ENID S. BAA FAIR'AR
BY WEST INDIAN MARKET
THE V. 1. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
AND V.I. DEPT of' AGRICULTURE
THE COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
ro i ,!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Message from Honorable Juan Luis,
Governor of the Virgin Islands .............................................. 1
Message from Honorable Julio Brady,
Lt. Governor of the Virgin Islands ........................................... 2
Message from Dr. Arthur Richards,
President, College of the Virgin Islands ....................................... 3
Message from Commissioner Patrick N. Williams,
President, Agriculture and Food Fair ......................................... 4
Agriculture and Food Fair Administrative Staff .................................. 5
Partnership in Eastern Caribbean Development .................................... 7
Agriculture in the Past 50 Years ................................................. 9
Rainwater Harvesting for Agricultural Use ...................................... 19
The Sweet Potato: A Valuable Garden and Kitchen Crop ..........................23
Synthetic Lures and the Sweet Potato Weevil ................................... 27
Producing Poultry for the Small Family ........................................ 31
Common Poultry Diseases ..................................................... 35
The Who, What, Where and Why of Stinging Ants ............................... 37
Plantain-A Healthy Yielder ................................................... 41
The Energy Integrated Farm ............................................... 45
Better Pastures: The Answer to Forage Shortages ................................ 49
Burros on St. John-A Danger to the Ecology ..................................53
Why Pigeon Raising in the V.I................................................57
Food Drying Can Be Fun! .................................................... 61
Controlling Cucumber Pests ........................... ...................... 65
Garden Box Farming ......................................................... 67
Technology for Developing Agriculture ......................................... 71
Youth Garden Program ...................... ............................. 73
Their Goal is Food Self-Sufficiency ....................... ........ ..... .... .. 77
Oware: African Game for Old and Young....................................... 79
The Poetic Page ........... .................................................. 83
From Our Photo Album................................................... 85-88
All photos by Liz Wilson with the exception of the following: p. 1. 2.4 (V.I. Gov't.); p. 3 (CVI): p. 10 (R.
Bond collection): p. 20 (J. Rakocy); p. 27-28 (F. Proshold); p. 53, 54 (A. Swafnbeck); p. 57 bottom, 58 (S.
Shulterbrandt); p. 62 (A. Krochmal); p. 65 (H. Holder); p. 77 (E. Petersed).
Reprinting of articles is permitted as long as the Agriculture and Food 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
Once again, the people of the Virgin Islands have
another opportunity to participate in one of the most excit-
and educational events of the calendar year -- the 15th
Annual Agriculture and Food Fair on St. Croix.
Our traditional Agricultural Fair is well-known for its
magnificent array of livestock and its beautiful display of
farm products, as well as the colorful exhibitions on the
"how to's" of farming.
Every year, the Department of Agriculture places
emphasis on the need for agriculture to assume its right-
ful place as a viable industry in our islands. This 1985
Fair is further proof that the Virgin Islands should move
vigorously toward our goal of self-sufficiency in food
I salute the laudable efforts of the Department of
Agriculture, the Fair Committee, farmers and other public
and private groups for making this Fair an event residents
and visitors alike can enjoy and for working with me in
keeping "Agriculture Alive in '85".
Mrs. Luis joins me in extending our best wishes for a
most successful and rewarding event.
V \/. 9 U3-3 '1
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES
OFFICE OF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Message from Honorable Julio A. Brady
Lieutenant Governor of the Virgin Islands
January 11, 1985
It is with pride and a deep sense of gratification that I
extend special thanks and appreciation to the sponsoring
organizations and government agencies which have put
forth so much effort in the planning of this Annual Agri-
cultural and Food Fair. It has become one of the most
enjoyable traditions in the Virgin Islands that is antici-
pated by the community.
Agriculture production must be explored continually
if we are to achieve some degree of self-sufficiency in feed-
ing our people.
It is my sincere hope that the community in general
will demonstrate its full support for agricultural production
and that young people, in particular, will be motivated to
actively participate in this area of economic development.
Julio A. Brady
Message From Dr. Arthur A. Richards
President, College of the Virgin Islands
"Agriculture is Alive in Eighty Five" is an appropriate
theme for the Fifteenth Annual Agriculture and Food Fair
of the Virgin Islands. As the territorial land-grant institu-
tion, the College of the Virgin Islands is pleased once again
to co-sponsor this very popular public function.
The annual Agriculture and Food Fair, held on St.
Croix every February, has become a tradition in our com-
munity and all Virgin Islanders anxiously wait for the Fair
to enjoy educational exhibits and socio-cultural activities
I that bring alive a spirit of fellowship and togetherness.
This year the newly organized research and land-grant
component of the College is exhibiting new technology
and research based information in a broad array of subjects
...covering agriculture, aquaculture, natural resources, socio-
economic development, hydrology, home economics, youth
S "- -_N development and agri-business.
SBasic and applied research in the areas of plant and
animal sciences, tilapia fish culture, irrigated technology,
food evaluation and pest control is conducted at the CVI
Agricultural Experiment Station. The Caribbean Research
Institute covers research in areas of socio-economics, water
resources and ecology. The Cooperative Extension Service
is the community outreach agency with responsibility to
take research based information from the campus to the
community on all three islands.
C O We at the College take our public education respon-
S1962 sibility very seriously. However, the College needs com-
munity input and support to carry out its mission of serv-
ing Virgin Islanders and I urge the whole community to join
me and my co-workers to further strengthen the College so
that future generations may benefit by receiving much
needed high quality education.
COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT I express appreciation to the Fair board of directors,
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and employees of the College and Department of Agricul-
ture for their commendable accomplishments in making
this successful Fair possible.
Arthur A. Richards
Message from Commissioner Patrick N. Williams
President of the Agriculture and Food Fair
Dear Virgin Islanders:
It is my privilege once again to welcome all of you to
join us for what has become a grand annual event, the
Annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the Virgin Islands.
As you are aware, Hurricane Klaus paid us a visit in the
latter part of 1984, and wrought havoc on most of our farm-
ers, destroying a large portion of their crops. However,
farmers being of the temperament and determination they
possess, did not simply let things stand as Klaus had left
them. They took up the task and began to prepare their
lands, planting as much as they could in order to participate
in the Fair. I am publicly thanking them for all the efforts
they have made to bring to us the fruits of their labors and
for their desire toward making the Fair a success.
On the other hand, I want us to recognize agriculture
for what it is today. If we are to succeed, then we must
work together as a team. The Department may not be in a
position to meet all your needs as they arise. However,
with understanding and determination, and a will to achieve,
I firmly believe that we shall overcome the hardships im-
posed by an unstable economy and the high cost of produc-
tion coupled with stiff market competition from abroad.
Our theme for this our Fifteenth Annual event, "Agri-
culture is Alive in '85", should indicate to you our faith in
our farming community. We know that our farmers shall
persevere to keep agriculture alive as an industry. The
Department pledges its full support and cooperation in
making this a reality.
In closing, I take this opportunity to thank all those
persons who are participants with us to make this event a
grand occasion. We hope that you will enjoy yourselves
fully. Make certain you take advantage of all there is to
offer. We also thank you, our public, for making this event
a great success by your presence. I ask for God's abundant
blessing on the men and women in this society who labor in
our fields to keep "Agriculture Alive in '85".
Patrick N. Williams
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF 1985
President Vice President
Commissioner Patrick N. Williams Dr. Darshan S. Padda
Eric L. Bough
Director of 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
Elisha Daniel, Sr.
Director of Facilities
Co-Directors of Farm Exhibits
Dr. Duke Deller and Roy Rogers
Director of Youth Activities
Zoraida E. Jacobs
Director of Special Activities
We dedicate this 1985 Agriculture and Food Fair book to the memory of our former treasurer,
We all miss him.
1985 Agriculture and Food Fair Administrative Staff
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 "Registered"
and the big
White Cows ...
Eastern Caribbean Development
Darshan S. Padda, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Land-Grant Programs
College of the Virgin Islands
The College of the Virgin Islands under the leadership
of President Richards has been working since 1981 for the
establishment of an Eastern Caribbean Center in order to
provide cooperative programs of study, research and train-
ing to the people of the Eastern Caribbean region. This
concept has received the support of the U.S. Government,
and in his Caribbean Basin Initiative statements, President
Reagan proposed the establishment of an Eastern Caribbean
Center for Educational, Cultural, Technical and Scientific
interchange at the College of the Virgin Islands.
Consequently, the College developed a proposal with
initiatives in six interdepartment areas: agriculture and
natural resources, socio-economic and environmental de-
velopment, higher education, scholarship assistance, tele-
communication and facilities. As a pertinent aspect of the
Agriculture and Food Fair, discussion here will be limited
to the first two initiatives.
The College of the Virgin Islands, as a land-grant institu-
tion, represents a unique educational system in the region,
providing research, extension, and teaching in the fields of
food and agriculture through the successful techniques em-
bodied in a unified effort. There are great similarities in
agro-climatic factors, socio-cultural factors and ecological
factors that put the Virgin Islands in an ideal situation to
serve as a testing ground for adaptation of U.S. technology
and its transfer to the rest of the Caribbean.
The food and agriculture priorities for the Virgin Islands
and the rest of the Eastern Caribbean are as follows:
1. Strengthening and diversification of agriculture;
2. Market identification, and development;
3. Human resource development;
4. Natural resources and forestry;
5. Integrated rural development;
6. Appropriate mechanization and irrigation
7. Pest and pesticide management;
8. Improved access to land.
The CVI's land-grant programs have worked on these
priorities and have developed appropriate technologies suit-
able to improve small and commercial farming systems in
the Caribbean. At its experiment station there is a contin-
uous process of technology development in the areas of
animal production, aquaculture, food crops production,
agronomy, farm mechanization and irrigation technology,
and pest management. At the same time the technologies
developed locally and adapted from other U.S. land-grant
universities are being transferred to the Virgin Islands resi-
dents through the Cooperative Extension Service in the pro-
gram areas of agriculture, home economics, youth education,
community and rural development and natural resources.
In the area of socio-economic development, it has been
ascertained that there is a need for training for middle
management job opportunities in monetary studies, data
collection and management, economic development and
public finance. The Caribbean Research Institute (CRI) can
assist in meeting this need by conducting a series of seminars
and workshops. Additionally, research on developing econo-
mic models and social profiles for each island will be conduc-
ted by the CRI under the auspices of the Eastern Caribbean
Center. Low income, teenage pregnancy, school dropouts,
juvenile delinquency and disintegration of families into
single-parent households are some of the social issues facing
the Virgin Islands and its neighbors in the Caribbean that
While addressing the issue of development, what needs
to be understood is that no one industry can survive alone
under microstate situations. Agriculture, fishing, and agro-
forestry are needed to provide a stable economy and em-
ployment for indigenous populations; non-agricultural in-
dustries, especially tourism, are needed to provide necessary
capital for economic development and a ready market for
agricultural and other local products.
Water resources research will include an inventory of
all ongoing water studies in the Eastern Caribbean and
development of regional cooperation through dissemination
and exchange of hydrologic data. The ecological research
station at Lameshur Bay on St. John will coordinate a data
accumulation effort with each island and will locate and file
unreported data to help assist resource planning in the region.
A development component of the project will coordinate a
regional conference on man, energy and the environment to
analyze the needs and suggest possible solutions.
Technical information already developed in the Virgin
Islands can be immediately transferred to the rest of the
Eastern Caribbean to improve the quality of life in these
islands. By combining its existing technology development
effort with expanded capability for further development,
CVI can offer much needed assistance to its neighbors. Re-
cent developments in biotechnology and technology transfer
systems in the Virgin Islands suggest that with appropriate
financial resources we may be able to assist the Eastern
Caribbean nations to feed their people and maintain a quality
environment. It will be imperative that while assisting these
nations through technology transfers, the most essential
resource the human factor is also developed. Without it
there can be no conversion of knowledge to technology, no
o JaKJu ue. Ue Parcha
w sm ~Fruit Beverage
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
translation of technology or productivity to an improved
quality of life. Therefore, youth education and training
of personnel at various levels has been embodied in this
We propose to provide collaborative partnership in up-
grading the research and educational capabilities of the
Eastern Caribbean nations through the following steps:
1. Share existing research-based technical informa-
tion with other Caribbean islands.
2. Orient Virgin Islands' research and extension acti-
vities to include the needs of the rest of the Eastern
3. Expand and develop programs enhancing our ability
to fully serve the regional development needs.
4. Improve communication between the Virgin Islands,
U.S. and Eastern Caribbean through exchange of
personnel, short term consulting, workshops and
seminars, professional meetings, subject matter
seminars and rural development assistance programs.
5. Design and implement suitable training programs
to assist our Eastern Caribbean neighbors in devel-
oping their human resources.
The above concepts were shared at the 1984 Caribbean
Food Crops Society (CFCS) meeting held on St. Croix and
the broad spectrum of participants seemed to accept these
avenues as a possible approach for successful improvement
in the regional development of the Eastern Caribbean. s
Blue Mountain Water
Agriculture In The U.S. Virgin Islands
During The Past 50 Years
Jerome L. McElroy, Ph.D.*
Associate Professor of Economics
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, Indiana
Agriculture in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI)
is predominantly small scale. During the past 50 years, it
has become increasingly so. Since the United States' pur-
chase of the Danish West Indies in 1917, agriculture has
steadily deteriorated as a result of the inevitable forces of
economic modernization. This decline has accelerated es-
pecially since 1960 because of the territory's phase-out of
commercial sugar production, intensified resource compe-
tition from tourism, construction, government, and export
manufacturing, and a widespread pattern ofsuburbanization
to accommodate rising population densities caused by in-
tense immigration pressures. Similar declines in the face of
industrialization and tourism development have occurred
elsewhere in the smaller islands of the East Caribbean.
These trends are detailed in Table I.1 The half century
since 1930 has witnessed sharp reductions in total farm acre-
Selected Agricultural Indices,
U.S. Virgin Islands: 1930 and 1983
Acreage in farms 68,322 20,824
Average farm size (acres) 207.7 68.7
% Agricultural employment 33.2 0.5
Harvested cropland (acres) 6,895 819
Harvested cropland/total acres 10.1 3.9
% Farms with tractors 2.4 18.2
% Farms with hired labor 55.3 27.7
% Farms using fertilizer 2.4 21.8
% Operators with agriculture as
main occupation 67.0 43.6
% Operators working 200+ days
off farm 21.91 45.5
% Operators 2-4 years on farm 25.61 15.5
SOURCES: U.S. Census of the Population for the Virgin Islands,
1930 and 1980;
U.S. Census of Agriculture for the Virgin Islands, 1930
and 1982. Bureau of the Census, Washington.
age, average farm size, harvested cropland, and agricultural
employment. In addition, there have been measureable de-
clines in agriculture as the main occupation of farmers as
well as predictable increases in the percent of farm operators
engaged primarily (200 + days per year) in off-farm employ-
ment. The data also demonstrate drastic declines in the use
of hired labor, partly as a result of sugar's demise, but also
because of more lucrative job opportunities in tourism, con-
struction, and manufacturing. This erosion is further sup-
ported by the falling proportion of new farm operators (2-4
years on farm) from 26 percent in 1930 to 16 percent in
1982. This decline suggests fewer and fewer new entrepre-
neurs are finding a viable livelihood in farming.
In the face of this rural encroachment, agriculture has
undergone three major adjustments: (1) the substitution of
capital for labor inputs; (2) a decrease in farm size or scale
of operations; (3) and a change in the composition of out-
put from more to less land-intensive crops. First, according
to Table I, in tandem with the decline of the use of hired
labor, there have been sharp increases in the use of tractors
and fertilizer. For example, the percentage of farms using
these modern inputs rose from 2 percent in 1930 to roughly
20 percent in 1983.
The second adjustment has been a clear reduction in
farm size. Table II sketches the broad contours of a process
of growing dualism consisting of an increasing number of
very small units juxtaposed alongside a very few large-scale
commercial farms. For example, between 1930 and 1983,
the percentage of smallest holdings (under 3 acres) rose
from less than 3 percent of all farms to one-quarter of the
total. Farms under 10 acres rose from roughly one-third to
two-thirds of the total. In 1983, 84 percent of all farms in
the territory were less than 50 acres in size. On the other
hand, the number of large farms -- 175 acres or more in the
small-island context -- fell from one-third of the total to less
than 6 percent. While acreage in the largest commercial
operations (1000 + acres) grew from one-third to nearly
half the total, the overall acreage contained in the relatively
economic medium-sized farm types (175-259 acres, 260-499
acres. 500-599 acres) dropped sharply from approximately
60 percent of the total in 1930 to 31 percent in 1983.
These farm size trends, which are becoming common
throughout other surrounding microstates, are particularly
alarming because they suggest such economies discourage
medium-sized farms and increasingly support dualistic agri-
culture. This is unfortunate since medium-sized farms are
considered the optimum scale because they blend an appro-
*This is a summary of a longer version presented to the 20th Annual
Meeting of the Caribbean Food Crops Society on St. Croix, October
1984. Dr. McElroy was formerly an associate professor of economics
at CVI and also served as an Economist for the V1. Department of
Distribution of Farm Size and Acreage, Selected Acreage and Crop Production,
U.S. Virgin Islands: 1930 and 1983 U.S. Virgin Islands, 1930 and 1983
Farm Size 1930 1983
% total % total % total % total
farms acres farms acres
Under 3 2.4 0.1 24,8 0.6
3 9 34.6 0.8 37.6 2.9
10-19 10.3 0.7 10.7 2.0
20-49 10.5 1.5 11.2 5.0
50-99 4.6 1.4 5.9 5.7
100-174 4.3 2.8 4.0 6.9
175-259 8.9 9,6 1.6 5.4
260-499 11.6 20.2 2.0 11.0
500-999 8.5 29.3 1.3 14.7
1000 and over 4.3 33.6 0.9 45.8
Total1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
SOURCES: U.S. Census of Agriculture for the Virgin Islands, 1!
and 1982. Bureau of the Census, Washington.
1 May not sum exactly because of rounding error.
Cutting cane (top) and loading it into a flat bed truck
(bottom) was a common sight on St. Croix in the
1950's. The last cane was harvested in the mid-1960's.
Sugar cane (acres) 5,823 3
Selected field crops (acres)1 68 46
Selected vegetables (acres)2 48 43
Selected fruits/nuts harvested:
Avocados 14,700 31,874
Coconuts 27,008 18,066
Bananas (bunches) 6,790 11,532
Grapefruits (Ibs.) 1,280 4,615
Limes/Lemons (Ibs.) 11,640 12,472
Oranges (Ibs.) 3,840 6,246
Plantains (bunches) 823 950
Pineapples (boxes) 2,404 74
Mangoes 407,683 209,845
Sheep 1,533 2,882
Goats 1,476 4,035
Hogs 860 2,404
Cattle 12,252 5,672
Chickens sold 2,817 20,071
Eggs sold (doz.) 4,353 284,107
Milk sold (quarts) 494,492 1,858,145
SOURCES: See Table II
1 Corn, dry beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, taniers, yams
2 Carrots, okra, onions, peppers, egg plant, squash, tomatoes,
green beans, celery.
private mix of land and labor that achieves high efficiency.
On the other hand, dualistic agriculture fosters very small
farms which tend to over-use the limited soil available as
well as very large farms which tend to under-use the pro-
ductive potential of the land.
The third adjustment has been the change in the com-
position of USVI agricultural production. The trends in
Table III indicate the demise of sugar previously noted and
declining significance for cattle, field crops, vegetables, and
some of the more land-intensive fruits/nuts like coconuts
and pineapples. On the other hand, data also show increased
output of bananas, avocados, citrus, small livestock, poultry,
S and poultry/dairy products, i.e., production more suitable
to small-scale holdings. Much of this expansion has occur-
red after 1960. In summary, USVI agriculture adapted to a
half century of land/labor encroachment by contracting
farm size and effort, some substitution of capital for labor
inputs, and modifying the composition of output to suit
the constraints of predominantly small-scale holdings ser-
vicing domestic in contrast to export demand. This has left
the largest commercial tracts to further specialize in cattle
and dairy products. Similar changes have occurred through-
out many other East Caribbean islands.
Table IV profiles the four smallest-scale farm sizes re-
ported in the Census of Agriculture; under 3 acres, 3-9 acres,
10-19 acres, and 20-49 acres. These data indicate the differ-
ing patterns of resource utilization of the four types. First,
in contrast to the average-sized farm of 70-90 acres, these
smaller holdings maintained considerably higher acreage
shares in cropland and predictably lower acreage shares in
pastures. Second, because of their small scale, proportion-
ately fewer of the smallest units used tractors and hired
Third, within the four small-farm classes, increasing
scale tends to be associated, as expected, with increasing use
of tractors, hired machines, hired labor, rising levels of com-
mercial sales, and falling levels of part-time (200+ days work
off-farm) effort. These trends reflect economies of scale in
input utilization, gradations in farming effort, and a chang-
ing pattern of specialization toward small livestock.
Other causative factors may also be involved. For ex-
ample, the extent of commercial farming (sales of $2,500)
has certainly been affected by inflation. In addition, the
increasing usage of hired machines/custom work may partly
be influenced by the increased availability of subsidized
clearing/spraying etc. services provided by the USVI Depart-
ment of Agriculture. Moreover, the comparatively high
pasture acreage share of the two larger small-farm types
(10-19 acres and 20-49 acres) may partly reflect merely
"running a few goals" to avoid taxation and reduce the cost
of holding land for speculative purposes. Concerning this
last issue, land certified as agricultural in the USVI is eligible
for a 95 percent property tax exemption and a 90 percent
farm income tax refund. These measures, implemented to
retain land in agriculture, usually do not prevent real estate
Selected Characteristics of Small Farms. U.S. Virgin Islands, 1983
Under 3 ac. 3-9 ac. 10-19 ac. 20-49 ac. All Farms
% Acreage in
cropland 50.4 41.1 28.0 32.9 8.8
% Acreage in
pasture 18.8 36.5 43.5 49.1 76.6
% Acreage in
woodlands, etc. 30.8 22.4 28.5 18.0 14.6
% Operators on
farm (2-4 yrs) 24.0 11.4 12.5 20.6 15.5
% Operators born
in USVI 57.3 64.9 71.9 67.6 66.3
% Operators working 200
or more days off farm 53.3 53.5 37.5 35.3 45.5
% Farms using
tractors 5.3 8.8 25.0 29.4 18.2
% Farms using
machines 22.7 37.7 43.8 55.9 39.6
% Farms hiring
labor 12.0 21.1 25.0 44.1 27.7
% Farms purchasing
feed 64.0 66.7 59.4 58.8 70.0
% Farms purchasing
fertilizer 25.3 22.8 18.8 20.6 21.8
% Commercial farms 1 65.3 68.4 71.9 76.5 71.6
SOURCE: See Table II
1 Commercial farms indicate sales of $2,500 per year.
CASTLE NUGENT FARMS .... MARIO GASPERI
CORN HILL FARM ........ HENRY NELTHROPP
WINDSOR FARM............ ST. CROIX DAIRY
MON BIJOU FARM .............OLIVER SKOV
SIGHT FARM ............ CHARLES SCHUSTER
VIRGIN ISLANDS DAIRYMEN'S ASSOC.
Fresh Grade "A"
For Your Table
speculation because the capital gain from land selling is s4
much larger than the value of the tax break, especially or
these very small farms characterized by limited agriculture
effort and income.
Finally, it is noteworthy that the smallest holdings c
under 3 acres were operated by the highest percentage c
young farmers (24 years on farm). This can be primarily
explained by the very minimal entry barriers assumed fc
such small farms in terms of relatively low start-up cost:
capital requirements, and labor effort. However, in cor
junction with the lowest proportion of operators born i
the Virgin Islands recorded for farms under 3 acres, thi
uncharacteristically large percentage of young small farn
ers may partly reflect the impact of massive West India
o migration to the territory during the 1960's tourism and
In construction boom.
If Tables V and VI present data on the contribution of
y the small-farm sector to the territory's agricultural economy.
ir Although these small-scale holdings contained approximately
s, only 10 percent of the total agricultural land, by 1983 they
i- accounted for the bulk of production in hogs, goats, sheep,
n chickens, other poultry, and eggs. In every case, their share
is of production increased over the 22-year period with the
i- largest gains in hogs, sheep, and poultry products. By 1983
n small farms produced three-fourths of all hogs and goats in
Distribution of Total Livestock and Poultry Production by Small Farm Size
U.S. Virgin Islands, 1960 and 19831
Under 3 3-9 10-19 20-49 under
acres acres acres acres 50 acres
% of total cattle
1983 1.5 2.6 1.6 5.6 11.3
1960 0.1 1.0 1.1 2.3 4.5
% of total hogs
1983 22.6 38.4 5.8 9.9 76.7
1960 17.2 25.1 10.8 10.6 46.5
% of total sheep
1983 13.5 15.2 5.3 24.9 58.9
1960 1.1 19.1 6.3 7.3 33.8
% of total goats
1983 13.5 30.3 14.1 17.8 75.7
1960 11.1 20.4 15.8 17.1 64.4
% of total chickens
4 months and over
1983 5.8 88.2 1.5 2.9 98.4
1960 5.9 44.3 13.1 3.8 67.1
% of total turkeys and
1983 42.6 39.5 7.2 89.3
1960 18.8 32.5 27.4 1.0 79.7
% of total eggs sold
1983 0.7 99.0 (D)2 (D)2 99.7
1960 1.1 39.7 11.3 0.9 53.0
SOURCE: See Table II
1 All figures are percentages of total territorial production.
2 Data not reported because disclosure would result in individual farm identification.
Distribution of Selected Fruits/Nuts Production by Small Farm Size
U.S. Virgin Islands, 1983
Under 3 ac 3-9 ac. 10-19 ac. 20-49 ac. Total
% Avocados 21.7 35.3 9.3 21.9 88.2
% Bananas (bunches) 17.1 29.5 17.0 6.1 69.7
% Coconuts 10.7 24.0 12.4 22.9 70.0
% Grapefruits (Ibs.) 17.3 16.0 10.0 32.6 75.9
% Limes/Lemons (Ibs.) 23.3 25.6 7.9 38.1 94.9
% Mangoes 8.9 25.8 5.0 17.1 56.8
% Oranges (Ibs.) 11.6 37.9 3.5 28.4 81.4
% Papayas 33.1 30.1 11.8 18.6 93.6
SOURCE: U.S. Census of Agriculture for the Virgin Islands, 1982. Bureau of the Census, Washington.
the USVI and over 90 percent of poultry products. Regard-
ing fruits/nuts (see Table VI), the data available (1983 only)
show that the small-farm sector accounted for 90-95 percent
of all limes/lemons and papayas, 80-90 percent of avocados
and oranges, and 70-75 percent of all bananas, coconuts,
Within the four small-farm classes, 3-9 acre plots de-
monstrated highest shares of total output in hogs, goats,
chickens, and eggs while -- again in terms of gross output
shares -- 20-49 acre units dominated cattle and sheep raising,
and under 3 acre units dominated other poultry (see Table
V). The numerous 3-9 acre holdings, containing over one-
third of total farms in 1983, also dominated the production
of fruits/nuts: specifically avocados, bananas, coconuts,
mangoes, and oranges (see Table VII). The 20-49 acre hold-
ings dominated grapefruits and limes/lemons while plots
under 3 acres accounted for the highest production of
In summary, these data identify the 3-9 acre holdings
as the most productive in terms of the gross output contri-
bution to the insular economy for the limited livestock/
products examined. This is not surprising since such units
contain almost half of the labor (as measured by number of
farm operators) in the small-farm sector and 28 percent of
the acreage (computed from Table II). The experience of
other Caribbean islands confirms the production patterns
observed above, i.e., that small farms account for a majority
of food crop, vegetable and fruit and nut production.
SMALL FARM EFFICIENCY
From the limited census data available, two crude mea-
sures of farm productivity were constructed: output and/or
livestock per acre and output per tree of bearing age. Tables
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VII and VIII present the results. In the first case, relative
efficiency was estimated for 1983 by dividing the total out-
put produced by each farm size for each fruit/nut selection
by the respective acreages in fruit/nut production for each
farm size classification. According to this method, the
smallest scale of under 3 acres was most efficient, achieving
the highest production per acre in every fruit/nut category.
A similar analysis of livestock productivity -- total number
of sheep/goats/hogs/cattle divided by total acreage in pasture
and grazing land --generated similar results. With the excep-
tion of bananas, coconuts, and grapefruits, 3-9 acre holdings
were second in efficiency. However, although these findings
do capture the intensity of effort on the two smallest-scale
classifications, they should be accepted guardedly because
of the aggregative nature of the methodology, which ignores
intercropping patterns and variations in land quality, and
because of the assumption of constant output quality, espec-
ially with respect to livestock, across farm size categories.
In the second experiment, the ratios of harvested fruit/
nut production to respective trees/hills of bearing age were
calculated for each farm size for only two years for which
census data were available, 1975 and 1983. Although the
figures in Table VIII indicate some large productivity dif-
ferences for the same farm sizes across the two years -- per-
haps due to topographical variations, tree stock maturity
differentials, and/or the vagaries of weather -- the overall
results generally suggest that sizes of under 3 acres and
2049 acres were relatively most efficient in non-citrus and
citrus products respectively, while units of 10-19 acres
were, with some exceptions, least efficient.
Selected Fruits/Nuts and Livestock Per Acre by Small Farm Size
U.S. Virgin Islands, 1983
Under 3 ac. 3-9 ac. 10-19 ac. 20-49 ac.
Total acres in fruits/nuts 38 170 65 148
Output per acre:
Avocados 182 66 46 47
Bananas (bunches) 52 20 30 5
Coconuts 51 26 34 28
Grapefruits (Ibs.) 21 4 7 10
Limes/Lemons (Ibs.) 77 19 15 32
Mangoes 492 319 160 243
Oranges (Ibs.) 19 14 13 12
Papayas 42 9 9 6
Total acres in pasture
and grazing land 22 217 182 506
Total cattle, sheep,
goats, and hogs 1,564 2,735 952 1,995
Total livestock per acre 71 13 5 4
SOURCE: See Table VI
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Ratios of Harvested Output to Trees of Bearing Age for Selected Fruits/Nuts
U.S. Virgin Islands, 1975 and 1983
Under 3 3-9 10-19 20-49
acres acres acres acres
1983 29.0 22.3 17.4 44.8
1975 38.7 14.8 25.9 12.1
1983 0.55 0.44 0.16 0.38
1975 0.70 0.54 0.43 1.29
1983 9.4 10.3 3.7 5.4
1975 22.8 10.4 7.5 7.8
1983 22.2 10.3 4.9 31.3
1975 7.1e 2.3 7.9 10.7
1983 12.0 7.3 8.9 22.4
1975 24.6 15.4 13.5 25.0
1983 82.0 47.7 34.6 94.4
1975 61.4 66.0 19.4 8.7
1983 12.3 15.0 8.8 15.0
1975 7.1 7.8 2.6 10.5
1983 8.6 2.7 2.2 7.8
1975 8.5 4.5 5.4 3.4
SOURCES: U.S. Census of Agriculture for the Virgin Islands, 1974 and 1982.
Bureau of the Census, Washington.
In summary, the analysis of total product shares sug-
gests that in terms of gross output contributions to the
territorial economy farms of 3-9 acres were generally super-
ior in small livestock and non-citrus fruit/nut production
while farms of 20-49 acres were superior basically in citrus
produce and sheep and cattle. In terms of efficiency based
on production per acre and per tree/hill of bearing age,
farms of under 3 acres were generally most efficient with
advantages clearest in small-scale livestock and in non-citrus
fruit/nut products. Farms of 20-49 acres demonstrated
their comparative advantage in citrus. In all cases, farms of
10-19 acres scored the lowest performance.
Such findings should assist policy makers committed to
(1) reversing USVI agriculture's half century of decline, and
(2) reducing the territory's expensive dependence on food
imports. In particular, these research results suggest that
the two smallest scale farm classifications deserve further
scrutiny and policy support not only because of their re-
latively superior efficiency and output performance, but
also because one of the most glaring deficiencies identified
in the territory is the existence of large tracts of essentially
semi-abandoned agricultural land highly suitable for the
kinds of intensive small-farm crop cultivation documented
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The collection and storage of rainwater is not a new
idea. Water harvesting was probably developed 4,000 6,000
years ago, when desert farmers of the Middle East cleared
hillsides and established systems of dikes to channel runoff.
New to the history of rainwater catchment is the use of
longer lasting materials.
Rainwater harvesting is an idea with particular relevance
for a dry island such as St. Croix. Here too, the idea is not
new. Catchments have been in use since colonial times.
Both the public (government supply) and private (hotels)
sectors recognize the importance of capturing the island's
limited precipitation. Building codes in St. Croix require
houses to be constructed with cisterns for rainwater storage.
The availability of a consistent supply of water is one
of the major constraints of agricultural development. The
41 inches of rain that falls in an average year is widely dis-
tributed. These small rains quickly evaporate from the
combined effects of high temperatures and wind velocity
and moderately low relative humidity. In addition, most
soils in the Virgin Islands are quite porous, which implies
that bodies of surface water are rare. Re-charge of under-
ground aquifer, which supplies much of the island's water
for household use, is minimal. Only 5% of the water falling
on St. Croix enters the water table. The groundwater re-
source on St. Croix is fully exploited, and, in some areas,
salt water intrusion of the water table degrades water
quality. All of this information points towards the use of
rainwater catchments to alleviate water shortages, augment
the existing supply, and overcome a major impediment to
Rainwater catchment systems consist of two main
components: a catchment membrane and a water storage
tank. The membrane may be constructed of such ma-
terials as plastic, concrete, paraffin, asphalt-fabric, gravel-
covered sheetings, butyl rubber, and sheet metal. Each
material has its advantages and disadvantages. Cost, ease of
installation, and expected lifetime affect the choice of
The second major component of a catchment system is
the storage reservoir. This can be a pre-fabricated tank
(wood, steel, fiberglass); steel rimmed tanks equipped with
a water proof liner or a poured concrete bottom; plastered
concrete tanks; or membrane-lined reservoirs. Storage tanks
should be equipped with some kind of cover to prevent
Before constructing a catchment system a site survey
should be undertaken. The appropriate placement will de-
pend on soil, topography, vegetation, and rainfall. A 3-5%
slope is considered ideal for efficient collection of runoff.
To determine the optimum size of the catchment some
estimate of water requirements should be made. Catchment
area can be determined by the following formula:
A = 0.62 U
A = catchment area in square feet
U = annual water requirement in gallons
P = average annual precipitation in inches
Table 1 provides information considering catchment
sizing for some agricultural operations in the Virgin Islands.
Livestock watering does not require high quality water. Yet,
in many places, availability for this use is limited. The typi-
cal dry season scene of pick-up trucks straining under a load
of drums filled with water can be replaced with on-site col-
lection and storage of rainfall. Many of the rainwater catch-
ment systems constructed in the southwestern U.S. were
built primarily for livestock watering.
Catchment Area Required for a Few
Selected Agricultural Operations*
Operation req. req. (gals) area (ft2)
350 head of 10 gals/head 1,277,500 20,000
20 head of sheep 2 gals/head 14,600 226
1/2 acre of intensive 1 gal/plant 912,500 14,000
vegetables with drip
* Assuming average annual rainfall of 40"
+ Density = 5,000 plants/acre
Vegetable crops experience water stress during most
months of the year if they are not irrigated. Drip or trickle
irrigation systems require high quality water, i.e., low in
total salts and suspended solids. Rainwater fit these criteria
Site preparation will depend on the characteristics of the
particular location chosen to install the catchment. First,
the area should be cleared of vegetation, smoothed out and
compacted. Next, dikes to retain water should be construc-
ted around the perimeter of the catchment area so as to
retain the runoff and to prevent runoff upslope from the
catchment. The dikes should be highest around the lower
end of the membrane. If a plastic sheet is to be used, a
burial trench should be dug around the perimeter so as to
secure the edges from uplifting by wind. Soil sterilants may
also be applied to prevent unwanted vegetation. Pest
management specialists of the V.I. Extension Service should
be consulted prior to application.
Small catchment systems are easy to design and can be
cheaply and quickly constructed. For example: a 20' x 20'
plastic tarpulin is spread on the prepared area or tacked
onto a frame of wolmanized 2' x 6'. Through rain gutters,
lined ditches, or a sheet of galvanized roofing material the
water can be conveyed to storage. If 55 gallon drums are to
be used they should be thoroughly cleaned with solvents
and detergents before storage of water for livestock or irriga-
tion. The tarpaulin will require replacement every few years
as ultra-violet solar radiation degrades the plastic.
A rainwater catchment system has been constructed at
the CVI Agricultural Experiment Station (CVI-AES) for use
by the aquaculture program. The high quality water is used
to grow fish and plants in culture systems where water is
circulated and purified. The catchment membrane is made
of nylon-reinforced PVC which is 24 mils thick. It is 200
feet long by 100 feet wide. The tarpaulin cost $9,600 or
$0.50 per square foot. Water runs off through two outlets
at the base of the lower dike and is conveyed through 4"
PVC pipe to an in-ground concrete sump (8' x 8' x 8').
Water is then pumped to a vinyl-lined, steel walled, swim-
ming pool with a capacity of 17,500 gallons. The pump is
activated automatically by means of mercury float switches.
The reservoir is covered with floating foam rubber to reduce
water loss by evaporation.
Runoff efficiency is very high. A small amount of
water (less than one millimeter) is required to wet the sur-
face of the tarpaulin. One inch of rainfall will yield ap-
proximately 11,000 gallons of water. Given an annual rain-
fall at CVI of 44" the catchment will yield 442,000 gallons
Rainwater catchment membrane at CVI's Aqua-
culture Program on St. Croix is made of nylon-
reinforced PVC 200 feet long by 100 feet wide.
An economic analysis of the system indicates a quick
payback period of approximately 1-1/2 years. The system
cost $19,800 to construct in 1983, including the cost of all
materials, supplies, equipment purchases and rentals, and
labor. The value of the water collected is $13,260 at 1983
water prices of $30 per thousand gallons of desalinated
Water quality analysis of collected runoff indicated
that the concentrations of all major nutrients are well within
guidelines for drinking water established by the EPA. This
indicated the potential for potable or household use of
water obtained by catchment. However, wading birds may
contaminate the water with bacteria from droppings. Water
should be treated with ultraviolet light and ozone before
use as drinking water. Fine soil also tends to blow onto the
surface of the tarpaulin. Storage system can be equipped
with traps or screens for sediment and other debris.
There are other ways to make the best use of limited
rainfall. Microcatchments are small depressions in the soil
into which a tree or shrub is planted. These depressions
RAINWATER CATCHMENT SYSTEM
channel rainfall directly to the base of the planting. Care
must be taken not to overly disturb the subsoil or not to
dig microcatchments in areas where soil drainage is poor.
Another form of rainfall control is terracing. Again soil,
slope, and other site considerations will determine the
appropriate agricultural practice. In arid and semi-arid
regions microcatchments and terracing may be an effective
method of collecting widely scattered rainfall.
Additional information regarding experience with
catchment systems can be obtained from CVI-AES and the
Soil Conservation Service. The USDA has recently pub-
lished an excellent "Handbook of Water Harvesting". This
comprehensive, concise guide is available from the U.S.
Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C.
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The Sweet Potato, A Valuable
Garden And Kitchen Crop
Franklin W. Martin, Ph.D.
Tropical Agriculture Research Station
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Sweet potatoes were carried through the Antilles by the
Indian tribes that inhabited these islands in precolumbian
times. Introduction was a haphazard process that lasted
over many centuries and eventually led to the presence of
distinct varieties on different islands. Long before the Danes
came to the Virgin Islands, sweet potatoes were established
as a favorite crop. Because it is an easy crop to grow that
requires little attention and almost always repays generously
the effort made to produce it, sweet potatoes continue to
be one of the best crops that can be produced in the Virgin
Islands. It is suited to small scale gardening as well as com-
Today, sweet potato can give you even more in the Vir-
gin Islands. This is because there are new varieties available,
new ways to use them, and reasonable hope for control of
the worst pest of the sweet potato, the weevil. This article
will tell you about the sweet potato cultivars now available,
how to produce them, and how to use them in feeding the
Sweet potatoes can be divided into 4 groups: dessert,
tropical, staple, and substaple. Dessert varieties are orange-
fleshed, moist in the mouth, and very sweet when cooked.
They lend themselves to a wide variety of cooked dishes,
many of which are, indeed, desserts. Tropical varieties are
those commonly found in the West Indies, white to yellow
in color, intermediate in sweetness, and from intermediate
to dry in the mouth. Staple varieties are a completely new
type of sweet potato that is white or whitish, not sweet,
and dry in the mouth. These varieties are very good for
"mashed potatoes", for fries and chips, and even for flour.
Substaple varieties are intermediate to staple and tropical
varieties, with a touch of sweetness. Some people say they
are the best of all. They are very versatile in the kitchen.
A new kind of variety, the orange staple, is now under de-
velopment. Good varieties of all types are available through
the author, but, hopefully, can be established and made
available to you in the Virgin Islands.
Sweet potatoes can be planted any day of the year,
and thus can be harvested any day of the year. Their rate
of growth, appearance, flowering, and yield will be affected
by season. However, in practice, one can forget season and
plant according to other more important factors, especially
availability of cuttings and of water. While sweet potatoes
can be produced in almost any soil, paradoxically, they
need both a good water supply and good drainage. Sweet
potatoes are often planted in mounds to provide drainage
and aeration, but can also be planted in holes where there is
a shortage of water. The correct soil is that which is avail-
able, but it must be well prepared and managed.
Like all plants, sweet potatoes extract mineral elements
from the soil, and synthesize sugars from carbon dioxide
and water, using the energy of the sun. If sweet potatoes
have too much nitrogen they will grow a thick cover of vines
but very little tuberous root. Therefore, sweet potatoes are
often grown without any fertilizers. They usually do better
when manures, compost, or other organic material is mixed
into the soil.
In the tropics sweet potatoes are almost always planted
from a piece of the vine about 2/3 buried in soil. Although
almost any piece of vine will germinate to produce a new
plant, nevertheless, there is a great difference in production
potential from different parts of the vine. The vines that
are to be used as a source of cuttings should be growing
vigorously (you can stimulate old vines to grow vigorously
with a little mineral fertilizer and water). Only the last foot
of each vine should be taken from the plant and used to
establish new plantings.
The soil for the planting should be damp, at least.
About two thirds of the cutting, leaves and all, are buried,
leaving only the growing tip above the ground. Appropriate
spacing is 1 x 3 feet, if in rows, and 2 x 2 feet, if not.
Cuttings, of course, do not have roots. Therefore, they
suffer from wilting after planting, and may even die. Some
recommendations to reduce wilting are: the cuttings can be
wrapped in damp burlap bags for two days to stimulate
rooting; plantings are best made in the late afternoon or on
a cloudy day; newly planted cuttings should be irrigated as
soon as possible after planting. The plantings should not
dry out at all during the first few weeks.
Weed control is very important, especially when the
plants are young. Herbicides should be used only when
local recommendations are available. As plantings begin to
mature they need less weeding and less watering.
Insects are seldom a problem, but where they occur
their effects are sometimes drastic. Caterpillars of several
kinds often attack the foliage, but often their natural pre-
dators will come and control them. Red spider mites are
sometimes a severe problem and only commercial miticides,
or lots of overhead irrigation or rain can give control.
The most serious insect pest of sweet potato is the
weevil. The larvae of this beetle tunnel through the stems
and tuberous roots, leading, in the latter cases to discolor-
ation, rot, bad odor, bad taste, and even toxic compound
production. There are no perfect cures for the weevil, but
a few weevils in a large harvest are nothing to worry about.
To avoid weevils one must plant sweet potatoes in areas
that have not been used for sweet potatoes for about a year.
In addition, volunteer sweet potatoes and their Ipomoea
(morning glory) relatives should be removed from the
planting area and adjacent areas 1 or 2 months before new
plantings are made. Weevils do not travel far, but always
come from the planting material or from old plants and
their relatives nearby. In addition, the cuttings used to
start new plantings should be only stem tips, as previously
mentioned. If the new planting is small, each cutting should
be examined to remove weevils. If the planting is larger, a
soaking in a dilute solution of carbofuran has been shown
to be useful in AVRDC, Taiwan. However, the use of this
substance has not been officially approved, and may be
especially dangerous in the home garden.
Sweet potatoes are harvested 4-5 months after planting.
Digging a few plants at 4 months of age is a useful way of
determining size and maturity. While sweet potatoes can
be harvested as needed from a small planting beginning at
3% months and up to 6, long growing seasons result in large
and irregular tuberous roots. On harvest care should be
taken not to injure the roots. The soil is shaken or brushed
away, and the storage roots can be washed. This, however,
may promote rot and reduce shelf-life of the roots.
When sweet potatoes are to be used, peeling will often
reveal damage from the weevil or other insects. The dam-
aged areas and those adjacent areas that rapidly discolor
should be cut away and discarded. Sweet potatoes can then
be boiled or baked in conventional fashion. During cooking
part of the starch is converted to sugar and thus the cooked
sweet potato is sweeter than the raw. In addition, cooking
often develops new colors in the sweet potato, and these
are sometimes less attractive than those of uncooked sweet
potatoes. Greenish and greyish cooked sweet potatoes are
edible but often less palatable.
Acceptability of the sweet potato varies not only with
color and appearance, but also depends on flavor and tex-
ture. In addition to sweetness, sweet potatoes have definite
flavors, and not all are attractive. It is a little difficult to
name these flavors. Very orange sweet potatoes are some-
times said to be oily or to taste like carrots. Greyish and
greenish sweet potatoes often have tastes that while not
nameable, are not neutral either. Preference for taste varies,
but most people like a bland taste.
The sweet potato is perceived to be moist, dry, or in
between in the mouth. This sensation of texture is related
chiefly to the dextrins that are present, soluble short chain
compounds formed from starch, and not to the true mois-
ture content of the sweet potato.
The color, taste, and texture of any sweet potato can
be improved by a simple technique in the kitchen. After
peeling, the sweet potato is cut into slices about 1/8 inch
thick. This may be tedious, but it is worthwhile. The slices
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are soaked in water for 1 to 2 hours. Better results are
had if the water is changed each hour. The slices absorb
water. But, more important, some of the sugar, the pheno-
lics that change the color, and flavor and texture producing
substances are leached from the sweet potato into the water.
Later, on boiling and mashing, the color is usually free from
gray and green, the flavor is less sweet and more bland, and
the texture is less dry. This simple technique can make the
sweet potato a welcome item on the table, even in the case
of people who just do not like sweet potatoes.
Sweet potato, with or without leaching, can be cooked
and mashed and then combined as a basic starchy material
into many kinds of dishes, cakes, pies, puddings, custard,
and candies. It is not my intention to provide you with a
cookbook at this time, but recipes are found in many exist-
ing cookbooks as well as in the minds of many a creole
cook of the Virgin Islands.
The new non-sweet varieties can replace the potato in
most of its uses, especially boiled, mashed, and fried. They
do not bake well, although some varieties are an exception.
When the cook is prepared to treat these sweet potatoes as
potatoes, the family may be convinced and may actually
learn to prefer staple type sweet potatoes.
A good question for every Virgin Islander is, "Why
import food if we can grow it here?" You can grow and
use sweet potatoes. 0
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S T. CR OIX
~ I r Y r'
Synthetic Sex Lures
And The Sweet Potato Weevil
Frederick I. Proshold, Ph.D.
Federal Experiment Station
The sweet potato is an important food crop throughout
the world, grown mainly in the tropics and subtropics. The
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
ranks sweet potato production seventh in world crop statis-
tics after wheat, rice, corn, Irish potato, barley and cassava.
Sweet potato contains approximately 20% starch and 5%
simple sugar, and is generally considered a high energy food.
It is high in vitamin C and can provide sufficient pro-vitamin
A carotenoids and several minerals as well. In some parts of
the world sweet potato is the staple crop. The roots or
tubers are eaten or fed to livestock and the vines and leaves
may be eaten as a green vegetable.
The most devastating insect pest of sweet potato is a
small ant-like weevil (Cylas spp., C. formicarius elegantulus
in St. Croix) about a quarter of an inch long (Fig. 1). The
head, which protrudes into a snout, and wing covers are
metallic dark blue and the thorax a bright orange red. The
adult weevil feeds on any exposed part of the sweet potato
plant. Feeding scars on the roots consist of tiny shallow
holes usually in patches. The eggs are laid in specially pre-
pared cavities in the vines or roots. The egg cavities are
similar to the feeding punctures but may be distinguished by
the mucilaginous covering secreted by the female. In about
one week, the egg hatches into a white to ivory colored
larva with a light-brown head. It is this stage that causes
Fig. 1. Male sweetpotato weevils crawling up side of trap.
most of the damage. The larvae tunnel within the vine or
tuber as they feed causing extensive damage (Fig. 2). Even
a light infestation reduces quality and marketable yield by
producing an off flavor to the sweet potato that makes it
unfit for human or livestock consumption. Weevil infesta-
tions also allow entrance of microorganisms which cause rot
in the sweet potatoes. Weevils will continue to feed within
the tubers after the sweet potatoes have been placed in
storage where they may cause extensive damage.
When full grown (in 2 to 3 weeks), the larvae are about
three-eighths of an inch long and pupate in the vines or
tubers. In about a week the pupae change into adult weevils
and as many as eight generations can occur per year. In St.
Croix all stages of the weevil can be found year round. But,
weevil populations are greater during the dry season than
during the wet season. Adult weevils attack the sweet potato
slips soon after they are planted and unless the plant is
treated weevil populations can become large enough to kill
the plant. After planting the numbers of weevils increase
dramatically and may reach as many as 40 weevils per plant
in 12 weeks. Populations this large will cause reduced yields
and may even prevent the plant from producing tubers.
Adult weevils avoid light and remain hidden during
most of the daylight hours. About dusk they become active
and the males move to the top leaves of the plants where
they are easily found after dark. Mating takes place during
the first five to six hours after darkness with peak mating
occurring between one and two hours after nightfall. A
female to be mated moves to the upper portion of the sweet
potato plant. She releases a chemical called a pheromone
Fig. 2. Larvae of the sweetpotato weevil inside a sweet-
"i / ,,
Fig. 3. Rubber septum impregnated with the synthetic
sex pheromone of the sweetpotato weevil.
that alerts males in the area that she is seeking a mate. Males
follow this "scent," locating and subsequently mating with
the female. Females that are mated then oviposit in the
stems or tubers. Adults can live for several months and one
female may lay as many as 500 eggs.
Because adults are inactive during the day and immature
stages occur within the plant, the presence of weevils is very
difficult to determine without cutting into the vines or
tubers. Presently, there is no suitable method for detecting
low level infestations -- by the time insects are seen, con-
siderable damage has already been done. Thus, the feeding
habits of larvae and nocturnal activity of adults make it
difficult for farmers to make effective use of pesticides.
Consequently, there is a need for a sensitive detection tool
to aid the grower in managing and controlling infestations
of the sweet potato weevil.
Insect pheromones can often be used to locate, survey,
or monitor pest populations at levels not otherwise detect-
able. Recently, USDA scientists at Gainesville, Florida, in
cooperation with those at the Federal Experiment Station,
St. Croix, isolated, identified, and synthesized the sex
pheromone of the sweet potato weevil. When, placed on
glass slides, concentrations of less than one nanogram of
pheromone were attractive to male weevils. One nanogram
would be approximately equivalent to one ounce divided
by 28,000,000,000. For monitoring, the synthetic sex lure
is loaded onto a rubber septum (Fig. 3) which reduces the
release rate of the pheromone. The septa are placed in cone
traps (Fig. 4). Concentrations of 100 nanograms on rubber
septa remained attractive to weevils for at least three months.
Males reach the trap by crawling or flying. Flight for
the most part is rather erratic and is of short duration but
can cover several meters. As they attempt to reach the
pheromone source, the males drop into a vial where they
are killed by an insecticide impregnated strip. Without the
strip as many as half of the males might escape.
Fig. 4. Trap baited with synthetic sex lure used to monitor
males of the sweetpotato weevil.
Research is underway to relate trap capture with popu-
lation density in the field. This will allow growers to know
when to apply insecticides for weevil control. In addition,
research is needed to determine whether the pheromone
can be used to reduce weevil populations. Since the phero-
mone is so attractive to male weevils, research is needed to
see whether the number of males in the population can be
lowered enough by trapping so fewer females mate and
reproduce. However, male weevils are very prolific and can
fertilize several females in a single night. Thus, one male
could compensate for at least four males that had been
trapped. Another possibility is to place the pheromone on
sweet potato plants in the field. Perhaps enough pheromone
can be placed in sweet potato fields so that it confuses the
males and they can not locate females seeking mates. Again
the result would be fewer females capable of reproducing.
These and other possibilities are being tested for using the
pheromone to manage weevil populations. Regardless of
whether these methods prove effective, the pheromone
certainly will provide a means of easily detecting weevil
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Poultry For The Small Family
In The Virgin Islands
Ext. Livestock Specialist
Many families in the Virgin Islands are finding it profi-
table to keep a few chickens to produce fresh eggs for home
use. Others who love farming but do not have the land to
keep sheep or goats are raising chickens as an alternative.
The home flock normally consists of eight to ten hens
and can furnish all the eggs that can be eaten by a typical
family. Many people, including myself, feel that home pro-
duced eggs (and meat) taste better than poultry products
purchased at a store. Home-produced poultry products are
certainly fresher. While many people in the Virgin Islands
prefer to keep chickens only for the eggs, there are others
who like to raise a few birds for the table.
Although it is not difficult to take care of the small
family flock, the flock still requires some attention and
someone in the family must be willing to care for the flock
each day. If chickens are grown for meat, someone must
also be willing to prepare them for cooking or storage.
Finally, the home producer cannot compete in production
costs with commercial producers of eggs or broilers unless
the home producer is willing to contribute his labor and
supplement the cost of feed with scraps or home-grown
Before you get the chicks for your flock, please re-
member to inquire about local laws and ordinances. Zoning
ordinances in some parts of the V.I. often prohibit livestock
After you find out it is all right to raise chickens in your
area then you have to decide what type of production you
will be comfortable with to supply your needs and suit your
purposes. You can choose from broilers, fryers, roasters or
Light- or heavy-type laying hens may be used. The light-
type laying hen will weigh from four to five pounds when
mature, while the heavy-type hen will weigh from six to
seven pounds. For egg production the Single Combed White
Leghorn and Sex-Linked hens are preferred. These hens
will lay more eggs while consuming less feed than the Rhode
Island Red, New Hampshire or Barred Plymouth Rock,
which are normally used for meat production. The heavy-
type birds are normally recommended for small families be-
cause they are best suited for both eggs and meat production.
Equipment normally used in small flock production
need not be elaborate or expensive. One can build a chicken
house with old lumber around the yard or remodel an old
existing structure. The basic consideration should be to
provide a clean dry area, well ventilated but free from drafts.
The house should protect the birds from weather, and be
screened to exclude wild birds and predators, especially
dogs, rats and mongooses. Provide at least two square feet
per bird for light breeds and three square feet for the heav-
ier breeds, but remember not to keep birds of different ages
in the same building, even if the coop is divided, because of
The house must also be furnished with feeders, waterers,
nests (layers), and roost poles. An adequate number of pro-
perly constructed nests will result in cleaner and fewer bro-
ken eggs. Nests can be arranged in the center of the house
or along the walls. Hens prefer a darkened area for nesting.
Individual nests are normally 10-14 inches wide, 12-14 high
and 12 inches deep; provide one nesting box per 4-5 layers.
Community nests can also be used. One 2 x 6 foot com-
munity nest will serve 50 birds. Roosts are normally not
necessary for meat birds but if provided for layers, should
be seven to nine inches per bird.
If the birds are to be raised on a floor, you will need
to provide a good litter. The litter is for comfort and to
absorb droppings and excess moisture. The litter may be
wood shavings (not wolmanized), chopped straw, or crushed
corn cobs at least two inches deep when starting the chicks
and should be stirred often to prevent crusting over. Peri-
odically, new litter should be added until it is six to eight
inches deep. Wet spots should be replaced with dry litter.
Wire guards can be used underneath waterers to prevent
wet spots. Wet litter provides an ideal situation for the
development of roundworm, coccidiosis and nuisance fly
problems. A good dry litter can be left in the house for
a year or longer and as long as it is dry the flock will be
healthier and the eggs cleaner.
Brooding the Chicks
If day-old chicks are purchased, brooding of the chicks
will be necessary to carry them through the early part of
their life. A brooder provides the warmth comparable to an
adult hen naturally brooding her chicks. There are many
kinds of brooders which can give warmth during this period.
Perhaps the simplest is to provide four 60-watt bulbs which
will create enough heat for 100 chicks. Bulbs should be
suspended about 15-18 inches over the litter. Proper height
of the heat bulbs can also be determined by watching the
birds and deciding when they are comfortable. For the first
week it is necessary that chicks remain close to the heat
source. A chick guard about 12 inches high can be made of
cardboard, hardboard or plywood and placed around the
feeders and waterers. This will keep the chicks around the
heat source and also protect them from draft.
Fig. 1. Hover-type brooder
Fig. 2. Infra-red brooding lamp
For the first few days chicks should be fed on egg flats
or chicken box lids until they become accustomed to chick
feeders. Waterers at this time could be inverted fruit jars
with oversize tops. Easy access to water is necessary to pre-
vent excessive mortality from dehydration. A guide to feed
requirements for different types of birds is shown in the
Type % lb./100
Birds Age of Feed Protein Birds
Chicks 1-8 weeks starter 20-22% 400
Pullets 9-20 weeks growers 15% 1,200
Layers 21 weeks layer 17% 25/day
Broilers 0-3 weeks starter 22% 700
3-8 weeks grower 17% 1,000
Feed purchased from the local feed store or at the
Department of Agriculture is normally formulated to fur-
nish the necessary nutrients for different-aged birds. It can
be purchased as mashes, crumbles or pelleted feeds. Either
is satisfactory for the home flock, but expensive. The use
of crumbles or pellets will result in less feed being wasted.
Although the above table gives the recommended feeding
regime, within limits, grower and layer feeds may be par-
tially substituted by scratch, home grown grains and table
scraps. Grain substitutions, if large, can cut vitamins.
minerals and protein available in complete mashes. When
feeding large amounts of scratch or home grown grains. it
is a good idea to make grit, sand or oyster shell available.
Oyster shell helps to provide calcium and phosphorus needed
for egg shell formulation. Grit and sand helps the bird to
grind grain for better digestion.
Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Self-
siphoning waterers are cheap and effective.
Sanitation and Disease Control
A good sanitation program aids in disease prevention.
While small flock owners are inclined to underestimate the
importance of a good sanitation program, it can reduce the
chances of a drop in egg production or death of the birds.
One problem encountered in small flocks is cannabalism.
Cannabalism or picking may occur at any age. Once begun
it is difficult to control. There have been various reasons
stated for its cause. Among these are crowding, too much
light or starvation. Whatever its cause, it is best to prevent
cannibalism from starting.
Debeaking is the surest answer to the problem. Remove
one-half to two-thirds of the upper beak and the tip of the
lower beak. A pocket knife can be used for this purpose.
If bleeding occurs, sear the cut surface. Pine tar or locally
prepared ointments can be used as a temporary means of
reducing losses from cannabalism. These preparations are
rubbed on the wound of the bird being picked. Check with
the extension livestock specialist or Department of Agricul-
S ture's veterinarian about debeaking techniques before you
attempt it the first time.
In the Virgin Islands, chicken should be vaccinated for
infectious coryza, coccidiosis, fowl pox and Merek's disease.
Vaccinations at one day of age are normally done at the
hatchery. If you get your chicks from a reputable source,
like the Department of Agriculture or any other good source
with a good record, your chicks will have a chance to get a
good start. If you notice any abnormal behavior such as
droopiness, depression, diarrhea, loss of appetite or dif-
ficulty in breathing, please call your veterinarian.
If you have decided to raise poultry, you may have
further questions or want additional information and publi-
cations. Contact your livestock specialist at the Extension
Service (778-0246) and he will be glad to assist you. E
LUNCH & DINNER SERVED
OSKAR'S Bar and Restaurant
Owner and Manager
Ia La Grand Princess
Star Route 0086f
Christiansted St.Croix North shore Rd.
uS virgin Islands o08o0 'el. 809 773 o6oL
Your ELECTRONIC CENTER on St. Croix
AMmAn's ELECTRONICS, INC.
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Common Poultry Diseases
Dr. Duke Deller
The most common poultry disease that we encounter is
Coccidiosis. Coccidia are microscopic animals that live in
the intestinal tract. Coccidia are hardy and can survive out-
side the host's body for long periods of time in the feces.
Under warm, damp conditions they become infective to
other birds in 24 to 48 hours.
Signs at first are usually pale droopy birds huddled to-
gether that consume less feed and water than normal. They
have loose watery or bloody stools. In the case of bloody
stools, there is a high death loss. Coccidiosis usually occurs
in young birds over 3 weeks old.
To make a definite diagnosis of coccidiosis, a post mor-
tem must be performed and intestinal scrapings examined
under the microscope.
Prevention is the best medicine. Birds should be kept
off the ground on wire mesh constructed so that all the
droppings fall through to the ground. Fecal matter should
not be allowed to accumulate in corners or cross members
supporting the wire mesh floor. Feed pans and waters
should be designed so birds can not deficate in them. Com-
mercial growing mashes can be purchased with a coccidio-
stat added to the feed. Sulfa drugs or amprollium are effec-
tive in treating coccidiosis. A veterinarian should be con-
sulted to get a definite diagnosis and proper instruction on
Foul pox is another common disease. This disease is
caused by a slow spreading virus. Scab-like lesions appear
on the skin especially around the head. The comb is usually
affected and often the areas around the eye and mouth. The
pox lesion may even affect the inside of the mouth and
upper respiratory tract. The virus can survive for months in
an infected chicken house. Mosquitoes can act as carriers
of the disease. Few birds will die, and recovered birds will
not act as carriers.
There is no treatment for foul pox. Vaccination of the
flock is recommended since the vaccine is most effective.
Pigeon pox vaccine is not effective in preventing foul pox.
One vaccination with foul pox vaccine gives permanent
immunity. Birds can be vaccinated at any age. In 7 to 10
days after vaccination, a small scab should appear at the
vaccination site if the vaccination has been effective.
Marek's Disease is common, especially in the game birds.
The disease is caused by a virus which is highly transmis-
sible. The virus survives for months in chicken dander and
dust and is spread by birds' inhalation, with young birds
more readily infected. Several different manifestations of
the disease may occur. The neural form is the one most
often recognized by owners. The chicken develops progres-
sive paralysis of the legs, wings, and neck. The chicken is
often affected more on one side and lays with one leg and
wing extended and cannot walk. In the occular form, a
spotty depigmentation or graying of the iris occurs, and the
bird becomes partially blind. In the visceral form of the dis-
ease, tumors may occur in the testes, ovaries, liver, lungs,
kidneys, heart, or spleen and even in the musculature. This
form of the disease often is acute with chickens dying ra-
pidly. A skin form of the disease occurs with enlarged
feather follicles. These last two forms are most common
in younger birds. Birds may have a regression of the dis-
ease and make complete recoveries especially with the
A vaccine is available that is 90% effective in prevent-
ing the disease. Baby chicks must be vaccinated at one day
Upper respiratory disease from any cause in the Virgin
Islands is commonly referred to as coryza. The most com-
mon causes of the syndrome are the infectious bronchitis
virus and the mycoplasma species, pasteurella species and
haemophilles species of bacteria. Birds with upper respira-
tory disease will sneeze, have a nasal exudate, and a con-
junctivitis with swollen tearing or mattered eyes. In chronic
cases, a cheesy type exudate may form in the sinus under
the eye. Treatment of this syndrome is the same regardless
of the cause of the disease. A broad spectrum antibotic is
placed in the water to control primary or secondary bac-
terial infection. Birds should be kept sheltered with an
environmental temperature of 70 or above. Chickens can
be vaccinated for protection against infectious bronchitis.
Internal parasites (worms) can be a problem in young
chickens kept on the ground. Heavily infected birds will
become thin and droopy with a watery diarrhea. Piperizine
is effective against the most common worms in chickens.
Common external parasites include mites and lice. Lice
live only on the chicken's body. They can often be seen in
the area of the vent barely visible to the naked eye looking
like black pepper. Affected birds will peck at themselves
and act itchy.
Mites are also very small and feed on the birds mainly
at night causing skin irritation and anemia. The mites hide
in the cracks and crevices of the fowl house. Many insecti-
cides are available to control lice and mites on the birds.
In the case of mites, the fowl house must also be treated. U
* Golden Rock
*Sunny Isle ,
Kentucky Fried Chicken
The Who, What, Where and Why of
Walter I. Knausenberger
f Stinging ants are a group of very aggressive ants which
can deliver fiery stings. For this reason they are often called
"fire ants". Other names used in the Caribbean include
"wild ants", "biting ants", "red ants", and "hormiga brava".
They are among the most common insect pests found around
the home and farm in the Virgin Islands and throughout the
Stinging ants carry away seeds, damage young plants and
attack young unprotected animals. They are prolific and
build their nests in areas where people and animals spend
time, such as in pastures, lawns, schoolyards, play grounds,
beaches and parks.
The Sting. Stinging ants can sting repeatedly and will
vigorously attack any thing that disturbs them. Their venom
is severely painful to most people and livestock. It is unlike
that of any other stinging insect, spider or scorpion.
Certain allergy-prone people can become sensitized, or
allergic to the venom of fire ants if they are stung repeatedly
over time. People who are extremely sensitive to the venom
may suffer chest pains and nausea or even lapse into a coma
from a single sting.
Stinging ants may also attack and sting young unpro-
tected animals, such as newborn calves and pigs, newly
hatched poultry, and even sea turtle hatchlings on beaches.
In most such cases, young weakened animals tend to be the
Other harmful habits. Most other damage caused by
stinging ants is related to their efficient food harvesting and
insect tending activities. These ants gather or eat much of
what comes in their path that is edible.
They can damage plants, especially young ones, by
gnawing at roots, stalks, buds and fruits. Stinging ants also
gather seeds of all sorts, including germinating seeds. Such
damage occurs most often when a previously uncultivated
area is put into production and the ants lose their normal
Some stinging ants have a well-deserved reputation as
the "sheep herders" of the insect world. They tend "herds"
or colonies of certain sap sucking insects similar to the way
shepherds tend sheep. The ants move their "herds" from
place to place. They also protect their "herds" by attack-
ing insects that threaten to eat or parasitize the sap-sucking
insects. The reason ants do this is that the sap-sucking in-
sects produce something the ants value highly: a sugary
excretion called "honeydew".
Now that drip irrigation has become accepted as an
efficient means of watering plants, stinging ants have been
observed attacking drip irrigation tubing for the water.
They enlarge drip holes and chew through the walls of the
plastic tubing. The problem causes an excessive amount of
water to flow from damaged areas, reduces operating pres-
sure and causes uneven water distribution.
Beneficial habits. Believe it or not, stinging ants are
not all bad. Because they are tireless scavengers and will eat
practically any available food source, they are very helpful
to man. They help to reduce, bury and transform dead and
decaying animal and plant material.
Stinging ants are also very effective in finding and de-
stroying immature stages of other insects. In Puerto Rico,
the brown fire ant has been shown to destroy over 90% of
the potential house fly population by preying on the mag-
gots and eggs. Stinging ants are known to be able to elimi-
nate a large majority of many pests' eggs in a garden. Ants
also have been known to eliminate ticks from pastures.
Ants are also considered beneficial because they im-
prove soil fertility. They cause an overall enrichment of the
top 3-5 inches of soil by increasing available nitrogen, phos-
phorus, potassium and organic matter in this region. They
also aerate the soil like earthworms, and circulate minerals
by bringing up earth from beneath the surface.
In general ants are beneficial by virtue of the very acti-
vities which cause them to cross our paths as competitors.
This situation calls for careful consideration whether the
damage they may cause outweighs their benefits. It also
underlines the importance of knowing who our "enemy"
Which Ant Is Which?
Regardless of size and color, all ants look similar in a
general way: they have a "pinched" waistline, and the
workers have elbowed antennae (feelers). About 10 of the
over 50 kinds (species) of ants in the V.I. have been known
to sting people, but only three are common enough to be of
significance. They are, in order of prominence, the brown
fire ant and its relatives, the big-headed ant and its rela-
tives2, and the little fire ant3.
The brown fire ant (Figure 1) is the ant most often
seen and felt in the Virgin Islands. Brown fire ant workers
are of various sizes, ranging from 1/10th to 1/4 inch. They
are dark reddish-brown with a brown to black abdomen and
head. They can be abundant in homes but seem to prefer
to build their nests near paths, roads and disturbed soil.
1 Solenopsis geminata (F.) and other Solenopsis species
2 Pheidole megacephala (F.) and other Pheidole species
3 Ochetomyrmex (=Wasmannia) aureopunctata (Roger)
Fig. 1. Brown Fire Ant
Their ground nests consist of several small untidy craters
and mounds that are irregularly scattered. The average
mound size is an area of one to two square feet.
Fig. 2. Big Headed Ant
The big-headed ant (Figure 2) is just as aggressive as the
brown fire ant, and almost as prolific. Generally, the big-
headed ant prefers to nest in crevices, under rocks or coco-
nuts in fields and also near walls and buildings. The huge
heads of the soldiers distinguish these ants from any other.
The little fire ant (Figure 3), an aggressive but tiny pale
yellow to golden-brown ant, is fairly common in the V.I.
Workers are about 1/16th of an inch in length. They tend
to be found in groves of trees, moist forests, and old fields
but they are highly adaptable in that they nest above
ground in both open and shaded areas. The little fire ant
can be a serious nuisance in citrus and other orchards.
Because there are so many ants found in the V.I. that
are not fire or stinging ants, and pose no threat or nuisance,
it is important to determine exactly which kind you are
dealing with. This will allow better control decisions to be
made based on life histories and habits, and is the first step
to effective control. Contact your Cooperative Extension
agent for positive identification.
Development and Life History
The three ants mentioned above have a highly organized
social structure, in the form of a colony, where there is a
very distinct division of labor. This contributes to their
success as a group.
Ants pass through four distinct developmental stages in
the colony: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The "brood" con-
sists of the egg, larval and pupal stages. The egg is very small,
whitish, globular to elliptical, and smooth. The larva varies
in size and shape, but is soft, white and motionless. The
pupae are also whitish, but larger than the larvae, and may
be enclosed in a cocoon of a whitish to brownish paperlike
The ant colony consists of three adult forms (in order
of increasing abundance): winged females (queens). the
largest, that lay the eggs; winged fertile males, medium-
sized, that mate with the queen: and worker ants (females).
the smallest, that are wingless and sterile. These workers
are by far the most common members of the colony.
Adult workers often differ in size. The larger forms are
referred to as "major workers" or soldiers, the smaller as
"minor workers" or nurses. Soldiers defend the nest and
forage for food, while nurses care for the developing brood.
The fertile winged male and female (queen) ants live in
seclusion until it is time to leave the colony (nest) and
begin the mating flight. The ants fly well away from the
nest and mate in flight. Males die soon afterward while the
fertilized queens find suitable nesting sites, shed their wings
and begin preparing a place in which to lay eggs.
Even though one female may establish a nest, more than
one female may be involved in founding a new colony'. As
soon as adult workers emerge, they take over the function
of caring for the queen and the larvae, expanding the nest.
and foraging for food for the colony. Colonies persist for
well over one year and contain several thousand individuals.
A Brief Mention On Control Measures
Before you decide to try controlling stinging ants. be
certain that the ants really are a threat that outweighs the
kinds of benefits mentioned in the first section. Ants can-
not and should not be excluded completely from a larger
soilarea. Their presence is inevitable, and control is relative.
amounting to a temporary elimination of individual nests.
Stinging ants are persistent and are difficult to control
without prior planning. The secret to ant control basically
is to locate the nest and then to take appropriate action,
which may be chemical, non-chemical, or both, to eliminate
the queen. The best approach is to combine, or integrate
several measures according to the special conditions where
control is needed.
Natural ant population control is always happening.
Ants compete with each other and other insects for food
and space. This competition regulates their numbers and
distribution. Vertebrate natural enemies, such as birds,
lizards and the New World toad, or "Crappo" (Bufo mari-
nus) eat ants. These animals should be protected when we
attempt to control ants.
Chemical Control Measures
Chemical insecticides are applied as liquid drenches,
liquid aerosol injections, granules, dusts and baits. When
purchasing a product for fire ant control, be certain that
it is registered for this purpose. The technique used in
applying insecticides is also very important. It has as much
to do with successful ant control as does the insecticide.
Remember, when using insecticides, always read and
follow the instructions on the container label carefully.
The user must always be aware of the effects pesticides may
have on his plants, other animals, and household property,
r as well as problems that may be caused by drift or move-
ment of the pesticide to other property, animals or plants.
Non-Chemical Control Measures
For persons that choose not to use chemical pesticides
yet find it necessary to take action against stinging ants
there are a few options, but they are less convenient and
sometimes not as effective. The non-chemical methods fall
into two categories, physical and biological.
Physical control measures are those in which the sting-
ing ants are mechanically damaged or their environment is
altered. Biological control measures are mostly in the ex-
perimental stages, but are promising. They involve either
the ants natural enemies or the ant's biochemistry.
There is more to stinging ants than meets the eye. Next
time that you notice one crossing your path, watch her
awhile. She is generally there for a reason. a
at KING CROSS STREET
WILLIAM J. OWENS
REBA McCAIN FINLEY
P.O. Box 1908
Frederiksted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00840
RESTAURANT & GUEST HOUSE
Will Cater For Groups,
Plot 82-C Estate Whim. F'sted. St Croix PAELLA
7 72-05 56 1 Closed Sundays
We have a nice selection of
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CENTRALLY LOCATED ON NORTH ROAD WEST OF CHRISTIANSTED AT LA GRANDE PRINCESS 773787
THE 1985 AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
AWN & GARDEN
Merwin True Value invites you
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Plantain, A Healthy Yielder
In The Virgin Islands
Research Specialist, Fruit Crops Program
Plantain is an important element in the diet of many
Virgin Islanders. Most of the present demand for plantain
in the V.I. is now supplied from neighboring Caribbean
islands, mainly Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Plantains are sold by the number of fingers rather than by
weight. The average price in a supermarket on St. Croix is
between 25 and 35t a finger.
When using the population density recommended for
plantain of 1400 plants/acre and using the Dwarf Plantain
variety (average 57 fingers/bunch), it is possible to obtain
79,800 fingers/acre in one harvest. It is assumed that the
farmer could sell at a minimum price of .15/finger which
represents $11,970/acre of gross receipts. The net returns
could be easily about $6,000/acre.
The role of plantain in the diet is becoming more im-
portant with the increasing emphasis today on diets that are
low in sodium but high in potassium and vitamins. Recently
it has been shown that a high intake of sodium has been
implicated with hypertension (high blood pressure). Plan-
tains are a good source of potassium, with 385 mgs and
only 5 mgs of sodium (Table 1).
Plantain can be prepared in several different ways such
as "tostones", "pasteles", "platanutres", boiling or baking.
Nutrients in 100 Grams of Bananas (about 3/2 ounces)
Banana Banana Plantain
Calories 85 110 119
Protein (g) 1.1 1.4 1.1
Fat (g) 0.2 0.2 0.4
Carbohydrate (g) 22.2 28.7 31.2
Calcium (mg) 8 8 7
Phosphorous (mg) 26 35 30
Iron (mg) 0.7 0.9 0.7
Sodium 1 5
Potassium (mg) 370 -- 385
Vitamin A (I.U.) 190 290 1200
Thiamin (B1) (mg) 0.05 0.04 0.06
Niacin (mg) 0.7 0.6 2.1
Riboflavin (B2) (mg) 0.06 0.02 .10
Vitamin C (mg) 10 31 14
Abbreviations: g = grams;
mg = milligram;
I.U. = International Unit
Taking these facts into consideration makes it easy to see
a future for the plantain enterprise in the V.I. Also the plan-
tain has different advantages compared to other crops. The
plants can be planted practically any time of the year. This
could bring continuous income to the farmer. In the same
way, it is possible to have two or more harvests without the
necessity of replanting. Also the plantain requires a low
level of mechanization and limited labor for maintenance.
In the fruit program of the Agricultural Experiment
Station on St. Croix, research was completed to evaluate
four varieties of plantain tissue culture. The varieties used
were: Horn plantain, Dwarf plantain, French plantain and
Dwarf French plantain. The last variety is new in the Carib-
bean and was a mutant of the Dwarf plantain. The yield
and growth characteristics of the varieties are in Table 2.
The best results were obtained with the Dwarf plantain and
the Dwarf French plantain. These two varieties have adapted
very well to the soil and climatic conditions on St. Croix.
At the same time they had an excellent yield of 23.9 and
46.0 tons/ha in one harvest, respectively. The other two
varieties showed a major deficiency problem of Fe and K.
Wind damage represents one of the major problems in
70 Peter's Rest
Yield and Growth Characteristic of 4
all of the banana and plantain growing areas in the world.
The taller plantain are more susceptible to wind damage
than the shorter plants. The Dwarf plantain and the Dwarf
French plantain, both with short stocky stems are better
suited to local windy conditions.
In conclusion, the plantain provides an important source
Clonal Plantain in one Harvest
of starch in the diet of the Caribbean people. including Vir-
gin Islanders, and therefore it is an important crop, both
from nutritional and economical points of view. Also plan-
tain have adapted very well to family farms that are very
common on St. Croix and are enjoyed for their flavor in a
large variety of local recipes. 0
Horn Dwarf Tall Dwarf
Characteristic Plantain Plantain Plantain Plantain
Yield (tons/ha) 14.4 23.9 31.5 46.0
Average wt. bunch (Kg.) 8.25 13.7 18.04 26.3
Fruits/bunch 35.5 57 92 130
Fruits/ha 61,841 99,294 160,264 226,460
Height at shooting (m) 3.2 2.44 3.35 1.95
Stem width (cm) 14.2 20.83 17.8 19.05
Days from shooting
to harvest 76.4 77 84.7 99
Number of leaves
at harvest 11.12 14.3 13 11.8
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ST. CROIX, U.S.V.I.
AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
The Energy Integrated Farm
The V.I. Energy Office Staff
At the turn of this century, the Virgin Islands along
with the rest of the United States, will face a crisis so over-
whelming as to render our present living standards obsolete.
By the year 2007 all vital functions in our industrialized
world will cease to operate. There will be no transportation,
no electricity, no production .... and no food. Exaggerated?
Perhaps. But if predictions do come true, and if we con-
tinue upon the same path we are following, all domestic oil
reserves in the United States will be depleted by the year
2007. The once richest country in the world will become
totally dependent on foreign oil imports and upon the
whims of the leaders who control these oil supplies.
Presently, the Virgin Islands is completely dependent
upon the United States for its energy supplies. While there
is still heated debate over whether the Territory can sustain
itself, there is the strong possibility we can offset the ship-
ments of food and energy by using the natural resources we
The Virgin Islands is rich in its supply of natural re-
sources -- abundant sunlight, strong tradewinds, and miles
of ocean around us. Our land is fertile and rich but as our
islands grow, more and more arable land is being turned
over to industry and housing. While we raise no objections
to providing homes and schools for our people, we must
realize that to become less dependent on imported oil and
avoid a major energy crisis, we must begin to develop our
The Virgin Islands Energy Office believes that alternate
energy is the best solution to our energy problems here in
By substituting the finite sources of energy, such as
coal and oil with wind, solar, biogas, ocean, and photo-
voltaics we can begin to realize our energy independence.
This year, in support of agriculture, the V.I. Energy Office
would like to illustrate the integration of these alternate
energy sources on the farm.
Farmers spend more money on field operations, trans-
portation, and irrigation than they may realize in profits.
In an effort to arrive at a workable solution, studies in farm
self-sufficiency are being conducted in parts of the United
States and the Caribbean.
The United States and the Virgin Islands are the epi-
tome of energy-intensive agriculture. They need mammoth
infusions of petroleum, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and
other substances to make it work. Agriculture in the V.I. is
extremely energy intensive because of our ability to farm
365 days of the year, thus pushing up energy costs and the
need for various energy alternatives.
Because fossil fuels are running low in supply, and the
future of nuclear power is uncertain, supplemental forms of
World of Food
Diverse energy sources can be combined to provide continuous energy and reduce dependence upon non-
renewable sources such as coal and oil. Although not all sources are practical or profitable for all farms,
those which are usable can be combined with energy conservation to promote self-reliance and self-suf-
ficiency in farming operations. U.S. Department of Energy
energy are needed to help offset production cost. These
alternate forms of energy include the sun, the wind, fuel
production from waste products, such as animal and crop
waste, etc. Researchers in agriculture has studied these
alternative forms, and indicated they will be the future of
agricultural energy sources.
Harnessing the sun's energy has shown more promise
for agricultural application than in any other industry. The
most practical use today for solar energy is in its direct con-
version to heat. In agriculture, there are many needs for
low temperature heat for drying grain, heating water, etc...
As fossil fuel prices become higher and research is expanded
to seek out new energy sources, the use of solar equipment
will undoubtedly become more widespread in the future. It
is estimated that solar output could meet 25% of the V.I.
agricultural energy needs by the year 2007. The cost of
using the sun's energy will vary depending on the system
used -- passive, active or a combination of the two. Passive
systems are the least expensive and make use of natural
energy flow to trap, store, and transport thermal energy
through the use of windows, skylights and open front
Active systems generally use collectors, pumps, and
fans. A collector usually consists of a dark, flat surface
to absorb the sun's heat with a translucent cover plate to
prevent the heat from escaping.
Wind power has long been used by farmers for pump-
ing water, powering grain mills and generating electricity.
This particular energy source is not new to the Virgin Is-
lands; wind power has made a great contribution to this
community historically. This is evident in the vast number
of wind systems that are visible throughout the territory.
Whether wind power is economical or not depends on such
factors as average wind speed, the wind machine's conver-
sion efficiency, and wind direction. Here in the V.I. wind
speed averages between 12-18 miles per hour, per day. Wind
direction is usually east, and south east.
Wind energy is very practical for the V.I., and should
be used to the fullest extent possible.
Another form of energy which is clean, renewable and
already in use in the Virgin Islands is that of methane. Me-
thane gas is an energy source that can be produced from
animal and crop waste. The process basically uses anaero-
bic (without air) digestion of the wastes by bacteria to
produce biogas that is approximately 75% methane. When
it is cleaned to remove impurities, such as, carbon dioxide,
and hydrogen sulfide, it can be substituted for natural gas.
This gaseous substance can be used to produce steam, elec-
tricity, and fertilizers.
With the multi technology approach V.I. farmers can
meet their energy needs. The Integrated Farm Energy Sys-
tem is the answer to the many energy problems that face
our local farmers. It is only through methods of integration
will Virgin Islands farmers be able to offset operational cost.
For more information on energy, contact the Virgin Islands
Energy Office at 772-2616. U
P.O. BOX 516
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00840
CENTRALLY LOCATED AT
GOLDEN ROCK SHOPPING CENTER
Dry Cleaning Service
No. 14 PETER'S REST
Vinjoy Snack Bar
V.I. Seaplane Shuttle
West Indian Cusine
Salt Fish Breakfast with Bush Tea
"Try Us You'll Love Us"
For more than 15 years St.Thomas Dairies
has been supplying the Virgin Islands with
locally-made, always-fresh dairy products,
juices and drinks from tropical fruits. Fine
quality foods produced in the islands for
our island neighbors.
The Answer To Forage Shortages
Ext. Livestock Specialist
David L. Farrar
Agriculture Program Leader
One of the major problems that livestock farmers face
in the Virgin Islands is being unable to provide adequate
nutrition for their animals during the dry season. This has
contributed to low conception rates, low calving percentages
and slow growth rates of cattle, sheep and goats.
In the V.I., as in many parts of the tropics, pasture im-
provements have lagged behind similar advances in temperate
climates where a wide range of pasture species, both grasses
and legumes, have been available to replace native grasslands
and forests. But we need not despair, for the tropical cli-
mate provides us with a few advantages over the temperate
region. First, the hours of day-light vary less between sum-
mer and winter which means more of the sun's energy can
be used in producing plant material, whether grass or
legumes. Secondly, the temperature is warmer, with a nor-
mal range of 65'F to 90TF, which is ideal for most grasses
to grow faster. Also, since there is no cold weather, the
plants do not have to go through a cold dormancy period.
Finally, most legumes that are adaptable to the Caribbean
tolerate the alkaline soils in the V.I. and many are less
selective in their association with rhizobial bacteria.
What is Wrong with Native Pastures?
The major problem which has limited our forage pro-
duction of native grasses is the long dry periods that we
experience each year. The first dry period normally starts
in December and end in March; the second period usually
begins in June and terminates in August. The dry periods
greatly diminish the productivity of our native pastures.
Most of the native grasses in the V.I., for example guinea
grass (Panicum maximum), are composed of short season
growing species which grow fast and tall during the rainy
season and become dominant in pastures. Guinea grass,
for example, will grow actively during rainy periods and
provide enough forage to support substantial stocking rates.
And, during this active growth period leaf protein is reason-
At the end of the rainy season, guinea grass develops
VIRGINISLANDSSENEPOL ASSOCIATION S. CRoIX
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.
tall flowering stems which decrease in protein and increase
in carbohydrates and fiber. From this point onward, it
matures and dries off and its feed value is at its lowest
level. Since grazing animals have to obtain their energy,
protein, vitamins and minerals from this low quality grass,
a loss in weight and low animal productivity are the usual
ultimate consequences. If stocking rates are not adjusted
immediately, overgrazing can destroy the ability of a pas-
ture to reproduce again when conditions become favorable.
What Can Be Done
As native grasses in the V.I. are usually adapted to low
soil fertility, the direct application of fertilizers alone will
not produce any dramatic improvement in feed value or
carrying capacity. Furthermore, in most pastures in the V.I.
there are relatively few legumes, which themselves supply
high protein feed. It has been shown by research agrono-
mists at the V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station that high
yielding pastures can be achieved in the V.I.: (1) If better
grasses are introduced in association with legumes, (2) if
soil fertility problems are overcome, and (3) if sound pas-
ture management is practiced.
Some of the better grasses that have been tried locally
and have proven to withstand the long periods of drought
are Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), Green Panic (Panicum
maximum var.) and Klein grass 75 (Panicum coloratum).
Attached is a table of some of the characteristics of
these grasses and others which are native to the V.I. All
the grasses mentioned can be observed at the CVI Coopera-
tive Extension Service demonstration plots. 0
TROPICAL GRASSES ADAPTED TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Tropical Sowing Tolerance To Minimum
Grasses Common Rate Drought Water Rainfall Soil
Botanical Name Name Ib./acre Logging Inches Preference Comments
Cenchrus Buffel Grass 1-4 very poor 12 Light- Drought resistant. Cul-
ciliaris (common) good Medium tivars adapted to wide
Textured range of conditions, in-
cluding drier inland en-
Cenchrus Buffel Grass 1-4 very poor 12 Light- Same as common buffel
ciliaris (nueces) good Medium grass but generally leafier,
Textured more abundant and taller.
Panicum Guinea Grass 2-6 fair fair 57 Versatile Well adapted to high rain-
maximum (common) fall, tropical low-inlands.
Panicum Green Panic 1-6 good poor 22 Versatile Palatable, shade tolerant.
maximum Trichoglume Combines well with Sira-
tro and Green Leaf Des-
Panicum Klein Grass 1-6 good fair 15 Versatile Extensive, deep fibrous
coloratum 75 root system. Drought
resistant. Remain green
during dry season. Salt
Panicum Blue Panic 1-4 good good 20 Versatile Drought resistant can with-
antidotale stand heavy grazing. Deep
Digitaria Pangola Vegetative fair good 40 Versatile Palatable, high sugar con-
decumbens Grass Propagation tent. Should be grazed
heavily. Combines fairly
well with legumes.
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Burros On St. John -
A Danger To The Ecology?
Division of Fish and Wildlife, St. Thomas
Feral* and free ranging livestock has been a common
problem for resource managers in developing tropical
countries, particularly insular nations. Feral burros, goats,
pigs and cattle have all in some way been responsible for
ecosystem alterations. There has been growing concern by
the Virgin Islands Government and the Virgin Islands Na-
tional Park Service about the ecological influence of an
expanding population of feral burros on the island of St.
John. These agencies initiated a cooperative study to
collect biological information for a management plan for
this animal. The study will determine daily and seasonal
movement patterns, population size, food habits and eco-
logical impact of burros on St. John. The field results,
literature review, and management options will serve as a
basis for control decisions by the government of the Virgin
Islands and the Superintendent of the Virgin Islands Na-
The Virgin Islands were first discovered by Columbus
on his second voyage in 1493. It was at this time that
burros were first introduced to the West Indies. The burros
were used for breeding stock and beasts of burden. When
Denmark came into possession of the Virgin Islands in the
1600's, little had been done to develop St. John. However,
in 1716 permission was granted to sixteen Danish settlers to
cultivate land on St. John. The land was cleared and planted
to sugar cane and cotton. Motive power to make the rum
from sugar cane was furnished by windmills and then re-
placed by animal treadmills. Burros were utilized not only
as the power source for the factories but also as transporta-
tion to the market for goods and for the small farmers. The
horse was considered a luxury and was very expensive to
own, whereas the burro was the "poor man's" beast.
Eventually the farming industry died out with the ad-
vent of tourism and the motor vehicle in the mid-twentieth
century. Burros were released to fend for themselves as well
as other livestock. Although free range of livestock is pro-
hibited in the Virgin Islands, these abandoned animals have
adapted well to a feral existence and are increasing in num-
bers while expanding their range on the island of St. John.
In parts of the southwestern United States, burro popu-
lations have been recorded to be increasing as much as 30%
per year. These populations are in competition with and
can eventually drive out native species. Burros on St. John
are very probably influencing plant succession now, and
will be a much greater force as their numbers increase. The
*feral having escaped from domestication and become wild.
present population is already considered a nuisance by break-
ing fences and destroying both gardens and ornamental
plantings. Most former agricultural land on St. John has
reverted to second-growth forest. A cactus-croton-acacia
thorn scrub predominates on the dry eastern reaches, while
in the relatively moist central, "mountains" a dense forest
with 50 to 100 feet canopy exists. The second-growth
forest contains a large array of native species, but there is
growing concern that feral burros (as well as feral swine
and goats) may prevent continued regeneration of some
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) is a native tree species
that the burros eat regularly. The young shoots and pods
are the favorite parts. The burro therefore can spread the
seeds through its digestive system but then eliminate that
new growth by eating the young new shoots.
Acacia (Acacia macrocantha) is another shrub tree that
burros seem to be a major dispersal agent for although the
burro does not eat the young shoots of this species. Acacia
is considered one of the nuisance thorn trees and can grow
and spread rapidly, choking out some of the more bene-
ficial plant species.
A female burro and her young one in the wild on St.
John pause suspiciously as they hear the camera click.
They have been foraging for food in the dry bush
near Coral Bay.
The burro has been observed to pull the spines off
different cacti species to reach the succulent pulp inside.
As one can see the burro is a very resident animal and easily
adapts to its environment.
Another problem caused by feral burros is the many
trails they have made across the island. The abrupt slopes
of St. John, crisscrossed with burro trails, have become
areas of erosion damaging to the environment.
Energy efficient motor design reduces
kilo-watt hour consumption for lower
operating costs now and continued
savings in the future.
Peter's Rest, St. Croix
Feral (wild) burros grazing in a remote sector on St.
The present population of burros on St. John has
been estimated at 300. For a small island (19.2 square
miles) such as St. John, it is important to determine the
impact of the feral burros before the population increases
to even greater numbers causing irreversible damage. For
tropical ecosystems, this is especially important because
deterioration can be more rapid and recovery much slower
than large temperate areas.
Although feral burros are considered part of the Virgin
Islands heritage, it must be taken into consideration that
they are also a limiting factor on the continued natural
revegetation of St. John. Through this study it is hoped
that management plans will be approved and implemented
by residents and environmentalists concerned.
I LUCY'S MARKET
SST. THOMAS V.I.
Sub-Base, St. Thomas
SALUDOS Y MUCH EXITO
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AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR.
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PLOT 14 ESTATE PETER'S REST. P.O. BOX 7074. SUNNY ISLE. CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX, V.I. 00820
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Why Pigeon Raising
In The Virgin Islands?
Extension Agent 4-H
Domestic pigeons can be found in our parks and public
areas scratching for seeds and crumbs or flying between
rooftops and high buildings looking for a roosting area or
nesting materials. They are also known as "Rock Doves".
Pigeons adapt themselves to living under a variety of con-
ditions. These birds are easy to raise, fairly inexpensive to
maintain, and require very little room. This is one agricul-
tural project that is seldom restricted by zoning.
Many generations of Virgin Islanders have been involved
with domestic pigeons at one time or another. They were
first introduced to the islands around the time of Columbus
by the Spanish. There are almost 200 different breeds and
varieties of domestic pigeon. Body shape and size determines
the breed, and the feather color and pattern determines the
variety. Some of the more locally popular breeds are the
Homer, King, and Fantail.
Why raise pigeons, who raises them, for what purpose?
Today pigeons are bred for racing and homing, meat
production, exhibition. Every young pigeon enthusiast will
boast of having a Homer, or a reasonable look alike of one,
in his flock. These famous strains of pigeons are noted for
racing, endurance flying and homing instincts. Quite a few
registered racers are located in the islands.
The pigeon is also considered a very tasty dish. The
young pigeon, known as "squab", has a very soft and ten-
der flesh. In the Caribbean many of the common breeds Shane Pemberton took first place for his pigeon en-
are consumed for therapeutic and medicinal purposes to tries at the 1984 Fair. He is a 4-H teen leader and is
combat such ailments as allergies, colds, and arthritis, associated with the newly-formed pigeon special in-
Fancy or ornamental breeds are usually kept for terest club.
beauty, form and color. An exhibition bird may have such
characteristics as a feathered foot, crome head or fanned
tail. These birds are also tamed and trained to perform
certain tricks and poses.
Rock Doves have been raised by perhaps as many as
one out of every five Virgin Islander at one point in their
lives. Many of the youngsters can obtain a healthy mated
pair for between $6.00 to $10.00 depending on the breed.
There are many part-time breeders in the islands who can
supply a person with a good quality bird. Purebred birds
can be acquired as near as Puerto Rico but may cost as
much as $3000 on the mainland.
Pigeons can live almost anywhere but are best raised in
enclosed cages called lofts. It is recommended not to re-
lease the birds. They can become neighborhood nuisances,
leaving droppings on rooftops, open cisterns, and other
valued property. Pigeon coops should meet certain basic i L I&,
requirements and specifications such as having proper L L
feeders, waterers, boxes and a minimum living area of 3 sq.
ft. per pair. Cages can be built with scrap materials but
keep in mind overall attractiveness and appearance within
the neighborhood, and security to prevent preying animals
Pigeons eat a simple diet but are rarely fed correctly in
the V.I. The conception that they can live solely on kernels
of corn, pieces of bread, and well water is a fallacy. They
require a mixture of grains, medication, and grit (small
gravels of sand or granite) to maintain good conditioning.
Commercially prepared pigeon feeds are available at local
feed stores in the form of pellets (compressed clumps of
finely ground grain) and mixed grain (kernels of corn, peas,
wheat and various seeds). What is also a necessity for
pigeons in the Caribbean is a supplement of a variety of
local bushes (greens). These are necessary for proper diges-
tion and nutrition and to encourage moulting, which on the
mainland is determined by the pattern of the seasons.
Can you capture wild pigeons and where can you get
In addition to the introduced domestic pigeon, there
are at least 17 native doves and pigeons in the Caribbean, of
which 7 are found in the V.I. Most of these are protected
by wildlife management laws in the V.I., and may not be
disturbed in their natural habitat. Two, however, may be
hunted during the annual September 1 to December 1 dove
hunting season -- the Zenaida dove and the Scaly-naped (or
Blue) pigeon. Some of the other doves and pigeons, though,
are rare and endangered. The V.I. Division of Fish and
Wildlife carries out research on the biology and habits of
the native wild doves and pigeons.
Though some youngsters capture birds innocently in
parks, or yards, or in the countryside, they should be aware
that it is illegal. Many birds may carry a leg band or regis-
tration tag denoting previous ownership.
There is no official pigeon registry or association in the
Virgin Islands as yet, but the 4-H Wildlife and Natural Re-
Pigeon raising can be fun and is not an expensive
hobby if you don't buy the most costly show birds.
sources Program is presently applying for such a license.
The 4-H pigeon raising project is providing "learning by
doing" opportunities for youth to gain knowledge and
experience, learn responsibility, receive enjoyment, and be
part of an agricultural activity or wholesome sport.
This club will also be sponsoring pigeon workshops
which will be open to the general public. Workshop sub-
jects include the following:
Cage Building and Equipment
Disease, Pest Control, Sanitation
Banding and Identification
Feeding and Management
Mating and Squab Raising
Raising Pigeons in the Caribbean
For more information please contact the 4-H office
at 778-0246. U
BUILDING MATERIALS HARDWARE
Across from Sunny Isle Tel. 773-1280n
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Across from Sunny Isle Tel. 773-1280
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We deliver anywhere on St. Croix
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Open 8:00 6:00 Every Day
Food Drying Can Be Fun!
Arnold and Connie Krochmal*
Preserving plants for later use, whether as food, or the
seeds for propagation, is useful and convenient, saves space
if that is a problem, and can be fun.
We have designed and built a number of solar dryers,
one of which also has a supplemental source of heat in the
form of a small, electric space heater. All are simple to
build, and can be built in a home work shop, on your
gallery or in your yard.
Just about any fruit or vegetable can be dried if you
are willing to invest the time and work involved. The sim-
plest to dry are leafy herbs, the most difficult the fleshy
fruits. In addition, we use some of our dryers to dry flower
bulbs from time to time if we decide to dig them up and
re-plant, and they are also suitable for drying seeds.
As we write this our luffa seeds are drying on a simple
screen dryer. When we use the simple screen dryer we keep
it in a shaded spot, with good ventilation. Direct exposure
to the sun damages any plant materials by reducing vitamin
content as well as flavor.
Prior to the actual drying process, fleshy materials
should be blanched which is a way of heating the vegetables
to inactivate the enzymes which are related to color and
flavor losses. Blanching by hot water is a method we use,
as it is easier and quicker than steam.
A deep pot is filled with enough water to cover the
quantity you are going to treat. The water is brought to
a boil, then the vegetables slowly stirred in, and the pot
kept covered. The vegetables are boiled for several minutes,
2 minutes for beans and broccoli, to as much as 3 to 3 1/2
minutes for eggplant and carrots. Peppers do not need this
treatment. We simply cut them open, remove the seeds, cut
the pepper into small slices. Onions can be dried whole,
simply cleaning them of soil and loose outer leaves, as they
are harvested. Herbs are merely cleaned, leaves cut off of
stems if large enough, (such as mints and oregano) and
dried. Parsley just needs a little cleaning, dry or in water,
and put into the dryer of choice.
*Dr. Arnold Krochmal and his wife Connie are directors of
the Agriculture and Science Associates, a consulting firm in
Asheville, North Carolina. He was formerly an economic
botanist with the U.S. Forest Service in Rio Piedras, Puerto
Rico and is a founder of the Caribbean Food Corps Society.
If we are blanching something, when it is ready for the
dryer, we try to dry it a little in paper towels, to reduce
time in the dryer. We then put the material in the dryer,
cover it with a layer of cheesecloth to protect it from in-
sects, and turn it every few days so it dries evenly.
Dried materials should be stored securely, in screw-top
jars or zip-lock type bags. They can be stored for a year or
even two, if needed.
-1 Drying Tray
We designed this drier for use with herbs, mainly, but
have used it with fleshy fruits, such as grapes. The
drying trays can have solid wooden bottoms, or ordi-
ary window screen wire. The candle used in the pan
at the bottom can be sulfur, which helps protect
against insect attack, or an ordinary candle to help
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Food Drying Cont.
This is a drier which can be used as a solar drier, or
supplemented with a small, electric space heater,
shown on the left, bottom. At the top there is a small
sliding door to permit moisture-laden air to move out.
-s -- ^
The trays have metal screen bottoms. The piece of
plywood with the hole is moved up or down, depend-
ing on how many trays are being used. It serves to
store heat below and allows the evaporating moisture
to move out. 0
Successful Agricultural Fair
SVEN ANDERSON REALTY
14 Church St. Christiansted
No. 10 Estate Rattan
Box 2766, Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands
IS OUR BUSINESS"
Bakers of the finest Breads, Cakes & Pastries
No. 56 King Street
Frederiksted, St. Croix
Hours: Mon. Sat. 6 a.m. 8 p.m.
Fand L Ventures
popularly known as
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Nicest West Indian Foods
No. 25 Estate Whim
(right along the Centerline Road)
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Call: 778-2127 "Did you know
or Stop in at that without a
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For you Government Employees . .
The Retirement System is also available.
Controlling Cucumber Pests
Cucumber is one of the most popular vegetable grown
by gardeners and farmers on our islands. However, a pro-
ductive cucumber patch depends largely on some insect and
Melonworms and leafminers are two common insect
pests of local cucumbers on our islands. These pests are
present season-long but are more abundant after heavy rain-
fall. The female adult is a white moth that lays her eggs on
the leaves. The eggs hatch into green caterpillars that have
two distinguishing white stripes down their back. Melon-
worms feed mostly on the lower surface of leaves, but may
feed on cucumber fruit, especially in the early stages of
fruit development. These melonworms can be controlled
by handpicking if there are only a few. During severe infes-
tations, the crop may be defoliated by the insect. Spraying
with insecticides such as Dipel Bactospeine or Pydrin
should be done when the pest is detected in your garden.
Leafminers are commonly found throughout the Virgin
Islands on a variety of crops. The adult female fly inserts
her eggs into the leaf tissue. The larvae make a long slender,
winding white tunnel or trail through the leaves. Damage
caused by this pest is usually not seriour enough to justify
control. If, however, leafminers become a serious problem
on cucumber plants, applying an insecticide such as diazinon
or malathion will provide effective control. Plants should
be sprayed early in the morning or late in the afternoon to
reduce possible damage to bees. This pesticide should be
applied no later than 7 days before harvesting.
Mites are closely related to insects. They sometimes
cause severe damage to cucumber plants during the dry
season. Mites are common pests found on vegetables and
fruit trees throughout the Virgin Islands. These insects are
found on the lower surface of leaves. They suck juice out
of the leaves causing them to turn yellow then brown. The
adult mites are reddish in color and are difficult to see with
the naked eye. During heavy infestations, the mites will
cover the entire plant including leaves, stems, buds and
flowers. The miticide Kelthane can control mites if ap-
plied correctly. You must spray the undersides of the
leaves thoroughly to achieve satisfactory control.
Insects and mites are not the only pests of cucumbers.
Diseases also attack the plant. Powdery mildew, downy
mildew and Anthracnose disease reduce yield and fruit
quality and plant vigor.
Powdery mildew disease is caused by a fungus. Usually
the first sign of powdery mildew on cucumber is circular
white spots on the leaves surface. This sign is sometimes
noticeable on the edges of the leaves first. The white spots
increase on the leaves upper surface. The disease covers
practically all of the leaf surface with a white talcum-like
growth. Eventually the leaves turn brown, shrivel and die.
The stems are also attacked. Powdery mildew disease be-
comes most severe during the rainy season.
Spraying for powdery mildew on cucumber plants is
most effective when primary signs appear on the leaves.
Treatment of powdery mildew can be accomplished by the
use of benomyl or copper-based fungicide.
Leaves of cucumber plant showing heavy infestation
of downy mildew.
Downy mildew disease is caused by a fungus. The ini-
tial symptom of downy mildew is irregular yellow and
brown spots on the upper surface of leaves. The disease is
encouraged by moist conditions. When the leaves are wet,
the brown spots are covered with a downy purplish mold.
During the early stages of plant growth, this disease can kill
Control of this disease can be achieved primarily by the
use of resistant varieties, and regular fungicide applications.
Copper-based fungicides or benomyl will also control downy
Anthracnose is another disease that is caused by a fun-
gus. The first symptom of this disease appears on the leaves.
Leaf spots begin as yellowish or water-soaked areas that en-
large rapidly, turn brown and shatter to form a rugged hole
within the spot. Young fruit may be killed, but large fruit
usually develop depressed dark colored dead areas. Damage
is worse on both leaves and fruits during the wet season.
For good control of anthracnose apply benomyl or manco-
VILLE LA REINE SHOPPING CENTER
UNITED SHOPPING PLAZA
zeb fungicides regularly.
Another way of controlling cucumber diseases is the
removal of diseased plants and fruit from your garden. This
eliminates the spread of disease problems to new crops.
Crop rotation is another effective control practice of
cucumber diseases. This is done by not replanting the same
crop in the same area in successive seasons. Rotating crops
not only helps control disease, but also keeps the insect
Overall control of cucumber pests depends on good
cultural practices and selective use of pesticides. Scouting
your cucumber patch one or twice a week will help you
know when pests are present and if further control prac-
tices is necessary. U
Frederiksted, St. Croix
"Visit us-You are sure to find whatyou need. "
/Cti e- 1 114t'n nM*H wt afj[u
Garden Box Farming
CVI Cooperative Extension Service
Over the past years seminars, workshops and short
courses were held by the Cooperative Extension Service at
CVI to assist home gardeners in growing their own vege-
tables. However, families in public housing, apartments and
other areas where land space was either limited or unsuit-
able, were neglected. Although these families were willing
and some even tried to have a vegetable garden, they were
oftentimes frustrated, especially those that live in areas
where heavy caliche (marl) soils were located. With this in
mind, the vegetable box garden idea was introduced. Some
of the advantages of the box garden are that they are easier
to maintain, more controllable, and offer good drainage,
with fewer pests and diseases.
Garden boxes are bottomless, and either wooden or
made with cement blocks that are filled with a mixture of
sand1 and soil, or organic combinations together with a
balance of fertilizers.
The soft organic soil or sand and soil offers many ad-
vantages, including good drainage, and balanced feeding.
It usually keeps the subsoil damp and soft. This lets the
roots penetrate the subsoil and absorb any extra important
Garden boxes save about 40% in water, also water
penetrates uniformly, easily and quickly. One advantage of
growing plants in garden boxes is that you can care for the
crop from the sides without walking in the boxes. Shoes
carry disease and weed seed.
In making garden boxes, select a sunny location. You
can build garden boxes on poor hillsides, rocky soil, clay or
alkaline soils. It doesn't matter, the garden boxes will work.
Just level or terrace the space for garden boxes and provide
good drainage away from the garden boxes, since roots
drown in standing water.
Build the number of garden boxes needed to fit your
garden. Boxes can vary to fit unusual areas. When building
boxes provide 2 to 3 ft. of working space on each side of
the box and 4 ft. of working space at the end of the box.
Corners should be square unless the area is irregular in
shape. Side boards will require splicing; drive a 1x 2 x 18
inch stake centered where the boards butt together and nail
the board ends to the stake. The basic hand tools needed
are a rake, a spade, hoe and wheel barrow.
Crops fail in stubborn hard to manage soil because of
soil, disease and insects. The constant battle against weeds,
and the nutrient deficiencies in soil are a serious problem.
A mixture of organic materials like well-rotted manure,
1 builder sand or gut sand; do not use beach sand because of
the high salt content.
HOW TO BUILD A STANDARD
5'x 12'x 8" GROW-BOX
Level enough ground for each box area. Estab-
lish the location of the corners of the grow-box
with the cord. Tie cord securely to the stakes.
Nine inches from a corner, along one side, drive
the first stake into the ground, to a depth of
about nine inches. Always drive stakes on the
side edges of the grow box. When nailed securely
to the leveled 1"x 8" boards, the top edges of
boards and the stakes should be level (flush).
If splicing side boards drive a 1"x 2"x 18" long
stake, centered where the boards butt together,
nail the board ends to the stake.
compost or untreated sawdust improve both the physical
structure and fertility of the soil. Fine gravel or sand helps
to improve drainage. Choose any available materials like
these and make the combination you like best.
1. 50% topsoil, 25% manure, 25% sand
2. 75% organic with 25% sand
3. 50% perlite with 50% peat moss or untreated sawdust
Demonstration box gardens at CVI Extension Ser-
vice in Estate Golden Grove, St. Croix with author.
The advantage of number (1) combination is that these
materials are readily available on the island. If a combina-
tion of number (2) or (3) is chosen, a balanced fertilizer
application will be needed to ensure good crop production.
Please note that it is to the home gardener's or farmer's ad-
vantage to have a soil test taken, which will determine if the
soil needs added nutrients. These soil tests are free and avail-
able at the CVI Cooperative Extension Service, 778-0246
Plants need water all the time; the amount varies with
Crops Variety Spacing Harvest
Tomato UHN 69 18" 75-85
Eggplant Black Beauty 20" 80-95
Pepper, Bell Fl. Res. Giant 18" 90-95
Collards Georgia 12" 45-55
Lettuce Simpson 6" 45-55
Pak-Choy 12" 45-55
Cucumber Poinsott 24" 45-55
Seeds or slips are sold at the V.I. Department of Agriculture.
School children and teacher listen intently as Extension Assistant
Charles Smith points out techniques of Garden Box Farming.
temperature, humidity and wind. The type of media in the
garden boxes and the kind of plant and size, plus conditions
that make you thirsty affect plants the same way. Give them
water when they need it. There is no best time. Every time
you water use an adequate amount. It's the roots that need
it. About 20 minutes after watering some water should be
coming through by the bottom side of the garden box. One
or two such waterings per week are usually adequate.
Listed in Tables I and II are some crops that could be
planted in garden boxes and their cost of production. The
Cost of Production of Bell Peppers, Tomatoes
and Eggplants In a 5'W x 24'L Garden Box
Items Unit Total
Bell Pepper Ib 15.00
Tomatoes Ib 45.00
Eggplant Ib 40.00
Total 100.00 Ibs
Chives & Thyme Bunch 144.00
Variable Cost Input Unit Unit Value
Chives & Thyme 144.00 pL 0.02 $ 2.88
Seedlings 42.00 pL 0.02 .84
1/2 Soil -- Ib
1/4 Manure - Ib
1/4 Sand -- Ib
with trace elements 8.00 oz 0.11 0.88
Wolm. Lumber(1x8x12) 5.00 pc 7.20 36.00
Nails (2" Galv.) 2.00 Ib 1.10 2.20
Labor 4.00 hr
Total Cost $42.80
Commercial Insecticide should be utilized as a last resort.
vegetable varieties were tested by the College's Agricultural
Experiment Station and especially recommended for the BOOTSMA'S BAKKERIJ INC.
The total cost of production for a 5 x 24 x 8 garden Pieter Bootsma (President)
box, as itemized in Table II, including vegetable seeds and
slips, fertilizer and other materials, is $42.80 in 1985 prices.
The key to this type of garden is to utilize the available VITRACO PARK
space to its fullest with your primary vegetables, such as St. Thomas,
tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers interplanted with smaller U.S. Virgin Islands.
shade tolerant ones (e.g., parsley, onions, chives, thyme,
etc.). The planting of herbs can serve two purposes: Home: 775--2996
1. As a consumption item in the gardener's diet. or 4- 4
2. As a natural insecticide to repel harmful insects that Quality is ouronly advertisement
may cause damage to the other plants. M
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772-1038 p.o..Box ".S
772-0534 Est. Lower Love
52 A PRINCE ST.
773-0020 FREDERIKSTED. VI.
FOR LIFE & HEALTH DIVISION
41 R KING 51. C'STED
V.I.P O BOX "B 773-7880
41 R I
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FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS
- Home Car Travel Business
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EASTERLY PROFESSIONAL BUILDING
(Opposite St. Dunstan's School)
Advanced Research For
Appropriate Research Technology
Recent developments in electronics have shown that
microprocessor-based technology can be an appropriate
technology for developing agriculture. Agricultural engi-
neer Stephen Buzdugan of the Agricultural Experiment
IJ V j
Station at the College of the Virgin Islands has introduced
such technology on tropical crops irrigation research on
Automated Weather Data Collection for Research on Irrigation
Irrigated crop production is related to many environmental factors
including atmospheric conditions.
A CR-21 micrologger weather station (above, left and right) was
installed at the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station to mea-
sure the following parameters: solar radiation, air temperature, relative
humidity, wind speed, wind direction and precipitation. The weather
station is powered by solar cells backed-up by rechargeable batteries.
Similar systems could be used for operational programs on irrigation
scheduling for agricultural producers.
Irrigation Scheduling with Neutron Probe
Accuracy of the data has made the neutron probe (left) an excellent
method for soil-water content determinations on irrigation research.
Access tubes must be driven to the desired depth in the research plots in
the early growing season.
Moisture determinations are made by lowering the probe (americium-
beryllium) into the access tubes. Data is obtained on a read-out elec-
tronic counter system and converted into millimeters of water by using
Computer System for Irrigation Research
An IBM PC computer system is being installed at the Agricultural
Engineering/Irrigation Program for analyses of field research data and
With appropriate software, the system will also be used for design
of trickle irrigation systems.
S ACREAGE& INVESTOR REALTOR
42 QUEEN CROSS STREET CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
TELEPHONE (809) 773-1498
CONTINENTAL MOVERS, INC.
St. Croix's only firm exclusively
engaged in household goods moving
Storage is available at our warehouse facility in Peter's Rest
Agents for Al Major Van Lines
Moving to or from St. Croix?
Call (809) 773-2105 for Free Estimate
P.O. Box 1606, Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 00820
J. FLEMING SERVICES
PLUMBING e PAINTING CARPENTRY
Repair and Install
All Types of L.P. Gas Appliances
Unline Distributor for Robershan Controls
BRITISH VITAMINS, COSMETICS AND
P.O. Box 1611
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS00840
4-H & Agriculture Youth Garden Program -
Seeds For Agriculture In The V.I.
Zoraida Edminda Jacobs
4-H Program Leader
As we embarked on our second years' 4-H & Agriculture
Youth Garden Program, we noted some of the attitudes of
youth as they planted and watered their gardens now and
during the previous year:
". now we won't have to go to the supermarket
to buy a ting!"
S". .now we can eat the products from our own
"- .. we have to work together and protect our gar-
den from intruders who will trample on it."
Many devoted students worked on their gardens at
school during the holidays by watering the plants, and
scouting for unwanted pests. In the beginning students
were reluctant. When the land had to be worked some of
the girls were being picky about getting their hands dirty
but they did the work. Some girls were reminded by the
teacher and 4-H Volunteer Leader that in their studies
about other cultures around the world "men always did the
plowing and women did the sowing."
It is very encouraging to see youth work in agriculture
and acquire a genuine interest while doing it. The 4-H &
Agriculture Youth Garden Program has been a great success
through the efforts of the Department of Agriculture and
Cooperative Extension Service, College of the Virgin Islands,
the Department of Education and other youth agencies.
Most of all, we are grateful for the work done by teachers,
4-H volunteers, and the students themselves.
To date we have the following participants and we
welcome more! They are as follows:
John H. Woodson Jr. High, Evelyn
Williams. Eulalie Rivera, Alexander
Henderson, Arthur A. Richards Jr.
High and Ricardo Richards schools.
Learning how to take soil samples
is one aspect of youth involved in
the 4-H Agriculture Youth Garden
program. This group was from
John H. Woodson Jr. High.
The 4-H & Agriculture Youth Garden Program runs
from October to June. It begins with a one day workshop
covering the following topics:
-Understanding Your Soils
-Growing Your Own Vegetables
-Harvesting and Marketing
-Farm Financial Management and Agricultural
These workshops are conducted by Extension personnel
from all components. After the workshop, the Department
of Agriculture plows the fields and provides seedlings for
planting. As the plants grow judging is done by a team of
persons from the Agriculture community and Pest Manage-
ment components in CES. The judging criteria is based on
productivity, quality of plant or fruit, plant layout and
attractiveness and largest fruit/vegetable. All of these areas
receive prizes and the overall Youth Gardener(s) of the Year
is selected. Last year's winner of the gardening competition
was John H. Woodson Jr. High School. The school received
cash from Martin Marietta for the purchase of necessary gar-
dening supplies. In the future, along with the cash award
we would like to send the winners) to a neighboring island
to learn more about the agriculture industry there and its
great diversity and potential.
Wouldn't you like to be a winner or help in some way
with this competition? The program is open to all young-
sters. Individual and group (schools, youth organizations,
etc.), participation is encouraged. For more information,
please call Clinton George or Zoraida Edminda Jacobs at
Real Estate, Investment & Trust
3 ABC QUEEN CROSS STREET
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
Open 12 9 PM Every Day
Till 10 PM Friday & Saturday
I A T(/
34 La Grande Princesse North Road Rt. 75
Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
P.O. Box 3260, Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
Tel. (809) 778-9122
WE CAN FLY YOU TO ST. CROIX, ST. THOMAS, AND SAN JUAN
Coral Air, Yes We Can!
Famous For Our
Pork Bread Butter Bread
Sliced Bread French Bread
Cakes Tarts Pat6
Pudding Ginger Beer
BASSIN TRIANGLE NEXT TO
GOLDEN COW 773-6955
Alive in '85"
PANCHO'S HAIR STUDIO
Christiansted & Frederiksted
FAMILY HAIR CENTER
Ladies' Hair Design Men's Haircuts
and the Best Jeri-Curls in the World
45 King Street
429 King Street
IF YOU ARE SPRAYING YOUR CROPS,
BUT THE INSECTS CONTINUE TO
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We are located at the
west airport turnoff across from the
Boy Scouts Headquarters
Call us at
Bob and Harriet Soffes
102 King Street Frederiksted
Open Mon.- Sat. 8:30 a.m. 7:30 p.m.
Sun. 9 a.m. 1:00 p.m.
Restaurant & Bar
No. 21 King Street
Kings Street, Frederiksted
PUERTO RICAN AND OTHER
LATIN AMERICAN CUISINE
CRUCIAN AND OTHER
EAST INDIAN FOODS
"We rent tools and equipment"
"We steam clean cars and trucks"
We also serve as
and Repair Services
Compressors Blowers Turbines
P.O. Box 755 / Kingshill 00850
Their Goal Is Food Self-Sufficiency
Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility
For some time now, the prison system in the U.S. Vir-
gin Islands has been exploring the idea of self-sufficiency in
food that can be produced locally. Today, according to
Warden Richard A. Schrader, this goal is within sight. There
are four facilities at different locations involved in this food
production project. They are the Golden Grove Adult Cor-
rectional Facility, Anna's Hope Detention Center and the
Youth Services Administration on St. Croix; and the
Criminal Justice Complex on St. Thomas.
Apart from the usual root crops and vegetables, the
Golden Grove Facility in 1984 went on to bolster produc-
tion with fresh-water fish. In February 1984 a quarter-acre
pond at the facility yielded some 1,100 lbs. of Tilapia fish
in its first harvest. Its second crop in October also brought
in a fruitful harvest and preparations are now under way for
its third crop.
The fish project, which is being assisted ably by Dr.
James Rakocy, Research Aquaculturist at the College of
the Virgin Islands, will soon be augmenting the present
pond with the establishment of smaller ponds so as to reap
on a rotation basis thus ensuring an undisturbed supply of
fresh fish throughout the year.
The Anna's Hope Detention Center's farm, under the
management of Chief Correctional Officer Samuel Garnett
has been a persistent supplier of greens and root crops.
Garnett is now in the process of installing an irrigation
system to increase and maintain maximum yields.
Next door, Chief Correctional Officer Wilbur Abramson,
of the Youth Services Administration has been able to derive
above-average yields from a small plot in a variety of crops.
Because of their near proximity, Abramson's plot could
easily be assisted by the irrigation system of the Detention
Meanwhile, Anselmo Heyliger, Farm Instructor at the
Golden Grove prison, has just expanded his farm to include
more acres. Heyliger is also in the process of installing an
irrigation system to boost production.
On the meat side, Sergeant Winston Sealey, at the
Golden Grove prison is about to include chickens to the
self-sufficiency diet. A shed is now under construction.
This area of the farm has produced prized bulls and heifers
From St. Thomas comes the voice of Assistant Warden
Isidore Bell: "We started about two years ago. Our pro-
vision plot, unfortunately is some 7-8 miles away from the
facility and that necessitates added security. We are also
on the verge of acquiring another plot to raise livestock."
Have all these farming activities gone unnoticed by the
The Food Fair exhibit of Golden Grove Correctional
Facility is always colorful and displays their prize
winning handicrafts as well as agricultural products.
public? The St. Croix Avis of February 28, 1984, had this
"The booth put together by the inmates at the St. Croix
Prison won first prize overall at the recent Agricultural Food
Fair. It featured farm produce, including 14 bunches of
bananas, and several kinds of vegetables and root crops.
Wire sculpture, woodwork and drawings were also featured
and hand crafts done by the inmates. Inmates also won
prizes for animal husbandry, including 1st prize for a bull
and heifer, second prizes for pigs, sheep and goats."
Records at the Golden Grove facility show that from
1977 to 1984, the prison has been a consistent prize win-
ner at the Fair with 15 prizes consisting of 7-firsts, 4-seconds,
2-thirds, 1-fourth and 1-fifth.
With this kind of agricultural thrust, will the approxi-
Root crops and vegetables like these are being raised
by prison inmates in the territory to augment the
food supply at the prison.
Howard H. Fields
ifts for Tour Favorite Person
good Quality / ood Price Clothing for
'Boys & G irls
Carl-Michael gifts and
Located at 53 ing Street /Tsted., St. Croix
Mrs. 'Evelyn ames Tour racious Jiost
mately 275-mouth inmate population in the United States
Virgin Islands be able to handle the enormous potential
volume? If not, what happens to the surplus?
Warden Schrader explains: "Some of the surplus food
will be sold to ensure a ready amount of cash to help main-
tain the farms. As we have been doing on a small scale in
the past, we will be distributing some also among certain
"This farming thrust," says Bureau Director Edwin
Potter, "is not merely to produce food but the underlying
objective is to so utilize our inmates that they can be fully
occupied while acquiring a gainful skill."
Assistant Warden Ohanio Lawrence, expresses the
Bureau's thanks and appreciation. "The Agricultural
Experimental Station and the Public Works Department
among other Government departments, have influenced our
agricultural project very much through the use of their
Warden Schrader expressed his feelings about agri-
cultural self-sufficiency on a poetic note:
"To feed growing mouths
we'll work the land
Prison labor to turn the soil
Food production in abundant supply
Self-sufficiency through agriculture
We set our aim high." U
Fine Quartz Watches
Tel.: (809) 778-3700
Alexander Hamilton Airport
P.O. Box 7465 S.I.
U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
There Is More Than Paint At The...
NORTH SHORE ROAD
Your Complete Paint Store
OWARE (Wahree), African Game
For Old And Young
Zoraida Eminda Jacobs
4-H Program Leader
The atmosphere varies from intense thought to quick
action as the "nickles" go click click across the board. Oware
is being played.
Oware is probably the world's oldest game, dating back
over 6,000 years. Originating in Africa, but played in var-
ious forms in most countries in the world, it is considered
by many experts to be one of the finest strategy games ever
developed. There is no luck involved in Oware. The out-
come depends solely on the skill of the players.
Stone cuttings representing Oware boards have been
found in ancient Egyptian tombs, on the walls of prehistoric
caves, and on rock ledges bordering caravan trails in the
Middle East and Asia.
The stakes of the game vary widely from country to
country, and from one age to another. African natives
wagered anything from a bowl of rice or a cow, used as a
bride price. Wealthy merchants and ancient kings played
for slaves as well as for precious metals and gems. Today,
stones or beans are used in place of jewels, and as in the
long ago, the winner takes all.
Oware is often played in modern elementary schools
as an aid in teaching the skills of counting and the prin-
cipals of logic. But don't let this fool you, since Oware also
supplies the ultimate challenge to the most sophisticated
adult game players. However, by competing in Oware stu-
dents strive for excellence by attempting to become a
An Oware board is hand crafted from a solid piece of
mahogany. The large gray beans used in the standard size
board are called "burning beans" or "nicker nuts", and
come from the Caesalpinia vine here on the island of St.
Croix. They are found in thorny pods which makes gath-
ering them rather difficult. Because of the hardness of the
beans and their smooth, round configuration, they are used
by children on the island in a variety of games. If the
brown spot on the end of the bean is rubbed firmly and
rapidly over a smooth hard surface, and then touched to
the skin, a sharp, burning sensation will occur, hence the
name "burning beans" or "hot stones." There is also some
evidence that the nut within the shell has been used for
In speaking to Africans we found that Oware is an
Ashanti word meaning long distance and Awaree means
"he marries." The game was played for two reasons:
1. to create communication between parent and
2. as a time of relaxation and sharing of wisdom and
When played by experts Oware can last as long as a
game of chess. For this reason we have the name Awaree
meaning marriage. Sometimes the game was played for so
long that it ended in marriage so that the game could be
In Ghana prizes given to the winner of an Oware contest
were marbles, beads for necklaces and simply the prestige
of being an Oware champion around the neighborhood.
The exchange of proverbs is a common practice while
playing Oware. Some of the proverbs shared with the re-
searcher while playing were:
1. A person does not cut a walking stick and expect
the stick to be taller than them.
Meaning one does not bear a child and expect the
child to rule them.
2. It does not take a person born on a hill to be very
Meaning one can be born in a humble home and
become an important person.
Oware came to the Virgin Islands, more than 200 years
ago, by way of Africans brought here as slaves. Many of
our parents remember this game as "Wahree". Holes were
made in the ground and the game was played with small
stones, nickel, or shells. Playing boards were also made of
mahogany. The boards were about 2" deep. The game is
played in a counter-clockwise fashion. Four "nickels" are in
each hole at the start of the game.
On Friday, November 30, 1984 the first Oware compe-
tition was held at the Cooperative Extension Service, CVI.
Students from five schools participated in the competition.
Judges for the competition were Charles Spencer, a long-
time Oware player in St. Croix, and Extension Livestock
Specialist Kofi Boateng, who also played Oware since
Young students show intense concentration as they
place their moves during an Oware Competition held
by the CVI Extension 4-H program.
"Alive in '85"
West Indian Cuisine
"Alive in '85"
"Alive in '85"
childhood in Ghana, West Africa.
Winners of the game received trophies, ribbons and
certificates of participation. Best of all, top winners
received an original mahogany Oware board with "nickels"
or nickerss". These boards were made by Raphael Perez
Davis of Golden Grove Correctional Facility. The maho-
gany wood was donated by Fletcher Pence. Our thanks to
all who helped make this competition a success.
Our second competition will be held during the Agri-
culture Fair in mid-February 1985. Get your family in-
volved in a game that is both educational and entertaining.
*Information taken from Land of Oz instructional
pamphlet for Oware. 8
ESTATE ORANGE GROVE
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
THE ROYAL DANE HOTEL
13 STRAND STREET
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00840
TELEPHONE: (809) 772-2780
WARREN J. SINGER
MICHAEL D. ZULLO
5 DAYS PER
F. T. C.
FLEMINGS' TRANSPORT CO., INC.
ALEXANDER HAMILTON AIRPORT
P.O. BOX 596, KINGSHILL, ST. CROIX
Warehousing, Storage, Packing, Crating, Local and
Overseas Household Moving, Office Moving,
General Trucking, Custom Brokerage.
Air Express International
TAT Air Freight
Diamond M. International
National Freight Forwarders
778-0160 or 778-1212
-Supply HIoue & Training Center-
King Street C'&led
King Street- F'6ted
United Shopping Plaza
'RG 1 'Frederik Stores, Inc.
1 STRAND STREET P.O. BOX 213
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00840
Liquor and Gift Shop Best prices in the Virgin Islands
FICO. & JEANNIE GARCIA
a~W^ FOODS INC.
P.O. BOX 3637, CHRISTIANSTE, ST CROIX. U.S VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
BERNIE ZUTTER (809) 773-2777
PETER'S REST, ST.CROIX
U.S VIRGIN ISLANDS
809 773 3304
CHURCH STREET IN THE BOLERO BUILDING
NEXTTO BANCO POPULAR e CHRISTIANSTED
Simply a must for Lunch or Dinner.
Native and Hispanic Cuisine with
Daily Continental Specials.
Romantic, Elegant but Affordable.
Private Executive Dining if you wish.
Wally Blanchette, Manager
St. Croix Trading
* HOME OF PITTSBURGH PAINTS
P.O. Box 2984
Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
Eastern Caribbean Aviation, Inc.
JOSEPH F. LOUGHRAN
St. Croix St. Thoma
P.O Box 6981. Sunny Isle. Chrstlansted. St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 00820. Telex 347 1090
Day (809) 7780630. Night (801) 773-7171
No. 1 Jet Refueling Center In the Caribbean
FO t i rLTN gs
FOR ALL YOUR PAINTING NEEDS
51 King Street
P.O. Box 1565
Frederiksted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00840
- V.- _X
WE ARE WHAT WE ARE
We are indigenous people to this land. We are small in numbers, but we are not
a minority. We are the landholders; we are the landkeepers; we are tillers of soil;
we are agriculturists; and teachers, doctors, merchants, lawyers, and ministers.
We are not the minority. For all the land of the Virgin Islands is of the natural
world, and by that we are by far the majority.
Written by Olasee Davis
MAKES A DIFFERENCE
To help the homemaker in every way
Is the work of Extension Home
Economics each day.
Pamphlets are distributed wherever
And Aides meet homemakers to help
A program that's designed for the
From the very young to the elderly.
Hints and tips for the budget-wise
To help them to economise.
Nutrition, recipes and food value
Budget meals that make savings
Food labels and dates afford the
And help you choose when you have
Tips from Consumer Affairs
Helps the consumer shop with care
There's home management classes to
Help you plan a budget that's good
Classes in child supervision and care
Arts and crafts for home and wear
Informative, productive and creative
Lots of facts this program does give
You'll save on clothing and home
decorating costs if you sew
How to save energy you'll know
Money savings to be enjoyed by the
working and the unemployed.
In this mess
Do you find love is blind?
Then look long look at the eyesocketless earth
Sow sew so softly
And the otherbody sun
(Cr) eyes in themselves
Who with lubrifulfilling water tears
The hidden gift of the gift of life
GREEN SKY POP
The plus green almond leaves
against-but-not-against blue, sky,
full bodied enough, without they are clustered
around also-just-as-green almonds for days;
the long branches are each slinkies,
reach-out-arcing to the next step,
pull-har.I-piuhIiig the rest to come along.
The tree at the roots
must be about to pop!
CVI Extension EFNEP
123 GALLOWS BAY
P.O BOX 3751 CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX, U.S.V.1. 00820
CABLE T.V. IN EVERY ROOM
ROOMS WITH & WITHOUT KITCHEN
DAILY, WEEKLY OR OTHER
Beach House Guest House
39-B KING & FISHER ST.
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00840
jINV-a Munich, Germany
"Do not settle
ST. THOMAS ST. CROIX
635 TEXAC P.O.
CHARLES H. STEVENSON
(809) 773-4583 (Office)
(809) 773-3202 (Residence)
KINGSHILL, ST. CROIX
ESTATE PRINCESS, ST. CROIX
TIRES- BATTERIES- ACCESSORIES
Repair Alternator Generator Starter
SALES PARTS SERVICE
Radiator Repairs & New Cores Installed
No. 1 Contentment Road (Old Textile Mill) P.O. Box 875
Christiansted St. Croix U.S.V.I. 00820 Tel. (809) 773-2521
9 Compliments of
CREDIT BUREAU OF ST. CROIX, INC.
CREDIT REPORTING & COLLECTIONS
2 HOSPITAL STREET P.O. BOX 1024
CHRIS1 IANSTED, ST. CROIX, V. 1.00820 (809) 773-8 77 7730940
. Box 657
From Our Photo Album By Liz Wilson
Cutting the ribbon to signal Grand Opening of 1984 Agriculture and Food Fair was USDA's Dr. Joan Wallace,
assisted by Governor Juan Luis. With them also are Lt. Gov. Julio Brady, Agriculture Commissioner Patrick N.
Williams (Fair president), Mrs. Williams, Sen. Sidney Lee, CVI President Dr. Arthur A. Richards, Mrs. Ron de Lugo
and CVI Land-Grant Director Dr. Darshan S. Padda (Fair vice-president).
Former Ag Commissioner Rudy Shulterbrandt happy with
a first prize winning booth exhibiting his agriculture pro-
ducts at the '84 Fair. With him is Lauraline Anthony.
Christopher Smith of Smith Brothers Farm displays prize-
winning rabbit. He and his brothers took numerous awards,
including first place for Large Garden Unit, Dairy Goats
WVWI's Roving Reporter Willie Miller from St. Jay Reynolds who took first prize for the "Best Small
Thomas took time to interview CVI Extension Garden", is shown receiving his engraved mahogany
Coordinator John Matuszak at the Fair. award from Lieutenant Governor Julio Brady.
Winning first prizes for
Largest Variety of Produce
and Best Food Container
was Mrs. N. Hector, receiv-
a food purchase certificate
from Pueblo's personnel
supervisor Leon George,
while Lt. Gov. Julio Brady
Farm Family of the Year
1984 were Pentti and Joyce
Taivainen who have farmed
and sold produce from
their Estate Glynn Farm
Food booth which took the most awards for their wide variety
of dishes in 1984 were "Police Pre-Cadets" shown being con-
gratulated by Judges Elaine Xavier (left) and Ruth Lang (dark
CVI President Arthur Richards tries out
a barrel seat constructed by CVI Home-
4-H leader Zoraida E. Jacobs greets Dr. Joan S. Wallace, USDA's
Administrator of International Cooperation and Development,
at the colorful 4-H booth.
Many-talented Paul Lindquist and his
pretty "assistant" display one of Paul's
famous handmade brooms at the Farmers'
Gail Watson Turner received first prizes for Largest Quantity of
Vegetables and Rarest Vegetable or Fruit from Personnel Super-
visor Leon George of Pueblo. To left is Lt. Gov. Julio Brady.
In 1984 the Farmers' Market was named in honor of former
Farmer of the Year John C. Turnbull who died earlier. Shown
conferring are judges Arthur Petersen, Olassee Davis and Akil
Getting pretty for the judges! 4-H Extension Agent Sarah Dahl
shows 4-H'er Julius Curtis how to braid "Barney's" tail.
One of the 1st prize winning school exhi-
bits was that of Arthur Richards' Future
Farmers of America.
The Perfect Place to do All Your
LAUNDRY & DRY CLEANING
New Computerized Washers & Dryers
SOFT MUSIC COLOR TV
ALWAYS COMFORTABLY COOL
"Drop off your Clothes in the Morning ...
Pick them up the same afternoon !!! "
68 & 69 Queen Street
Open 7 Days a Week -
7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.
OLAF G. HENDRICKS, M.D.
42-43 STRAND STREET, CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
Tel.: (809) 773-4699
OFFICE: (809) 778-9444
Mary E. Gustafson
Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
EUGENE A. PETERSEN, D.V.M.
PAUL W. HESS, D.V.M.
FOR RESERVATIONS CALL
ST. CROIX 778-1365
AIRPORT 772-1365 ANCHOR INN (C'sted) 7734377
ST. THOMAS 774-1468
AIRPORT 774-1468 / 774-4616
*FREE WORLDWIDE RESERVE TnON SERVICE *Avis Feature
% T y.. 1GMcar1p"
vWtry harder. M
V.I. INDUSTRIAL GASES & SUPPLIES
300 PETER'S REST, CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX, 00820
ANTILLES GRAPHIC ARTS
DOES ONLY THE FINEST QUALITY PRINTING
PHONE: 773-4911 or 773-1510
ANTILLES GRAPHIC ARTS Gallows Bay, C'sted.
Ville La Reine
S^.u. WE'RE E NOT
From the Fair Administrative Staff
For Supporting the 15th Annual Agriculture & Food Fair
All of our Visitors
All of our Exhibitors
All of our Advertisers
To the Staffs of the V.I. Agriculture Department
The CVI Land Grant Programs
"KEEP AGRICULTURE ALIVE IN '85"
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGIN ISLANDS
3 IIIUIII III IllHll il
SNALY FARMS ST. CROIX
BOX 1576, Frederiskted Tel. 772- 2209
"Breeders Of Purebred Senepol Cattle"
Bulls for sale
Heifers for sale.
"EAT FRESH ISLAND BEEF"
Antillies Graphic Arts