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THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, ST. THOMAS
Message from Governor Cyril E. King
for the Sixth Annual Agriculture and Food Fair
It is most fitting that "Food First" has been selected as the theme for the
Sixth Annual Agriculture and Food Fair. It indicates the priority that must be
placed on food production in the Virgin Islands both to reduce our dependency
on the mainland as well as to provide a meaningful alternative to the ever-
increasing cost of food.
Self-sufficiency in food production is vital to the future of all of the people
of these Islands. Our over-reliance on imported products, especially fresh
produce, creates a constant drain of needed capital that could be diverted into
other areas as we attempt to resolve the serious and pressing problems we now
The agricultural industry must begin to assume its rightful place as a vital
sector of our economy--one that would provide much-needed employment as
well as fresh, more reasonably priced food. The opportunities and challenges
in agriculture are many, especially for our youths.
I have been pleased and gratified at the renewed interest our young people
have evidenced. Occasions such as the Fair spark that interest by demonstrat-
ing clearly what can be accomplished through diligent effort.
While all of us can take pride in this year's display of produce and live-
stock, we must accept the challenge to strive for even wider, more active
participation and greater productivity next year.
I heartily congratulate all of those who once again have made this year's
It is my earnest hope that with the whole-hearted cooperation of all residents
of these Islands, the goal of "Food First" will become a reality in our time.
ril\ E. Kingt
ANNALY FARMS ST. CROIX
Box 1576, Frederiskted Tel. 772-0669
"Breeders Of Purebred Senepol Cattle"
Purebred Bulls for sale
_ .y -^.
Purebred Heifers for sale.
'ii :.. '
ix i* '~I~s~-
"EAT FRESH ISLAND BEEF"
OSCAR E. HENRY
AND FOOD FAIR
"Food First" is the theme of this year's Agriculture
and Food Fair. This reflects a significant change in the
thinking of the board of directors regarding the role of the
fair. People all over the world are rediscovering agriculture
and food as a major factor in the economic, social, and
political well being of human beings.
This year, therefore, we wish to swing the pendulum
of emphasis towards agriculture bringing its many facets
ranging from production, conservation protection, and util-
ization of food to the forefront. The main objective of this
fair is to afford an opportunity for youngsters and non-
farmers living in towns, in apartments, and in condomi-
niums to know the story behind the food they eat every
'e Through the fair, we want to recognize and introduce
to the younger generation and to the community as a whole
the people in agriculture who share some common char-
acteristics notably, a deep and abiding love of the land and
an amazing capacity for hard work.
On behalf of the board of directors and myself, I wel-
come you to this community activity and urge you to care-
fully study all the exhibits displayed for your benefit. If
you take enough interest, you will find that agriculture is
one of the most exciting and truly interesting of man's
many endeavors. The men and women of agriculture are
among the most refreshing people you will encounter.
By all means be critical and let us know how you
would like the fair to be improved but when you see some-
thing good, do not forget to mention your appreciation to
the exhibitor. Some of the people who have exhibited
their produce here are involved in unusual ways of making
a living, and in most cases, a distinctive way of life. The
hopes, the risks, the successes, the setbacks all are part
of the quiet drama that go on mostly unnoticed in our com-
munity. Let us recognize these creative people.
Thank you and enjoy yourself.
We are proud to be an active growing
citizen of the Community working
daily for Better living of the Virgin
Islanders through agriculture,
education and industry.
II _ _~_~ _
LAWRENCE C. WANLASS
COLLEGE OF THE
On behalf of the College of the Virgin Islands as a
whole and of the V.I. Cooperative Extension Service and
the V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station in particular, I am
pleased to take this opportunity to congratulate all those
who are participating in the 6th Annual Agriculture and
Food Fair on St. Croix. The continued success of this
annual event marks both the hard work and dedication of
the fair's organizers and planners and the growing interest
and support of the community at large in agriculture, nu-
trition, and related areas.
The College of the Virgin Islands, in cooperation
with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, works to foster
this public support of agriculture and nutrition through its
extension service and its agricultural experiment station -
both headquartered on St. Croix.
The V.I. Cooperative Extension Service covers four
broad areas: agricultural development; home economics
and nutrition; 4-H and youth development; and community
resources development. For the most part, the program
deals with informal education and works with families in
all walks of life. Extension education is carried out by de-
monstration, visits to farms and homes, lectures and dis-
cussions involving groups and clubs in the community,
and through the use of the news media.
The V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station seeks to
develop programs to meet the agricultural needs of the
Virgin Islands and to resolve the technical problems limit-
ing agricultural production. The station's program covers
five areas: economic and socioeconomic studies; agronomic
investigations such as the selection of superior forage
grasses and the cultivation of sorghum for grain, silage, and
forage; horticultural investigations to improve the quality
of locally produced fruits and vegetables and to promote
hydroponic gardening; aquaculture including the cage cul-
ture of tilapia and the cage culture of fresh water clams;
and the control of pests and diseases which affect garden
All efforts to increase agricultural endeavors in the
Virgin Islands should be encouraged. Increased local pro-
duction could lead to decreasing Virgin Islands dependence
on off-island agricultural products and would be a stimulus
to the local economy. Cultivating good nutrition habits in
the use of food is also essential. Nutrition should be the
concern of all Virgin Islanders. As the theme of the 1976
fair states: "Food First."
Al~~i~~ 3;3~~L7ii~3~ ~i11~1~1~3i
VIRGIN ISLANDS DAIRYMEN'S ASSOCIATION
WHERE THE GOOD
CANE GARDEN FARM..
CORN HILL FARM .....
MON BIJOU FARM .....
SOLITUDE FARM ......
........ MARIO GASPERI
.... .HENRY NELTHROPP
.......... OLIVER SKOV
.... CHARLES SCHUSTER
.... .RICHARD ROEBUCK
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
OF VIRGIN ISLANDS
Honorable Oscar E. Henry
Loretta La Franque
Huan Van Putten
Dr. D. S. Padda
RULES & AWARDS
Ruth D. Lang
Dr. D. S. Padda
assisted by Bonnie L. Andrews
LA GRANGE FARMS
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
7-8 Queen St. C'sted.
A FRESH LOOK AT VIRGIN ISLANDS AGRICULTURE
By Oscar E. Henry
V.I. Department of Agriculture
Agriculture is no longer a dead-end occupation -
something to run away from. There has come a recogni-
tion that food production effort is to be shared by all
communities and nations. No one nation can feed the
world by itself. Therefore, governments everywhere look
to their farmers for increased food production to feed
their populations; and we in the Virgin Islands should be
no exception to this. Our governor and our legislators
have said loud and clear that they have recognized this need
and will fully support local food production efforts.
I have lived my life on a farm, purchased and devel-
oped by myself. I have been completely satisfied with the
clean and productive life of a farmer; and if given a chance
to relive my life, I would have no hesitation to do it again.
I say this to serve as a motivation to our youth who need
practical examples to follow. Believe me, nothing can sa-
tisfy me more than looking at my healthy Senepol herd and
lush green mango trees. My family, fruit trees, cattle, and
small livestock together offer me a complete world within
my farm fence. There is no magic involved in my success
all it takes is dedication, hard work, and sincerity of pur-
pose. Each one of you, the young people of our beautiful
Virgin Islands, can do it provided you convince yourself
that you want to lead a clean, purposeful, and productive
life. The ingredients for success in farming include avail-
ability of resources, agricultural input, and modern tech-
Availability of good land or other alternative produc-
tion facility will make the resources. At present three alter-
natives are available for a beginner.
1) To use one's family land if available or lease
from someone who is not using his land. The Virgin Islands
government offers 95 per cent exemption in farm land tax
provided it is used for agriculture. In order to take advan-
tage of this bill, many land owners are willing to lease out
the land at nominal rates.
2) Recognizing the need of families who do not
possess land and do not wish to undertake bigger opera-
tions, the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture has
initiated a new project of offering an one-quarter acre plot
to each family for farming. The plots are available at two
locations, one in Estate Paradise and one in Estate Slob.
The plot holders in these Peoples Community Gardens are
provided land preparation services, seeds, slips, plant pro-
tection, and crop management assistance.
3) The third alternative is open for those folks
who want to work in their own homes but lack good top
soil and enough water. A system of growing crops without
soil and a minimal use of water has been developed by Dr.
Walter Phillips of Water Isle, St. Thomas. A detailed ac-
count of this system is available elsewhere in this book.
Most of the farmers and home gardeners need very
small quantities of seeds and slips. To meet their demands,
the department of agriculture sells at subsidized rates seeds
and slips at Estate Lowerlove. Depending upon the avail-
ability of funds, the department also sells fertilizer and
other chemicals. Poultry chicks, baby pigs, and livestock
feeds are also available to the public at nominal prices.
Limited plant protection and animal disease control spray
services are also available. Arrangements are being made to
sell quality grafted trees of mango and avocado at the Agri-
culture and Food Fair.
In the present time of advanced production techno-
logy and competitiveness in marketing, availability of tech-
nical information and assistance to the farmers is most
essential. This is where land-grant colleges play their role.
The College of the Virgin Islands is the territory's land-
grant institution. The College of the Virgin Islands has an
agricultural experiment station to research and develop
new farming information and an extension service to pro-
vide the technical information to the farmers. We are fortu-
nate to have Dr. D. S. Padda to be acting as head of both
these agencies. He has demonstrated the ability and dedica-
tion to work on solutions to our problems. Let us use these
agricultural services of the College of the Virgin Islands and
give them support to further their growth so that we have
excellent agricultural research and extension agencies to
Before I conclude, let me extend an open invitation
to you the people of our beautiful Virgin Islands to be
equal partners in the progress of this industry that deals
with our basic needs of food and fiber.
Good Luck and Happy Farming!
AND MERCHANT'S ASSOCIATION
Salute the Virgin Islands Department of
Agriculture on the occasion of the
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
Unique Shop (Ladies)
Town & Country
Post Office Station
Sunny Isle Twin Theaters
Sunny Isle Interiors
First National City Bank
Ole's Snack Bar
J. Rojas Locksmith
American Red Cross
The Unique Shop
"Colorama" (Home Improvement)
Sunny Isle Sewing Center
Caribbean Equipment and
Bata Shoe Store
Kinney's Shoe Store
V. I. Police Station
V. I. Lottery Sales
Good Samaritan Bakery
Logan's Pet Supply
Hughes' Photo Studio
Terry's Children Wear
People's Drug Store
Grand Union Super Market
Sylvia's Magazine Store
Kentucky Fried Chicken
V.I. Logo "T" Shirts
Tuti & Ivi Beauty Salon
P & P Auto Parts
Side By Side
I I I I II -
TROPICAL FARMING A PRIVILEGE OR A HANDICAP
By Darshan S. Padda, Acting Director
V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station and
V.I. Cooperative Extension Service
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix
Tropical farming is a phrase very commonly but
loosely used by the agricultural community throughout the
world. A specific definition is lacking or I can say that an
exact definition has been very carefully avoided. When I
look back to my early years as an agricultural student, I
can clearly remember my teachers telling me that agricul-
ture is not an exact science. In agriculture you always work
on approximation. With all my schooling and practical ex-
perience, I not only realize that my teachers had a good
point but I also know the reasoning behind that point. Any
operation or process which is subject to constant variable
environmental and climatological factors cannot be exactly
Now then let me attempt to give you a general defi-
nition. Tropics comprise the area 2312 degrees north and
south of the equator. The mean temperatures remain con-
tinuously above 68 degrees. Farming as you know is the
science and the art of producing and marketing crops and
Fundamentally, farming consists of man's efforts to
utilize a complex, dynamic environment to his economic
benefit and well being. Profitable farming then depends,
among other things, upon a recognition of which combina-
tion of environmental factors are favorable or can be made
favorable and those sure to lead to disaster.
What are those environmental factors and how they
treat us here in the tropics determines whether farming in
the tropics is a privilege or a handicap. In my attempt to
evaluate these factors, I would like to concentrate on plant
agriculture as the green plant is fundamental to all other
life. Earth is a plant-oriented planet. Were man to perish
tomorrow, vines would destroy his mighty temples, and
grass would soon grow in the main streets of the world. In
contrast, the disappearance of plants will mean disap-
pearance of man along with every other animal. The oxygen
we breathe, the nutrients we consume, the fuel we burn,
and many of the most important materials we use are all
related to plant life.
The factors which determine the growth and develop-
ment of plants and are the basic framework upon which
man's farming labor rests can be grouped under climate,
physiography, and soils. There are four aspects of aerial en-
vironment or climate in the tropics that have an impor-
tant bearing on plant agriculture. These aspects are (1)
tropical storms, (2) moisture (3) temperature, and (4)
Tropical storms whether called typhoons, hurricanes,
tropical cyclones, or monsoons bring heavy rain and strong
winds. The winds flatten crops, break fruit trees, blow away
flowers and fruits, and affect pollination. However, they
are accompanied by much needed rain. Violent storms and
flooding rains are a big handicap in some tropical aieas.
Moisture is regarded as the most important climatic
factor since temperature and light are seldom limiting for
the growth of plants in the tropics. The net balance of
moisture depends on annual rainfall, retention of moisture
by vegetation and soil, and evapo-transpiration. Rainfall is
as variable in the tropics as in other parts of the world. As
a result, we have humid tropics and dry tropics. In humid
tropics, pests and disease control is a big problem. Some-
times it is necessary to apply fungicides and insecticides al-
most every 3 4 days in order to protect the foliage of
these crops. In dry tropics, drought and water stress limit
Temperature is another major climatic factor. Most
tropical places have relatively uniform temperature through-
out the year. The temperature plays a profound role in
all chemical, physical, and biological processes since trans-
fers of heat or transformation of light into heat and vice
versa largely determine the rate at which reaction takes
place. As a result of warm temperatures, we cannot grow
plants like apples which need cold temperature treatment
for floral bud initiation and flowering. On the other hand,
the tropics have temperatures sufficiently high to permit
culture throughout the year. In dry tropics, like here in
the Virgin Islands, the growth of most plants is stopped in
The comfortably warm temperature throughout the
year offers the plant pests a continuous reproduction cycle.
As a result, we are faced with an intense problem of pest
control. High temperature combined with high relative
humidity encourage post-harvest rots and other diseases.
The storage diseases and the high metabolic rate in the
tropics shortens the availability period of almost all of
the food products and this causes a big marketing problem.
Light affects the plants in two important ways. It is
of prime importance to the nutritional and structural as-
pects of plant activities. The intensity of light regulates the
rate of photosynthesis and the duration of light determines
whether a plant stays in vegetative stage or changes to
reproductive stage. The intensity of light poses no problem
in the tropics. Actually it is one of our biggest assets. The
duration of light varies within the tropical region depending
upon the latitude. The day-neutral and short-day plants can
flower in most of the tropics. We all know sunshine is a de-
finite privilege in the tropics.
Physiographic factors of environment concern the
natural features of the land. Important among them are to-
pography and altitude. The topography dictates the type
and size of farms. Mechanized equipment, a must in mod-
ern agriculture, can be used to best advantage on relatively
level areas. The altitude affects the local climate and we
have already discussed the effects of climate. In summary 1
can say that physiographic factors do not offer any specific
privilege or handicap in the tropics.
I am sure everyone is aware of the importance of soil
in plant agriculture. The type of soil may determine the
feasibility of growing plants in a particular region. The im-
portant point I want to bring out is that direct sunlight
constantly received in the tropics raises soil temperature
of the surface layer to a lethal level to most soil micro
organisms while chemical processes proceed at an ac-
celerated rate. Oxidation of organic materials and physical
removal of soil by erosion speedily reduces the fertility of
soils unprotected from full tropical sunshine. This is the
reason why some type of soil cover is necessary in the
tropics. The subject of formation, fertility, and manage-
ment of tropical soils is very broad and needs a lot more
space even to present a brief summary. However, we can
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safely say that winds, high temperature, flooding rains,
or lengthy dry spells cause big problems in soil fertility
In conclusion, the tropical world has privileges of
light and warm temperatures which permit multiple crop-
ping. Our problems include either too much water or lack
of water; more pests and problems to control them; diffi-
culty of maintaining soil fertility and organic matter;
and short post-harvest life of plant products. The temperate
world has their privileges, but they have their share of
problems too. A balance sheet may go in our favor. Then
the question is why has the tropical world lagged behind?
Dr. Sayed Morel, Secretary General of the World Food
Conference held in 1974, said that the majority of hungry
people live in the tropical world. To increase food produc-
tion to a minimum level, African output should be in-
creased by 50 per cent; Asian by 30 per cent; Latin
America by 25 per cent; and the Near East by 38 per cent.
The answer is obvious -we in the tropical world have
not used modern technology to tap our resources. The fu-
ture hope for a major breakthrough in food production in-
creases lies in the tropics and the challenge belongs to the
young agriculturists and agricultural scientists.
Part of talk delivered at the Annual Banquet of Future
Farmers of America, FFA, St. Croix Chapter
BORINQUEN BEEF EQUIPMENT
SAN JUAN. PUERTO RICO
P. O. BOX 5322
PUERTA DE TIERRA STA.
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
TELS. OFIC. 785-97S1
Grade A Milk The Schusters
Nubian Goats Charles, Proprietor
Grade Pigs: Bob, Field Manager
Landrice and Dave,
Yorkshire cross Financial Manager
Thoroughbred Fighting Roosters
In the future we will be offering the public "Native"
'iIg It _t veal and aged meats.
Tel. (809) 773-4232
Box 907, Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 00820
MANY THANKS TO
THE DEPARTMENT OF
Produced Daily On St. ('roix
From Six Purebred Dairs
Grade A Fresh Milk
Non Fat Skim Milk
Fresh Whipping Cream
24 Ice Cream and
made fresh daily
Ask for Island Dairies Products at your local grocery store
or stop at THE GOLDEN COW in Christianstred
ST. CROIX, VIRGIN ISLAND
The Home of
Fresh Grade AA Eggs
Estate Solitude Star Route 00864
Christiansted, St. Croix
U. S. Virgin Islands 00820
(809) 773-4474- 773-4192
RICHARD ROEBUCK, JR.
Coca-Cola and Coke are the registered trade marks of
the Coca-Cola Company.
it's the real thing
Bottled by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of the Virgin Islands
ii ~~ ~ ii II
HYDROPONIC GARDENING IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
By Walter II. Phillips, Director
Water Isle Botanical Garden,
Water Isle, St. Thomas
A new method has been developed b\ which anyone
can grow their own fresh vegetables. Few people in the Vir-
gin Islands have good rich soil and an ample supply of water.
This new method. called "hhydroponic gardening," requires
no soil and very little water and produces tremendous quan-
tities of delicious and nutritious vegetables at low cost. It is
the result of 10 years of experimenting in the Virgin Islands,
and anyone can do it. .. mawn. oman, or child.
In selecting a site for a hydroponic garden, a level
area or one with a slight slope is good. If not naturally avail-
able, prepare such a place with stones or earth and make
the surface as smooth as possible. Your garden should not
be over 5 feet wide so that you can reach in to plant, tend
your plants. and gather the vegetables. It can be as long as
you desire or space will permit. There should also be suffi-
cient space so that you can walk around it. Place a sheet of
plastic on the ground. This is to prevent the water and
plant food from soaking into the ground and being lost: to
prevent roots from surrounding trees and shrubs from grow-
ing up into your hydroponic garden: and to prevent bac-
teria. viruses, fungi, and nematodes in the soil from getting
into your garden.
Next. build a frame out of wood or plywood 8- 12
inches high, not over 5 feet wide. and as long as your gar-
den is going to be. You can make several small frames if
you prefer. Place the frame on the plastic so that no large
cracks appear at the bottom between the frame and the
plastic but that water may run off in case of a heavy rain or
overwatering. This enclosure may also be made of concrete
blocks instead of wood.
Into the frame or bed, place your growing medium to
a depth of 6 8 inches. We have obtained amazing results
by using what is known as "crusher sand." This is Blue Bit
Rock that has been crushed very fine, from 1/8 inch down
to dust. This may be obtained from Zinke-Smith on St.
Thomas and St. Croix. It will last indefinitely. It is imper-
vious and not affected by the chemicals in your fertilizer. It
is porous and allows the air to get to the roots of the plants.
River sand, gut sand, and beach sand (taken from high up
where the salt has leached out) may also be used.
You are now ready to plant. The seeds may be plant-
ed into your bed directly or they may first be started in a
seed bed of peat moss, vermiculite, or perlite, or a mixture
of all three. If the latter method is followed, the seedlings
may be transplanted when they reach a suitable size.
WATERING. Seeds or plants should he watered im-
nediately after planting and kept moist but not soaking
wet. Watering once a day is usually sufficient but on hot,
dry days twice a day may be beneficial. Just apply enough
water to wet around the roots. It usually takes only about
1/10 as much water to grow by this method as to grow in
the ground. The plastic sheet underneath keeps the water
from soaking into the ground and being lost. The porous
surface cuts down greatly on the loss from evaporation.
FEEDING. As the growing medium contains no nour-
ishment, you must feed the plants. This is done once a
week by adding a soluable, balanced fertilizer to the usual
watering, A balanced fertilizer is one containing equal
amounts of the three principal elements required for plant
growth: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash, and is indicated
by the numbers on the label being equal as 20-20-20. 18-18-
18, or 6-6-6. The fertilizer should also contain the trace ele-
ments, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, boron,
etc. Nourish, Miracle-gro, and Sunniland are brands of solu-
able fertilizers containing the above-balanced ingredients.
They may be applied with a watering bucket, sprinkler can,
or applicator attached to the end of a hose. You may find
that better results are obtained under your growing condi-
tions by fertilizing twice a week with a somewhat weakened
solution. A little dry fertilizer sprinkled around the roots
sometimes promotes extra growth. For leafy vegetables this
can be a nitrogen fertilizer and for others sometimes an oc-
casional shot of Hi-Phos (containing extra phosphorus as
shown by a high middle number on the label) is beneficial.
Under hydroponic methods, the plant food is applied in
such form that it can readily be assimilated by the plants.
None is lost by running off in the ground or combining
with other elements in the soil. Organic gardening enthusi-
asts might remember that before organic plant food may be
absorbed by the plants it must be converted into soluable
WHAT TO PLANT? Any plants can be grown hydro-
ponically that can be grown in the ground. We have had
best results with tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, broccoli.
cucumbers, squash, endive, egg plants, kohl-rabi, and native
squash (sweet gourd). Chinese vegetables such as Chinese
H n -g e s
Hydroponically grown vegetables. Hydi
cabbage, celery, cabbage, mustard spinach, Pak Choy, and
Kai Choy produce tremendous quantities and are delicious
either in salads or cooked as greens. Part of the phenomenal
success we have been obtaining has been due to obtaining
seeds suited to the Virgin Islands' climate. When seeds are
purchased from Burpee or other companies, they have been
bred for growing in cool climates. We have obtained variet-
ies of seeds that have been bred for growing in hot, dry cli-
mates such as the Virgin Islands. For example "Tropic" is
a variety of tomato that has out produced all others. These
seeds may be obtained through the V.I. Department of
Agriculture on St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. It is an
absolute must that all seeds be kept in the refrigerator until
planted and in a sealed container.
HOW MUCH SUN? Tomatoes, egg plants, peppers,
and native squash do best in full sun or at least in sun most
of the day. Plants grown hydroponically can stand more
light than plants grown in soil and this is one of the reasons
for their growing better. Lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, and
Chinese vegetables do best in partial shade and should be
planted accordingly. It should be noted that this shade can
be obtained by planting them between and underneath
some of the taller growing vegetables.
SPACING. Vegetables grown hydroponically may be
planted closer together than those grown in the ground.
Tomatoes and egg plants may be about 1 foot apart in the
rows and the rows can be 2 -3 feet apart. Intercropping may
be practiced such as planting lettuce, Chinese vegetables,
and other small or quick growing crops between the rows of
larger and slower growing types as they will mature usually
before the latter will reach maturity. Remember, tomatoes
and cucumbers will need staking and may reach 6 8 feet.
Native squash (sweet gourd) should be planted near edge or
corner of bed so that it can be trained on fence, trellis, or
INSECTS. Insects are usually not much of a prob-
lem in the Virgin Islands, but in case they are, Malathion is
good insecticide. Leaf miners are a frequent problem (these
are tiny worms which leave wavy lines in the leaves) and
Diazinon is the remedy for them. Snails and slugs are a prob-
lem in certain areas and Metaldehyde kills these. In very
wet weather or to prevent damping off seedlings, a fungi-
cide such as Physan should be used. A handy way to apply
any of these is with an applicator on the end of a hose.
BIRDS. If birds go after your tomatoes, the bed
may be enclosed in bird mesh or fine-meshed chicken wire.
Demonstration hydroponic gardens have been started
at the V.I. Department of Agriculture on St. Thomas, St.
Croix, and St. John so that you can see for yourself how it
works in actual practice. Special seeds, soluable fertilizers,
insecticides, applicators, etc. may be obtained at the de-
partment. You may be able to find a contractor or trucker
who will help you construct your bed or beds and haul the
crusher sand to fill it.
There are a number of different climatic conditions
existing in the Virgin Islands. We are experimenting to find
what does best under different conditions. You can help
determine this by keeping an accurate record of the re-
sults you obtain and by sending a written report to the
agriculture department on your island.
Best of luck with your hydroponic garden!
ponic Bed 2 weeks after planting.
MA 7-/ Af 4 A. a AII
P.O. Box 165, Kingshill, St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands 00850
HELPING TO BUILD
THE U. S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
A VIRGIN ISLANDS EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY CORPORATION
LANDSCAPING IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
By Robert C. Lindstrom
4-H Youth Leader
V.I. Cooperative Extension Service
College of the Virgin Islands
Lack of water, heat, and poor soils, are the comments
one hears concerning the lack of ornamental plants on the
home and school grounds. Yet one has only to drive
throughout the islands to see some of the most beautiful
What then is the answer? The best way to sum it up
in a word is "planning," or the lack of planning that makes
the difference between success or failure in landscaping.
With the knowledge of limitation resulting from our
environment, alternate solutions to problems of water and
soil must be considered.
In the planning process the following should be con-
I. Your Objectives of Landscaping
c. Screen to reduce sound, light, wind, dust
d. Hedge, background, border accents, etc.
II. Area to be Landscaped
a. Consider eventual size of plants.
b. Consider light, water, and soil requirements
of plants selected.
c. Consider pedestrian traffic in area.
IV. Availability of Plants
a. Can they be purchased locally?
b. Consider propagating your own plants from
cutting, layering, etc.
c. Select plants known to grow in your area.
a. Consider plants that require low maintenance.
b. Be aware of pruning requirements of plants
c. Be aware of control measures for insects and
For best results draw a plan of your garden on graph
paper and then use your plan.
ADDITION OF ORGANIC MATERIAL
Most Virgin Islands gardens will be greatly benefited
by the use of abundant quantities of organic material ap-
plied to the soil. Usually, the organic matter is in the form
of animal manures, compost, or mixed organic fertilizer.
These materials should be incorporated into the garden soil
at least three weeks and preferably longer before planting.
The decomposition process occurs best in a soil that
is moist, warm, and well-aerated. Also, the material used
must be decomposable.
Another procedure to be considered is the use of mul-
ches in landscaping. Mulches are insulating substances
spread on the soil surface near plants. Their main function
is to help control soil temperature, and reduce moisture
loss and erosion. In addition, they control weeds and can
add to the appearance of your garden by providing back-
ground for flowers and other plants.
A wide variety of material can be used for mulching
such as plastic, paper, aluminum foil, and organic material.
Care must be taken in the selection of material used. For
instance, clear plastic may increase temperature as much as
10 degrees, whereas organic materials or aluminum foil can
reduce temperature by 10 degrees.
The use of mulches can reduce evaporation from 30 -
70 per cent. Not only do mulches conserve water, but they
help to maintain a more even moisture supply to the upper
layers of the soil.
A SELECTION OF PLANTS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR LANDSCAPING PLANS. LANDSCAPE USE
Scientific & Ht. Growth Rate of Flower Light Soil Salt Propagation Hedge or Border Massing House Singly
Common Name (*) Habit Growth Color Req. Tolerance Screen Plant
Rhoes discolor 2' Ground Rapid Sun or Moist Slight Division or X X X
Oyster Plant* cover shade rich cuttings
purea 1-2' Ground Rapid Shade Avg. Slight Cuttings X X X
Wandering Jew* cover
(Continued on page 18)
notitinued fro nape 17)
Scientific & Ht. Growth Rate of Flower Light Soil Salt Propagation Hedge or Border Massing House Singly
Common Name (*) Habit Growth Color Req. Tolerance Screen Plant
Zebrina pendula I' Ground Rapid Shade Moist Slight Cuttings X X X
Wandering Jew* cover
bata 1' Ground Rapid Sun or Avg. Slight Cuttings or X X
Wedelia* cover shade root nodes
Species 20' Vine Rapid Var. Sun Avg. High Cuttings X X
Allamanda Sun or
cathartica 15- Vine Rapid Yellow part Avg. Slight Cuttings X X X
Yellow Bell* 20' shade
Split-Leaf 30' Vine Rapid White Part Moist Poor Cuttings X X X
Codiaeum Sun or Cuttings
variegatum 10' Shrub Mod- part Avg. Slight Air X X X
Croton* rate shade layering
kerchoveana 6' Shrub Rapid Sun or Avg, Slight Cuttings X X X X
False Aralia* shade
l\ora coccinea Sun or Avg. Moderate
I\ora* 10' Shrub Slow Var. pt. shade Cuttings X X X
Plumbago Vine- Sun or
capensis 5' like Rapid Blue part Avg. Moderate Seed or X X
Plumbago* shrub shade cuttings
Carissa Sun or Well
grandiflora 5- Shrub Slow White part drain- High Cuttings X X
Natal-Plum* 10' shade ed
Coccolobis Sun or
uvifera 20' Small Mod- part Dry High Seed or X X
Sea-Grape* tree derate shade cuttings
Euphorbia Red, Sun or
pulcherrima 20' Shrub Rapid white, part Avg. Poor Cuttings X X X X
Poinsettia* pink shade
Hibiscus rosa- 10- Sun or
sinensis 20' Shrub Rapid Var. part Avg. Fair Cuttings X X
Chinese Hibiscus* shade
Nerium oleander Sun or
Oleander* 20' Shrub Rapid Var. shade Avg. High Cuttings X X X
wilkesiana 5- Shrub Rapid Sun Avg. Moderate Cuttings X X
Pedilanthus Sun or
tithymaloides 2-4' Slow part Avg. Moderate Cuttings X X X X
Red Bird Cactus* shade
Euphoria Sun or Well
milii 2-3' Ground Slow part drain- Moderate Cuttings X X X
Crown of Thorns* cover shade ed Low
... .. . r
americana 6-8' Herba- Slow Sun
Century Plant* ceous
Yucca aloifolia Herba-
Spanish Yucca* 20' ceous Rapid White Sun
Avg. High Plantlets x
/mlntinupd from nave 1 7)1
CREATING A STABLE NATURAL
ENVIRONMENT AROUND THE HOME
By William Saalman
Virgin Islands Conservation District
New construction almost always scars the natural
landscape. The ideal solution, and that which is recom-
mended by the Virgin Islands Conservation District in its
earth change program, is to restore and stabilize the natural
environment as quickly as possible after construction has
been completed. Additionally, valuable shade trees should
be protected during the construction period.
On flat parcels of land, the stabilization of the soil
can be easily accomplished by the planting of grass seed.
The conservation district has had excellent success with the
planting of hulled Bermuda grass seed at the rate of 1
pound per 1,000 square feet accompanied by ammonium
sulphate fertilizer or its equivalent broadcast with the seed
at the rate of 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Bermuda
grass is a low-growing grass that spreads both by runners
and by the production of seed. Another of its attributes is
that it is fairly drought resistant.
Sloping land and property with cut-and-fill slopes
may need the introduction of low maintenance ground
covers to stablilize the raw soil and prevent run-off from
storm water. An indigenous plant, goatsfoot (Ipoemoea
pes-caprae), is invaluable for this work. Goatsfoot may be
planted by cuttings directly into the soil where it is to grow
or seed may be collected and planted. Goatsfoot grows wild
along all of the Virgin Islands shoreline, but it will grow
equally well inland. It is a prolific grower; and, once
started, it is self-seeding and will continue to spread.
Other ground covers that are useful, although they
take more care in their establishment period, are wedelia,
wandering jew, oyster plant, and ground orchid.
Seasonally high winds and drought conditions are
problems that can be coped with in the landscaping plan.
Windbreaks or a mass of tall plantings in the background
serve a double purpose. They not only break the force of
the wind and the resultant evaporation of moisture from
the soil, but they also may act as privacy screens. Inland
from the sea, plantings of yucca, yellow cassia, ginger
thomas, limeberry, and bread-and-cheese are useful. Seaside
windbreaks may consist of Australian pine, sea grape, or sea
hibiscus. Of these three, sea hibiscus is probably the fastest B ldff istan d goatsfoot on
grower as it is started from three-to five-foot cuttings stuck s hllsde fo of Chis tinsted pnted abiltfng the soil
directly into the soil. steep hillside in front of his house, thus stabilizing the soil
directly into the soil. and helping to prevent sedimentation damage from surface
(Continued on page 21) run-off further down the hillside.
(Continued from page 20)
If there are steep areas on the property where some
sort of protective barrier is indicated, hedge plants armed
with thorns should be incorporated. These barrier hedges
will also protect sites against the incursions of wandering
livestock. Plants in this category include all of the prickly
agaves as well as bougainvillea, bread-and-cheese, and per-
haps best of all, wild pineapple. Wild pineapple was once
used in the Virgin Islands as living fences as their barbed
thorns make penetration virtually impossible. An added
dividend is that the wild pineapple produces a very colorful
flower stalk and edible fruits.
Other plants to be used as unarmed hedges to give pri-
vacy are the common red hibiscus, oleander, sheared Aus-
tralian pine, India rubber vine, croton and panax. Lower-
growing hedge materials used to define specific areas are
thryallis and, near the sea. carissa.
You can turn an eyesore into an asset through the
prudent use of landscaping materials. Choosing the right
plant for the site and the purpose will reduce the main-
tenence time necessary and will enhance your property
and its living environment.
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YOUR FIRST VEGETABLE GARDEN
IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
By Bonnie L. Andrews
V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station
College of the Virgin Islands
Perhaps you have been thinking about planting a gar-
den in the Virgin Islands for the first time, but you have
been hesitating for one reason or another. The type of soil
in your area might be your drawback or the lack of know-
ledge regarding suitable varieties of plants could be another.
The information which follows will hopefully give shy gar-
deners confidence to eagerly plan and plant their first vege-
Prepare a smooth seed bed. Remove all large stones,
clods, roots, etc., and rake smooth. Follow planting in-
structions on seed packages remembering to plant in
straight rows as this will save later frustration and make
your garden more enjoyable. To conserve space, stake to-
matoes and grow pole beans. Keep in mind that most vege-
tables can be grown successfully in three-gallon pots if your
garden space is extremely limited and that they should be
harvested when young and tender and at their peak.
If you feel the help of a gardening book is needed
before starting your first garden, fine. Do not read two, the
experts will confuse you.
Reliable seeds and hardy plants are essential; plan-
ning, patience, labor, and luck are needed. The following
are recommended for the Virgin Islands.
Vegetable Crop Recommended Varieties
Eggplant Black Beauty
Pepper Hot-Tabasco & Sweet-Yolo
Denver Half Long
Dwarf Long Pod
Your garden should also include parsley. Although classi-
fied as an herb, this biennial has more vitamins especially
A and C than any other cultivated vegetable you will
grow. Use it in salads and casseroles and not just as a gar-
nish to your meals.
Plants set in the garden should be watered imme-
diately. Try to transplant (filling in around the roots to pro-
hibit air pockets) on an overcast, windless day. Later water-
Eggplant growing in three-gallon pot.
ing during the summer should soak the ground. A gentle
sprinkling will only settle the dust and is a waste of both
your time and water. Too little water regularly will force
the plants' roots upward and thereby weaken them.
Mulch (ground covering) is a labor-saving device. It
maintains soil temperature, retains moisture, and discour-
ages weed growth. Use old hay, leaves, and grass clippings.
If none of these are available, newspaper, cardboard, and
black plastic mulch are effective. Organic mulch must be
applied liberally more than 6 inches deep and con-
scientiously. After a few seasons the soil will markedly
improve in fertility and in texture.
COMPOST IN 14 DAYS
The simple approach is the least expensive and most
reliable since there are fewer parts to buy or to fail. Aero-
bic composting is the best type. It eliminates odors by
providing air circulation and acts as a control for moisture
during composting. This can be achieved by turning the
material every other day with a pitchfork or shovel (mini-
mum for turning is twice a week).
Make alternate layers of straw or sawdust which act
as absorbents; manure: chicken, horse, or cow; leaves;
vegetable trimmings cut to one inch size which provide
considerable moisture; and recyclable household kitchen
waste in a container or bin with four solid sides and a floor.
The size of your bin depends on your needs. It should be
of a size that can be kept tucked away in a corner of your
An average family of three uses about 7.8 pounds
of food daily. Out of that 2 pounds end up in the garbage
pail. People are throwing it away or paying to have it
taken away in trucks; collection alone accounts for 80
per cent of the average garbage bill. A breakdown of re-
cyclable kitchen waste is as follows:
Nitrogen Phosphoric Acid
Overall fresh garbage usually contains an anaylsis in the
neighborhood of 2.0 to 2.9 N -1.13 to 1.30 P 0.8 to
A little water may be added to your compost bin at
the onstart. After 5 6 days an "earthy" odor will be ap-
parent. At the same time the color will be turning from a
dingy gray to a deep brown. This is not a sign that the com-
post is finished. After a couple of weeks, depending upon
the nature of the material, the temperature will go down
regardless of optimum conditions. When the temperature
drops to 100 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the process is
finished for practical purposes.
0.28 A compost dipstick can be used to determine decom-
27.00 position of the bin contents. Use a wooden stake long
30.60 enough to penetrate to the bottom of the pile. If the pile is
.10 still "working" the stick will be hot and damp. If the pile
-_ is finished, the stick comes out cool and wet. But if dry,
41.75 corrective measures are needed to revive decomposition.
For more information and guidance, please contact
the V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station whose job it is to
help people grow their own food.
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P.O. Box 73 C'sted. Est. Lower Love
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PRACTICAL HINTS FOR GROWING AND
STORING SORGHUM IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
By Mario Gasperi and Chico Gasperi
Cane Garden Farms, St. Croix
The sight of a sorghum field with its vibrant, lush
green foliage and the pretty heads full of yellow or reddish
seeds has become quite common on St. Croix. Only ten
years ago you could not find a farmer here that would even
hope to grow a crop locally to store as needed silage for the
dry periods. Now we know it is possible, and we are doing
it every year.
Based on eight years of practical experience, we
would recommend the following practices.
Clear all vegetation out with bulldozer, then use rip-
per as deep as possible one way and subsequently again at
a 90 degree angle in order to break up and rip out as many
roots as possible. Then plow with a heavy disc plow. The
deep fractures left by the ripper will ensure proper root
penetration of the crop and adequate water storage. One or
two passes with a heavy disc harrow should complete the
If at all possible, choose flat fields and drainage per-
mitting, plant as close to north to south as possible. This
will ensure proper shadowing between the rows to cut
down loss of moisture from evaporation. If a gentle slope
is present, think ahead and pass the last harrow in the di-
rection of the contour lines (the U.S. Soil Conservation
Service will gladly run' these lines for you) then plant fol-
lowing those lines (this will help water retention and it will
help to slow down the erosion with heavy downpours.)
Several times we have heard of the advantages of
"ridging" the land after plowing on contour lines, culti-
vating if necessary to control weeds, and splitting the
ridge at seeding time in order to put the seed in good mois-
ture and end up with a fairly level field at harvest with
these ideas; but at the present time we do not have on the
island the necessary equipment to try it out on a large
scale. The main problem would be weed control on ridged
WHEN TO SEED
Just remember that the only time of any certainty
for planting a crop with a fair chance of success is in mid-
August to mid-October, (as early as possible within that
period). Do not plant unless there are six or more inches
of moisture in the soil. On the other hand, if a good year
comes around with plenty of rain in the spring, by all means
go ahead and plant in April or May, but only if you have
good deep moisture in the soil as you might not get any
more rain. Late spring and early summer are advantageous
for the crop with longer daylight hours and less pest prob-
lems. Nevertheless, in eight years of growing sorghum at
Castle Nugent only twice we had a favorable spring season,
while we always got at least one good crop in the fall.
Sorghum will give a crop ready to ensile at 90 days
from seeding, then with proper moisture and fertilization,
a rattoon or second crop at 60 days from cutting. This
means that seeding September 1 will bring first harvest
December 1 and second harvest February 1. Since our
rainy season usually lasts from September through Decem-
ber with a few good rains in January, the proposed sched-
ule should, and usually does, allow two good crops. The
second crop can be as good or better than the first one.
If possible, seed on a contour line (the last harrowing
should have been done in the same direction) in rows from
30 40 inches wide depending on the kind of harvester
available to you; narrow accommodates rows from 28 -36
inches or wide for rows 34 42 inches. Use a two-row or
four-row planter equipped with fertilizer attachment and
grandular insecticide attachment. A two-row planter will
easily plant ten acres a day, double for the four-row. At
seeding, rate the planter to put down about 7 8 pounds
of seed per acre or about 8 10 seeds per linear foot on
each row. Adjust the planter to deposit the seeds about two
inches deep. We found this depth ideal. If shallower, the
seed might germinate and then die for lack of moisture or
heat stress; if deeper, the seed will germinate but it might
not make it through to the surface.
At the same time, rate the planter to apply to the
side (4 5 inches) and below (2 inches) the seed about 60
pounds of nitrogen per acre in high moisture areas and
30 60 pounds in drier areas like the east end. In a field not
cropped before, Urea (45 percent nitrogen) is best and in
its coated pellet form it is also easy to handle. After 2- 3
years of continuous harvest it is best to switch to a com-
plex fertilizer to be chosen following a soil test. At Castle
Nugent, we are presently using 15-10-5 at the rate of 200 -
300 pounds per acre per crop. The second crop should be
fertilized at the same rate.
The Lesser Cornstalk Borer ( a small worm that lives
in trash at ground level and eats the heart of the emerging
sorghum seedling) is ever present here and Dr. Padda identi-
fied it for us following several planting failures four years
ago. The borer will attack the seedling immediately after
emergence, and the seedling will wilt and disintegrate in a
matter of a few days. A whole field can be quickly des-
troyed. So far as we know, this pest cannot be stopped
when you see the damage; it has to be stopped before. To
this extent it is vital always at seeding time to apply granu-
lar Furadan (or similar product) about six inches behind the
seed chute but before the pressing wheel of the planter
(best in a six-inch band) in order to have the active granule
in the very top layer of soil where the seedling will emerge.
About 10 12 pounds per acre of Furadan properly applied
has controlled the borer to the extent that it is not a limit-
ing factor any more.
Any time there is an infestation of Army worm or
any leaf chewing worm spray with Sevin 80 wettable pow-
der about 3 pounds per acre. Sometimes no spraying is
needed; sometimes it is necessary to spray once a week up
to 4 5 times per crop. For other pests, like the Midge that
attacks at blooming time resulting in the lack of formation
of the grain, check with the V.I. Extension Service staff.
Weeds compete with the crop; and, therefore, they
have to be eliminated either mechanically or chemically.
We recommend the chemical control which is simpler and
more effective in the form of 2.5 pounds of Milogard wett-
able powder mixed in about 30 gallons of water per acre
and applied pre-emergence with a boom sprayer. It is vital
that this operation be done immediately after seeding (the
sorghum will emerge in 3 4 days) on ground free of weeds;
Milogard will not affect weeds already germinated. If for
any reason there are already some germinated weeds, we
add to the same tank the equivalent of one quart per acre
of DMA-6 (a 24D preparation).
HARVESTING AND STORING
Sorghum generally will grow to about a foot high in
the first 30 days, then to its full height in the next 30 days.
It will bloom at about 60 days from seeding and be ready
to harvest for silage at 90 days (when the seeds are in the
soft dough stage, that is, when crushing it the kernel is not
milky but not yet floury). The second crop will be ready
for harvest in 60 days from cutting.
You need a forage harvester, one- or two-row type,
and a trench silo ready. If a good quality silage is wanted,
just forget about the eight hour day, about weekends, and
get that sorghum chopped as fine as possible (14-/4 inch is
best) to the trench silo on the double, and immediately
pack it as well as you can. Dump trucks are best for haul-
ing and if possible make the trench so you can drive
through it. Start filling the end of it to the top then keep
riding over it, dump, level and pack with a rubber wheel
tractor with bucket loader. Once the silage is well packed
and covered with a plastic sheet (black, six mil or more)
weighted with tires it will keep practically forever; and
cattle, hogs, sheep and goats just love it.
The year 1975 was not an easy year on livestock due
to a prolonged drought, but on many farms the sorghum si-
lage harvested during the fall of 1974 kept the farmers less
frustrated and the livestock a lot healthier.
(1) Contour planting Grange Field.
(2) Mature head of Browning 775-W
in Longford Field.
The following varieties of sorghum have proven to
perform well in the Virgin Islands:
Forage type: Taylor Evans T.E. Silomaker ( 8 10 feet
Taylor Evans T.E. Yieldmaker (10 12
Grain type but with high forage yield: Browning 775-W
(5 -6 feet tall)
Generally speaking, look for a medium height, open
or semi-open head, wind resistant variety. The seed keeps
longer if kept under refrigeration. Still after about a year of
storage,have a germination test made to insure the viability.
This is about all we know for what it is worth and we
are glad to share all the information we have related to ma-
chinery, practices, and sources of materials with anyone in-
terested in growing sorghum. For further information con-
tact Dr. D. S. Padda at V.I. Extension Service.
(3) Harvesting of T.E. Yieldmaker in Grange Field.
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EXPLORING FOOD CONCEPTS
By Dorcen Carter, Director
V.I. Consumer Services Administration, St. Croix
Food means different things to different people. Bas-
ically it can be agreed that food is anything that is eaten
which nourishes the body. In some cultures then a lot of
"potential food" is not really food at all. Certain religious
groups in India hold the cow to be sacred and will not eat
beef. Therefore, for these people beef is not food. Quite a
contrast to the massive consumption of beef in the United
States. Here in the Virgin Islands we would not think of
horsemeat as food, yet it is popular in some parts of the
United States. Pork. which has enjoyed a high place in the
diet of Virgin Islanders, is now marked by some as "swine"
not worthy of the plate or palate. Cat is not eaten in St.
Croix, but is cherished by some St. Lucians. These are only
a few foods which might be challenged as such. There are
many more, of course, but these few examples serve to il-
lustrate the point.
It is worthwhile to shift attention for a moment to
another subject, the interpretation of which is also quite
variable. If the question was asked, "Are you on a diet?",
most people would probably respond "No". But the truth
is we are all dieters. Whatever our eating practices are, we
are on a diet. It may be a sound diet or a poor diet. It may
be quite regular, or it may be erratic. It may consist of a
wide variety of foods or limited to a few.
Some people may go on "special" diets, either self-
selected or because they are advised by a doctor or another
qualified person. Usually, one considers that lie or she is on
a diet only under such circumstances; but as stated above,
we are all dieting everyday of our lives. The food we eat
comprises our diet.
When a special diet is ordered by an authority, the
diet advised is designed to meet the needs of the body.
Whether it is a diabetic diet, a low calorie diet, or a low salt
diet, or some other it is based on scientific knowledge of
the effects of certain nutrients on the body. If the body
cannot handle specific nutrients "normally," an adjustment
in the intake is necessary. That is why a special diet is or-
dered. Dieticians and nutritionists are trained to understand
the biochemistry of the body and are knowledgeable about
the composition of foods. They can, therefore, assist in
planning special diets for people.
The field of foods and nutrition is perhaps the most
wrought with quackery and all sorts of fraudulent practices
from diet books to diet pills and other devices -anything
that sells. Weight control is an especially appealing area for
misinformation and quick sales. The obese and the elderly
are the target populations. Claims are made for foods and
nutrients that will give youth, vigor, the figure you dream
about, virility, hair for balding men name it, someone
sells the "remedy."
What people should realize is that not only will they
have lost a financial investment by the time they have
found out that the gimmick doesn't work, but an unfortu-
nate number will find that they have actually done harm to
themselves through attempting unorthodox and unsubstan-
tiated remedies. An excess of some vitamins can be quite
toxic for instance, while lack of others due to some highly
restrictive diet can result in a deficiency and damage to the
nerves, the stomach, and/or other organs of the body.
Vegetarianism is one area which has the potential for
nutritional problems due to restrictions in the intake of cer-
tain classes of food. Yet, an increasing number of self-pro-
fessed vegetarians has been noted in the U.S. in recent years.
Vegetarian diets vary widely from omitting red meat to
more serious restriction such as eating only a specific grain.
Basically, vegetarian diets can be health promoting if pro-
perly planned. Variety is the key to assuring good nutrition.
Thus, the lactovo-vegetarian who includes milk and eggs in
his diet is less likely to develop nutritional complications
such as anemia due to Vitamin B12 deficiency than is the
purist vegetarian. Those who include seafood are also on a
safer path since the only omission is the meat of mammals
and the nutrients supplied by these can also be obtained
readily from fish. An adequate amount of Vitamin B12 and
protein is assured in this diet. Protein itself can be readily
obtained in a carefully planned vegetarian diet by combin-
ing the right kinds of grains. But most people are not equip-
ped with the necessary information to plan accordingly.
However, this type of information can be obtained from
dieticians or nutritionists in various government and acade-
Vegetarian diets as well as other types of diets evolve
in various cultures based on the availability of food, reli-
gious beliefs, sociocultural dictates,economy of the country,
political dictates, etc. When a sufficient quantity of "food"
is available, the traditional diet generally meets the needs of
the individual in that country. Adaptation of another coun-
try's traditional diet, as is done by many vegetarians may
lead to problems when practiced outside the country. For
instance, a hidden nutrient source or unusual food may not
be available outside the specific country; lack of complete
knowledge about the actual food practices can lead to ser-
ious omission; and actual preparation and combination of
meals may play a significant role in the availability of nu- BOUGH'S WATER DELIVERY
trients. Yet these aspects might be ignored by the stranger.
In essence, one has to live within a given culture to appre-
ciate the full nutritional benefits of the foods of that cul-
ture or society.
In conclusion, food is something we must eat. Whe-
ther we get the most from the food we eat depends on our Water Delivery to Any Place on the Island
daily food practices. In our society the food scene is chang- Night or Day!
ing rapidly and drastically. Most of us are no longer able to
Phone 778-2105 773-1115
go into our backyard for fresh produce daily but must de-
pend on sources far removed. This gives us little control THE GOOD SER VICE IS OUR SPECIAL TY"
over the quality or type of food consumed. Those of us
who are fortunate enough to have a backyard can still de-
termine to some extent what we will have as food. The ma-
jority will simply have to become more aware and equipped COMPLIMENTS
to make wise choices in the marketplace and in the kitchen. OF
Being more informed will also save us from abuses of mer-
chants, fiction writers, and peddlars. Food is nutrition and P & P AUTO PAR
nutrition is health. Do not fool with it. Eat right.
TELEPHONE NO: 773-2171 NO. 39 SUNNY ISLES
S(NEXT TO PEOPLE'S DRUG STORE)
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX, V.I. 00820
"OUR MOTTO IS SER VICE AT A
A TRADITION OF SERVING
lST. CROIX FARMERS, BUILDERS
HOME OWNERS, CONTRACTORS
WITH QUALITY PRODUCTS
^ BUILDING SUPPLY CENTER
HRDW E LA GRANDE PRINCESS 773 0787
Open Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday 8:00 a m. to Noon
-. MERWIN IS ST. CROIX HEADQUARTERS
S.: ...... FOR FAMOUS BRAND GARDEN SUPPLIES
True Temper Chapin Sprayers Hoffman
Ortho Insecticides and Fertilizers
True Value Lawn Chief Mowers Wheelbarrows
Ames Tools Melnor Sprayers and Fittings
plus a list of supplies
_s AT OUR QTH Also Lumber Plywood Steel 9 Paints
Af- THr AGGIE AIR Hardware Plumbing Supplies Hand and Power Tools
Hardware Plumbing Supplies Hand and Power Tools
"' : " -H
SALUDOS Y MUCH EXITO
IS OUR WISH DURING THE CELEBRATION OF THE
AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR.
NICOLAS CARRILLO CORREA, INC.
P. 0. BOX 836
CALLE ORENSE FINAL, URB. VALENCIA
HATO REY, PUERTO RICO
THE BIGGEST SUPPLIER IN VETERINARY
PREPARATIONS AND EQUIPMENT IN THE CARIBBEAN.
ANY ITEM YOU MAY NEED, WE HAVE IT.
BIO-CEUTIC LABORATORIES, INC.
COOPER, WILLIAMS & SONS
EATON LABORATORIES (VET. DIVISION)
EVSCO LABORATORIES, INC.
PITMAN MOORE, INC.
SCHROER COMPANY INT'L. DIVISION
THOROUGHBRED REMEDY CORP.
TELEPHONE 766-9280 766-9281 766-9282 766-0166
'VIRGIN ISLANDS SEAFOOD FISHERY:
By Arthur E. Dammann and David A. Olsen
V.I. Department of
Conservation and Cultural Affairs
Native-born Virgin Islanders have for years utilized
fish, whelks, and conchs as a major protein source in their
diet. Most "outsiders" who adopt the islands as home, or
who come to visit, feel that certainly this must be an ideal
spot for unlimited fresh seafood.
"We are surrounded by all this beautiful water that
must be loaded with fish" is a statement made often to
staff members of the Bureau of Fish and Wildlife in the De-
partment of Conservation and Cultural Affairs. This is us-
ually followed by a complaint about the scarcity and high
cost of fresh local fish on the dinner table. These feellings
are by native sons and daughters, and visitors alike.
Staff members of the Bureau of Fish and Wildlife
have been involved with Virgin Islands' fisheries problems
since 1965. We feel that we have reasonably good under-
standing of the state of the fishery. We can even (and often
do) offer some practical hints on maximizing the amount of
local fisheries products on the dinner tables of the Virgin
The strongest asset, and at the same time a major lia-
bility, to an efficient commercial fishery is the fisherman
himself. The fisherman is a rugged individualist; an inde-
pendent man who has accumulated years of "sea sense" and
skills that enable him to extract a living from a difficult
taskmaster, the ocean. His knowledge, his skills, his boats,
and his equipment have evolved over long years to fit local
conditions. In the days of low human population, poor
communications, and slow transportation this beautiful sys-
tem worked to perfection. Each man was his own boss and
decided his own fate and fortune. He fished when, where,
as much or as little as he wanted; and there were always
lots of fish waiting for him.
Today times are changing rapidly. Numbers of people
are greater, television and radio provide instantaneous in-
formation, and jet planes carry people (and food) from the
ends of the earth in a matter of hours. The local fisherman
is still an individualist and the concessions he has made to
changing life styles do not restrict his independence. Out-
board motors have replaced sails, and motor vehicles have
replaced feet and donkeys. Other than this the fishery is
still a traditional, independent fisherman-to-customer bus-
If the fishermen of the Virgin Islands are to retain.
their independence, individuality, and to a great extent
their life-style, they must learn to cooperate with one
another in the "dog-eat-dog," highly competitive, modern
world which is rapidly enveloping them.
"Marketing" is the name of the game, and the lack
of it locally is the single largest deterrent to a smooth and
stable flow of local seafood from ocean to table. The sub-
ject has too many ramifications to discuss further here, but
it is an essential point that must be solved by the fishermen
in his own fight for survival. If this is not solved, "out-
siders" will move in and take the fishery away from him.
Fish will move from ocean to table, but not through the
hands of present-day fishermen.
A second badly misunderstood situation is the one
relating to the actual supply of fish available from Virgin
Islands waters. It seems impossible to convince a great
many people that it takes more than clear, beautiful water
to produce fish.
There really isn't even all that much water here. The
entire American Virgin Islands, including the land and all
the water from the shoreline to the 600 feet depth contour,
will fit nicely into Everglades National Park at the very
southern tip of Florida, or into Tampa Bay on the west
coast of Florida, or into any one of the famous fish pro-
ducing bays along the eastern coast of the United States
mainland. The shallow water, fish-producing banks of the
Bahamas are thousands of times larger than our Virgin Is-
Another fact of life is that the shorelines of conti-
nents are enormously more productive of fish than are the
oceanic islands. True, we have an infinite variety of beauti-
ful fish in our waters and on our reefs. This variety itself is
an impediment to commercial fishing. We have hundreds of
kinds of fish in relatively small numbers living in a habitat
that makes harvesting difficult. The coastal fisherman has
available a relatively small number of species which, how-
ever, occur in huge numbers in habitats that are easy to har-
vest. A single day's catch of a modern trawler on the conti-
nental shelf can exceed the total annual harvest from the
waters of the Virgin Islands and consists of one or a few
species. (Continued on page 32)
(Continued from page 31)
The large annual landings of fish in Puerto Rico, and
the canneries located there, are often cited to us as an
example of a modern, productive island's fishery. What
doesn't seem to be generally realized is that the huge landed
catch reported for Puerto Rico consists of tunas caught in
the Pacific Ocean and brought through the Panama Canal
to Puerto Rico for canning. The native fishery of Puerto
Rico is almost identical in style to that of the Virgin Is-
lands. There is no possibility of establishing a large conti-
nental shelf type fishery in the Caribbean islands; and an
open ocean, distant-water fishery operating from the Virgin
Islands is outside the scope of this discussion.
I" I lliS ^ II^ t rrrs
VIaUI ISLAtLI TEIMII L Vlr ILA llS u, pMh S l. Ie
P.O. Box 3158 Sl Ji l Pueto Rico Chslimnstd Habou Cop.
774-2933 724-6500 773-311 9 Tl. 272
The above-mentioned factors mean that any system
of fishing and marketing cannot be picked up at one place
and literally transported intact to another different place
and be expected to work. The Virgin Islands, just like any
other place, has certain unique needs. These must be met
in a knowledgeable way in order to provide more fish for
the consumer and a better living for the fishermen.
The problem of developing the Virgin Islands' fish-
eries resources is a complex one which the Bureau of Fish
and Wildlife is trying to help solve through on-going re-
search and cooperative efforts with the local fishermen at
sea and in the marketplace.
Esso SERVICE STATION
WASHING & LUBRICATION
S* MINORS REPAIRS
ST. CROIX 778-1410
58 Estate Glynn
24 Hour Wrecker Service 773-4378 (After Hors)
Compliments of JOHNIE JOHN'S
RELIABLE TIRE SERVICE, INC.
Hannah's Rest, Frederiksted
6A La Grande Princesse, Christiansted
SHOCKS & MUFFLER
DYNAMIC WHEEL BALANCING
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For Passenger, Trucks, Farm
POST OFFICE BOX 1523
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
UNITED STATES, VIRGIN ISLANDS 00840
ALSO KNOWN FOR DEPENDABLE SERVICE
JJOHN DEERE j
THE MOST COMPLETE LINE
CONSTRUCTION & INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT
CASCO-ESI EQUIPMENT SERVICES
GPO BOX CD, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 00936
FACTS ABOUT STABLE FLIES ON ST. CROIX
By David F. Williams, Oliver Skov, and
R. S. Patterson
USDA, ARS, Federal Experiment Station
The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), is a serious
pest of man and livestock throughout the world. In some
areas this fly can transmit diseases such as equine infectious
anemia, foot and mouth disease, and trypanosomiasis to
horses or cattle; and in some cases cattle actually die simply
from loss of blood caused by the fly bites. In the United
States alone it caused an estimated loss of more than 115
million dollars to the beef and dairy industry in 1974. Al-
though cattle and horses are the preferred hosts, the fly will
feed on any other warm-blooded animals and readily at-
tacks man. During periods of high density, it has caused
heavy economic losses to the tourist industry in many re-
Although St. Croix has not experienced the high
population of these flies, they are commonly found in sig-
nificant numbers in most of the agricultural areas of the
island, especially those having cattle, horses, or other con-
The adult fly resembles the house fly in both size and
color except that it has a wider abdomen and instead of a
soft, sponging mouth it has a stiff, protuding proboscis
(beak) that is used to suck blood. This fly rests with its
head raised, wings spread slightly apart, and posterior end
lowered, whereas the house fly rests horizontally with its
wings closed. Stable flies are only active during the daylight
hours; and at night or between flights, they rest on vegeta-
tion. buildings, and fences. Their numbers vary seasonally
on St. Croix, being more abundant during the rainy periods;
however, their populations are drastically reduced during
the prolonged dry periods. Both male and female of this
species bite taking a blood meal once and at times twice a
day, normally attacking the animals, especially cattle and
horses, on the legs and belly. They are, therefore, one of
the principal sources of injury to livestock and their atten-
dants because of the animal's nervousness and irritability
resulting in excessive kicking and stomping caused by the
fly bites. Unlike other flies that remain on the animal,
stable flies leave the animal immediately after feeding;
therefore, only a few of the flies in the environment are
noticed. Research has indicated that for every stable fly
seen on the animal there are about 60 more in the imme-
The life cycle of the stable fly consists of 4 stages:
egg, larva (maggot), pupa, and adult. The eggs are small,
1/25 of an inch, slightly curved and white. A single female
can usually lay up to several hundred eggs over a 4-or 5-day
period. The eggs hatch within 1-3 days. The small white
larvae (maggots) then undergo development for 6-12 days
feeding and growing in the larval growth medium, a mix-
ture of decaying organic matter, water, and animal wastes.
Near the end of the larval development they migrate to-
wards drier areas of the medium and pupate. The ovoid
pupa is dark brown in color and resembles a very small
capsule about inch in length. The pupal stage lasts for
5-10 days. The developmental time in all stages can vary
greatly and is largely influenced by environmental factors
such as temperature, moisture, and type of larval growth
medium. The time required from egg laying to adult fly
on St. Croix is usually about 2 weeks.
The adult fly emerges from the pupa, crawls out of
the larval growth media, unfolds its wings, and in about 30
minutes flies away to begin its search for a blood meal.
Adult stable flies will usually mate in about 1 week after
emerging; and the females will begin laying eggs in any
available larval growth medium, thus repeating the whole
Immature flies can grow in almost any type of de-
caying plant material such as silage, green chop, grass, hay,
compost piles, and animal manures. The material with the
greatest potential for producing heavy populations of
stable flies is green silage where the cattle are fed in the
field from open troughs or wagons and the silage becomes
dumped on the ground and mixed with urine or manure.
Animals, particularly cattle that are fed in this manner,
can create large piles of silage and manure which undergo
decomposition. This practice is now common in most
dairy and beef operations on the island, and if not con-
trolled, can produce thousands of flies. Other sources of
flies are manure piles, accumulations of feed inside of
troughs, and straw bedding used in horse stables.
Sanitation is the most important preventative con-
trol measure against stable flies. The most practical method
is to spread the organic wastes evenly over the fields.
The sun will dry this material rapidly when spread thinly.
Since the fly larvae cannot develop without moisture, the
potential of the materials to produce flies will be greatly
reduced or eliminated.
Application of insecticides to the animals is another
method of fly control. Flies can also be controlled by ap-
plying insecticide sprays to fences, sides of buildings, and
other stable fly resting areas, as well as on large piles of
manure or feed wastes that are too difficult to spread.
On St. Croix, cattle are usually sprayed or dipped for
tick control. This treatment does give protection from adult
stable flies for about 1 week. When this program is carried
out on a regular schedule, there is a reduction in the adult
stable fly population.
Research is being conducted at the federal experi-
ment station on St. Croix on the feasibility of using the re-
lease of sterile flies as an alternate control or eradication
measure. Although the results are still preliminary, the re-
lease of sterile stable flies has drastically reduced the nat-
ural population of stable flies at one of the dairies where
previously they were found in large numbers.
1 -3 days
Banco de Ponce Building
268 Avenida Muioz Rivera
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00918
Telephone: (809) 751-3000
/CONSERVATION MASTER PLAN
FOR U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
By George A. Seaman
This plan envisions the conservation and use of all
wildlife resources within the Territory of the United States
Virgin Islands now and within an indefinite future.
The astounding development and economic progress
of these islands along with a foreseeable continued rapid
growth makes planning now imperative. Already disaster
has overtaken elements of this program which cannot be
repaired. This is particularly true on St. Croix where farm-
ing has phased out and industry, small and large, has taken
its place. In this atmosphere, time is of the essence; and the
gravity of the situation cannot be overemphasized.
We must lay aside suitable areas now for the protec-
tion of the native flora and fauna if tomorrow's population
is to have and enjoy it. Our countryside can be urbanized
out of all beauty and recreational value in an astoundingly
short time. One look around and it is alarmingly evident
that the scenic beauty of all the islands is at stake.
It should be understood that while the territory in-
volved is comparatively small, it presents very unique bio-
tic and recreational values. The tail end of a greater land
mass which was submerged in the Pleistocene, the islands
are the reservoir of many endemic plants and rare reptiles.
These are today in danger, and with little more land devel-
opment would certainly entirely disappear. Their fate is in
our hands NOW.
The following recommendations are made for the
guidance of those who are concerned with the wildlife
and recreational values of the Virgin Islands and would
desire to improve and perpetuate them.
a. An area of several hundred acres preferably with
access to the sea should be acquired by the admin-
istration on the northern or western end of St. Thom-
as as a wildlife refuge and park.
The same plan should be considered for St. Croix
with a similar area along the northwest coast. The
native flora and wildlife would be inviolate in these
b. The sea islands of Little Saba, Turtledove Cay, and
Flat Cay off the south shore of St. Thomas should be
made inviolate wildlife sanctuaries.
Savana Island to the southwest of St. Thomas should
be held by the government. It has potential as a wild-
life refuge or a base for a marine biology station. The
reptile fauna here is of particular interest, as is the
Dutchcap, Cockroach, and Cricket Rock are the best
seabird islands of all. Only here is the rare Blue-faced
Booby to be found breeding. These three cays should
be made inviolate sanctuaries.
Thatch, Grass, Mingo, Lovango, and Congo Cay all
support rare reptile fauna along with some seabird
breeding. Congo should be made a sanctuary and wild-
life control extended to the others. A few families
live on some of these islands.
c. The sale of seabird eggs should be made illegal. This
pursuit can no longer be justified as an economic
d. Great Pond, a salt-marsh area of some hundred acres
bordered on the seaside with mangrove and about five
miles southeast of Christiansted, is the largest remain-
ing marsh area on St. Croix. This could be developed
and managed as a wildlife and recreational site. If the
pond were deepened, it might again serve as a spawn-
ing area for the many species of coastal and shallow-
water fish deprived of this required habitat by the
industrialization of Krause Lagoon.
e. Sugar Bay on the north coast of St. Croix, about six
miles west of Christiansted, a small, brackish water
mangrove swamp, is with the exception of Mangrove
Lagoon on St. Thomas, the last nesting site in the
Virgin Islands of the White-crowned Pigeon. This
area should be obtained and made into a sanctuary
for this vanishing pigeon.
f. Mangrove Lagoon on the southeastern coast of St.
Thomas, about six miles east of Charlotte Amalie,
is the second largest mangrove lagoon in the Virgin
Islands (after Krause on St. Croix which was des-
troyed). It consists of several hundred acres of sea
water and small scattered islands. It is the breeding
habitat of several herons and a small colony of White-
crowned Pigeons. The site, however, is slated for
development. If this project should fall through,
every effort should be made to acquire the area for
a bird sanctuary and recreational purposes.
g. An area of mountain top on St. Thomas should be
acquired so that the forest cover found here and
nowhere else in the Virgin Islands may be pre-
served. This is a unique flora and the area left is
h. Another area on the eastern end of the island, of not
less than 100 acres, should be acquired and set aside
inviolate. The thorn-scrub and cacti flora here is char-
acteristic and of great beauty and value. This type of
cover supports specific bird and reptile faunas.
i. The same type of preserve should be established on
the eastern end of St. Croix. This is an area of rare
beauty after rain in the spring.
j. The Creque Dam area of St. Croix is of dramatic
beauty and supports a unique flora. The possibilities
for development as a study area and park are great.
This is the home of Spanish moss and the very rare
k. The Caledonia gorge is the last refuge of the exceed-
ingly rare native owl. Every means should be taken to
preserve this magnificent ravine and woods along with
its small stream from exploitation.
1. A small zoo. Long-range planning should include such
a project. The fauna of the Virgin Islands should play
a major role in exhibitions.
m. A marine aquarium. There are few places in the
world better suited by nature, climate, and environ-
ment for such an undertaking. With money, know-
how, and energy we could have one of the finest in the
world. The scientific, cultural, and economic aspects
of such a project would be truly magnificent.
In business in St. Croix since 1934
* Will Buy and Sell Land
Will Buy and Sell Beef Cattle
Post Office Box 68
Frederiksted, St. Croix
U. S. Virgin Islands 00840
TIRES, AUTO PARTS,
Doing Business 35 Years
BUY- LEASE- SELL
Terms to fit everyone
In St. Croix
Telephone: 772 -0412
P.O. BOX 68 FREDERIKSTED ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, 00840
-- --- --
NEW SOIL CONDITIONERS FOR TROPICS
By Glenn R. Tobey, President
1-11 Estate Tabor-Harmony, St. Thomas
The United States Virgin Islands, along with six other
countries in the Caribbean, have been targeted for extensive
field tests of new organic-humus soil conditioners and ferti-
lizers. This project has been undertaken by Eco-Dyne Cor-
poration of St. Thomas. U.S. Virgin Islands as part of its
multi-phasic research and marketing program. Tests on St.
Croix have been under the direction of Dr. Darshan S. Pad-
da, College of the Virgin Islands, Agricultural Experiment
Station. Early indications are the that the results obtained
locally will compare favorably with results obtained at
Clemson University, and at various sites in North and Cen-
tral America. Widespread use of specific types of organic-
humus soil conditioners is predicted for a diversity of crops
cultivated under differing soil and environmental conditions
affecting tropical agriculture.
Organic-humus based soil conditioners offer a viable,
economically feasible alternative to the escalating cost of
petrol-chemical fertilizers. The nontoxic impact on plant
life of products now being tested affords an ecologically
sound means of conditioning and fertilizing topsoil.
THE NATURE AND ROLE OF ORGANIC-HUMUS
The composition of soils reflects three major con-
stituents: (1) organic matter; (2) minerals, dirt or disin-
tegrated rock particles: and (3) a vast community of living
organisms. It should be noted that healthy soil constitutes
a dynamically balanced, vibrantly alive system teeming with
bacteria, fungi, molds, yeasts, protozoa, algae, worms, in-
sects, and other minute organisms which live mostly in the
top few inches of soil, known as top soil.
The sustained interaction of major soil constituents,
that is, organic matter, plant and animal residues that have
become well decomposed by action of soil micro-organisms,
that remain more or less stable, forms a vital substance
known as humus. Henceforth, we will use the term humus
and/or organic humus to refer to those soil conditioners
presently being tested in the Caribbean region. Technically
speaking, we have under consideration a specific type of hu-
mus and its humic acid, known as Leonardite. Organic mat-
erial found in deposits in the Davis Mountains of Alpine
County. Texas from which Eco-Dyne's soil conditioners are
mined are among the oldest and richest in the world.
According to the Lignite Research Laboratory at the Uni-
versity of North Dakota, these deposits were formed during
the age of the great dinosaurs. They have the dual charac-
teristics of being non-toxic to plant life, and contain a
wealth of trace elements and minerals including iron, cal-
cium, magnesium, sulfur, chloride, ammonia, titanium, cop-
per, cobalt, nitrate, barium, manganese, lithium, phosphor-
ous, zinc, carbon, nickle, silicon, strontium, and sodium.
Organic-humus plays a multi-dimensional role in re-
vitalizing soil systems. Its effects are cumulative and yield
increased benefits with successive applications. Unlike high-
analysis chemical fertilizers, organic humus conditioners ac-
tually enrich the soil system instead of depleating it for the
sake of increased crop yield. Figure 1 illustrates humus ac-
FIGURE 1. DYNAMIC ROLE OF HUMUS.
I0 340 11e,./100 m, Topol
Enllha es Ro
and Planl Vigor
Each role attribute has significance for tropical agri-
culture. Organic-humus soil conditioners now being tested
in the Caribbean contain at least 25 per cent organic matter.
(Continued on page 41)
KEY ROLE ATTRIBUTES OF ORGANIC HUMUS FOR
Assists in Erosion Control
Soil erosion and leaching of soil nutrients through ex-
cessive run-off threatens the stability of tropical agricultural
production. The rugged mountain terrain of many of our is-
land environments together with seasonal droughts leave
topsoil reserves extremely vulnerable when tropical storms
The U.S. Department of Agriculture points out that
100 pounds of topsoil with V12 per cent humus content re-
tains approximately 35 pounds of moisture; whereas, 100
pounds of topsoil with 5 per cent humus will hold up to
195 pounds of moisture. The implications of stabilizing
humus content to achieve moisture retention and aid in
conservation are readily apparent.
Encourages Microbial Activity
Azotobacter and Clostridia are the two chief nitrogen
fixing bacteria in topsoil. They need a supply of sugary ma-
terials as part of their diet, and depend on micro-organisms
to provide these for them from humus. Nitrogen is stored in
soil matter as proteins or other body substances and then
used as food by attacking protozoa or released into the soil
when the bacteria dies. When organic humus is available,
Azotobacter will flourish and fix itself on nitrogen from the
air. The air we breathe is 78 per cent nitrogen. Good soil
management calls for the most economical means of respi-
rating topsoil with free nitrogen from the air. Organic hu-
mus provides the means, and accomplishes its task naturally.
Azotobacter is responsible for the steady, natural in-
crease in nitrogen fertility of many soils. This bacteria may
be adversely affected by the application of high-analysis
chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides, thereby
contributing to the deterioration of organic humus content
in topsoil. Although accelerated plant growth may occur
with the use of high-analysis chemical fertilizers, such seen,-
ing growth benefits can be harmful to balanced biotic life
Brings Back Earthworms
Earthworms are nature's soil engineers. They live on
decayed organic matter, and literally eat their way through
topsoil. Dirt is mixed with calcium carbonate in the sto-
mach and passes out of the body as casting which is rich in
minerals beneficial to the soil. Earthworms annually bring
from 15 18 tons of new soil to the surface of every acre of
land where they are found. The United States Department
of Agriculture estimates that in good topsoil during damp
periods earthworms can convert 700 pounds of soil per acre
into surface castings (digested earth) each day. These cast-
ings in comparison to the original earth contain seven times
more phosphate, five times more nitrogen, and eleven times
APPLICATION RATES AND COST FACTORS
Alpine Humus is fortified with a cultured bacteria
and starter. Where indicated, it is enhanced with feed grade
urea and supplemented with single process rock phosphate
and potash. Recommended application ratios for specific
types of crops are to be considered only as general guide-
lines unless otherwise stipulated.
Potatoes, Tobacco, and Sugar Beets
We suggest application of 400 pounds per acre at the
time of planting in the bottom of the furrow. A 2-2-2 mix-
mixture should suffice.
Corn, Milo, Beans, and Cotton
We recommend a 4-2-2 initial application where soil
has been depleted followed by a 2-2-2 treatment thereafter.
Use 100 300 pounds per acre, banded in the row at the
same depth as the seed.
For new trees, mix 10 20 pounds into the soil a-
round the roots. For orchard trees, work 50 pounds of
2-2-2 into soil out to edge of branch circumference. After
first three years, apply only every other year. Large trees
should receive 100 pounds
Small Grains, Hay, or Grass
Apply 2-2-2 at the rate of 200 300 pounds per acre
using broadcasting technique.
We suggest a 2-2-2 application at the rate of 3 pounds
per 100 square feet. If new soil is added, mix 12 16
pounds per every 100 pounds of soil.
Flowers and Vegetables
Put 0-0-0 in each furrow at rate of 10 12 pounds per
50 feet row before or after dropping seed.
Roses and Shrubs
Use 1 pound of 2-2-2 for small shrubs, 2 3 pounds
for medium shrubs, and 4 5 pounds for larger bushes. Mix
well into the soil and pack close to roots.
Cost factors vary from country to country in the Car-
ibbean because of shipping rates. Eco-Dyne has worked to
make its programs and products cost competitive with
chemical treatments. For specific price quotations, inquiries
should be directed to the St. Thomas office.
Eco-Dyne is presently establishing agents throughout
the Caribbean. It has prepared, in conjunction with Moore-
McCormack Energy, a unique processing and bagging faci-
lity that can be fabricated with a modest investment. Per-
sons interested in the processing and marketing phase of
this operation should direct inquiries to the Eco-Dyne of-
fice on St. Thomas.
The Most Modern Supermarkets
in the Virgin Islands!
I_ __ L
THE POTENTIAL USE OF PARASITES
TO CONTROL FLIES IN THE CARIBBEAN AREA
By Philip B. Morgan, A. Benton, and
R. S. Patterson
Insects Affecting Man Research Laboratory,
Agr. Res. Serv.,
USDA, Gainesville, Florida 32604
The common house fly (Musca domestic L.) is cap-
able of carrying such common diseases of man as typhoid,
paratyphoid, cholera, amoebic dysentery, bacillary dysen-
tery, infantile diarrhea, antharax, leprosy, tuberculosis, con-
junctivitis, plague, trachoma, yaws, and polimyelitis. This
fly is very prolific when ideal conditions exist such as man-
ure, garbage, etc., for the immature stages. Under opti-
mal field conditions, a pair of flies can increase to 1.8 mil-
lion pairs within 6 generations (12 wks.). Because they
rapidly develop resistance to insecticides, they are very
difficult to control. Therefore, alternate methods of con-
trol are being investigated. One such approach is biological
control, which is defined as "the destruction or suppression
of undesirable insects, other animals, or plants by the intro-
duction, encouragement, or artificial increase of their
Research is now being undertaken both in the United
States and in the Caribbean area on the use of parasitic
wasps to control house flies. These minute wasps lay their
eggs in the immature stage (pupa) of the fly, and the wasp
larva then feeds on the fly eventually causing death. Some
outstanding representatives of this group of wasps are Spa-
langia endius Walker, S. cameroni Perkins, S. nigra Latreille,
S. nigroaenea Curtis, Muscidifurax raptor Girault and San-
ders, Pachycrepoideus vindemmiae (Rondani), and Tachi-
naephagus zealandicus Ashmead. Recent surveys on St.
Croix have revealed that both Spalangia spp. and M. raptor
are native to the island. Of these 2 wasps, Spalangia spp.
appears to be the better biological control agent. For
example, M. raptor confines its searching primarily to
the upper levels of medium of the immatures; Spalangia
spp. is active at all levels. We have recovered Spalangia
spp. from fly pupae collected 8 inches below the medium
The life history of the tiny wasps is quite fascinating.
The female is ready to mate and oviposit immediately upon
emergence from the host puparia and proceeds through 4
distinct phases when parasitizing the house fly pupae;
namely, finding the host area, finding the fly pupae, drum-
ming and drilling, and ovipositing and feeding. Once she
has found the pupae she systematically examines the sur-
face while drumming with the tips of the antenna. Then she
begins tapping with the tips of the antenna, followed by
tapping with the tip of the abdomen on the surface of the
puparium. This activity apparently places the tip of the ovi-
positor in place for drilling, a procedure that requires from
10 minutes to 1 hour. When the wall of the puparium is
pierced, the entire length of the ovipositor is inserted; and
1 egg is deposited on the developing fly. After depositing
the egg, the female withdraws the ovipositor and then ob-
tains nourishment by ingesting the blood of the fly flowing
from the oviposition wound. During the next 33-35 days,
the wasp develops from an egg to a mature adult and in the
process completely destroys the house fly host which had
served as a source of food for the developing wasp. Al-
though the wasps will also parasitize blow fly, stable fly,
and horn fly pupae, they do not attack or parasitize other
parasites or beneficial insects; nor do they bother or harm
animals or humans.
The first successful experiment in suppressing popu-
lations of house flies was carried out at a small caged poul-
try installation in north Florida with sustained releases of
S. endius by the authors. The releases completely sup-
pressed the house flies within 30 days, and all house fly
pupae collected from the site 37 days after the releases
were parasitized. As a result, the potential of the wasp to
control flies was further evaluated in 2 additional field
tests. In the first test conducted at a commercial poultry
farm, the house fly population was suppressed; and all fly
pupae collected from the test area was parasitized within
4 weeks. In the second test conducted at a calf barn at a
commercial dairy, fly control ranged from 83 to 93 per
cent within 31 days after the initial release of the wasps;
and all pupae collected were parasitized.
Although the wasps are present in the field, they
are apparently unable to reproduce in numbers adequate
to control fly populations. However, the number of
wasps present can be increased with sustained releases;
and this technique will both reduce the fly density and
keep it at a low level. Such a method of fly control is
relatively inexpensive and would eliminate the problems
that are normally associated with pesticides.
'PROJECTS FOR AUGMENTING AGRICULTURAL WATER
IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
By Wesley Nelson, Acting Director
Water Resources Research Center
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas
If one were to be asked "What are the prospects of
augmenting water for agriculture in the Virgin Islands?" I
suppose the simplest answer and one which would provoke
the least controversy would be good!, poor!, none!, or in-
different! Such a question might even be considered inap-
propriate since water for domestic and/or industrial use has
traditionally been grossly inadequate and of short supply in
the Virgin Islands.
However, because of the inflationary cost of living,
and limited fiscal resources at our disposal it might be ap-
propriate to examine the facts and then make a determina-
tion even if it is only for academic interest. Through the in-
sistence of the commissioner of agriculture and other
people in the government of the Virgin Islands, modern
technology has been put to use in recycling wastewater
through a natural buffer system (the ground) by way of a
proposed irrigated agriculture to the domestic water supply
and again to the wastewater system. This complex recycl-
ing effort has been made possible with financial support
from the Department of Conservation and Cultural Affairs,
the Office of Water Research and Technology, U.S. De-
partment of the Interior (through the Virgin Islands Water
Resources Research Center), the assistance of a consulting
engineer*, and others.
Let's examine what has and is to be done to make
water available for crop growth -part of the ultimate goal
in augmenting our agricultural water resources. Achieving
this goal, and the recycling efforts, would not be possible if
the salt water now used for flushing sanitary facilities in
parts of St. Croix were not eliminated from the wastewater
system (Figs. 1 & 2). If this were to be done, an additional
source or an additional supply of water (80,000 gpd) would
be required to maintain the flushing facilities. This was ac-
complished through a crucial decision and collaboration of
many people in government backed up by modern techno-
logy. Now what are the potentialities for the use of this
wastewater, and how much will be required? First of all, to
encourage deep rooting of crops so that these roots will be
safe from injury, and to assume that we need to wet the.soil
to about 15 per cent moisture to a depth of 12 inches. It
will require about 1.54 inches of irrigation water (or rain-
fall) to bring the soil moisture to 15 per cent moisture with-
in a 12 inch depth. Assuming that due to the high evapo-
transpirative rate in the Virgin Islands water should be ap-
plied on the average of once per week, our requirement for
irrigation water will be 34,939 gallons per acre per week.
However, whenever precipitation occurs, it will only
be necessary to apply the difference between 1.54 inches
and the amount of precipitation to bring the soil to the
level of soil moisture indicated above.
Based on an estimated total of 50 acres for crop pro-
duction and for field crop research that will be immediately
required by the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment
Station and based on a 5-day work week, an average of
10 acres will be irrigated per day. This calls for 349,388
gallons per day.
Clearly, the advanced wastewater treatment plant has
the capacity to process 349,388 gallons of tertiary treated
wastewater effluent per day to be diverted to the areas for
irrigation. The only real question is the cost of getting these
diversion pipelines in place. The major ones leading from
the advanced wastewater treatment plant are already in (at
the time of preparing this manuscript) and the sooner the
others are in the earlier the prospect of having wastewater
for irrigation will become a reality. This is the positive side
of the subject under discussion.
There are really few negative aspects such as the cost
of maintaining the treatment plant, and the cost for and of
laying down the pipelines. Of course, the treatment plant is
already there. It represents a sizable investment primarily of
federal funds and is also a source to attract more federal
funds. It now leaves the cost for the pipelines which is to be
compared with the economic gains to be realized from the
improved agricultural industry.
The other aspect of it is equally, if not more, impor-
tant and one should not lose sight of it. The tertiary ef-
fluent is at present being used to recharge the ground water
in the Golden Grove and Negro Bay areas of St. Croix.
Ground water represents about 15-20 per cent of the now
meager domestic water supply on the island. This amounts
to about 170,000 220,000 gpd and represents an industry
which should be developed. The true potential of this indus-
try has not yet been realized. For example, of the water re-
turned to the well-fields for recharging, it has been demon-
strated that losses due to evapotranspiration and all other
sources of loss will amount to about 35 40 per cent.
(Continued on page 46)
(Continued from page 4 7)
Therefore. of the potential 400,000 gpd of the ter-
tiary treated effluent. 240.000 260,000 gpd is estimated
to be recoverable. The use of the treated effluents first for
irrigation will not jeopardize the recharging efforts except
that evapotranspirative losses will be higher. No data is a-
vailable to say how much higher, but my opinion is that
this loss should now be no higher than 34 45 per cent. If
this is the case. 220,000 260.000 gpd of the treated ef-
fluent should now be recoverable as ground water. This
clearly demonstrates that killing two birds with the effort
of a single shot is well-worth it. The analogy here might
even be greater than is implied since reference is being made
to food crops with irrigation versus no food crops without
The treated wastewater resources (treated effluents)
on St. Croix can be increased as the capability to process
raw sewage is increased. This can be done by increasing the
capacity of the present advanced wastewater treatment
plant, or better still, construct new ones in carefully desig-
nated areas. If this is done, the amount of treated effluent
available for irrigation would be increased in direct relation
to the volume of treated effluent, considering that at the
time of preparing this manuscript potable water consump-
tion on St. Croix is 2,000,000 gpd.
In summary, one could contend that technology has
created the potential for making irrigation water available
beyond the anticipated needs. It is however up to us to put
it (the technology developed) to use. The outlook for the
other two islands (St. Thomas and St. John) might not be
as good. Treated wastewater in lesser amounts could be
provided, but due to topography the task of getting the
wastewater to where the crops and other agricultural re-
lated activities are would be prohibitive. Efforts are current-
ly being made to develop other sources of water on St.
Thomas and St. John, and any thought about irrigation
would have to be confined to isolated instances but not
without prior serious consideration.
*Black, Crow, and Eidsness, Inc., Consulting Engineers,
7201 N. W. Eleventh Place, Gainsville, Florida 32601.
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SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 00936
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PORT TERMINAL P.O. BOX 2994, CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX 00820
JOHN ALEXANDER, INC.
32 35 King Street, Christiansted, St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands 00820
'VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION
IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
By Ram D. Bansal, Coordinator and
Albert Ragster, Sr., State Supervisor
V.I. Department of Education, St. Croix
Vocational education deals with preparation for ca-
reers in the world of work. It helps to give a definite pur-
pose and meaning to education by relating training to
specific occupational goals. It develops abilities, under-
standings, attitudes, work habits, and appreciations which
contribute to a satisfactory and productive life. It cuts
across all levels of education extending from the elementary
school through secondary, post-secondary, adult, and con-
The Vocational Education Amendments of 1968 (P.L.
90-596) give support and direction to vocational education
in the states so that persons of all ages in all communities
of the states have ready access to vocational training which
is realistic in the light of actual or anticipated opportunities
for gainful employment.
COOPERATIVE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
On May 17, 1972, a significant contribution was
made to the development of vocational and technical edu-
cation in the Virgin Islands through a cooperative venture
between Martin Marietta Corporation and Virgin Islands
Department of Education. St. Croix Central High School
was the recipient of equipment donated by the above-men-
tioned enterprise to implement an industrial technology
program. Seven students from.the eleventh grade were se-
lected to participate in the program after they were inten-
sively tested and screened by Martin Marietta Corporation,
and had demonstrated the aptitude and ability to succeed
in an industrial education program designed to meet the
needs of heavy industry. Upon completion of the two-year
program, they should be qualified to work as apprentices
in such industrial plants as Martin Marietta and Hess Oil Re-
finery. Basically, the program has the following main ob-
1. train with actual industrial equipment,
2. work with machinery at Martin Marietta,
3. industrial visits throughout the island,
4. summer employment at Martin Marietta, and
5. learn technical skills for industrial career.
In addition, the most significant advantage and objec-
tive of the program is to train islanders in technical skills
which are needed here. Therefore, it will be easier for them
to find local, suitable jobs as a result of the program.
Vocational and technical education, though not a
panacea to all the problems that plague the U.S. Virgin
Islands, must play a major role in the preparation of people
with saleable skills in order to build a viable, indigenous
labor force. This can only be accomplished through whole-
hearted support by the people of the Virgin Islands to the
vocational and technical education programs at all levels
in order to make the Virgin Islands a better place for every-
one to live.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ESTATE LOWER LOVE
5. Garage and Shops
6. Farmers Market
8. Fence Post Treatment
10. Nursery and Plant Sale Area
12. Horse Show Ring
13. Mango Orchard
14. Goat Corral
15. Quarantine Pens
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGIN ISLANDS
3 3138 00125 2062
PRECISE PLANT FOOD
SOLBAN SHADE CLOTH
CLAY AND PLASTIC POTS
SOLD IN GARDEN CENTERS -
DEPARTMENT STORES AND SUPERMARKETS
Avenue Fernandez Juncas Parada 10
Box 5157 San Juan, P.R. 00906
I I-- -
T RO ICA