHONE: (809) 773-4222
RICHARD ROEBUCK JR.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGIN ISLANDS
3 3138 00125 6766
To all those who have supported the
Agriculture and Food Fair
SThe hard-working staffs of the Dept. of Agriculture,
CVI Extension Service and Experiment Station
Well see you next year!
Fair Administrative Staff
ANNALY FARMS ST. CROIX
BOX 1576, Frederiksted
Tel. 772- 2209
" Breeders Of Purebred Senepol Cattle"
Bulls for sale
Heifers for sale.
"EAT FRESH ISLAND BEEF"