and B Vrf I nds
of the JS.VranI~d
THE V. I. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE .
S (rrTE COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
COlL 0 COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
AGRICULTURE EXPERIMENT STATION
Ol liUIiela ^"*-- ---u
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Message from me Honorable Juan Luis,
Governor of the Virgin Islands ....................................... ... .... .1
Message from Dr. Arthur A. Richards,
President, College of the Virgin Islands..............................................3
Message from Commissioner Patrick N. Williams,
President Agriculture and Food Fair .................................. ...5..
Agriculture and Food Fair Administrative Staff ..................................7
Caribbean Food Crops Society--Homecoming Meeting on St. Croix..................9
Integrating Fish Culture With Other Farming Activities ...........................11
Selecting a Suitable Farm Site............................................. 17
Cowitch Does More Than Itch (Cows) ...................................... 21
Soil Fertility on St. Croix ........... ................... .. ..... ......... 27
Kids Go "Buggie"on St. Croix ......... .... .... ...................... .......... 29
Ornamental Horticulture--The Missing Link....................................... 31
Acacia: A Pain in the Pasture ................. ................. .. ...37
From Our Photo Album........... ...........................................39
About the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center ......................................45
"O Ye of Little Faith" ......................................................... 47
Water Quality Management for Fish Culture ..................................... 49
St. Thomas Will Keep on Growing! ............................................. 53
Economic Scouting ......................................................... 57
Take A Turn............. ...................... ............................. 58
Why Not Try Sprouts .......................................................... 59
Elisha Daniel, Sr.
Assisting on St. Thomas
All photos by Liz Wilson except p. 1, 3, 5,-(unknown); p. 9-(U.P.R. Ext. Service); p. 1 l-(Studio
Five); p. 29, top and mid (R. Burgess); p. 32-W. Knausenberger; p. 37, 38, 57-H. Holder; p. 49-J.
Rakocy; p. 53-(M. Ivie).
Reprinting of articles is permitted as long as the Agriculture andFood Fair book is credited;
mention of product names in this book in no way implies endorsement by the authors or by
the Agriculture and Food Fair Administrative Staff.
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Message from Honorable Juan Luis
Governor of the Virgin Islands
I am truly honored and delighted to extend warm
and sincere greetings to all of the participants in the
1984 Agriculture and Food Fair on St. Croix.
The theme of this 14th Annual Fair, "Let's Farm
More in '84", is right on target as it underscores the
continuing thrust of my administration for a viable
expanded agricultural industry to play a major role in
the diversification of our territorial economy.
Within the past year, additional land has been
acquired for agricultural purposes and funds indenti-
fied to provide new equipment for the Department of
Agriculture and to enable it to offer more technical
assistance to local farmers. The distribution of com-
munity garden plots continues, as well as the sale at
cost of vegetables, seedlings, fruit trees and fertilizers
to encourage more local interest in farming. But these
efforts are not nearly sufficient.
A new, revitalized partnership between the public
and private sectors is imperative if the Virgin Islands
is to realize its long-sought goal of self-sufficiency in
food production to reduce its over-reliance on im-
ported foodstuff that can be grown locally. The excel-
lent exhibits at the Fair indicate the potential that
exists for greater food production.
I commend the Department of Agriculture, the Fair
Committee, farmers and other public and private
groups for their contribution to make this year's Agri-
culture and Food Fair the success it has become. Mrs.
Luis joins me in extending our best wishes for a most
exciting and memorable event.
v7. O 851
ST. CROIX, U.S.V.I.
MA4, J7 mJ'wfAf #WA J7,JAE7 I
your way ..
COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Message From Dr. Arthur A. Richards
President, College of the Virgin Islands
The College of the Virgin Islands, through its land-
grant programs, is again happy to co-sponsor this
annual Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair.
Most of our residents realize that a primary mis-
sion of the college is resident instruction. However,
the college is also deeply involved in various research
activities and in providing extension outreach services
to our community. This annual Agriculture and Food
Fair presents the college with the opportunity to
demonstrate the important role it has been playing in
both research and extension activities relating to agri-
culture, home economics, 4-H youth, and community
This year the community will again witness colorful
exhibits by two components of the land-grant pro-
grams, namely the Agricultural Experiment Station
and the Cooperative Extension Service. Our research
scientists, extension specialists, and staff have worked
diligently to provide you with high-level educational
exhibitions in such technical fields as animal and plant
science, human nutrition, and youth development.
The theme of this year's Agriculture and Food Fair,
"Let's Farm More in '84," is quite appropriate, as it
embraces the sentiment of a growing segment of the
people in our community. The college has recognized
our community's need for more agriculture related
programs and has expanded its resources in not only
agricultural research and extension activities, but also,
in the agricultural teaching program. We have recently
added a full-time faculty member to supplement our
part-time teaching staff and have further strengthened
the associate of arts degree program in agriculture.
I express my sincere thanks to the land-grant pro-
gram staff, the V.I. Department of Agriculture, and to
members of the Fair's board of directors for their
commendable accomplishments in making this Fair
<^^<^. ^^^ ^L
S T1 CR OIX
Message from Commissioner Patrick N. Williams
President of the Agriculture and Food Fair
My Fellow Virgin Islanders and Friends:
It is with great pride that I welcome you to this, the
Fourteenth Annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the
While a developing country is generally aware of
the problem it faces in the process of development, it
frequently is not in a position to avail itself of all the
benefits advanced technologies can offer for solutions
to these problems. It is therefore incumbent upon us
to recognize agriculture as mankind's basic industry.
Where it has been successful over the past several
millennia, civilizations flourished and populations
grew, many other kinds of industry developed, and
men freed from drudgery, were able to practice such
liberal and useful arts as scientific research and wide-
ranging technical invention. These activities in turn
were reflected in agriculture, which became an ever
more scientific and productive enterprise. Where the
natural environment made it difficult to practice pro-
ductive agriculture, human populations were sparse,
the arts of civilization lagged, and the people were
backward and poor.
The theme of this Fair, "Let's Farm More in '84,"
is indicative of the Department of Agriculture's com-
mitment to our farming community during this year.
It is riandatory then, that we take all necessary steps,
through government assistance and guidance to devel-
op agriculture as a viable enterprise in the Virgin
Islands. We can do it, and we must do it, if we are to
survive as a people. I dedicate every aspect of my
office and the Department of Agriculture toward ful-
filling this goal.
I encourage you to enjoy what is being offered at
this Fair relative to agricultural development. I en-
courage every family in this territory, to begin a little
iiome garden. Plant a fruit tree in your backyard. If
you have sufficient space, plant some vegetables. To
those of you who have chosen farming as your life's
vocation, I congratulate you on your efforts. We are
committed to assist you in every possible aspect. We
may not have our way with total financing; but we
will use our imaginative skills to step up to the chal-
lenge ana make it happen.
In closing I ask that you enjoy the Fair. Avail your-
selves of all there is to offer. We look forward to see-
ing you again next year, God willing. Thank you for
being with us.
Patrick N. Williams
Very best wishes from
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF 1984
Commissioner Patrick N. Williams
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
Eric L. Bough
Director St. Thomas/St. John Activities
John A. Bernier, Jr.
Director of Food Exhibits
Director of Communications
Director of Awards
Otis F. Hicks, Sr.
Director of CVI Coordination
Co-Directors of Facilities
Huan Van Putten-Reuben Sargent
Co-Directors of Farm Exhibits
Roy Rogers and Henry Schuster
Director of Youth Activities
Zoraida E. Jacobs
Director of Special Activities
i" Sunny Isle
- Shopping Center
AND MERCHANT'S ASSOCIATION
Salute the Virgin Islands Department of
Agriculture on the occasion of the
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
SWEET & FANCY GIFT SHOP
BASKIN ROBBIN'S ICE CREAM
TOWN & COUNTRY
IDEAL TOUCH BEAUTY SALON
POST OFFICE STATION
SUNNY ISLE TWIN THEATRES
OLE'S SNACK BAR
"COLORAMA" (Home Improvement Center
& Auto Body Shop)
SUNNY ISLE SEWING CENTER
BATA SHOE STORE
U.S. ARMY RECRUITING
EL PATIO FLOWER SHOP
U.S. IMMIGRATION SERVICE
UNIQUE SHOP (Ladies)
KINNEY'S SHOE STORE
V.I. LOTTERY SALES
LOGAN'S PET SUPPLIES
HUGHES' PHOTO STUDIO
TERRY'S CHILDREN'S WEAR
PEOPLE'S DRUG STORE
GrHAND UNION SUPER MARKET
KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN
COMMUNITY INSURANCE CORP.
SPEEDY SECRETARIAL SERVICE
SUNNY ISLE BARBER SHOP
QUICK PICS KIOSK
ST. CROIX MEDICAL CENTER
SUNNY ISLE SPORT SHOP & HOBBY CENTER
NEW YORK SHOES
OFFICE OF DELEGATE TO CONGRESS
Caribbean Food Crops Society--
Homecoming Meeting on St.Croix
Elected president of the Caribbean Food Crops Society for
1984, Dr. Darshan S. Padda, director of Land-Grant programs
at CVI, is shown being congratulated by past president Dr.
Alejandro Ayala of the University of Puerto Rico, at the
society's 1983 meeting of that island.
By Darshan S. Padda' and Walter Knausenberger2
College of the Virgin Islands
HC1BMIEC 201hIB \
The Caribbean Food Crops Society (CFCS), is
holding its 20th Annual Meeting on St. Croix in October,
1984. St. Croix is where the Caribbean Food Crops
Society held its first annual meeting in 1963 under the
leadership of the late Dr. R.M. Bond and the upcoming
meeting will be the first "homecoming" for the society.
This lends the occasion special significance.
The Caribbean Food Crops Society has grown and
thrived for over two decades in an age of specialization
and of major changes in the food production picture of
the region. Clearly the society has found an important
niche and fills a need. The transition that has taken place
on St. Croix itself is representative of what is happening
in many areas of the wider Caribbean, where agriculture
must forge its place among competing enterprises.
The records of the society indicate that the following
persons from the U.S. Virgin Islands attended the first
annual meeting held at the Buccaneer Hotel in Christian-
sted: Richard Bond, Arnold Krochmal, Axel Frederik-
sen, Juan de Dios Cubero, Charles Horth, James Isher-
wood, Mark Madsen, F.W. Morrissey and Normand
Smith. Since then, the society has held its annual meet-
ings all over the Caribbean region. The meeting places
and names of the former presidents presented in Table 1
give a historical perspective of the society.
Table 1 Meeting Places and Former Presidents
of CFCS from 1963-1984
Presidents of CFCS
A. dek Frampton
F.A. del Prado
M. Lugo Lopez
F.A. del Prado
John P.W. Jeffers
Darshan S. Padda
1. President of the Caribbean Food Crops Society
2. Chairman of local organizing committee
According to Dr. Arnold Krochmal who served as
horticulturist with the USDA program on St. Croix and
played a significant role in the formation of the society
and during its initial years, "the first project implemented
was the inter-island assistance program which saw Dr.
Julio Bird (a plant pathologist) of tne University of
Puerto Rico sent to Montserrat" on a technical assistance
mission. Since then, the CFCS has evolved into a unique
international and multidisciplinary professional society
with over 350 individual members from 24 nations or
islands. It specifically encourages participation from all
four language groups and permits cross-disciplinary
interaction among scientists and other professionals in-
xolxed in all aspects of food production, processing and
distribution in the region. Direct communication and ex-
cha': e among such a fertile mixture of people must be
counted as an important opportunity provided by the
CFCS. Proceedings are published for every meeting with
contributions in English, Spanish, and French.
The upcoming meeting is of special significance to
Virgin Islanders for two main reasons. First, it will pro-
vide us an opportunity to learn from the visiting neigh-
bors about their agricultural production systems and
their successes and failures with those systems. There has
been strong feeling among our community leaders that,
being a part of the Caribbean, we should develop im-
proved links and working relations with our neighboring
The interaction opportunities provided by the CFCS
meeting should work towards fulfilling that desire.
Secondly, it will give us a chance to showcase our land-
grant system where research and extension personnel
work as members of the same team. This important
aspect of linking technology development and technol-
ogy transfer is missing in the majority of cases in the
Caribbean and, therefore, came out as a major recomi-
mendation at the 1983 CFCS meeting held in Puerto
The other important 1983 recommendation included
placing more emphasis on applied research conducted at
the farm level and placing higher priority on small farm
research. The "on-the-farm" research program of the
CVI's Agricultural Experiment Station will serve as a
good demonstration of the implementation of this
recommendation. We feel that our research and exten-
sion programs can be presented as a model for imple-
menting the majority of recommendations that were
made at the Puerto Rico meeting.
Additionally, the College of the Virgin Islands is
developing a proposal to establish an Eastern Caribbean
Center for educational, cultural, technical, and scientific
interchange. The concept of the proposed center empha-
sizes the need to understand the problems and the pres-
sures of our neighbors in the Eastern Caribbean as those
nations struggle to develop, strengthen, and maintain
:heir social, economic, and political independence. The
Caribbean Food Crops Society meeting will provide the
forum for winning the confidence of our neighbors to
whom we intend to provide services through the pro-
posed Eastern Caribbean Center. This meeting will
afford the College of the Virgin Islands an opportunity to
showcase its capabilities and sincere desire to become
partners for progress with the rest of the Caribbean.
National and regional development is a complex pro-
cess that requires teamwork between politicians, techni-
cians, public servants, private enterprise, and the com-
munities at large. The relationship between changes in
technology, human resources, and institutions lies at the
heart of development. This relationship must be better
and more widely understood if we expect police\ makers
and politicians to intelligently manage our resources.
The need for public institutions to play an aggressive
role in the development of appropriate technology and
human resources is becoming critical in the region. A
common complaint heard in the Caribbean is that e\er\-
thing is overly political and that the politicians do not
understand the role of research and development in the
overall growth process. If the situation were limited to
politicians alone, things would not be so bad. However.
unfortunately most scientists and academicians haxe no
better understanding than do politicians that research
and development is vital to support a continuous de\el-
opment process. The academic institutions lack strong
mission oriented research and public ser ice components
and most of the time education, research, and technology
transfer are isolated functions performed by different
institutions rather than a unified system. The relationship
of science to productivity needs to be brought home to all
leaders in the Caribbean irrespective of their role in the
This is where the land-grant system comes into the
picture. The historical contributions of the land-grant
college lie not just in agricultural research and the educa-
tion of farmers These institutions have made a magnifi-
cent contribution to me human development as a whole.
Being the only English-speaking land-grant institution in
the Caribbean, the College of the Virgin Islands can pla\
a leadership role in bringing home the important fact that
productivity, especially biological productivity is depen-
dent on a consciously managed continuum of knowledge
stretching from its certain through development to util-
ization and back
In order to encourage and foster an open discussion
and interchange of ideas among the scientists, research
managers, agricultural leaders, private entrepreneurs.
and students on the interrelationship of research, tech-
nology transfer, public service, and education, the St.
Croix organization committee is planning a diverse and
stimulating program. This will include, in addition to the
main technical paper sessions, exhibits and book dis-
plays, a field tour, and awards/incentixe program, and
social activities, with the possibility also of a placement
service for prospective employees and employers. The
technical sessions will deal with a broad spectrum of food
production concepts and a workshop will focus on suc-
cessful small farm systems. We are pleased to invite The
Virgin Islands community to be involved in hosting this
unique Caribbean conference.
if you are interested in more information, or w would like
to join CFCS, please call the director of CVl's land-gran:
programs on St. Croix at 778-0246. g
J Integrating Fish Culture
With Other Farming Activities
John A. Hargreaves
Aquaculture Research Technician
CVI Agricultural Experiment Station
The establishment of connections among various
farming activities is not new to agriculture. Asian farmers
are masters of small-scale diversified farming. In many
places they have farmed the same piece of land for over
4,000 years. In order to preserve the land base, agricul-
ture must take the form of earth stewardship. By steward-
ship I mean that the land must be carefully nurtured and
protected; fertility should increase through time; a spirit
of partnership with the land should develop. Stewardship
means looking at agriculture in terms of ecology, not
I IB IIIS I I
Freshwater tilapia like these can be raised by util-
izing the waste from livestock in a system of live-
stock rearing in conjunction with the management
of a small freshwater fish pond.
Two ecological concepts are important in taking a
whole-systems view of agriculture: nutrient cycling and
diversification. Nutrient cycling in agriculture involves
the use of the wastes or byproducts of one component of
the farm as a resource or nutrient base for another farm-
ing activity. Nature demands that we work within the
endless cycle of growth and decay. It is the matrix in
which all life is bound. Extractive views of production
have no place in an agro-ecosystem. The second concept
is diversity. Research suggests that biological diversity
can be linked to the stability of an ecosystem. A farmer
would do well to strengthen the linkages between the
components of his farm. "Don't put all your eggs in one
basket" is an appropriate adage summarizing this
Attempts are now being made to apply these concepts
and mimic natural systems in farming. Integrated pest
management, minimum or no-till cropping systems, and
organic gardening all make use of ecological and cyber-
netic concepts such as nutrient cycling, diversity, feed-
back and optimization.
To intensify food production and turn a greater profit,
wise management of scarce and/or expensive inputs is
necessary for any modern agricultural operation. Water
frequently belongs to this class of inputs. Making water
serve a number of functions before it is lost through evap-
oration or percolation is critical in a dry climate such as is
found in the Virgin Islands, where use of this resource for
agriculture is seriously limited by the pressures of con-
A system conservative of water and other resources, in
which the terrestrial and aquatic components are in bal-
ance, is described below. This system consists of livestock
rearing in conjunction with the management of a small
fish pond. Animals are kept in a pen or shelter which is
sited directly over or adjacent to the fish pond. They are
fed commercial rations and maintained by standard
practices. Feed can be supplemented by kitchen scraps,
tan-tan foliage and other grasses and plants grown on the
farm. Manure from the animals simply falls into the pond
where it (1) is consumed directly by fish, (2) serves to
stimulate the growth of algae, and (3) is attacked by bac-
teria, zooplankton and aquatic invertebrates, all of which
are consumed by fish. Higher aquatic plants remove nu-
trients dissolved in the pond water. These plants can in
turn be fed to livestock, composted, or added as a soil
amendment. Finally, the enriched pond water can be
used to irrigate a garden or tree crops.
Most of the nutrients present in commercial livestock
feeds pass through the animal without absorption. Only
20% of the nutrients are retained by the animal. The other
80% are excreted as manure (Table 1). Fish can consume
the manure directly, completing the digestion process
initiated by the livestock. However, in manure most of
the nitrogen, an important component of protein, is con-
tained in the urine and thereby is unavailable to the fish
directly. Nitrogen is the nutrient base of other food
chains in the fish pond ecosystem. Most of the nitrogen is
utilized for the growth of plants, particularly algae. The
Table 1. Manure Composition (%)
Animal Water Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium
Feedlot beef 78
Dairy cattle 79
76 1.6 0.7 0.7
76 1.1 0.4 0.4
74 0.6 0.2 0.4
GARDENING, MAINTENANCE, LANDSCAPING
RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL
FREE ESTIMATE -
MARIO A. FRANCIS
addition of manure increases the primary productivity.
or algae growth, of the pond. Even though filter-feeding
fish like tilapia graze on certain algae species. 90c~ of the
total crop of algae is too small to be eaten. When the algae
dies, however, it is attacked by bacteria. The bacteria
liberate nutrients contained within the algae. which be-
come available for further algae growth. The bacteria-
encrusted morsel of dead algae is in turn preyed upon b\
protozoans, zooplankton, aquatic invertebrates and.
finally, fish. Similarly, bacteria attack the particles of
organic matter present in manure, thereby enriching
them as a food item for fish. Thus, manure is important
primarily in stimulating the production of an assortment
of fish food organisms. Its importance as a direct food
source is only secondary (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 SCHEMATIC OF FOOD WEB IN A MANURE-DRIVEN
FISH FOOD ECOSYSTEM
.du; 1'o r
aqua ta- lnnvrtebrate J
EUGENE A. PETERSEN, D.V.M.
PAUL W. HESS, D.V.M.
Sub Base Road
It is essential that the organic matter in manure be
digested rapidly once it has been added to a fish pond.
The best way to achieve this would be to spread the
manure evenly over the pond surface. Howe\ er. with lie-
stock pens sited directly on the pond bank. this max not
be possible. In this case, manure should be washed into
the pond daily with water pumped from the pond.
Manure can also be composted or processed for biogas
before application. However, these processes reduce the
nutritive content of the manure.
Careful attention should be paid to signs of deterio-
rating water quality. Pond management should include
regular checks of pH and dissolved oxygen. A rapid
change in the color of the water may precede a die-off of
the algae "bloom", which could result in the death of the
fish. A bad smell to the water indicates that the pond can-
not keep up with the additions of manure. Water ex-
change, supplemental aeration, or a reduction in the
amount of manure added may be necessary. Israeli aqua-
culturists recommend manure additions of no more than
100 lbs dry weight/acre/day. It is extremely important in
an integrated livestock-fish culture system to maintain
the optimum balance between the number of animals and
the area of the fish pond (Table 2).
Table 2. Stocking rates of animals for 2 pond sizes
30ft x 30ft pond*
/2 acre pond+
* Yields about 400 Ibs of fish per year
+ Yields about 6000 Ibs of fish per year
Fish grown in manure-driven ponds should be stocked
at a rate of 4,000-8,000 per acre. If manure is to be trans-
ported to the pond, it should be applied at a rate equal to
3-5% of the total weight of the fish per day. At this rate
marketable size tilapia of one pound each can be pro-
duced in six months. Fish yields in ponds fed exclusively
with manure are approximately 2/3 of those achieved by
supplemental feeding with commercial rations, which
account for more than 50% of the operating expenses.
There are several strategies for achieving high yields in
manure-enriched ponds. For example, with tilapia it is
important to control reproduction, which can account
for up to 70% of the final harvest. Stocking the pond with
all-male fingerlings eliminates reproduction. It is possible
to stock a predator such as largemouth bass or tarpon
which prey upon tilapia fry. Another strategy for in-
Delgado's Electrical &
MEYERS PUMPS AND STATE WATER HEATERS
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX, V. I. 00840
creasing fish production is called polyculture. The use of
polyculture, stocking several species of fish with different
feeding habits, endeavors to make the best use of the
available food niches in a pond. It is imperative that a
pond receiving livestock wastes be stocked with a fish,
such as common carp, which will stir up the bottom, thus
facilitating the breakdown of manure and the liberation
Unless manure is to be transported to the pond the best
way to apply it is to site the livestock pen directly over the
pond or on the bank. Animals such as swine, chickens
and ducks are the best candidates for use in an integrated
livestock-fish farm. In this way manures are applied
directly. The growth of the livestock and the fish can be
synchronized in such a way that both are harvested at
about the same time. For example, weanling pigs (20-30
Ibs) can be raised up to 200 lbs in six months which will
correspond to the harvest of the first crop of fish.
Growing chickens in association with fish present
special problems. Because they grow much quicker than
the fish, it is necessary to have some kind of rotation. This
works as follows: three different size classes are main-
tained so that 1/3 of the crop is harvested every 2-3
weeks. The harvested stock is then replaced by more day-
old chicks. In this way manure input is kept more-or-less
constant by continuous replacement of mature birds. It is
also possible to maintain a standing crop of laying hens
integrated with fish culture.
Duck-fish culture is perhaps the easiest to manage.
Ducks can be allowed direct, but limited, access to the
pond during the day while they forage. Ducks are good
for controlling weeds on the pond bank and stirring up
the bottom as they forage. Research indicates that ducks
grown on water are more healthy than ducks reared on
land. It is important to select the proper breed of duck.
Muscovies and Khaki Campbells are preferred for inte-
gration with fish culture.
It is also possible to link the production of vegetable
and tree crops with aquaculture. Rafts containing edible
aquatic plants such as water spinach and water chestnuts
can be floated on the pond. Many aquatic plants remove
significant amounts of dissolved nutrients from the pond
water. Among the quickest growing is duckweed, the
world's smallest flowering plant. Duckweek can double
its biomass every 3-7 days. Duckweed is a useful supple-
ment to commercial livestock feeds, although it should
comprise no more than 25% of the diet. In fact, duckweed
has been shown to be a better feed than alfalfa for poultry
and swine. Even though it is 90% water, 32% of the dry
weight is protein. Herbivorous fish such as grass carp can
consume duckweed directly. Duckweed also selectively
removes ammonia-nitrogen which is excreted by and
toxic to fish.
In the Virgin Islands, where many farm ponds cannot
be drained and are surrounded by pastures grazed by
free-roaming cattle, goats, or sheep, it may be best to
manage the pond primarily for aquatic plant production.
Fish, if they are to be grown, should be reared in floating
cages. Fish must be stocked to stir up the pond sediments.
Cattle will thus be able to graze on the nutritious aquatic
plants which are fertilized by runoff from the adjacent
The water used for fish culture can also be used to irri-
gate crops. In particular the bottom layers of the pond
water, which are poor in oxygen but rich in nutrients, can
be extracted for irrigation usage by electric or windmill
pumps. Irrigation with fertile pond water is most effective
in a dry climate such as we have in the Virgin Islands
because excessive rainwater will not dilute or wash away
the pond water nutrients. Pond water may be applied
though a network of ditches or by sprinklers with large
diameter (10-12 mm) openings which prevent clogging
with algae. At this time, research integrating fish culture
with drip irrigation is inconclusive. Clogging is a severe
problem in traditional drip systems. Fish culture can also
be integrated with agriculture through a system of crop
rotation. After a period of time, the manure-driven pond
will begin to fill up with accumulated organic matter. If it
is possible, the pond can be drained and the fertile soil
covering the bottom of the pond be used for a garden
One can envision, then, the following integrated farm:
Swine or fowl are fed commercial rations in an enclosure
SEED e '
situated over or adjacent to a fish pond. The fish consume
the manure directly or feed on the organisms which result
from or are involved in the breakdown of the organic
matter in manure. Duckweed or other aquatic plants
grown on the pond remove toxic metabolites and other
nutrients. These in turn can be added as a supplement to
the animals' diet, composted, used in the production of
biogass", or added directly to the garden as a green
manure. Water from the fish pond is used to irrigate vege-
table, row, or tree crops. This water could also be used to
irrigate a crop grown as a livestock feed. such as comfrey.
thus completing the integration.
Living in a time and a place where the land and water
are made increasingly scarce by competition with other
sectors of the economy, it is clear that what land is cur-
rently in agricultural production will haxe to be used
more intensively to meet future food demands. The
alternative is to continue to import more high-priced.
low-quality produce from the continent. One wal to in-
tensify production is by maximizing the use of available
nutrients, land, water, labor and other inputs. This can be
achieved by establishing interconnections among x various
parts of a farming operation. In addition to making
sound financial sense, an integrated farm develops a
sense of stewardship, or partnership, with the land. some-
thing to which no price tag may be attached. g
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CALL 809-776-6282 FOR INFORMATION
Selecting a Suitable Farm Site
CVI Cooperative Extension Service
There is little doubt that a growing number of residents
of the Virgin Islands are interested in farming, whether
on a part-time or full-time basis. This can be attested by
the large number of applications filed (over 200) at the
Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture to lease
Whether you own a tract of land or you plan to lease or
purchase a piece of land to develop into a farm, there are
a number of factors to consider. One of the most impor-
tant considerations is selecting a suitable site for your agri
cultural enterprise. Although there are no guarantees for
success, poor site selection could pretty well ensure that
your enterprise willbe a failure. No one wants to find out
years or even months after that they selected a tract of
land that is underlaid, inches below the topsoil, with solid
caliche, the well water is extremely high in salts, the land
is in a 100% flood-prone area, or some other unfavorable
condition has occurred that you might have prevented
with proper planning.
Just how do you go about selecting a suitable farm site?
To do this the best possible way will take some time and
effort on your part. Oftentimes, short-cuts are expensive
in the long-run. First, you should know your situation.
Gather all the necessary information about the tract of
land and its environment. Shown below is an inventory
checklist that can serve as a guide in your investigation.
This checklist covers the important factors that you need
to consider and also lists possible sources of contact for
A good map or aerial photograph of the property is
almost a prime requisite. The type of map depends on the
circumstances. If you cannot obtain one already pre-
pared, it will pay you to have one made. Such a map will
prove useful for many years to come. If you have a rela-
tively flat piece of land, an aerial photo or simple bound-
ary map will suffice. For hillsides and rolling land, a
topographic map will also be needed.
Native vegetation is a good visual indicator. It usually
gives a good indication of existing climatic and soil
Previous land use is self-explanatory. You need to
know if any and what type crops were grown on the prop-
erty. You also need to be sure that the tract of land is
zoned for agriculture.
Topography will generally help dictate the type of
crops or farm most suitable. If other conditions are
favorable, level land is considered suitable for vegetable
V, 1. Ar I T
Carefully checking potential farm site includes noting the type of vegetation which grows in the area. Here
extension horticulturist Clinton George (left) and property owner Charles Lenhardt look over his acreage in
crops, fruit crops or livestock, since many operations can
be mechanized. Gently sloping lands are more suitable
for fruit crops and livestock, and hillsides are more suit-
able for livestock. If crops are planted on hillsides, you
will encounter erosion problems and hence will require
more intensive rehabilitation and conservation measures
to attain a desired level of productivity.
Information on physical and chemical analysis of the
soil should be collected. These tests include soil depth,
texture of topsoil and subsoil, character of underlying
rock, pH, mineral analysis, exchange capacity, and per-
cent organic matter. Soil samples for examination as to
soil-borne pests are also essential. The Cooperative Ex-
tension Service offers a soil testing service free of charge
to all residents and provides two gardener's factsheets on
Climatic records from as near the site location as possi-
ble should be collected for rainfall, temperature, wind
and monthly evapo-transpiration rates. This information
is necessary in determining crop water requirements and
could be gotten from USDA Agriculture Research
Service at 778-1312.
An adequate supply of water from wells, dams, or
other storage facility is essential. Water samples should
be taken from your well or water supply. If you don't
have a well on the land, try and get a water sample from a
well in your general area.
Information from the sample should include quality as
to PPm salts and toxic materials. Knowing the depth of
the water to the aquifer will also be essential.
After gathering all the information about the tract of
land and its environment, you should then obtain the
fullest and most complete information possible on crops
or livestock requirements and limitations. This informa-
tion includes climatic, soil and cultural requirements, and
cost and returns of each crop or livestock. Crops or live-
stock should initially be selected based on demand and
highest potential monetary returns. Contact College of
the Virgin Islands, Cooperative Extension Service
(778-0246) for assistance.
After collecting all the necessary information, you then
must analyze the information. Be sure and weigh the
factors according to level of importance before making
your decision. Many components of these factors cannot
be changed or modified only slowly and at great expense
once the site is determined. The crops or livestock which
were initially selected, based on demand and highest
potential monetary returns, should then be matched with
the information collected from your site inspection. If
you already own the piece of land, you would select those
crops or livestock that are adapted and economical in
most respects. If you are considering purchasing the land
and most of the crops you initially selected do not match-
up favorably with the site inspection factors; or during
your site inspection you find a major potential problem,
you should check out alternative sites.
1. Maps available
2. Vegetation survey
3. Previous land use or
5. Physical and chemical
analysis of the soil
(a) Soil depth
(b) Character of
(c) Soil texture
(e) Mineral analysis
(f) Exchange capacity
(g) Organic matter
(h) Soil-borne pests
I. Rainfall (distribution [
and range, weekly, [
monthly and annual
2. Temperature (diurnal [
range, monthly and [
annual means) [
3. Wind (average velocity [
and direction) [
4. Evapo-transpiration [
rates (monthly) [
III. Water Resources
1. Wells, dams and other
2. Water sample--quality
and toxic materials
-depth to aquifer
IV. Crop or Livestock
(a) Climate, soil and
(b)Crop or livestock
Land owner, surveyor, USDA
Soil Survey of the V.I.
Land owner, Planning Office
Land owner or Soil Conserva-
tion Service (778-1699)
USDA Soil Survey of V.I.
USDA Soil Survey of V.I.
CVI Extension Service
CVI Extension Service
CVI Extension Service
CVI Extension Service
CVI Extension Service
CVI Extension Service
CVI Extension Service
Geological survey maps
CVI Extension Service
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/Cowitch Does More Than Itch (Cows)
Waltei I. Knausenberger
Pest Management Specialist
CVI Cooperative Extension Service
While baling hay in a field near Grove Place on St.
Croix in April a few years ago, a crew of men from the
V.I. Department of Agriculture approached the edge of
the field near a tan-tan thicket. Suddenly, the men began
frantically scratching themselves. Rushing away and
leaving m.,ch of the equipment and hay behind, they went
desperately to take showers and change clothes. They
took the rest of the day off and did not return to that field for
hay that season (what they had already baled was
A few weeks later, during Easter week-end, six racing
horses died almost literally overnight. Most of those that
died were from St. Thomas, and had been brought to St.
Croix for the traditional Easter horse races.
What is the connection between these two events? The
horses all apparently had been fed from one particular
batch of hay. And therein lay the clue. But this clue only
came after it was too late: some of the hay bales had large
numbers of cowitch pods included in them, probably
from the same batch of hay involved in the first incident
The horses' abdomens were bloated, and they had been
in obvious agony from colic. The veterinarians later
found that the horses had suffered from acute blockage of
the intestines, twisted bowels, swollen tissues and related
complications (6, 9). Deliberate poisoning or moldy feed
(with associated fungal toxins) could not be completely
ruled out as causes contributing to the deaths, but all the
available indications pointed to cowitch as the culprit.
When cowitch pods have been eaten in quantity by
cattle, serious stomach disorders are known to have re-
sulted (2). Cowitch and stinging nettle (Tragia volubilis)
vines may cause serious skin irritations to browsing ani-
mals, especially around the mouth (10). But there are few
if any reports of fatal poisonings due to cowitch. This
may be the first reasonably well-documented record of
fatal cowitch poisoning in horses, or in any animal.
The pest management staff at the V.1. Cooperative
Extension Service sent about 5 lbs. of cowitch pods for
evaluation to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Weeds Poisonous to Livestock Laboratory in Utah.
There several biological and toxicological studies were
done which tended to verify that the symptoms observed
in the horses could have been caused by the cowitch pods'
hairs, but not by the stems, leaves or seeds (15).
Qualities of Cowitch
What is this plant, with a reputation as a nuisance to
agriculture, reportedly even used criminally as a poison-
ing agent (1), but also popular as an herbal remedy for
parasitic intestinal worms and other ailments? A plant
which, despite being relatively uncommon in the Virgin
Islands, is recognized and respected (feared!) by probably
7 out of 10 long-time island residents. A plant that has
been used for practical jokes: Virgin Islands parties and
dances have been broken up by prankster youths who
quietly release amounts of cowitch hairs in the midst of
Cowitch, also known as cow-itch, cowage (cowhage),
velvet bean, and pica-pica (2, 8), belongs to the bean and
pea (legume) family, and grows around the world in
warm climates. Its scientific name is very descriptive, once
interpreted: Stizolobium pruriens, which means "a pod
which pricks and itches" (3). In many reference books,
the old name Mucuna pruriens is still used (8, etc.)
Mucuna is New Latin for "bean." Cowitch has several
close relatives, a few of which also have stinging hairs, but
most are harmless, used as a green cover and as nutritious
forage for livestock. One of these is Florida velvet
bean (4, 8).
Wild Mucuna sp. seeds have been investigated, with
other legume seeds, as potential sources of animal feed.
Mucuna was found to have high potential as unprocessed
feed, at least for ruminants. It has high protein (24.5%)
and carbohydrate (67.4%) contents, low crude fiber
(1.7%) and no toxic factors (7).
The cowitch vine is a large annual climbing plant that
grows rapidly, over shrubs and trees. It is often found in
fence rows and along edges of thickets, throughout the
lowlands of the Caribbean area (4, 8, 16). This vine is a
pest in West Indian sugarcane fields, and infested fields
for years have had to be burned before they could be cut
The leaves (Fig. Ic) have three leaflets, each 2- 5 inches
(5 12.5 cm) long, and are hairy beneath and somewhat
also on the stems. These hairs do not itch. The flowers
bloom in the fall. They are attractive brownish-violet,
each 1'/ 2 inches (3.5 5.0 cm) long, borne on long
racemes (stems) up to a foot (30 cm) long.
As the pods develop towards December, they hang in
clusters of 2 to 10 or more. Young green pods are harm-
less. Mature pods are hard, 2 32 inches (5 8.75 cm)
long by /2 inch (1.25 cm) broad, covered with dense
brown bristle-like hairs, or spicules, on lengthwise ridges
(Fig. Ib, 2a). The seeds are hard, smooth flattened beans
about 1/ inch (1.25 cm) in length, with a marbled dark
brown color. When the pods are fully mature and dry
they tend to twist open and expel the beans, but apparent-
ly not with any great force. (Fig. 2b).
Why Does Cowitch Itch? or The Sting of the Cowitch
The source of all the trouble is these stiff golden-brown
hairs densely covering the entire pod. They separate
Fig. 2a (a) Detail of cowitch pod showing the dense stinging hairs and a
ridge. (b) Twisted dry pod which has released dark brown mar-
bled seeds. Notice the scattered hairs on background surface.
easily from the pod and are carried by the slightest breeze.
The hairs are barbed (Fig. 3) which helps them penetrate
the skin. They then produce sudden intense itching which
can last for hours to days if many hairs are involved.
Besides the itching, symptoms which may develop
include a burning sensation, reddening of the skin, tear
flow, blistering, and inflammation of the mucous mem-
branes. Any hairs lodging in the eyes may cause serious
trouble. The symptoms can become so maddening that it
may be very difficult to drive a vehicle.
A single hair if it penetrates the skin surface is enough
to produce itching, which may be strong enough to re-
semble an insect bite or sting. In fact, cowitch hairs are
now known to contain at least two pharmacologically
active ingredients. One of them, serotonin, is a histamine
release similar to those found in bee and snake venoms.
The other is mucunain, a newly identified plant enzyme
able to break down proteins, similar to the meat tender-
izer in papaya (14).
Histamines are produced in our bodies in response to
specific release substances (such as serotonin) or irri-
tants. They are involved in producing many of the symp-
toms associated with allergies. Histamines are powerful
dilators of capillaries, and are known to produce intense
itching, reddening and swelling (1). At one time, the
theory was that the symptoms caused by cowitch resulted
Close-up of the tip of a single translucent hair
spiculee) from the cowitch pod. Magnified 570
times. (From Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk 1962, p.633).
Cowitch pods and leaves. (a) Typical cluster of
pods hanging from vine on long raceme. About
one-fifth natural size. (b) Mature pods, showing
elongate S-shape and lengthwise ridges. Nearly
natural size. (c) Typical leaf with three leaflets.
Nearly natural size. (Sketches by Marti A. Terry,
modified from Dahlgreen and Standley, 1944, p. 89).
simply from the mechanical action of the sharp hairs (10).
Now it is clear that the effects are primarily due to the
chemical constituents of the hairs (14).
Since histamines also stimulate intestinal movement
and secretion of gastric juices (1), this sheds some light on
what may have happened to the horses referred to earlier.
Horses are not ruminants, meaning they have a single
stomach like people or pigs. They cannot readily digest
materials such as pods and vines. Hairballs of plant
origin can occur by the massing together of plant hairs or
fibers in the stomachs or intestines of animals to form
intestinal blocks which may result in death (10).
Given the histamine overstimulation likely to have
occurred by an overdose of cowitch, together with the
physical action of the hairs, it is not hard to imagine how
the horses got into trouble. Their intestines apparently
got blocked by hairballs more rapidly than usual while
trying strenuously to push undigested bulk fiber through
Treatment of the Itching in People
According to George A. Seaman, a native-born Virgin
Islander, and one of the islands' first native professional
naturalists, the itching from cowitch can be quickly re-
lieved by generously applying honey or molasses to the
affected parts and then washing off (12). In Venezuela,
the application of oil or grease to affected parts has been
recommended as a quick and effective first aid (2).
Simply soaping up and showering off may be enough in
my experience. But be sure to put the exposed clothes
(alone), into a bucket of water or in the washing machine
before taking a shower.
In serious cases, it may be necessary to apply antihis-
tamines to the skin in the form of creams and lotions to
reduce itching or swelling. However, this decision should
be left to a physician, because application of antihista-
mines brings with it a risk of drug sensitization (1).
Control of Cowitch
As usual in cases like this, recognition of the problem
plant and its growth habits, then simple avoidance, is the
best strategy. Occasionally, the cowitch will occur in a
situation where it cannot be tolerated, for example, grow-
ing into a grazing area or garden. Some people have made
the mistake of trying to control cowitch by burning. Not
only does this usually not kill the roots, but it also can
send clouds of pod hairs into the air, making matters
worse (5). However, under certain circumstances of con-
trolled area-wide burning, this approach might be feasi-
ble. Then the resprouting vines could be eliminated with
Herbicides, or weed control chemicals, against cowitch
have been evaluated in a number of countries, including
Trinidad and East African countries (5, 10, 13). In culti-
vated areas, pre-emergent herbicides (those applied
before seedlings sprout) are the most successful.
Materials such as dicamba, picloram, bromacil, linuron,
triflurodin incorporated at rates of 2 4 lbs acre (approx.
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2 4 kg/ha also) have been successful. Ametryne at 2.5
kg/ ha without incorporation gave satisfactory control in
Mozambique. Post-emergent herbicides which have been
reported as successful include 2, 4-d, a selective material
which would be useful in pastures of grasses; and para-
quat, which is not selective.
U-p of Cowitch as a "Folk-Remedy"
Poisonous and medicinal plants may often be one and
the same. In Herbs and Proverbs of the Virgin Islands,
Arona Petersen lists cowitch as being "used for expelling
worms." George Seaman Sr. affirms this, adding that the
hairs are mixed into honey, molasses or other sweetener,
and taken by mouth.
Intestinal worms still can be a problem, especially in
children and in warm moist climates. The technical terms
for the property of eliminating parasitic intestinal round-
worms or tapeworms, are anthelminticc" or vermifugee."
These terms crop up repeatedly in descriptions of native
uses to which cowitch is put, such as Ethiopa, India and
Panama. The anthelmintic properties have been verified
scientifically -- they are the same principles which cause
the skin irritation (14). But, apparently better therapeutic
agents are available to modern medicine, such as
mebendazole or thiabendazole (1).
Additional uses have been recorded for the hairs of the
cowitch pod, and other plant parts as well. In Eritrea
(northern Ethiopia), a paste of fat and the hairs is used as
local applications in rheumatism. In India, cowitch hairs
have been used as a supposed snake-bite and scorpion-
sting remedy, but without beneficial effect (14, 15).
A decoction of the flower is used as a headache remedy
in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). The seed is much used in
India as a bitter, an expectorant and gout remedy, and
especially as an aphrodisiac (14).
Though cowitch may not be among the most
poisonous, nor injurious or common plants in the Virgin
Islands, it does seem to be among the more well-known.
This is probably largely because of the plant's one unique
property: no other plant in the Virgin Islands sends its
defenses floating through the air whenever it is molested.
Few plants have such immediate symptoms, affecting
even those people who are not very close...a stimu-
lating encounter one isn't likely to forget quickly. And it
makes a good story. 0
1. Berkow, Robert, Ed.-in-Chief. 1982. Merck Manual
of Diagnosis and Therapy. 14th Edition. Rahway,
NJ: Merck and Co., Inc. xxviii + 2578 p.
2. Blohm, Henrik. 1962. Poisonous Plants of Venezue-
la. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press. 136 pp.,
38 fig., 339 refs. (p. 40- Mucuna).
3. Brown, R.W. 1956 (1979 repr.) Composition of
Scientific Words. Washington, DC: Smithsonian
Institution Press. 882 p.
4. Dahlgreen, B.E. and P.C. Standley. 1944. Edible and
Poisonous Plants of the Caribbean Region. U.S.
Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. U.S. Gov't
5. Decary, R. 1965. "Some spreading or noxious plants
of Madagascar." [in French]. J. Trop. Bot. Appl.
12 (6/7/8/): 343-350.
6. Deller, Duke. 1981. Personal communications. V.1.
Dept. Agric., Veterinarian-in-charge.
7. Giral, F., A. Sotelo, B. Lucas and A. de la Vega.
1978. "Chemical Composition and Toxic Factors
Content in Fifteen Leguminous Seeds." Quart.
Journ. Crude Drug Res. 16 (3): 143-149.
8. Liogier, Henri Alain and Luis F. Martorell. 1982.
Flora of Puerto Rico and Adjacent Islands. Rio
Piedras, PR: Univ. of Puerto Rico. 342 p.
9. Martinez, David. 1981-82. Personal Communica-
tions. V.I. Dept. Agric., Assist. Veterinarian.
10. Oakes, A.J., and J.O. Butcher. 1962 (Reprinted
1970, 1982). Poisonous and Injurious Plants of the
U.S. Virgin Islands. U.S. Department of
Agriculture Misc. Publ. No. 882. 97 p. Reprinted
1982, Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Ser ice
Reprint Series, No. 1.
11. Petersen, Arona. 1974. Herbs and Proverbs of the
Virgin Islands. St. Thomas, VI: St. Thomas
Graphics, Inc. (Macuna p. 22)
12. Seaman, George A. 1980: Ay-Ay. An Island
Almanac. St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: Antilles
Graphic Arts. 120 p. [And personal Communica-
tion, St. Croix, 22 June 1981.]
13. University of the West Indies. Regional Research
Centre, Mona. 1966. "Herbicide Research Unit.
Annual Report." Mimeo. Rep. Unix West Indies.
14. Watt, John Mitchell, and Maria C. Breyer-Brand-
wijk. 1962. The Medicinal and Poisonous Plants of
Southern and Eastern Africa. Second edition.
Edinburgh: E. & S. Livingstone, Ltd. (pp. 632-634
deal with Mucuna).
15. William M. Coburn. Personal communications by
letter (May 1981-March 1982).
16. Williams, R.O. and R.O. Williams, Jr. 1969. Useful
and Ornamental Plants of Trinidad and Tobago.
Rev. 4th edition. (pp. 225-6 -- Mucuna).
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/Soil Fertility On St. Croix
Problems and Solutions
CVI Cooperative Extension Service
For the past two years, the soil diagnostic testing labo-
ratory on the St. Thomas campus has been analyzing soil
samples. The laboratory, operated by the Cooperative
Extension Service of the College of the Virgin Islands,
was officially dedicated at C.V.I.'s Board of Trustees
meeting on February 27, 1983. Since the laboratory
began operating in February, 1982, 2,000 soil samples,
600 plant samples, and 200 water samples have been
analyzed from the three islands. Perhaps your soil has
been analyzed and the results returned with fertilizer
recommendations. Also, samples have been analyzed
from as far away as Africa and from other Caribbean
islands. This data has been collected and stored on
computer diskettes for later reference and publication.
The objectives of this article are twofold: first, to
ascertain the five most common soil fertility problems on
St. Croix; and second, to recommend solutions to correct
these fertility problems.
Soil Fertility and Formation
Soil has long been recognized as a primary source of
nutrients to plants. As far back as 2500 B.C., writings
from ancient civilizations in the Middle East indicated
the importance of fertility of land for the survival of their
people. The value of fertile land and manuring practices
was observed in ancient times and continues to be of
more importance than ever as the world's population
Soil by definition is the collection of natural bodies
occupying parts of the earth's surface that support plants
and that have properties due to the integrated effect of cli-
mate and living matter acting upon parent rock, as condi-
tioned by topography, over periods of time. Soil supports
plants mechanically and is the storehouse of nutrients
Soils vary greatly in their texture, color, and ability to
supply nutrients to plants. This observation points us to
the concept of soil fertility. The fertility of the soil deals
with the degree to which the soil can maintain vegetative
growth as well as fruiting and seed formation. A fertile
soil is one which has an adequate and balanced supply of
nutrients, so that there are neither deficiencies nor toxi-
cities of nutrients. The fertility of the soil is the base from
which all other agricultural endeavors must flower and
St. Croix soils have formed from parent material that
has been uplifted and consolidated from coral and sedi-
ment from the sea. Because of the dry climate and sedi-
mented parent material, a large portion of Cruzan soils
(approximately 33%) have a subsoil consisting of soft
marl or limestone.
Alkaline (high pH) soils dominate Cruzan soils. Soils
are generally high in calcium, low in sulfur, and low in the
micronutrients iron, manganese, and zinc. The soil diag-
nostic laboratory has analyzed 1,000 soil samples from
St. Croix. The analytical results have shown that certain
soil fertility problems are encountered over and over
Table I shows the five most common soil fertility prob-
lems seen on St. Croix and how to correct these-
problems. Because of the marl subsoil, calcium often
dominates the soil complexes. This leads to imbalances in
the salt ratios, specifically the calcium to magnesium
ratio (Ca/ Mg) and can retard growth and yield of plants.
Magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) must be added to
correct this imbalance.
Salt content of Cruzan soils is usually low. However,
Experiment station technician Albion Francis is
shown taking a core soil sample with an auger at an
open field during a soil workshop.
when soils are irrigated with salty water (above 1500ppm
salts) salt problems result. Many wells on St. Croix have
high salt content. Before using water, it is wise to have it
tested for salts. This is an easy, quick test that requires
only a few seconds to perform. Often the salty water will
also be high in sodium, causing the soil to disperse and
seal off drainage pores. This causes a puddled soil with
Five Common Problems and Solutions of Cruzan Soils
1. Calcium to Magnesium
ratio is out of balance -
usually high calcium com-
pared to magnesium
2. Watering with salty water
and/or water high in
3. Critically low in the macro-
nutrients nitrogen, phos-
phorus, and sulfur.
4. Critically low in the micro-
nutrients iron, zinc, and
5. Physical problems due to
shrink-swell of clays and
subsoil marl or compacted
1. Add Magnesium Sulfate
(epsom salts) at rate of 3-15
lbs./ 1,000 sq. ft. to correct
high calcium to magnesium
ratio (ratio above 6.2))
2. Do not use water high in
salts or sodium to water
plants have water tested
for salts at the Cooperative
Extension Service's diag-
3. Add these macronutrients
in the form of organic
manures such as cow, goat,
or chicken, or in the form
of chemical fertilizers such
as ammonium sulphate
and ammonium phosphate.
4. Spray plants with liquid
iron, zinc, or mangenese
or add fertilizer granules
of iron, zinc, or manganese
5. Add large amounts of top
soil, grow shallow-rooted
crops, or other crops that
tolerate these physical soil
expend when wet, causing drainage problems and com-
paction of soil aeration pores. Adding topsoil and clean
sand can help this problem. Subsoil problems are
common on St. Croix because of marl and compacted
clay zones. These are not readily altered and it is usually
best to grow local crops that have done well in the past on
these shallow soils.
Most Cruzan soils are naturally low in nutrient supply-
ing power and must be amended to achieve better yields.
Most soils are clay loams and sometimes are difficult to
"work" when wet or dry because of "stickiness" and
The soil fertility problems can be corrected and
methods used by farmers and home gardeners will largely
depend on amounts of time and money available. A
tremendous variety of crops can and should be grown on
our soils, including herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables,
forages, and ornamentals.
Common soil problems include low levels of nitrogen,
phosphorus and sulfur resulting from low percentages of
organic matter (less than 2% O.M.). This is corrected by
adding manures or chemical fertilizers containing these
elements. Another common problem is critically low
levels of iron, zinc, and manganese which are usually the
result of pH readings above 7.8. At high pH, these metals
are insolubilized and unavailable to the plant. To
increase levels of micronutrients in the plant, liquid mixes
can be sprayed directly on the plant or solid granulated
fertilizers applied. The spray has the advantage of
immediately going into the leaf, while the fertilizer pellets
may be "fixed" by the soil and made unavailable because
of the high pH.
Finally, soil physical problems are common in Cruzan
soils. These include clay soils which crack when dry and
Soil specialist Kim Stearman demonstrates a
smaller soil probe which is commonly used to take
samples of soil to a depth of 6-8 inches.
The soil diagnostic laboratory at the Cooperative Ex-
tension Service continues to analyze your soil providing a
scientific approach to solving agricultural production
problems. If you have questions regarding sampling your
soil, interpreting results, or fertilizer recommendations,
call the Extension Service office on St. Thomas. *
Kids go "Buggie" on St. Croix
CVI Cooperative Extension Service
More than 2500 Crucian kids know more than most of
their parents do about the insects of St. Croix. Hard to
believe? Not at all, when you realize that these school age
children have been exposed to the Cooperative Extension
Service Pest Management Insect Study Program for the
past three years. Classroom lecture-demonstrations have
been given at 16 public and private schools on St. Croix.
Teachers have expressed enthusiasm for the program be-
cause for the most part they themselves have not been
trained in such a specialized subject as entomology, par-
S ticularly the study of insects on a tropical island like St.
Croix where there are over 2000 species of insects. The
IT outreach program also includes quarterly field trips
,..f. ~ where the children can use trapping devices, such as aerial
(Above) Learning the technique of
sweeping with an aerial net.
(Right) Very tricky business to extract a
Jack Spaniard from the net without
(Below) Marti shows students at Al-
fredo Andrews the twist of the wrist
that keeps the insect in the net.
and aquatic nets. learn to use laboratory equipment like
microscopes, and receive instruction on building, their
An insect handbook is in the works for teachers and
interested youth on the subject of insect study or entom-
ology. The handbook shows "Stingers"(the name the stu-
dents choose for themselves as amateur collectors) how
to make the tools to catch and preserve insects, where to
find insects and how to classify them into orders.
Entomology is a wonderful way to expose children to
the animal kingdom because kids love bugs, believe it or
not! Just listen to some of their stories -- one boy didn't
want to do his Math anymore because he only wanted to
play with bugs; another student's mother wanted to know
why her girl was learning about sex in the second grade,
only to find out it was insects she was learning about.
How much easier to study insects which you can catch
and even handle rather than trying to learn about the ani-
mal kingdom through books alone. The tools are simple
and inexpensive to construct, making insect collecting a
All those children who are interested in insects, look
for publicity on the up-coming third annual insect field
day to be held at the College of the Virgin Islands
Cooperative Extension Service on May the 12th and the
fourth field trip of the year scheduled August 18, 1984.
(Above) 124 students spell out the
word INSECTS at 2nd annual field day
held at the CES.
(Right) Eulalie Rivera school's Ted
Seymore, a sponsor at field day, poses
proudly with the award winners for best
collections and insect projects.
(Below) Field day sponsor from Arthur
Richards, Eric Ruby, shows students
the use of microscope at the Extension
Ornamental Horticulture -
The Missing Link
CVI Agricultural Experiment Station
'Thou shalt not live by bread alone.' This biblical
admonition is as relevant today as it was two thousand
years ago. It clearly implied that food for the mind was
and is just as vital as food for the body. In our great
anxiety and thrust towards providing food for an ever in-
creasing and demanding population it is easy and too
often true to neglect food for our minds-the crops that make
our environment and indeed our own everyday lives more
amenable. Our decorative and landscape plants are so
often taken for granted that is almost impossible to com-
prehend a habitat without them.
Here in the Virgin Islands and indeed in most of the
Caribbean areas, the cultivation of flowers and foliage
plants is often left to the amateur gardener and the local
flower or horticulture clubs whenever they do exist. In a
tropical environment like ours where the potential for the
production of decorative both for local needs and for the
more vital export market exists ornamental horticulture
is still an amateur operation. Plants such as Poinsettias,
Roses, Chrysanthemums and even tropical foliage
species are forced in northern greenhouses and shipped to
markets in the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean areas.
It has been estimated that in Jamaica alone foreign ex-
change of US$25 million could be envisaged if produc-
tion of ornamentals for export is fully exploited.
This neglect of ornamental horticulture in our agricul-
tural programs may well have been of historical origin.
The only agricultural systems originally practiced in the
Caribbean were the plantation ones, in which a few se-
lected agricultural crops were mass produced. Cultiva-
tion of flowers and vegetables was largely limited to small
household or backyard gardens. With the gradual dis-
solution of the plantation crop systems and the increas-
ing demand for food crops many fruit and vegetable
farms are emerging in the Caribbean. Unfortunately or-
namental horticulture has not evolved in the same direc-
tion and is still limited to the small backyard household
Ironically Caribbean horticultural teaching and train-
ing programs have developed along the same lines.
Centers for tropical agriculture are diversifying into fruit
and vegetable and curricular courses but not including
ornamental horticulture. Consequently students desiring
training in ornamental horticulture must travel abroad
either to a European or a North American institution.
Immediately there are two constraints: the lack of suita-
ble institutions in tropical ornamental horticulture and
the almost zero incentive for graduates in this field of
horticulture. A qualified horticulturist usually returns to
his home in the Caribbean where there are virtually no
public and few private programs in which he can be
But all is not forsaken. Fortunately growing sectors of
the Caribbean populace are becoming more concerned
about the environment. More people are demanding
sound ecological approaches to new agricultural, indus-
trial or commercial projects. Environmental groups are
constantly lobbying for more decorative trees, shrubs
and bedding plants. More homeowners are becoming
aware of plants in the interiorscape and buying more live
plants and less of the plastic replicates, so that eventually
the demand for more professional ornamental horticul-
turists will increase. Simultaneously the necessity for
more regional research and extension programs in orna-
mental horticulture will be realized.
Diversification of agriculture in the Caribbean will
mean the production of more locally grown fruits and
vegetables to lower food import bills and save on foreign
exchange. Most of this new food production will center
around urban areas to meet the demands of swelling city
populations. In this infrastructure the production of
ornamentals for both the landscape and interior decora-
tion can also be exploited. Native tropical ornamental
species grow profusely in most islands. With trained pro-
fessionals in floriculture, foliage plant production, turf
management and landscape architecture many specimens
of local floras can be selected and adapted for most of the
ornamental requirements. In addition foliage plant
species, most of which grow exceptionally well in the cli-
matic conditions of the Caribbean can be further
exploited. Research at the V.I. Agricultural Experiment
Station has shown that the local garden plant Euphorbia
leucocephala (Christmas snowflake) can be adapted to
pot culture making it an excellent substitute for imported
Poinsettias at Christmas time.
Table I shows the volume of foliage plant trade
between many Central and South American countries
and the USA. Thriving industries have been built on
commonly grown species such as Croton (Cadiaeum
spp.), Dracaena, Philodendron, Devil's Ivy (Scindapsus
spp.) and the Snake plant (Sanseveria spp.). The genus
Philodendron alone accounts for 40% (17,199,072) of all
foliage plants imported into the USA with Scindapsus
second with 22% (9,443,890). Fig. 1 indicates the major
exporting countries in which most of the ornamental in-
dustries are located. Most of these are within the same
geographical latitudes as the islands of the Caribbean and
therefore have similar climatic conditions. However
these industries are almost entirely owned by large multi-
national corporations who have exploited good growing
Table 1. Imports of selected foliage plant propagating material into the United States for 1975
C & S America
Europe & Africa
Asia & Oceania
C & S America
Europe & Africa
Asia & Oceania
C & S America
Europe & Africa
Asia & Oceania
C & S America
Europe & Africa
C & S America
Europe & Africa
...--.. ..-......~..--. -. ......-- ... N U M B E R ....
Source: Trends in the Florida Foliage Plant Industry. Univ. of Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Econ. Mimeo. Rpt. EC70-3 Aug. 1979, pp 49
conditions and native species. Cheap labor and relatively
low land prices have also aided in their successful estab-
lishments. With the growing political unrest in Central
and South America and increasing world interest in the
Caribbean many ornamental industries may shift to the
Caribbean areas. If there are locally trained ornamental \
horticulturists both public and private enterprises can o
take advantage of the potential foreign exchange-earning r
ornamental-based operations. Proximity of the nau
Caribbean islands to North American ports and good air G u
cargo linkages are two pluses in favor of such operations.
The production of ornamental plants in the Virgin oa R C o;'
Islands for shipping to the mainland can serve as an ex-
cellent import substitution commodity. Most of the
islands are served by direct jet air transportation. Fig. 1 Major foliage production areas in Cer
Carriers enter Caribbean ports filled with refrigerated and South America.
lawn & garden tools
T-- e ntals
THE MOST COMPLETE EQUIPMENT
SERVICE OF ST. CROIX
FAST DEPENDABLE SERVI(
SWhat's your need? What's your j
Foo, Pih,. What's your pleasure?
RENT AT REASONABLE RAI
see us at Sion Farm on Centerline Road
P.O. Box 6632, Christiansted, St. Croix
floor care equipment
The Marvelous World of Food
in the Virgin Islands
CokeaW4 .., food
S ...~ Ico
MANY THANKS TO
Produced Daily On St. Croix
From Five Purebred Dairy Herds
ISLAND DAIRIES' FRESH DAIRY PRODUCTS
Fresh Milk 24 Ice Cream Flavors
Non Fat Skim Milk Orange Juice
Fresh Whipping Cream Fruit Punch Drink
Chocolate Milk Orange Drink
Ask for Island Dairies Products at your local grocery store
or stop at THE GOLDEN COW in Christiansted.
ST. CROIX DAIRY
#19 Richmond, Christiansted
commodities. On their return trips their refrigerated
compartments are virtually empty and thus can readily
transport ornamental plant products. In the case of
foliage plant species many can be shipped as stem or leaf
cuttings eliminating plant quarantine restrictions on soil
entry. With the introduction of tissue culture as a means
of mass propagation of almost pest-free material plant
quarantine restrictions would even be less of a problem.
To make our horticultural programs and interests
more complete therefore, that vital and far too-long
neglected link ornamental horticulture must become a
reality. From both an environmental and economic
standpoint tremendous gains can be expected if this im-
portant branch of horticulture is fully exploited.
The following are some recommendations:
1. Introduction of ornamental horticulture courses in
schools and colleges.
2. Upgrading horticultural programs in all major
Caribbean universities to include degree courses in
3. Establishment of Horticultural clubs/ societies in all
islands to include all branches of horticulture.
4. A regional association of conservation and other
environmental groups to make governments more
aware of the ecological and economic potentialities
of decorative plants. g
I BM Copies
Reflects the clean shore breezes that freshen our
pastures and blue sea that frames them.
Our healthy flocks of cattle give St. Croix the taste
treat and eye appeal to please islander and tourist alike.
SUPPORT ALL LOCAL AGRICULTURE
Home of the
and the big
MARION E. GUSTAFSON
SEE US AT -
PETER'S REST ST. CROIX
VIRGIN ISLA NDs SENEPOL ASSOCIATION OF ST. CROx
BOX 969, CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX U..S. VIRGIN ISLANDS PHONE (809) 773-1508
A PERFORMANCE BREED FROM THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
The Senepol Breed is Noted for Being:
Good Meat Production
Good Milk Production
A// interested producers with Senepol Cattle are strongly encouraged to
become members and register their cattle with the Senepol Association.
IN SUNNY ISLE SHOPPING CENTER
Qfcrspou te best iA
HOURS SERVICE MERCHANDISE PRICE
OPEN EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR
8 am 9 pm Mon. thru Sat. 9 am 9 pm Sun.
Acacia: A Pain in the Pasture
Plant Protection Specialist
* CVI Cooperative Extension Service
Some say ah-kay-shah and some say kah-shah. Re-
gardless of what you call it, to island producers it is a pain
in the pasture and it must be controlled.
Acacia is the scientific' name of a group of very agres-
sive plants that are most abundant in the drier parts of St.
Croix. In fact, the acacias are St. Croix's No. I weeds,
causing more economic loss than any other. They cause
loss by (1) competing with desirable pasture or forage
grasses and broadleaves for nutrients and space and (2)
being barely edible and (3) having large sharp spines that
can injure both man and beast. In other words, the plant
From historical records it appears that the different
species of acacias growing here today have always been
here. They thrive in the marl soils of our island which are
largely found in the south, central and east. For those of
you who are not familiar with acacia their scientific
names hint at their most infamous quality.
Acacia macrocantha means large spined acacia. This is
the largest of the acacia that we have and very common
throughout the island. Given the opportunity it will grow
into a medium sized tree. It is commonly called "stink
casha" because its wood has a strong odor when cut. It is
valued as a wood for making charcoal. It flowers are
Acacia polyacantha means many spined acacia. This
acacia is found along the seashore. It has very pretty
Acacia tortuosa need not be translated. This is the
common bushy acacia although it can grow to 20 feet tall.
The branches are twisted or zig-zagged and it is locally
called "twisted acacia" or just "casha." Its yellow
flowers are fragrant and were once collected and sewn
One species that the name is obvious for is the plant
Acacia riparia. This acacia is commonly called "catch
and keep." It is a vine with curved spines and white
In recent history, St. Croix was covered with sugarcane
and livestock. Acacia lived in poorly managed pastures
and unused land. With the phasing out of the sugarcane
industry many lands were turned over to pasture. Many
of these pastures in the south, central and east quickly
became infested with acacia because livestock do not
generally eat it unless the plants are very young and
tender or they are starving. The spines are so sharp and
strong when mature that the animal could not eat the
plant without impaling itself from the inside.
Livestock do eat the pods, however. Inside the pods are
numerous seeds that pass through the animal's stomach
and are then deposited in pure fertilizer (manure). If the
pasture is heavily grazed and the area receives some rain
the acacia can soon become rooted and well established.
If the pasture is lightly grazed, the tall vegetation inhibits
the growth of the seedling.
Sharp spines of acacia species can cause serious
injury to both humans and domestic animals.
This is where control procedures begin. Managing the
grazing frequency and intensity of livestock goes a long
way toward acacia control. It does not by itself solve the
problem. Roqueing or the removal or destruction of
plants in the field as they emerge or at least before they
produce seed is also required. Using these two methods is
how the better ranchers at the turn of the century main-
tained acacia-free pastures. Eighty years later and
nothing has changed; we still control acacia using the
same two methods. And it is still not easy.
It is extremely difficult to regulate the size of a herd as
dictated by the amount of forage available because this is
determined by the weather. A pasture that could not
possibly feed a small herd during a dry year may be able to
maintain a herd twice as large during a rainy one. Given
the unpredictability of our weather, a pasture will even-
tually fall susceptible to acacia establishment. For this
reason we consider roqueing.
When rangeland was inexpensive or free and there was
plenty of it, fire was used to kill unwanted plants. This
method was extremely wasteful and promoted erosion,
but what difference did it make? Everyone thought there
was plenty of land. Fire is not, however, a very effective
control for the deep rooted acacia which quickly sprang
up from the roots after rain. The new growth was tender
though and livestock would eat it. This practice is still
done with equally poor results.
When fuel was inexpensive, bulldozers and backhoes
were used to uproot the plants. Plants were then stacked
in piles and burned or left in the pasture to rot. This was
a very effective acacia control procedure...when fuel
was inexpensive. This method is still being practiced and
is a very costly procedure.
Then fuel itself was used to control acacia and thus the
birth of herbicides, or plant killers. Diesel oil sprayed on
the base of the plants during the dry season is also an
effective control procedure. Diesel oil now costs over
$1.00/gallon. Then the hormonal herbicide 2,4,5-T was
added to the diesel oil as the standard treatment. Then
2,4,5-T was applied alone. Recently a contaminant has
been found in 2,4,5-T that has questionable effects on
mammals and its label has restricted the herbicide's usage
to noncrop areas.
Since this time several herbicides have shown some
promise in acacia control. Various mixtures with 2,4,-D,
a close relative of 2,4,5-T, have proven effective in our
tests on St. Croix. The herbicides picloram and tebuthiu-
ron have also displayed excellent results both here and
abroad. In field trials we have applied small amounts of
tebuthiuron to the soil at the base of an 8 foot tall
acacia and killed it. This treatment cost less than
We have reason to believe that we can control acacia
for less than this. Lower rates of applications will be
evaluated as will new herbicides. All in an effort to take
the pain out of your pasture.
Selective herbicides such as tebuthiuron have been
undergoing trials by extension pest management
for effectiveness against "casha" in the pasture.
The author acknowledges support and assistance from
Granard Farm, Irene Lawaetz, John Matuszak and Felix
Pitterson during testing procedures. 0
8YT.CROIX CABLE TV* 773-8701
UNINTERRUPTED MOVIES, SPECIALS
MOVIES, SPORTS SPORTS &
& ENTERTAINMENT U SYNDICATED
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24 HOURS MOVIES. SPORTS.
24HsmO 24 HOURS WORLD NEWS
MOVIES* SPORTS NEWS SPECIALS i
Governor Juan Luis is pre-
sented with a souvenir of the
fair in 1982 by 4-H'er Ger-
maine Chery, as Commis-
sioner of Agriculture Rudolph
Shulterbrandt looks on.
Agricultural research con-
ducted at the experiment sta-
tion of the College of the
Virgin Islands was featured in
displays such as this fruit
crop one at the fair.
winners share awards way
back in 1980 with awards
director Otis Hicks presiding.
They are (from left) Jose
Torres, the late John Turnbull
and Charles Smith.
Extension agent Sarah Dahl,
whose background education
includes animal husbandry
and 4-H, explains dairy exhib-
it to interested young people.
Coming all the way from St.
Thomas for the 1983 agricul-
tural exposition was this large
group of farm trainees who
call themselves Ujamaa.
A new study conducted at
CVI's Agricultural Experi-
ment Station produced large
papayas with irrigation. From
left are experiment station
director Darshan Padda, irri-
gation engineer Stephan Buz-
dugan. Lieutenant Governor
Julio Brady and Comm. of
Agriculture Rudolph Shulter-
Extension 4-H has clubs on all
three islands. These are three
of the St. John contingent
who display their stuffed ani-
mal project. Behind them is a
fish pot hand made on St.
f7".' ''' '^"j
- ~ ~ ~
^* -. *' ^
p..A '.' ^ *' -' -
3A*, ,.'q ^ ~,1
Let's see, where's my house?
Aerial photo of St. Croix was
a popular exhibit at the 1983
One of 1982's most popular
fair events was the food dem-
onstration of canning put on
by Joan Beckman of the Kerr
Glass Company. Tomatoes
and pineapples were canned
by several methods. Shown
with Lena Shulterbrandt (left)
are members of the home
economics staff at CVI exten-
sion including Maria Flores,
Agatha Ross, Hope Murphy,
program leader Olivia Henry
and Esther Mischer.
Elaine Xavier, food judge, and
director of food exhibits Ruth
Lang (both left) pause for a
moment to present an award
to Church of God New Testa-
ment church members at
their food booth.
Farmer Oliver Skov stops by
the experiment station agron-
omy display and talks with
agronomist Dr. Ahmed
Hegab about the latest infor-
mation on sorghum feed 3013
4-H Animal Husbandry par-
ticipant Franklin Schuster,
SJr. should look proud!! He
won best overall for the
senior division in addition to
other prizes. With him are
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank-
lin Schuster, Sr.
SALUDOS Y MUCH EXITO
IS OUR WISH DURING THE CELEBRATION OF THE
AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR.
NICOLAS CARRILLO CORREA, INC.
P. O. 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
CUTTER-HAVER LOCKHART BAY VET. CORP.
JENSEN SALSBERY LABS.
EVSCO LABORATORIES, INC.
FORT DODGE LABS.
PITMAN MOORE, INC.
SCHROER COMPANY INT'L. DIVISION
THOROUGHBRED REMEDY CORP.
TELEPHONE 767-3072 765-7680 765-7688 765-7685
WILLIAM BOHLKE, JR.
DAY (809) 778-0630
Emergency NIGHT (809) 773-1829
AIRCH R AI AM UA
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TRAVEL WORLD AGENCY
48 KING STREET
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
There is None Better...
animal Shelter A Place With a Heart
Animal Shelter A Place With a Heart
As early as 1973 there wasn't a dumpster on St. Croix
that didn't have at least one and usually more than one
litter of puppies and kittens as well as adult animals living
and breeding around it. Mangy, sick and starving dogs
and cats were a common sight on every roaa. Abandoned
and lost animals roamed the streets searching for their
owners or a home. It was a pretty bleak situation, but not
anymore. Since its inception in 1971 the St. Croix Animal
Welfare Center has been the sole.organization responsi-
ble for the care and control of unwanted animals on St.
The St. Croix Animal Welfare Center was started in
1970 when a group of local residents got together and
decided that something must be done to help these ani-
mals. Up until this time they had been little more than a
nuisance to the overburdened Department of Agriculture
and its Veterinarian Dr. Crago. To begin with, these
founding members asked for donations, knocked on
doors, began a membership campaign, became incorpo-
rated, were granted tax exempt status and finally were
given, by Mr. Frank Wiesner, the land on which the
Shelter now sits. For a while the St. Croix Animal Wel-
fare Center Animal Shelter operated out of a trailer and
one small dog pen with one Animal Warden. As time
passed and we were able to raise more money we started
to work on our present building which was formally
dedicated in 1977.
Today the Animal Shelter can accommodate as many
as 54 dogs and puppies in its 18 runs which measure 3' x
20' and more than 36 cats and kittens in various size cages
as well as an outdoor playroom. There is a 60' x 60' exer-
cise pen next to the kennels. A 20' x 20' isolation or
holding area, a large grassy paddock, and a concrete and
wrought iron livestock pen make the Shelter adaptable to
any animal need that should arise. The recent addition of
a movable steel frame and chicken wire bird cage has
accommodated up to five oil-soaked seabirds.
The Shelter has handled dogs, cats, goats, sheep, rab-
bits, deer, pigs, turtles, birds, mongooses, chickens,
ducks, hamsters, guinea pigs, horses, monkeys...we
have never ever turned an unwanted animal away.
The Shelter has an active adoption program. Dogs and
cats as well as other animals are available at the Shelter
for a $15.00 adoption fee. All animals adopted from the
Shelter must be altered for the obvious reason that it is
the best way to cut down the overpopulation. Alteration,
done by local Veterinarians, Drs. Jacobs, Peterson and
Hess, is performed at the Shelter's own operating room
and is included in the adoption fee. The Shelter also pro-
vides the following services:
Priscilla, the beautiful blue-eyed white Persian cat
who is deaf, has greeted shelter visitors for eight
years and is one of many pets who have become
shelter mascots. Here she helps manager Mary
Edwards with the bookkeeping.
-bathing and dipping service at a $5.00 fee
-boarding, fees according to size of the animal
-tours of the Animal Shelter by appointment
-sale of dog licenses, required by law for a $2.00 fee,
-a member of its staff to speak to any organization with
a limited amount of educational materials
-free euthanasia (putting to sleep) service for animals
too old or sick to recover
-cruelty investigations--should you suspect or observe
neglect, cruelty in any form, call the Shelter--if you
wish, your report will be kept confidential
-reclaiming service--if an animal is lost and then
found, it can be retrieved at the animal shelter after
paying a small impoundment fee
-free pick up service of unwanted or stray animals. A
word on our pickup service. While the Animal Shel-
ter will pick up any animal running at large or pri-
vately owned, in many cases we will ask the owner to
confine the animal to facilitate handling. The Shelter
has only one vehicle for the whole island, so it's a
good idea to call the Shelter early in the morning
before the pickup schedule is made up. Donations for
this service are greatly appreciated. Animals may be
brought to the shelter at any time during regular busi-
ness hours and we encourage the public to do so. In
any event, we beg you, please don't dump animals...
anywhere...the shelter is easy to get to and there is
no charge for bringing an animal in.
Funds for the animal shelter are collected in various
ways, but let's clear up a common misconception. The
Animal Shelter is not a government operated organiza-
tion. Money for the operation of the animal shelter is col-
-Membership sales--open to the public. If you are
interested in bettering the life of animals on St. Croix,
become a member. Adult memberships start at $5.00
per year, junior memberships $1.00
-Donations.... in the form of cash, bequests or
donations of new and used items
-Flea Market. Operated from 9 a.m. to 12 noon every
Saturday in Christiansted on King Cross Street
between Business World and First Federal Savings,
generously donated by First Federal Savings, where
you can buy almost anything and can find great
-Our annual raffle, held in March, of airline tickets
-Our agreement with the Virgin Islands Department
of Agriculture which provides us with $30,000 a year
in return for the public services the shelter performs.
-Fund raising events such as T-shirt sales and the
The St. Croix Animal Welfare Center Shelter is con-
veniently located mid-island in Estate Clifton Hill. Hours
are from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and
7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Pick up
during regular business hours and emergencies are
handled at any time. There is a 24 hour answering service
at the shelter number. We have 2 very busy telephones at
the Shelter 778-1650 and 778-2867 and we are listed in
both the yellow and white pages. Our mailing address is
Box 6910, Sunny Isle.
The St. Croix Animal Shelter is proud of its accom-
plishments over the years and some of our proudest
moments have been:
-rescuing, with the aid of the National Guard, a dog
from a foot deep dry well. The American Humane
Association, of which the St. Croix Animal Shelter is
a member, awarded the prestigious Stillman Award
to CW2 EMITH FLUDD for his bravery during the
-the treatment, care and release of oilsoaked and
injured seabirds. These fragile animals are a real chal-
lenge and their release back to the wild is very
-the rescue of a horse stuck chest deep in mud facing
slow death from exhaustion and exposure
-the rescue of a puppy wedged behind a cement wall,
with the help of the F'sted Department of Public
Works, at the sacrifice of a few stone steps.
An armful of pups! Assistant animal warden Addi-
son Francois (left) and his brother Martin, give
loving care to all shelter animals.
When Rita Forbes is not at Island Center look for
her at the animal shelter in Clifton Hill where she
often visits to talk to new arrivals--and perhaps
acquire another addition for her home menagerie!
Most of all the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center is
proud of its Animal Shelter....clean, never crowded,
blessed with natural ventilation,our Shelter is a happy
place where unwanted animals can get good care, good
food, a chance for a good home and lots of love. If vou
think going to an Animal Shelter will break your heart,
come to the St. Croix Animal Shelter, where you might
fill a place in it instead. E
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Complete Line of Pet Supplies
V.I. Distributors of IAMS Pet Foods
All Breed Dog Grooming Dogs & Cats ordered by request
Sion Farm Commercial Center
P.O. Box 2958, Kingshill, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00850
"0 Ye Of Little Faith"
CVI Cooperative Extension Service
... Because of your unbelief for verily Isay unto
you, ifye have faith as a grain ofmustard seed ye
shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to
yonder place and it shall remove and nothing
shall be impossible unto you... 0 ye of little
faith?... Mat. 6:30 and 17:20.
There is a myth that has been echoing throughout the
islands within the last decade or more, concerning the
viability of agriculture and whether it can be productive,
self-sustaining, profitable, beneficial, etc. "The hills are
too steep," or "the soil isn't any good,"or "all this place is
good for is to grow wild bush," or "the soil is too rocky,"
are some of the reasons given for not venturing into some
form of agriculture, mainly fruit and vegetable produc-
tion. How quickly some of us have forgotten when these
islands used to export crops and cattle as far south as
Barbados and as far north as Santo Domingo.
When some people hear of fruit and vegetable produc-
tion, they sometimes automatically think of large farms
with big tractors and trucks, plowing and fertilizing
machines, and acres of corn, tomatoes, or eggplants as
far as the eye can see. This is simply production on a large
scale for mass production. Agricultural production can
be modified to be done on a smaller scale.
Did you know that you can grow enough food for your
family of four with a surplus, right there in your little
16' x 12' plot in your backyard? Yes, you there with that
box of frozen vegetables in your hand or the eggplant that
you are about to eat that was purchased at the supermarket.
"Me?? I don't even know what to do or where to start and
furthermore, I don't think that I have a green thumb for
planting." To you I say,'"O ye of little faith."
Pearl B. Larsen School field trip students are
shown how easy it is for everyone to have a little
box garden in his own backyard by extension agri-
culture aide Alf Smith.
My advice to you first of all, is to consider the high
prices of food today and the quality of these foods. These
facts alone should be an encouragement to you to con-
sider starting a garden in your little plot outside. Some-
one might say, "I don't have one square inch of soil be-
cause I live in an apartment on the 3rd floor. I can't grow
anything in an apartment." Did you know that there are
people in 26-story buildings in New York City, Detroit,
and Tokyo who are growing food in wooden boxes,
buckets, and even pottery? To you I say, "O ye of little
faith; where there's a will, there's a way."
My second piece of advice to you is to call your
Cooperative Extension Service. We have extension
agents there to provide you with literature and personal
assistance when you decide to grow your own food. We
are capable of tailoring a garden plan for you according
to your needs and limitation of space.
Call us today at these numbers: 774-0210 in St.
Thomas/St. John and 778-0246 in St. Croix, and let us
show a way, combined with your faith, to grow your very
Ao We are proud to be a part of the 12th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair
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VIRGIN ISLANDS DAIRYMEN'S ASSOC.
Fresh Grade "A"
For Your Table
Water Quality Management for
Fish Culture in the Virgin Islands
CVI Agricultural Experiment Station
The common problems encountered in fish culture
operations are poor survival and growth, and high mor-
tality of cultured fish. Maintaining water quality suitable
for the fish is important to avert such situations. Fish
culturists must be aware of techniques for determining
the quality of water in which fish are raised. Water qual-
ity in fish culture includes the physical, chemical and
biological factors that influence the beneficial use of
water to raise fish. This article deals with the general
aspects of fish pond water quality and certain problems
associated with it that are unique to the Virgin Islands.
Principally there are two sources of water available in
the Virgin Islands for agriculture and fish culture: (1) the
ground water and (2) surface water. Ground water, which
is drawn from wells, occurs in aquifers of weathered vol-
canic rock, limestone and alluvium. The water is suitable
for fish culture even though it is not good chemical qual-
ity due to certain dissolved solids and a high salt content.
Rainfall is the principal source of surface water. After
heavy rainstorms, runoff water flows into natural guts
and collects in earthen dams. More than 200 dams have
been constructed for impounding surface water. Many of
these 'ponds' are suitable for fish culture. Others are not
being used for any purpose since they dry up during pro-
longed drought. These ponds could be used for fish
culture if sufficient levels of water are maintained during
the dry season by tapping the groundwater source.
a) Dissolved Oxygen and Phytoplankton:
Adequate levels of dissolved oxygen (5 ppm or higher)
in the water are necessary for maximum fish production.
The range of dissolved oxygen in Virgin Island ponds
varies between 0 ppm at times to higher than 20 ppm.
Oxygen is produced during the sunlight hours by small
microscopic algae in the water called 'phytoplankton'
r through a process known as 'photosynthesis.' Phyto-
plankton contains chlorophyll which imparts a green
coloration to pond water. Photosynthesis by phyto-
plankton is the primary source of dissolved oxygen in
pond fish culture. Phytoplankton production in pond
water depends on many factors, of which the most impor-
tant is availability of inorganic nutrients necessary for
their growth. Addition of chemical fertilizers and organic
manure to ponds enhances plankton production. Essen-
tial elements required for photosynthesis are carbon,
hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium,
sodium, magnesium, iron, manganese and a host of other
Density of phytoplankton is a good index of water
quality. If the phytoplankton becomes too dense, plank-
ton at the surface will shade the plankton in lower layers
of water causing a 'die-off' and a reduction of dissolved
oxygen levels. The feeding activity of fish has to be rou-
tinely monitored. If it should lessen or stop immediately,
feeding should be reduced or temporarily stopped and
oxygen should be checked. At this point, it may be neces-
sary to bring up the oxygen level to a minimum of 2 ppm.
This can be accomplished by aerating the pond or re-
circulating the water using a pumping system. Fish cul-
turists in the Virgin Islands must also be vigilant during
overcast and cloudy days, when dissolved oxygen levels
drop to near 0 ppm causing fish to breathe at the surface.
Fish culture ponds like this one at the Bureau oa
Corrections Golden Grove facility require regular
checks to determine water quality.
Another important factor that sometimes contributes
to low dissolved oxygen is decaying pond bank vegeta-
tion. After heavy rainstorms, pond levels rise and sub-
merge the bank vegetation, causing it to die and decom-
pose. This process utilizes the available dissolved oxygen
produced by phytoplankton, causing heavy mortality of
fish. It is important to keep the pond bank vegetation
Fluctuations in water temperature are not great
enough in the Virgin Islands to cause any serious water
quality problems. On hot and windless days it may neces-
sary to use a pumping system to circulate water in ponds
to prevent fish mortality caused by 'gas bubble disease.' It
appears that super saturation of dissolved oxygen in the
water is the cause.
c) Hydrogen Ion Concentration (pH):
The pH of water is a measure of hydrogen ion concen-
tration and shows if the water is acidic or basic. On a scale
from 0 to 14, pH 7 is neutral which is neither acidic nor
basic. The pH below 7 is acidic and pH above 7 is basic.
The concentration of carbon dioxide in water influences
pH. A suitable pH range for fish production ponds is
between 6.5 and 9.0 at daybreak. If the pond has heavy
phytoplankton growth, the afternoon pH may rise to
over 10.0. High afternoon pH may cause some mortality
of juvenile fish. Water of low pH (less than 6.0) is toxic to
fish. Low pH may be increased by adding lime, a base, to
the pond to neutralize acidity.
The amount of bases in water that can be used to neu-
tralize acidity is referred to as alkalinity. Alkalinity is re-
ported as parts per million (ppm) of calcium carbonate
with equivalent acid neutralizing capacity. Levels of total
alkalinity for fish culture fall in the range of 20 to several
hundred ppm. Distinct differences in alkalinity have been
recorded in well waters in the Virgin Islands. In Golden
Grove, St. Croix, well water has an alkalinity of over 450
ppm, whereas, at the CVI Aquaculture Research Facility,
within a mile of Golden Grove, values are as low as 20
ppm. The alkalinity of pond water can be raised by
adding lime. Ponds of low total alkalinity may require
about 250 kilogram/hectare of calcium oxide or 500
kg/ ha of calcium carbonate applied at intervals to main-
tain desired levels.
Ammonia is a metabolite of fish and decomposition of
organic matter in ponds. Ammonia occurs as un-ionized
ammonia gas or as ammonium ions. The un-ionized form
of ammonia is toxic to fish in small amounts, whereas
ammonium ions are relatively harmless. Although it is
not very important to measure routinely in ponds, it is
necessary to check levels of ammonia when fish are slug-
gish and do not respond to feeding. If levels of am-
monia are high, feeding should be temporarily stopped.
Tilapia, the freshwater fish most widely cultured in the
Virgin Islands. withstand a wide range of salt content in
water. In St. Croix, wild stocks of tilapia have been found
surviving saline sea conditions (33,000 ppm of salt) on the
CONTINENTAL MOVERS, INC.
P. O. BOX 1606, CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX, U. S. V. I., 00820
TELEPHONE: (809) 773-2105
south shore adjacent to Martin Marietta aluminum
plant. Ground water in certain areas on St. Croix are
brackish and could possibly be used for filling existing
ponds for tilapia culture. Reported values of salinity in
some wells on St. Croix are in the range of 100-7500 ppm.
Since higher amounts of salts are detrimental to agricul-
ture crops, such waters could be beneficially utilized for
Pond water can become turbid due to higher numbers
of planktonic organisms or due to an excessive concen-
tration of very fine suspended particles caused by large
inputs of clay and silt from runoff water. The former is a
beneficial trait but the latter can cause harm to fish by
choking the gills and restricting light penetration, thereby
limiting phytoplankton production. Turbidity can be
controlled by scattering gypsum on the water at a rate of
about 20 kilograms per 100 cubic meters of pond water.
In small scale fish culture operations routine checks of
pH, dissolved oxygen, total alkalinity, turbidity and
phytoplankton abundance can be done by a fish farmer
with very little training in water chemistry. Water analy-
sis kits are available at reasonable prices and these pro-
vide sufficiently accurate data from which management
decisions can be made. Water analysis kits can be
obtained by writing to Hach Chemical Company of
Ames, Iowa and Loveland, Colorado. 0
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GAS FOR COMMERCIAL,
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HENNEMAN ICE COMPANY
BLOCK ICE AND CUBES
"Serving St. Croix Since 1954"
29 COMPANY STREET
RICHMOND, CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
Telephone: 773-4140 or 773-1268
HIGH FASHION DRESS & CHURCH HATS
High Fashion Glamour
S Corner: KING CROSS & QUEEN STREETS
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
FERTILIZER CO., INC.
G.P.O. BOX 3128
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 00936
SULFURIC ACID AND OTHER
First Pennsylvania Bank
has an answer-
FOR THE NEAREST OFFICE, PHONE
In St. Croix 3-0440
In St. Thomas 4-2300
SFRrst Pennsqlvania Bank
SERVING THE VIRGIN ISLANDS SINCE 1905
St. Croix St. Thomas Tortola
1982 First Pennsylvania Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
St. Thomas Will Keep On Growing!
John M. Matuszak
r St. Thomas Coordinator
CVI Cooperative Extension Service
Tea bush, maubi seasoning, chible, thyme, marjoram,
rosemary; pear trees, lime trees, plums, cherries, bana-
nas; bees, sheep, goat and cattle these and many more
are the harvest of the farming tradition of St. Thomas. It
is an old tradition spotlighted by the testimonial dinners
for senior members of the farm community honored last
year by the St. Thomas/ St. John Farmers Association. It
is a living tradition too, bouyed by the interest of the
young: All-For-The-Better, Ujamaa, David Berry and
John LaPlace. People of St. Thomas can not, will not
stop growing. It's in the blood.
In 1977 residents of St. Thomas were asked, in a Public
Attitude Survey conducted by the Coastal Zone Manage-
ment Program, what types of economic growth they
would like to see on the island. The first choice was agri-
culture 87.7%!! St. Thomians are determined to make it
In 1978 requests from the garden club and farming
community were successful in having an extension agent
for agriculture placed on St. Thomas. This was only the
In 1979 farmers came together to form the St.
Thomas/St. John Farmers Association. The goals were
to develop a long-term plan to vitalize agriculture and
obtain compensation for the losses suffered from hurri-
canes David and Frederick. Many of the original mem-
bers, which included both crop and livestocK farmers,
became discouraged the first year and are still bitter
about the fact that there was no payment to compensate
them for losses due to the hurricanes. Still, other mem-
bers continued the fight to educate the public and en-
courage legislation that would advance agriculture in the
territory. In 1980, the association asked the extension
service to join them in an Agriculture Fair in St. Thomas.
This small beginning at the market square has grown into
a major community event now held at C.V.I. each spring.
The fair rallies enthusiasm but the tough tasks are build-
ing soil, fighting pests, and arguing for progressive
government policies all year long.
Many of the problems St. Thomas farmers face are
common throughout the V.I. Some are unique. Common
problems are labor costs, water storage, competition with
other Caribbean islands, lack of land leases, and pests.
Problems unique to St. Thomas are the exhorbitant cost
of land and the steep slopes. The responses to these con-
straints have been imaginative. The high cost of land has
forced St. Thomas farmers to grow high value crops. St.
Thomians grow herbs and tea bush crops that require lots
of work but receive a good return. Many progressive
growers have turned to ornamentals. Flowers and land-
scape plants, although not considered agricultural by
some, are a renewable natural resource we would be
foolish not to use. St. Thomas has long been an
important source of ornamentals collected from around the
world. This heritage was brought to the Louisenhoj
Gardens by Mr. Arthur Fairchild and carefully nurtured
and distributed by the esteemed horticulturist Mr.
Alphonso Nelthrop. Today groups like the Hibiscus
Society, Orchid Society, and Garden Club strive to im-
prove our ornamental knowledge and the landscape of
our islands. It's time we recognize that thousands are em-
ployed locally in this field and the importance of a beau-
tiful island to our tourist trade.
The second special problem St. Thomas has is the steep
Stonewall terracing has proven successful for
farmers on the steep, hilly slopes of St. Thomas for
hundreds of years but soil needs rebuilding to
maintain productivity and healthy plants.
Compliments of JOHNIE JOHN'S
RELIABLE TIRE SERVICE, INC.
Hannah's Rest, Frederiksted
64 La Grande Princesse, Christiansted
SHOCKS & MUFFLER
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For Passenger, Trucks, Farm
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UNITED STATES, VIRGIN ISLANDS 00840
sloping land. Again, St. Thomians have responded with
the rock terraces that are now world famous. In the 1950's
a botanist from Puerto Rico wrote the book Herbaceous
Angiosperms of the Caribbean. In it he uses the stone ter-
races of St. Thomas as an example of one of the most
productive soil conserving techniques in the Caribbean.
These terraces are old now and many have been culti-
vated continuously for years. Last year the Farmers
Association took the initiative to raise funds for a shred-
der to rebuild the terrace soil. Association officers Sylvie
Berry and Edith Q. Bryan saw that the traditional
method of fallow was used to restore soil; they also saw
the waste or organic matter being cleared from the roads
and buried in landfills. Why not use this organic matter to
rebuild our soils? A shredder, chipper would do the job.
but the funds are not yet there. The task is not easy.
Farmers in Bordeaux are also building soil. The terraces
and the food produced by Ujamaa and All-For-The-
Better should humble those that opposed them. for they
Agriculture still is not accepted by some leaders on St.
Thomas; it has only begun to turn around and there is still
a long battle to fight. Some still want the land for houses.
some say farming is backward or will never pay. The fact
is. however, that something is going to grow on this rock
and why let it be weeds? Food prices are high and going
higher. Skilled agriculturalists are in demand throughout
the world. St. Thomas is fortunate to haxe farmers that
won't take "no" for an answer. They can't stop growing.
GARBAGE CONTAINER SERVICES SEPTIC TANK
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For you Government Employees...
The Retirement System is also available.
#56 King Street
Frederiksted, St. Croix
"BEING FRESH IS OUR BUSINESS"
Bakers of the finest Breads, Cakes & Pastries
Hours. Mon. Sat. 6 A.M. 8 P.M.
LUNCH & DINNER SERVED
OSKAR'S Bar and Restaurant
Owner and Manager
Sa La Grand Printess
Star Route 0086f
christiansted St.Croix North Shore Rd.
us Viyin Islands 00820 Tel. 809 773 +000
AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
41 B KING 51. C'STED
V.I.P.O. BOX "B"
52 A PRINCE ST.
FOR LIFE & HEALTH DIVISION
41 P KING ST C'STED
V.I. INDUSTRIAL GASES & SUPPLIES
300 PETER'S REST, CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX, 00820 Telephone: 773-0233
CVI Cooperative Extension Service
For a farmer to produce large amounts of high quality
fruit, his plants must be protected from insect and dis-
ease, pests, and weeds. Plants require constant attention
from seed stage through harvest for optimum yields.
Pests feed on all parts of plants. Pests also compete
with plants. Not all pests, however, attack the plant at the
same time, in the same way, or on the same part. A farmer
needs to know when, where, and how each pest affects his
plants and he needs to scout or regularly examine his
crops for these pests.
Here are some important principles followed by the
1. Know the pests and beneficial insects in your gar-
den; not only their names but what they do, how
they do it, and their life cycle.
1. Practice cultural control methods like mulching,
planting pest resistant varieties and rotating crops.
3. Predict the amount of loss caused by pests accurate-
ly. Some damage does not mean too much damage.
Plants can withstand a certain amount of damage
without loss of yield.
4. Make a decision on what must be done. Do you
spray or not? There are other alternatives to using
pesticides and it's important to know what they are.
You may decide to wait and make a decision later.
5. Evaluate your decision. Without judging the out-
come of our decisions we never learn. After this step
we naturally begin to predict our potential losses
and the process starts over again.
Scout during the early development of plant growth
Don't underestimate insect and disease pests or weeds:
they can destroy or outgrow small plants in a matter of
Visiting your field or garden once or twice a week is
imperative. If pest problems are building up, it may be
necessary to visit your field more often. If you are not
familiar with the pest, your local Cooperative Extension
Service pest management program is there to assist.
St. Croix farmer Pennti Taivainnen starts scouting
his plants for pests from the time they are tiny
Another aspect of scouting is keeping good records.
Accurate records help to evaluate control measures and
can help in long-term farm planning. Keeping records of
what pesticides we use, including the names of chemicals,
rates applied, ad dates of application are important in
both pest management a-. production economics.
Scouting can mean the difference between production
and loss. E
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MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED
Take a Turn
As a well watered sunflower
your white roots, and crack your black shell
Break the black soil crust
Come up white in the night
Turn, Green as day break
To blue the sky
Flower yellow around your brown heart
Turn, Golden to golden, face to the sun.
Seed to seed
Until nothing in you is red.
Mwf-j C l!Plol("_
Why Not Try Sprouts?
Good Life Farm, St. Croix
Sprouts are one of the most valuable foods available to
us today. Beneficial to one's health, they can be served in
a variety of ways. Sprouted seeds, grains, and beans con-
tain not only high levels of vitamins and minerals, but
also contain components such as chlorophyll and various
enzymes whicn have been known to trigger healing and
rejuvenation processes within the body. Sprouts are as
natural a food as anyone could hope to find, with no need
for pesticides, preservatives, insecticides, herbicides, or
additives, during the growing process.
Knowledge and use of sprouts have been documented
for centuries past, but are equally, if not more, important
tooay. In ancient China, sprouts were used as a medicine.
The mariners of old found sprouted seed successful in
curing scurvy. Arabs began consuming alfalfa sprouts,
which they named the "father of all foods," after finding
the sprouts made their horses stronger and swifter. The
importance of diet upon health and well being is now
In the few days from seed to serving, a marvel of nature
occurs in the growth process. The vitamin and mineral
content is increased drastically, sometimes as much as
700%. Starches are converted into simple sugars and pro-
teins into amino acids, a combination which requires
little digestive breakdown and enters the blood stream
rapidly. For this reason, sprouts are classed as a quick
energy food. But sprouts also contain enough protein,
vitamins, and minerals to be classified as a complete
food. What this means is that, if necessary, one could
survive on only sprouts.
Tnere are many other beneficial reasons to include
sprouts in your diet. Sprouts contain enzymes which con-
trol chemical reactions in the body. As you get older, the
manufacture of enzymes decreases. The consumption of
enzyme rich sprouts could play a vital role in the slowing
of the aging process. Sprouts, in particular alfalfa, have
also been found to have extremely high anti-toxic or
detoxification properties. They provide the body with re-
sistance to disease, help prevent exhaustion, and in
general build up the health and soundness of the body. In
addition, the chlorophyll found in sprouts, which can be
increased simply by exposing your sprouts to sunlight,
has been found to be very instrumental in curing defi-
Home sprouting provides you with fresh sprouts in a
matter of days. The equipment basically consists of a jar
for soaking and rinsing the seeds and a screened lid for
draining. When choosing seeds it is important to read the
We have the most
complete line of Ortho
products in StThomas.
* Fish Emulsion 5-1-1
* Fern & Ivy Food
* Insect Killer
* Vegetable Disease
* Diazinon Granules
* Diazinon Spray
SSevin Dust &
* House Plant Food
* Leaf Polish
* Rose & Flower
* Chlordane Spray
* African Violet
* Orthene Systemic
* Malathion Insect
* Ortho-Gro Plant
* Bloom Builder
* Up Start Root
* Pruning Seal
* Isotox Insect Killer
* Fruit & Vegetable
*White Fly & Mealy
* Bug-Geta Snail &
* Fogging Insecticide
* Triox Vegetation
* Kleenup Spot &
Weed & Grass Kille
* Scram Dog &
* Orthocide Fungicide
the most complete
information on the packages. Use seeds which are de-
signed for sprouting to obtain the highest germination
(usually 85 percent or more). Many seeds are treated with
chemicals so make sure the package says untreated.
Growing sprouts is simple. Soak seeds for one night
and drain; provide ventilation by using proper equip-
ment; and in three to five days, depending on seed ariet\.
you'll have a fresh delicious source of man\ nutrients. A
wide mouthed jar with plastic screening held in place with
a sturdy rubber band is very effect e. Rinse and drain the
seeds a few times each day. This step is \ery important in
a warm, humid climate. After rinsing the sprouting seeds.
keep the jar draining on a rack in your kitchen. The\ can
be kept in a dark place the first fexw days and then placed
in the light.
Sprouts can be used in a variety of xa\s. The\ can be
eaten raw alone or added to salads, dips. soups and sand-
wiches. Whether eaten raw or cooked in casseroles and
omelettes, sprouts are a valuable and enriching addition
to every diet.
STEPS IN HOME SPROUTING
--Call "St. John Lumber" on C annel 17 CLEMENTE
or call The Lumber Number 776-6166
c,11 i, I SANTISTEBAN, INC.
G.P.O. Box 2140
WV .l ll )San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
ih VW~t Ponce de Leon 103 Pda. 27
Teek O Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
Tte 1 753-6471 753-6472 753-6053 753-6893
ctuz '4 ..ohn +r\EW HOLLAND
UsVI ooSJo Across from the Post Office
H The Perfect Place to do All Your
H iH LAUNDRY & DRY CLEANING
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We say a hearty "Thank-You"
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