Front Cover

Group Title: Agrifest
Title: Agrifest : agriculture and food fair of St. Croix, Virgin Islands. 2002.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300011/00030
 Material Information
Title: Agrifest : agriculture and food fair of St. Croix, Virgin Islands. 2002.
Series Title: Agrifest : agriculture and food fair of St. Croix, Virgin Islands.
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publication Date: 2002
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: United States of America -- United States Virgin Islands -- St. Croix -- Caribbean
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300011
Volume ID: VID00030
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 20948561

Table of Contents
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Full Text

VI Agriculture: Facing

February 16-18, 2002

jointly sponsored by the VI. Department of Agriculture
University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service


VAD 1.3:
C. 1

EST 2002
Challenges Finding Solutions





778-5830 (PH) 778-1454 (FAX) JUNNYIJLE@VITELCOM.NET (E-MAIL)

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.. .......

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HOVENSA is honored to be the entertainment
sponsor of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Fair
this year. We recognize the significance of this
event, and applaud the efforts of the organizers
and participants to present and preserve our
heritage and culture. HOVENSA hopes you
enjoy the exhibits and entertainment, and gain
a better understanding of "VI Agriculture:
Facing Challenges, Finding Solutions".

VE. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions


/4~;~t~ ~,


*Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum received best of category and the only double gold award,
by unanimous vote, among all other premium rums at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Cru-an is a trade rk To- te mport Lt.
Cruzan is a trademark of Todhunter Imports, Ltd.

Agrifest 2002



31" Annual Airicultuie
and food fair
of the U.S. Virgin Islands




Challenges -



Dr. Valerie Combie
Special Assistant
Cynthia G. Battiste
Gold Level Sponsor
The West Indian Company LTD
Platinum Level Sponsor

Corporate Sponsor


VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

Do one Atiag. Do it weL




Rt. 75 Estate Glynn

t Agrifest 2002





2002 Agriculture and Food Fair Board of Directors ............... ................. ............7

Message from Governor Charles W. Turnbull Ph.D ................. ............................... 8

Message from Commissioner Henry P. Schuster ................................................... 9

M message from Dr. Orville Kean ............................................................... 10

Soil Quality: A Part of the Solution to Our Agricultural Challenges ..................................... .11
Stafford Crossman

VI Coral Reefs: Facing Challenges-Finding Solutions .............................................. 14
Marcia Taylor

Historical Perspective of Estate Bethlehem's Sugar Factory ........................................ 17
Olasee Davis

The Function of a Marine Fishery Reserve in the Recovery of a St. Thomas Grouper Spawning Aggregation .... 20
Richard Nemeth Ph.D. & Adam Quandt

It's 'Egg' citing .......................... .... .......................... ........... 22
Sue Lakos

Mesple (Manilkara Zapata): An Ideal Fruit Tree for High PH Soils .................................... .28
Errol A. Chichester

Growing Balsam in the Virgin Islandss ........................................................ 30
Carlos Roble

Gateway to the Future: An Integrated Farm Approach .............................................. 32
Maurice D. Yabba Ph.D.

Conservation of a Native Orchid Species ...................... .......................... .34
Thomas Zimmerman Ph.D. and Jacqueline Kowalski

Urban and Community Forestry in the Virgin Islands ................ .............................36
Belinda Esham

Farmer of the Year .................................... ................. ................39

Recipes ................................................................................ 43

Poetry about Food from The Caribbean Writer .................................................. 47

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

CHI; Guaranteed Fresh.
SUSDA Choice.

Always Fresh...always available
only at

Plaza E
St. Croix and St. Thomas ...a cut

Your# One
in Savings,
S Service,
& Variety!

above the rest.


SAgr2fest 2002


Henry P. Schuster

Kwame Garcia
Executive Vice President

Lawerence Lewis, Ph.D. Dale A. Mason
Vice President of Operations Assistant Vice President
of Operations

Norman Edwards, Jr. Karren V. Chapman
Treasurer Recording Secretary

Pamela Richards Willard John
Director of Off-Island Director of Special
Participation Activites

Sarah Dahl-Smith
Director of Youth Activities

Sharon M. Brown
Director of Food Exhibits

Kofi Boateng Dorothy Gibbs
Director of Livestock Exhibits Director of Fair

Errol Chichester
Director of Crop Exhibits

Sue Lakos
Director of Judging & Awards

Clinton George
Director of UVI Exhibits

Janice Tutien
Coordinator of Cultural

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

Charlotte Amalie, V.I. 00802

February 16, 2002


Since its inception more than three decades ago, The Agriculture and Food
Fair of the Virgin Islands has grown into a magnificent event that parallels all of
the other festive events of this territory. It provides all Virgin Islanders a time to
thank and acknowledge those hardworking individuals who dedicate their lives to
feeding our people. This is important since a high percentage of our food supply
comes from outside our shores and we recognize that a people who cannot feed
itself is destined for failure.

I wish to commend all the members of the Board of Directors of the
Agriculture and Food Fair Committee for their hard work and dedication in
making the fair constantly expanding. No event of this magnitude could occur
without the complete commitment of these fine individuals. Thanks to their efforts
each year, the fair affords more people greater opportunities to showcase their
crafts, produce, livestock, and talents.

As we participate in this festive occasion, let us reflect with thanks on those
who are working tirelessly to ensure that Virgin Islanders become self sustaining,
productive and free. May God continue to bless the workings of their hands, and
may He bless America and the United States Virgin Islands and all of us with
greater health and prosperity.

Charles W. Turnbull

Agrifest 2002

Message from Henry P. Schuster
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture

I bring you greetings on behalf of the employees of the Virgin Islands' Department of Agriculture (VIDOA)!
This year, the Agrifest 2002's Board of Directors selected the theme VI. Agriculture:Facing Challenges,
Finding Solutions, a theme that I think succinctly describes the agricultural industry today.

Agriculture in the territory faces many challenges. Limited available land, pests, diseases and unfavorable
weather changes are some of the challenges Virgin Islands' farmers face on a daily basis. Some of these
challenges we can do nothing about, but we must resolve to reduce or eliminate the others. Through the research
conducted nationally by the United States Department of Agriculture and locally by the University of Virgin
Islands, we are able to reduce or, in some cases, eliminate these challenges. In other words, we continue to find

The University of the Virgin Islands is currently conducting research on an integrated model farming system,
whereby livestock production, crop production and aquaculture can co-exist on a limited amount of acreage. This
type of timely and applied research will definitely benefit the Virgin Islands' agricultural industry. My job, as
Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, is to stand ready to provide farmers with the
services and technical assistance to move their ideas from concepts into reality. We have been meeting the
challenges with practical solutions and we will continue to do so. This fair is a demonstration of our

I trust that you will enjoy Agrifest 2002, and I hope that you will continue to support our local agricultural
industry throughout the year. The success of agriculture depends on you, the consumer. To our ever faithful and
loyal Virgin Islands' consumers, we send a hearty thank you and invite you to enjoy the fair.


Henry P. Schuster
Commissioner of Agriculture

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

Message from Dr. Orville E. Kean
President, University of the Virgin Islands

This year's Agriculture and Food Fair is of singular importance to me. As most
of you know, I will be retiring at the end of this year, which makes this my last Agriculture and Food Fair
message in my capacity as President of the University of the Virgin Islands. For the past years, I have anticipated
the Fair, and have supported the involvement of the University of the Virgin Islands as a partner with the
Department of Agriculture in presenting the Fair, and this year is no exception. The theme, VI Agriculture:
Facing Challenges and Providing Solutions is significant, because it relates to each one of us. We face
challenges each day, and are forced to provide solutions. Those solutions will be possible as we look within
ourselves and within our community for available resources that will enable us to adequately surmount the
challenges that we encounter.

The University of the Virgin Islands, a Land Grant University, is committed to advancing knowledge through
research and public service. In our role, we assist in understanding and resolving issues and problems unique to
the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. That is another reason why this year's theme is so very relevant to us. The
hallmark of excellence is stamped on our teaching, our research, and our public service, and we continue to
improve, so that we can better serve our community.

The Cooperative Extension Service continues to play a major role in the preparation, management and
supervision of the Fair's activities. This year, as in the past, we would like to reemphasize the importance of the
Fair as a family-oriented, community-involved, multicultural occasion, where we can rekindle the flame of
friendship, and embrace the wider community as we learn of ways to improve agriculture in the Virgin Islands.

It is with a deep sense of gratitude and pride that I welcome our visitors and participants from the Eastern
Caribbean, from Puerto Rico, and from the Virgin Islands' community. If the thirty-first Agriculture and Food
Fair follows the established trends, it will be bigger and better than those of the past. I invite you to enjoy the
atmosphere, and benefit from all the activities that have been made possible through the united effort of our

I must express a very special word of thanks and commendation to the major players, the Board of Directors,
and all others involved in making the annual Fair such a cultural landmark in our community. I welcome you,
and I wish that the activities of the weekend will create lasting memories of a Fair that is both enjoyable and

Orville Kean Ph.D.

Agnfest 2002

A Part of the Solution to Our Agricultural Challenges
by Stafford Crossman, Program Supervisor-Horticulture, UVI Cooperative Extension Service

As we strive to find solutions for the many challenges we face relating to agricultural production, it is
important for us to give priority to the soil. Too often we concentrate all of our attention on our plants and
animals while ignoring or taking the soil for granted. It is time for us to focus on soil quality.

Soil quality is the capacity of a soil to function within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to
sustain plant and animal productivity, to maintain or enhance water and air quality, and to support human health
and habitation. This definition adopted by the Soil Science Society of America, in 1995, implies that soils do
more than just promote plant growth. This emphasis on the soil's multiple functions represents a big change in
the thinking of soil scientists who historically associated soil quality only with plant or crop production. The
broadening of the definition highlights the emphasis now being placed on the benefits of good soil quality.

We all have different ideas of what a good quality soil is. To farmers it may mean having land that is
highly productive and maintained as a resource for future generations. To consumers, it may mean food
(considered as healthy) produced with reduced or no applications of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. To
environmentalists, it may mean the soil performing functions that are beneficial to maintaining biodiversity,
water quality, nutrient cycling, and crop production.

Whenever rain falls, the water will either enter the soil or move across its surface into roads, guts and
eventually the sea. The physical characteristics of the soil surface determine what happens to the rainfall. If it
enters the soil, it may be stored and used by plants or may move down the soil profile into groundwater. In this
way, the soil determines whether a storm results in a beneficial rain or a flood.

Rainfall runoff normally carries soil particles along with it. This is evidenced by the characteristic brown
color of the runoff water. We must be aware that this brown material is our valuable, nutrient-rich soil particles
being washed away, most of it eventually into the sea. The sediment in the runoff water represents a loss of
topsoil, which results in decreased farm productivity. Additionally, these same sediments will cause damage to
coral reefs and coastal waters; increase the demands on our water treatment facilities; increase damages caused
by flooding; and increase the costs to repair damage to roads and other waterways. Soil particles from erosion
are a major source of adverse impacts to beaches, estuaries and wetlands. Practices such as planting buffer strips
or building dams to intercept silt can effectively address some water quality problems. Dams can also be used to
intercept and store runoff water, allowing the water to then move down the soil profile and provide a much-
needed recharge to our aquifers.

Soil erosion caused by the wind, especially during the dry season, can create air-quality problems. Dust
particles can cause respiratory and eye irritation problems and can be a nuisance when it accumulates in our
homes and on our vehicles. Bare soil is susceptible to wind and water erosion, and to drying out and surface
crusting. Keeping the soil covered with vegetation such as cover crops, perennial plants and mulches increase
the amount of time that the soil surface is covered each year. This results not only in protection of the soil but
also provides habitats for larger soil organisms, such as beneficial insects and earthworms. Windbreaks can be
utilized to assist in the reduction or prevention of wind erosion. Moisture content is another soil property that
affects wind erosion. A moist, well-aggregated soil is not easily eroded by wind.

Even though land preparation activities have positive effects, they can also cause excessive organic
matter degradation, disrupt soil structure, cause compaction and expose the soil to erosion by both wind and
water. A reduction in the frequency of land preparation operations and the depth at which these operations are
performed will be beneficial in reducing soil erosion.

Preventing or reducing soil erosion is important for sustainability. Depending on the chemical

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

composition and hardness of the parent rock, the formation of one foot of soil could take from 100 to 100,000
years or more. We must, therefore, do all that we can to protect and conserve our soil.

In addition to their desired effects, pesticides and chemical fertilizers can harm beneficial organisms and
pollute water and air if they are mismanaged. The soil is involved in reducing pesticide risks in our farm produce
by facilitating the breakdown of applied or residual toxic pesticides. All management practices that improve soil
quality may reduce or eliminate the need for chemical pesticides. This is because good soil quality is conducive
to healthy soil microbial populations. These microorganisms suppress root diseases and strengthen plant defense
systems so that plants can better withstand attacks from pests. Good quality soils also allow certain beneficial
insects, microorganisms, and macro-organisms to thrive and compete with or attack pest organisms. Lower levels
of pesticide usage will also reduce non-point source pollution and its harmful effects. Additionally, specific soil
microorganisms in the root zone play an essential role in making soil phosphorus and other essential elements
available to the plant roots.

Regular additions of organic matter will improve many aspects of soil quality. The organic matter may
come from crop residues, cover crops, animal manure, green manure, compost, and others. Organic matter
content and other soil properties play an important role in reducing erosion. Soil organic matter binds soil
particles into stable aggregates and therefore serves to keep the soil from being easily eroded. Organic matter in
the soil improves water holding capacity and nutrient availability.

All residents can play a part in becoming good stewards of the land. From the kitchen and backyard, we
generate varied amounts of grass clippings, dried leaves, pruned tree branches, vegetable scraps, etc. From the
farm, we have items like crop residues, fruits and vegetables not suitable for sale or consumption, and animal
manures from livestock farms. There are also a number of companies involved in pruning and cutting-down
trees, resulting in large volumes of wood chips. What is presently being done with all of these items? Are they
being sent to the landfill when we should be utilizing them in beneficial ways? It is very common to see large
garbage bags of dried leaves and grass clipping being taken to the dumpsters. All of these materials can be
composted and the resulting compost used in many varied ways to increase crop production and improve soil
quality. Additionally, some of these same materials can be used as mulch, or incorporated directly into the soil.
Crop farmers can obtain animal manures from livestock farmers. An arrangement like this benefits both groups.
Farmers who have integrated crop and livestock enterprises usually incorporate the animal manures into their
crop production activities.

In the tropics, our high soil temperature allows increased rates of microbial activity and decomposition.
As a result, it is necessary to make frequent applications of organic matter to the soil in order to maintain the
required levels for a good quality soil.

Traditional intensive agricultural practices have negative effects such as disrupting soil structure, causing
erosion, and requiring high levels of chemical inputs. Soil tests conducted for these practices include only the
basic chemical (NPK) tests. Alternative farming practices that promote good soil quality, on the other hand, can
help create and maintain the proper conditions for beneficial organisms and natural enemies of pests to multiply.
Soil quality tests for alternative farming will include aspects such as infiltration rate, bulk density, earthworm
activity, respiration test and other soil physical observations. Less intensive farming practices also encourage the
survival and increase in the number of beneficial insects and organisms that would be killed by conventional

There is a wide range of benefits to be derived from good soil quality. Many of these benefits relate to
our water, our air, and our food. Adopting strategies that improve soil quality will ultimately improve our
environment and our health.


Jaenicke, E.C. From the ground up: "Exploring soil quality's contribution to environmental health." 42pp. Henry
A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, Greenbelt, MD.

Agifest 2002





Vi. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions 13

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions


VI Coral Reefs: Facing Challenges-Finding Solutions
by, Marcia Taylor: VIMAS Agent, Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service

Scientists believe our living reefs are about five thousand years old. Yet, many believe that within 50 years, coral
reefs, as we know them, will not exist.

Why are our reefs dying? The cause for some damage is obvious, as when a ship runs aground on a reef or a
hurricane strikes a shallow reef. Other causes such as global warming are more insidious but even more
destructive. Scientists agree that high sea temperatures, which cause coral bleaching is one of the primary causes
of coral degradation. The world's oceans are warming due to the increased amount of greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere which trap the sun's rays. Microscopic algae that live inside and provide food for the coral tissues
cannot live in warmer water and the coral bleaches and dies.

In the VI, coral reefs are extremely valuable forming
the basis of our tourism and fishing industries. They
protect our shoreline from waves and storm damage,
provide habitat for numerous species of marine life,
including many commercially important species,
and provide a source of recreation and enjoyment.

Global warming is only one of the challenges faced
by coral reefs. Land-based sources of pollution such
as sediment-laden runoff, can also be devastating to
coral reefs. Overfishing of both apex predators -
large fish that eat other fish and of important
herbivores had been implicated in degradation of
reefs. Physical destruction due to coastal
development and marine-based sources of pollution
also impact the reefs.

The decline in the health and abundance of coral
reefs in the VI is evident to those of us who have
been diving on them for the last 20 years. Smashed
and broken coral from the 8 hurricanes during that
time is evident at many shallow reefs. With the
1983-84 Long-spined sea urchin die-off, and only
limited recovery, many reefs are covered with
abundant algal growth. Elkhorn coral, one of the
most prominent corals previously on our reefs, has
been all but eliminated by White Band Disease,
which reduced its coral coverage from 85% to 5%
from 1976 to 1988 in some areas. In addition,
several other coral diseases such as Black Band
Disease and Plague Type II on hard corals, and
Aspergillis on sea fans are inflecting our reefs. Bleaching has also taken its toll with significant events occurring
in the VI in 1987, 1990 and 1998. So what is the solution and how is VIMAS working to save our reefs?

No one knows for sure if our coral reefs can be saved. Even if humans stopped producing greenhouse gases
tomorrow it may be too late since there is a significant lagtime on the effect on ocean temperature. However,
we do know that there are things we can do to lessen the stresses facing corals. We can reduce pollutants in our
stormwater (non-point source pollution), we can carefully manage fishing practices, and we can work to

Agrifest 2002

designate and manage marine protected areas. While these may not prevent coral death from bleaching, it may
decrease stress to the corals and facilitate recovery.

What is VIMAS doing? The Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service (VIMAS) has many programs addressing
this critical need. Over the last three years, VIMAS, through a grant from the Department of Planning and
Natural Resources (DPNR), has been working with St. Croix's school children to increase their awareness of
non-point source (NPS) pollution. VIMAS has developed a series of interactive presentations and field
activities to demonstrate NPS pollution and how we all can help reduce it. In addition, VIMAS is actively
involved with the VI NPS Pollution Committee who assists the local government in managing and finding
solutions to NPS pollution. One such activity is the annual NPS pollution conference, which will be held in May
2002. This conference brings together people working in the area of NPS pollution, regulators and policy
makers, and those interested in conserving our marine resources, in order to discuss activities and initiatives in
reducing NPS pollution.

VIMAS is also involved with fisheries management and the development and management of marine protected
areas. St. Croix's VIMAS agent (and author of this article) sits on the St. Croix Fisheries Advisory Committee
as their Marine Biologist. This Committee reviews fisheries regulations and recommends needed changes to the
Commissioner of DPNR. One of the most powerful tools for conservation of coral reefs is the establishment and
effective management of marine-protected areas. Setting aside of certain reef areas can ensure conservation and
biodiversity of reef communities and protect them from destructive human activities. VIMAS is a member of a
team developing marine managed areas. Part of this process, as well as the management of the areas, is
monitoring of existing marine resources. VIMAS is leading the activity by monitoring the coral reefs at several
locations around St. Croix.

Our coral reefs are one of our most important habitats which, if they are to survive, demand our attention.
Research, education and management are all important components in saving our reefs. How they grow,
maintain and survive concern us profoundly. VIMAS is working in all of these areas to find solutions to the
challenges facing coral reefs.

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions


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Historical Perspective of Estate Bethlehem's Sugar Factory
by Olasee Davis, Extension Specialist-Natural Resources, University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service

During the early periods of the depression, the raising and processing of sugarcane became so
unprofitable that the privately owned sugar mills ceased operation and a catastrophe threatened the island of St.
Croix. In 1965, the late Governor Ralph M. Paiewonsky initiated a project on the agricultural development
possibilities on St. Croix. At that time, it was known that a phasing out of sugarcane would, in all likelihood, be
necessary since the Bethlehem Sugar Factory on St. Croix had been sold by the Virgin Islands' Corporation of
the Federal Government to a private person who was not prepared to guarantee the Virgin Islands' Government
the right to grind cane for an indefinite period of time.

Estate Bethlehem was one of the largest sugar plantations and certainly one of the oldest on the island of
St. Croix. This sugar plantation operation started on the island during the earliest Danish settlement from the
1740s to the 1960s when the last sugar processing plant ceased production on St. Croix. In 1736, Bethlehem was
part of the royal holdings on the island granting ownership to King Christian VI of Denmark and his Queen.

The property, which is located in the middle of the island, was designated King's Quarter. The land was
flat, easy to cultivate and was well watered. The Bethlehem stream ran directly through the property, which made
the area ideal for growing sugarcane. In 1738, King Schuster plus six whites and forty-three slaves lived in the
area. During the 1740s to 1750s, the plantation was operated as an animal mill with 106 slaves.

Around 1745 to 1751, the king sold the estate in portions. Some of the owners were Heyliger, Jan Jacob
de Windt, husband of Elizabeth Heyliger, who had great political influence on the island. Another owner was
Benjamin Deforest, an heir of J.J. de Windt who established a steam mill in the 1830s with 343 room houses.
Also, Captain William Moore once owned a portion of Estate Bethlehem along with his nephew William who
bought more plantation lands and introduced new machinery, which increased sugar production to an all time

In 1879, Sidney O'Neal, William Moore's relative, had 1187 acres including a large portion of Estate
Bethlehem. In 1884, William M. Carson, another Moore relative, built a railway system that connected
Bethlehem to Estate River, Fredensborg, Enfield, Hope, Blessing and Jerusalem carrying cane to the factory and
workers to the fields.

In 1902, a Swedish landowner and investor based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Jacob Lachman, bought the
property with the intention of making Estate Bethlehem a modern sugar factory. By the 1920s, the modern sugar
factory was in full production processing 15,000 tons of raw sugar a year. Approximately 150 workers were
employed with another 800 in the adjacent sugar cane fields.

However, prices of sugar continued to fall worldwide which gave a rising production cost, thus Estate
Bethlehem went bankrupt. The devastation by the 1928 hurricane was also the final blow to its private owners.
In 1933, the Virgin Islands Company was established as a United States Government-owned and operated
corporation for the purpose of rehabilitating the industries of the islands to operate a sugar mill.

While the operation of the sugar company has not resulted in the making of a profit, it has created
employment for between 1000 to 2000 people who otherwise might have been on relief. Without its operation,
the economy of the islands probably would have suffered greatly. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1947,
the production of sugarcane on St. Croix was about 36,000 tons, of which the Virgin Islands Company produced
22,000 tons and individual farmers 14,000 tons.

In 1948, the Virgin Islands Company was established; however, the name was changed later on to the
Virgin Islands Corporation. The only sugar factory out of many sugar mills on the island remained in operation
up until 1966. By that time, the run distillery business had been sold and the railroad through Bethlehem Estate
had been disbanded. Bethlehem was the largest and most ambitious of St. Croix's sugar factories. It had a
chemical laboratory, workshops for mechanics, company stores, cafeterias, and a laundry.

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

Two churches were established
near the sugar factory that served the
surrounding community of nearly
2,000 people including workers and
their families. The phasing out of sugar
production in 1966 caused a major
change to this part of the island. Four
thousand, seven hundred and ten acres
and twelve villages on the island
depended on the factory when the
factory and its equipment were sold to
Venezuela. About that time, Harvey
Aluminum Corporation and Hess Oil
Virgin Islands Corporation became the --
largest employment agencies on the

Historically, Estate Bethlehem
is significant because of its role from
the early development of the Danish
settlement. The history of Bethlehem
covers more than 200 years. The many
ruins and buildings of Bethlehem today ..
document the ever-changing story on
St. Croix from the 1700s through the
end of commercial sugar production on
the island.

The estate played a central role
in the economic life of St. Croix,
through good and bad times. For this
reason, the structures that remain on the
estate need to be preserved as a historic
site. Furthermore, the remaining fertile
agricultural land around Bethlehem
needs to be protected definitely. It is a
challenge, but it is the only solution that
will protect the history of the last falling Estate Bethlehem late 18th century chimney This chimney is located in the
sugar factory in the Virgin Islands. fertile central plain of St. Croix. In 1966, over 5000 acres of sugarcane
land were phased out of production.


Axel, Oxholm H., 1949. The Virgin Islands of the United States, an Opportunity and a Challenge.

Governor of the Virgin Islands, 1966. Annual Report to the Secretary of the Interior Washington, D.C.

James, M. James, Mark X. Francis, Dammann E. Arthur, 1965. Report to the Governor of the Virgin Islands
on the Reconstruction of the Agriculture Economy of St. Croix, St. Thomas, United States Virgin

St. Croix Landmarks' Society Library and Archives, Estate Bethlehem, St. Croix.

Agifest 2002






St. Croix (340) 778-8767
St. Thomas (340) 776-8767
St. John (340) 776-8767


Jennifer Nugent-Hill
Assistant Vice President

Cyrille W. Singleton
Island Manager


Thursday and Friday


Sunday and Wednesday


Miami Office and LCL Receiving Port of Palm Beach, Forida
9505 N.W. 108th Avenue 4 East Port Road
Miami, Florida 33178 Riviera Beach, Florida



"V.I. Agriculture: Facing Challenges-Finding Solutions"

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

The Function of a Marine Fishery Reserve in the
Recovery of a St. Thomas Grouper Spawning Aggregation
by Richard Nemeth, Ph.D. Director
Adam Quandt Research Specialist, UVI Center for Marine & Environmental Studies

The Center for Marine & Environmental Studies (CMES) at the University of the Virgin Islands has been
following the recovery of the red hind grouper with a tag and release study being conducted in the Marine
Conservation District (MCD). The Red Hind Bank MCD, located 7 miles south of St. Thomas, is an excellent
example of the value and function of many marine reserves. This area was closed seasonally (December,
January, and February) in 1990 to protect the annual spawning aggregations of the red hind groupers. However,
in 1999, this area was designated a Marine Conservation District, which prohibits all fishing activities year-
round. Since the permanent closure, fisheries biologists from the University of the Virgin Islands have been
tagging red hind groupers on the spawning ground, releasing them, and monitoring fish populations within this
area. This study was designed to learn where these fish live when they leave the spawning grounds. This tag and
release study includes a reward program for an incentive to local fishermen.

Over the past two years CMES has measured, tagged, and released nearly 1,800 red hind. During the
study 21 tags have been returned for a reward and catch information has been documented. The data show that
the spawning fish normally live to the west of the spawning ground.

The average number and size of spawning red hind have increased dramatically in the past four years.
Compared to a previous study conducted in 1997, the density of red hind has increased by over 400%. The
average size of these fish has increased from a low of 29.5 cm in 1988 to a high of 38.8 cm in 2000.

The increase in the size and number of spawning red hind within the MCD indicates that protecting
grouper spawning aggregations is an effective management strategy. An increase in groupers, as well as other
species within the MCD, will mean better catches in the near future for commercial fishermen of the Virgin
Islands. It is predicted that if we set aside 20% of our marine resources as marine protected areas we will gain
the greatest benefit to maintaining sustainable fisheries. This study is also laying down the framework for further
research in this reserve, as well as other potential spawning habitats for commercially important species. By
establishing a series of marine protected areas, as well as reducing pollution, sedimentation and habitat loss, we
can conserve our valuable marine resources and maintain a viable commercial fishery for generations to come.

Catching Red Hind by hook/line

Measuring/tagging before release

Agnfest 2002

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

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(340) 778-0404

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Fill your order with your supplier
Talk with Flemings' Transport for shipping instructions
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Flemings' Transport can arrange for the movement of your goods from the supplier's
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Tel 340-778-9160 Fax 340-778-9003
email ftc@viaccess.net

It's 'Egg'citing
by Sue Lakos, Extension Agent UVI Cooperative Extension Service

Eggs. We all grew up with them. They were part of the "old-fashioned" breakfast
that Grandma made sure that we ate. They were part of a balanced diet and good
nutrition. That was until the health "experts" told us that they were high in
cholesterol and "bad" for us. Enter bran muffins and oatmeal. Well, guess what.
The "experts" have revised their evaluations of the lowly egg. The egg, like many
other foods, is good for you when eaten sensibly within a healthy diet.

The "incredible, edible egg" is possibly the most perfect food after mother's milk.
SI It contains the highest quality protein available and is often used as the protein
standard to which other foods are compared. In addition to protein, the egg
contains almost all of the vitamins and minerals (except Vitamin C) needed in the
human diet. In short, it is a very power-packed nutritional nugget presented in a neat package and at a very
reasonable cost. In the Virgin Islands, each one of these little powerballs will cost you only 11-14 cents!

In past years, nutritionists have been concerned with cholesterol content of foods, serum (blood) cholesterol
levels in people and
the related disease Table 1: PARTS OF THE EGG
risks when those SHELL AIR CELL
levels were Outer covering of the egg. Pocket of air formed at large end of
elevated. The composed largely of calcium egg
carbonate Caused by contraction of the
reaction was to May be white or brown contents during cooling after laying
remove ALL depending on breed of chicken Increases in size as egg ages
cholesterol Coloer does not afSect egg
quality, flavor. cooking SHELL MEMBRANES
containing foods characteristics, nutritive value or Two membranes nner and
from the diet. The shell thickness. outer shell membranes surround
problem there was YOLK the albumen.
that, by removing Yellow portion of the egg Provide protective barrier against
that, by removing Yellow portion of the egg bacterial penetration
them from the diet, Color varies with feed of the Air cell fornetrwee th t
hen, but doesn't indicatebranes
you removed much nutve content.emranes
of the protein or source of egg vitinTHIN ALBUMEN (WHTE)
minerals and fat and about half
sources as well. In of the protein. Nearest to the shell
further research, it Germinal disc Spreads around thick white of
was found that the VITELLINE (YOLK) high-quallty egg
make the *Clear seal which holds egg
cholesterol that it yolk Major source of egg riboflavin
cholesterol that it and protein
and protein
needs (Yes, we need CHALAZAE* Stands higher and spreads less
cholesterol) and Twisted, cord-like strands than thin white In higher-grade
that dietary of egg white Thins and becomes
cholesterolAnchor yolk in center o indisingushable from thin white
cholesterol does not egg in lower-grade eggs
have as great an Prominent chalazae
effect on blood indicate freshness From the American Egg Board
cholesterol levels.
What plays a more critical role is the content of saturated fats in the diet and the lifestyle of the individual. Those
6 slices of bacon and the butter that you fried the eggs in were more dangerous than the eggs themselves and
being a "couch-potato" was not the ideal plan of attack. Guidelines have now been revised to include eggs in a
healthy diet. A person on a low-fat diet that maintains a healthy level of exercise can safely eat up to 2 eggs per
day without a measurable increase in blood cholesterol.

Eggs come in neat little packages. They are self-contained and do not need to be measured out for you to use
them. They even come in different colored shells for those "style-conscious" individuals. Under the shell,
however, an egg is an egg is an egg. The color of the shell DOES NOT affect the nutritional content of the egg
01 Agrifest 2002

itself. The color comes TABLE 2
from a pigment that the EGG QUALITY GRADES
hen puts into the shell
as she puts the shell Grade AA Grade A Grade B
onto the egg.

When you buy eggs at
the store, you have a Grade AA eggs will stand up tall and cover a very small area when broken out. The yolk is firm,
wide selection of eggs round and high. The white is very thick and also stands high. The shell will be generally clean and
to choose from. There unbroken.
are different grades, Grade A eggs will cover a moderate area. The yolk is round and upstanding. There is a large
sizes and colors, proportion of thick white which stands fairly well around the yolk. The shell is generally clean and
Virtually all of the eggs unbroken.
sold in the supermarket
today are Grade Both Grade AA and Grade A eggs are ideal for any use, but are especially desirable for poaching,
frying and cooking in shell.
AA or A. Grade B eggs Grade B eggs will spread out and flatten. The yolk is also flattened and there is much more thin
are mostly sold as out- white than thick. The egg may have an abnormal shape with prominent ridges and thin spots in the
of-shell egg product or shell. Some stains permitted but shell should not be broken. Good for scrambling, baking and as an
frozen. Table 2 shows ingredient in other foods.
the difference in the
grades of fresh shell Table adapted from The American Egg Board website

Eggs are also available in several sizes. They are Jumbo, Extra-Large, Large, Medium, Small and Peewee. The most
common are Extra-Large, Large and Medium. Contrary to popular belief, the size of the egg is based upon its
weight and not just visual size. The weights are judged as a minimum weight of ounces per dozen. See Table 3.

When you purchase you TAi 3"
eggs, you should first open

is self-contained in a neat
package, it is a very fragile one. You should not purchase eggs that are cracked. The reason for this is that the
source of the egg (the chicken) is a natural carrier of the salmonella bacteria. The shell keeps the bacteria out of
the egg, but if it has been cracked, there is the possibility that some bacteria may have contaminated the egg
itself. Eggs should also be refrigerated when you buy them and should be stored in the refrigerator once they
arrive home. The quality of the egg deteriorates rapidly when not refrigerated. When properly stored, eggs will
remain fresh for 4-5 weeks after they are packed. Packaging date is indicated on the outside of the egg carton. It
is put in "Julian Date" form. The Julian date is the number of the day of the year. For example, January 1 is 1
and December 31 is 365. If you have any questions about how fresh your eggs are, take a look at the end of the
carton. Just remember that eggs age more in one day at room temperature than they do in a week in the

Eggs can be a part of a heart-healthy diet for most people. With proper care, storage and preparation, the 'egg'-
straordinary egg can be the most 'egg'-cellent and important nutritional element in your refrigerator. For more
information on eggs, or information on how to produce your own eggs, please contact me at the University of
the Virgin Islands, Cooperative Extension Service, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Room 112 or
call me at 340-692-4179.

Information Sources:
The American Egg Board
iz The Egg Nutrition Center

VI. Agriculture: Facing

The four dairy farms that produce the real, fresh milk

Island Dairies and the people of the Virgin Islands.

Agifest 2002

"The Best is Fresh Naturally"

TI' Mu

"From the source to you in hours, not days or weeks"

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

U.D.l. Lumber


"For The Very Best Prices In Lumber
And Hardware Materials"



St. Croix,

251 Est. Glynn
Box 6697, Sunny Isle
U. S. Virgin Islands 00823

Tele: (340) 778-2331
Fax: (340) 778-1218

Agrnest 2002


AARP is a nonprofit, non-partisan membership organization
of persons 50 and older dedicated to addressing their needs and
interests. We seek through information and education,
advocacy and service to enhance the quality of life for all
by promoting independence, dignity and purpose.

SAARP was founded in 1958 by retired California educator,
Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. AARP represents more than 35
million members. Over half of our members are working
either full or part-time, while the remainder are fully retired.

At AARP our business is serving people working full or part-time, retired, married, widowed,
single, urban, suburban or rural; taking care of children or grandchildren, or taking care of
parents; seeking adventure or seeking serenity; ready to take on their next exciting challenge or
ready to relax. Regardless of where our members are on life's continuum, they find in AARP the
resources and strength to help them make their own choices, reach their goals and dreams and
make the most of their lives after 50.

AARP Virgin Islands' Executive Council Members

State President:
State Director:
Executive Volunteer, Advocacy:
Executive Volunteer, Communications:
Executive Volunteer, Community Service:

Samuel E. Morch
Denyce E. Singleton
Edward A. Phillips
Eleanor "Ellie" Hirsh
Lawrence A. Bastian

- - - - - Cut Here- - - - - -

AARP Chapter Membership

St. Croix Chapter #3167
P.O. Box 668
St. Croix, VI 00821


St. Thomas Chapter #3138
P.O. Box 302158
St. Thomas, VI 00803

St. John Chapter # 4777
P.O. Box 245
St. John, VI 00831

Tel. No.

City, State, Zip:

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions


Email Address:

MESPLE (Manilkara zapota): An Ideal Fruit Tree for High pH Soils
by Errol A. Chichester, Horticulturist, VI. Department of Agriculture

Mesple, unlike banana, mango and avocado, is not a common sight in supermarkets or vegetable stands
in the Virgin Islands. However, it is a highly desired and sought after fruit by residents. When fruits are
available, they are quickly purchased from vendors with the customers asking, "Do you have more?" While
mesple trees are not as readily available and are cultivated to a lesser extent than other fruit trees, they have many
characteristics that make them an ideal crop for the Virgin Islands.

Mesple or sapodilla originated in Central
America in the area of Mexico, northern Belize
and Northeastern Guatemala. It has naturalized
in some areas of St. Croix where stands of trees
ranging from small seedlings to large trees over 1
foot in trunk diameter could be found. Numerous
Sold trees ranging from 2 to 3 feet in trunk
Diameter are found scattered throughout the
Island. While some of these trees were planted,
o n many are volunteers saved during land clearing
for pasture and construction purposes.

One of the reasons that the trees proliferate
so abundantly on St. Croix is because of their
high tolerance to the calcareous soils, which
dominate St. Croix's topography. Mesple is well
adapted to many types of soil. But while the
effects of alkaline or high pH soils affect the
growth and establishment of many fruit trees as
displayed in their stunted growth, low yield, and
chlorotic leaves, mesple thrives in it. Mesple,
however, grows best in well-drained locations.

Mesple tolerates dry conditions remarkably well. It can also tolerate salt sprays and high soil salinity.
This, along with its tolerance to high pH soils, makes it a favorable candidate for production in the Virgin Islands
and especially on St. Croix. Mesple is not demanding in its fertilizer requirements. Newly planted trees,
however, need small and frequent applications to become established. Once established, they produce
abundantly with very little care.

Mesple seeds germinate very easily; thus, propagation by seeds is the most common. However, because
seedlings are often inferior in fruit quality and productivity, it is desirable to propagate superior varieties
vegetatively by grafting or budding.

Grafted trees start bearing two to three years after planting. The fruits mature four to six months after
flowering. Some trees on St Croix have been known to produce fruits year round but the time of year for
production is July to September.

Most people find it difficult to tell when a mesple is ready to be picked. One way to determine maturity
is by scratching the skin. If it is green, then the fruit should not be harvested, as it will shrivel as it ripens and
will be of inferior quality. If harvested too immaturely, the fruit will spoil. However, if the skin is brown and
the fruit separates from the stem easily without leaking of the white latex, it is fully mature, though still hard,
and must be kept for a few days, preferably in a paper bag, to ripe.

Agrifest 2002

Mesple varieties vary in size (1 to 5 in. in diameter), shape (round to oblong), flesh color (white to almost
red), sugar content (bland to extra sweet), and texture (smooth to grainy). Varieties that have performed well on
St. Croix include "Russell" and "Prolific." Other unnamed varieties have done equally well.

Normally, the ripe mesple fruit, chilled or unchilled, is cut
in half and the flesh is eaten with or without a spoon, discarding
the skin and seed. Some individuals wash the fruit and consume
the flesh and skin only throwing away the seed. Other uses of
mesple include jam, sauce, custard, syrup, pie, and wine. For
many years, "chicle," a gummy latex from the mesple tree, has
been used as the chief ingredient in chewing gum.

In general, the mesple tree remains supremely healthy with
little or no care. However, there are few pests that affect mesple.
In the Virgin Islands bats are the most prevalent problem as they
actively feed on the green fruits at night. It may be necessary to
spread a nylon net over small trees to protect the fruits. A soft
body scale has been known to feed along the midrib of the
underside of leaves contributing to "sooty mold." However, that
does not seem to affect the plant in any significant way.

The mesple is a highly desired fruit in the Virgin Islands,
but is not readily available. It is a tree suitable for the islands but is not as extensively cultivated as other fruit
crops. Because of its many favorable characteristics, it has the potential to become a leading fruit crop and
establish a viable niche market.


Property Casualty Marine 0 Bonds Automobile

5021 Anchor Way, Gallows Bay Marketplace
Christiansted, USVI 00820
340-773-2170 FAX 340-773-9550

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions 29

Growing Basil (Balsam) in the Virgin Islands
by Carlos Robles, Extension Specialist III, UVI Cooperative Extension Service

Basil (L. Ocimum basilicum) or balsam as it is locally called, is one of the most popular herbs in the
Virgin Islands. The distinctive aroma of fresh or dried leaves is one of the basil's most outstanding
characteristics. If someone were visiting a local farm or shopping at the farmers' market and said that he/she was
smelling "tea bush," nine times out of ten, the scent would be that of basil or "balsam." This intensive aroma
comes from oil sacs in the leaves and if rubbed or brushed, the perfume fills the air. Many home gardeners
strategically locate a few plants under a window to capture the aroma as it wafts through a room after a shower
of rain or when a breeze disturbs the plant.

Throughout the world, basil is also very popular. It has a rich history in many civilizations such as Egypt,
Greece, and Rome. It's Greek name, basilikon, means "royal." The French call basil "herbe royal." Italian
cooking is not the same without the basil's distinctive flavor permeating tomato sauce, pesto sauce, and salad
dressing. In many Caribbean homes, a cup of hot "balsam bush tea" is consumed first thing in the morning It
is believed that this helps to relieve any digestive problems as well as to invigorate the whole body.


Basil has been grown by home gardeners and farmers in the Virgin Islands for many years. No herb
garden is complete without it. Basil is grown as an annual in most northern regions where cold and frost are
environmental factors to contend with. However, basil is treated as a perennial in the Virgin Islands and thus can
be grown year round.

Typically, it grows 1 to 2 feet in height depending on cultivar. Flower spikes are small white, pink, or
purple /2 inch florets. The leaves are 2 to 3 inches long depending on cultivar, oval or toothed, frilled or smooth
margins and curved inward along the midrib. Colors range from deep green to yellowish green, purple, purple
with green stripes, and green with purple veins. The leaves of East Indian basil are covered with tiny gray hairs
that feel like felt to the touch.

How to Grow

Light: Basil loves and prefers full sun but will also do well in partial shade.

Soil and Fertility: Basil requires well-drained, moist, nutrient rich soil. If grown in raised beds, box gardens, or
in rows, then till in about 1 to 1/2 inches of compost or manure into the soil 2 3 weeks prior to planting. If
grown in container, a mixture of 1/3 compost or manure to 2/3 potting soil will provide an ideal growing
medium. Liquid synthetic or organic fertilizers can also be used to provide nutrients to the plant. Read and follow
the manufacturers' recommendations for the use of all types of fertilizers.

If growing in raised beds, box gardens, or rows, mulching with organic material (dried grass straw, hay),
black plastic, or weed barriers will help to retain high soil moisture. Never let the soil dry out. Organic mulches
should be 3 to 4 inches thick to maximize soil water retention as well as to aid in weed prevention.

Spacing: Space transplanted seedlings 12 to 16 inches apart in the row and 12 to 14 inches between the rows. If
planting directly into containers, sow 4 to 5 seeds then thin to 1 or 2 plants as true leaves have formed and
depending on size of container.

Agifest 2002

Pests: Aphids, Leaf Miner (shows up
as a black spot on the leaves), Lady
Bugs (yellow with black stripes) and
Slugs (leeches) affect basil. Basil is
also known to have an unknown
disorder which causes the stem to
become brown from the soil line up
to 5 or 6 inches of the stem. Under
good growing conditions, the plant
will continue to thrive and survive
with this problem. However under
drought stress, the plant may become
stunted and could die as the
symptoms progress.

Propagating: Seeds or stem cuttings

Harvesting: Begin cutting the leaves
and stems when the plants are 8
inches tall. Pinch or cut off flower
spikes as soon as they form. A few
leaves can be harvested at a time or in
some instances, the plant can be cut back to about 4 or 5 inches above the soil. The plant will regrow new leaves
under good growing conditions. For best quality, cut the stems between two leaves and store in a jar of water in
a cool place. The cuttings can also be hung to air dry. Growing tip! To promote business, pinch off the young
growing tips of the stems.

Sweet Basil (O.basilicum)
Genovese Basil(O. basilicum 'Genovese')
Anise Basil( 0. basilicum 'Anise')
Cinnamon Basil (0. basilicum 'Cinnamon)
Lettuce Leaf Basil (0. basilicum 'Crispum')
Green Ruffles Basil (0. basilicum 'Green Ruffles)
Bush Basil (0. basilicum 'Minimum')
Purple Ruffles (0. basilicum 'Purple Ruffles)
East Indian Basil (O.gratissimum)
Camphor Basil ( 0. kilimandscharicum)
Holy Basil (0. sanctum)

Sources: Seed Catalogues, Local Garden Centers and Plant Shops, the V.I. Department of Agriculture.

If you have any questions about growing basil or any other plants contact your local extension service at
693-1080 (St. Thomas/ St. John) or 692-4069 (St. Croix).

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

Gateway to the Future: An Integrated Farm Approach
by Maurice D. Yabba, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor
Model Farm Program, UVI Agricultural Experiment Station

This century will be a major turning point in the economic history of the Caribbean. The economic
reform processes of the past three decades, together with the globalization of world markets, have had a
significant impact on economic structures and political thinking in the region. Now that the adjustment and
recession stage in some countries is dissipating, the new challenge is to consolidate economic growth and
achieve greater equity. In this respect, the region's integration into the world's economy is taking on a new
meaning. Of key importance are the regional efforts to increase competitiveness in the modernization of the food
and agricultural sectors (crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and agroindustries). Agriculture and the
management of natural resources will play a major role in achieving greater efficiency, equity and sustainability
in the development of Caribbean economies, complementing other activities such as infrastructure, energy
production, finance, telecommunications, water resources, education, and health.

As we move into the twenty-first century, countries in the Caribbean will face mounting environmental
and livelihood deterioration. Integration of agriculture and aquaculture is especially needed to help rejuvenate
agro-ecosystems and farmers' livelihoods. The challenge is to identify investment opportunities that will
generate a multiplier effect by attracting greater public and private investments in the agricultural sector. In this
respect, the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix campus, is
embarking on a timely and needed project that will address some of the issues faced by small farmers in the U.S.
Virgin Islands and to some extent farming in the Caribbean. This project, The Integrated Model Farm, funded
by the United States Department of Agriculture, will meet the goals of the Initiative for Future Agriculture and
Food Systems Program by conserving and enhancing natural resources, strengthening the competitive position
of small farmers, and increasing the economic opportunities of farming and rural communities. The objectives
of the project are to establish a small scale, integrated farm that may be representative of smallholder agriculture
in the Caribbean, to document the benefits and constraints of integrated farming, to operate the farm profitably.
to encourage the adoption of integrated farming technology, and to implement sustainable agricultural
approaches (cover crops, crop rotations, management of intensive grazing, innovative marketing techniques,
biological pest control, ecological weed management, and composting).

The conventional farming systems that are being practiced throughout the Caribbean with their
predominantly agricultural aims cannot adequately meet the complexities of environmental and social aims. It is
necessary to find farming systems which pursue a broader objective than the simply agroeconomic one. This new
direction, "Integrated Farming," offers a stable economy, employment, cleaner environment, more pleasing
landscapes, and a greater well-being. The agricultural monoculture systems that have been built up over the past
few decades and in some cases, centuries, have contributed greatly to the alleviation of hunger and the raising
of living standards. They have served their intentions up to a point. But they were built for the purposes of a
smaller, more fragmented world. New realities reveal their inherent contradictions. These realities require
agricultural systems that focus as much attention on people as they do on technology, as much on resources as
on production, as much on the long term as on the short term. With the threat of population explosion, limited
land resources, increasing costs of imported fuel and capital goods, it is imperative that the production output
and productivity of agriculture in the Caribbean be improved.

The current status of on-farm experimentation that is being practiced by most agricultural experiment
stations in the Caribbean requires rethinking if it is to contribute to our understanding of sustainability and
integrated farming. More holistic and farmer-participatory approaches are essential to cope with the problems
presented by the diverse and complex systems common to small-scale farming that the conventional on-farm
experimentation approach has not been able to address adequately. A new protocol for on-farm experimentation
must involve a resource-systems approach with the goal of improving the sustainability of the whole farming
system through increased integration and recycling of on-farm resources. Farmer-participatory mapping and
modeling should form the major management tools for experiment and evaluation, which would provide a

Agrifet 2002

qualitative and quantitative measure of farming system status and transformation. Such tools will enable farmers
to develop a more holistic approach to management of their farm's resources. Consequently, household cash
income and food supply can be significantly increased if farmers' resource management skills are improved
using such techniques combined with exposure to different systems that illustrate possibilities for integration and
recycling of farm resources. Only such systems as sustainable and integrated agriculture can meet the
agricultural challenges of the smallholder farmer in the future.

Dr Maurice D. Yabba is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of the Virgin islands-St. Croix campus,
Agricultural Experiment Station.


Never plant trees too deeply. Always make sure that the top of the
level with the top of the planting hole.

When planting trees, the planting hole should be just as deep as the
at least two to three times wider.

root ball is

root ball and

Compost is a good soil amendment. Compost your household and yard organic
waste rather than dump them in the garbage.

When purchasing fruit trees, select grafted trees; they produce much sooner.

When purchasing trees or shrubs, always select strong, healthy plants.

Always read the label carefully and follow directions before you apply pesticides.

Never cultivate the soil while it is wet; it causes compaction, which reduces pore space.

When pruning trees, always use the right tools and make proper cuts.

Not all insects are bad; some are beneficial. Proper identification of
insects may avoid the purchase and use of insecticides.

Always wear appropriate protective clothing and equipment when applying pesticides.

Erosion causes loss of valuable topsoil and reduces soil fertility.
Plant ground cover and cover crops to reduce erosion.

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions 33

Conservation of a Native Orchid Species through Tissue Culture
by Thomas Zimmerman, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor
Jacqueline Kowalski Research Analyst, UVI Agricultural Experiment Station, Biotechnology and Agroforestry

The orchid family (Orchidaceae) is the most diversified and successful flower family on earth. There is
an estimated 25,000 species of orchids. However, there are only three native orchid species that can presently
be found on St. Croix. The Sandy Point orchid (Psychilis macconnellia) is one of those orchids. It has become
extremely endangered due to land development, illegal collections and natural disasters such as hurricanes and
fires. This has caused a disruption in their growing environment and limits the natural pollinators of the flowers.

-. The Sandy Point
-- orchid can be found at three
different locations on St.
Croix, the East End, Sandy
% l t Point and Buck Island. It is a
d. i terrestrial orchid, which
V means it grows on the
"t ground. However, it has also
t been found growing in cacti.
This orchid is usually found
growing in conjunction with
wild sage. The flower stalk
can grow to be three to five
feet high and produces
flowers in clusters of up to
sixteen flowers. Flowers are
various shades of red to
lavender and are 2-3
centimeters long.

Due to its endangered
status, the AES-Biotechnol-ogy & Agroforestry Program at UVI is developing a micropropagation system to
mass-produce this orchid. Once developed, this system can be used by a commercial nursery or homeowner.

After obtaining special permits from the VI-DPNR, plants were collected from their native habitat. The
plants were grown in a greenhouse and the flowers were hand pollinated to obtain seedpods. Greater seedpod
set occurred when the flower was pollinated with a flower from another Sandy Point orchid. The mature green
seedpod was surface sterilized and cut open under aseptic conditions in the biotechnology lab. The seeds of
orchids are very small and fine like dust. The seeds were placed onto petri plates which contained a nutrient agar
medium specially formulated for orchid seed germination and growth. The nutrient medium contained water,
agar (a gelling agent), activated charcoal, vitamins, mineral salts as found in normal fertilizer and soy protein

After two months, the seeds began to germinate and form structures known as protocorms. Protocorms
are circular shaped with a pointed tip (shaped like a miniature onion) which are about 1/16" in diameter. They
are the precursors to the first true leaves. The first true leaves and roots appeared from the protocorms four
months after the seeds were placed in culture. The orchids were grown inside a growth room for a year, during
which time multiple leaves and roots were developed. The young plants were transferred to pots containing
commercial orchid media. They were then hardened off and placed in a greenhouse. The orchids can be placed
back in their native environment after eighteen months.

The Biotechnology Department at UVI hopes to use this technology in the conservation of other rare
and endangered orchids and native plant species in the Virgin Islands.

Agnrfest 2002

Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00821

Fax: 340-778-7700

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions 3

Urban and Community Forestry in the U.S. Virgin Islands
by Belinda Esham, Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture

Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) is not a new concept in the U.S. Virgin Islands, though few
people are familiar with the program. I am often asked by friends and colleagues alike to define an urban forest.
Simply put, the urban forest occurs all the way from town center to the suburban fringe. The individual
components include street trees, open green spaces, undeveloped forested areas, trees in municipal parks and
playgrounds, trees and vegetation on private lands residential, institutional and commercial and trees around
public buildings. Every taxpaying citizen in the U.S. Virgin Islands is part owner of our urban forest. We all
have a vested interest in the urban forests on our islands because they make the Virgin Islands a better place to
live. Trees and green spaces reduce air and noise pollution, provide shade and reduce ground temperatures, save
energy, conserve soil and water and add beauty and dignity to the surroundings.

Because our islands are so small and residential and commercial development is pervasive throughout,
almost all of the land in the U.S. Virgin Islands is considered to be part of the rural/urban interface. Most of our
forests are considered urban forests. People influence nearly every aspect of the ecosystem in the Virgin Islands
so understanding the impact we have is the first step toward mitigating the damage it can cause. How is the
urban forest in your community being treated? Is it being left to survive on its own without help from you or the
elected officials who represent you? How many trees are being removed or damaged and not being replaced or
how many trees are lost to development each year? What is being done to address these questions and how can
you, as a concerned citizen, become actively involved?

The Urban and Community Forestry Program of The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture promotes
responsible urban forestry. However, a successful program depends on all of us. The mission for the U&CF
program is to encourage citizen involvement in creating and supporting a long-term and sustained Urban and
Community Forestry program throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands. The V.I. U&CF program is made possible
through a grant from the United States Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry. The Virgin
Islands Department of Agriculture sponsors the program locally and is in charge of all aspects of program
administration. The U&CF program allocates federal funding to community groups, non-profit organizations,
educational institutions and territorial agencies every year for projects directed toward addressing critical urban
forestry needs in the Virgin Islands.

The current needs and issues as listed in the comprehensive strategic plan for urban forestry in the U.S.
Virgin Islands are as follows:

Education and promotion of planting indigenous (native) trees.
Protection of trees on construction sites.
Improper tree selection for planting under power lines.
Trees for soil erosion protection.
Proper planting techniques in urban areas.
Evaluation of street trees for general condition.
Identification of existing infrastructure management.
Education for general public and managers of the benefits of proper maintenance and benefits of trees.
Creation and distribution of educational and informational materials.
Trees to be considered in government planning efforts.

Agnfest 2002

Through our competitive cost-share grant allocation process, the U&CF program works to address these
issues by building local capacity for urban forestry activities. After all, the best solutions for local problems are
found within the community itself.
The U&CF program helps you to take
care of the invaluable natural resource,
which is your urban and community

For more information on the V.I.
Urban & Community Forestry 4
Program please contact:

Belinda Esham, U&CF Coordinator
Virgin Islands Department of
Agriculture #1 Estate Lower Love,
Kingshill, VI 00850 T 7

(340) 778-0997 or 0998 x 233

vitrees @hotmail.com
Summer education program teaching students the
correct way to plant trees.

St. Croix's New
Fine Furniture, Housewares,
Authorized Toyota Dealership and
Sales and Service
Accessories for your Home

49 Mizzen Court
TEL (340) 719-6640 Gallows Bay Marketplace
FAX (340) 719-6629 St. Croix USVI 00820
P.O. Box 2570, Kingshill, St. Croix, VI 00851 Tel 713-8811
Fax 713-8338

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

P.O. BOX 3117
ST. CROIX, USVI 00841-3117

(340) 772-9033



The real wealth of a

community is in its spirit.

( Scotiabank

... proud to be a part

of this community.
St. Thomas: Altona, Havensight, Nisky, Tutu P{ark and Waterfront
St. Croix: Christiansted, Frederiksted, Sunny Isle and Sunshine Mall
St. John: Cruz Bay

138 Ag ifest 2002



CALL: (340) 778-7073
FAX : (340) 773-0991



of the



Kirk Benoit giving acceptance speech

Kirk Benoit receiving the 2001 Farmer of the Year award from Governor Charles W. Turnbull Ph.D.
while corporate sponsor's representative looks on

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions


Th Wol' Lares & Lones
Establise Breder
of 'e o Cattle

7. CROIm

Rt. 75 Estate Glynn


(The Meat Market)

"Get your beef from the source"

Fresh Beef
(Local and U.S. Choice)

Pork Chicken Fish Vegetables
Quality at low prices

Estate Upper Love RT#72
Monday-Friday 8:00-5:30, Saturday 8:00-3:00
TEL. 778-2229
FAX: 778-0270
Just 1/2 mile north of Fair Grounds

Agrifest 2002


P.O. Box 2570 Kingshill, St. Croix USVI 00851 FI f ~ ____
TEL: 340-778-0600 FAX: 340-778-1951

15 Years
and More:
Horace F
Sales Consultant
at this dealership
recently marked his
15" Anniversary.
"Taking care of
customers is
Number 1. he said.
"I am always here for
them, good and bad;
and they know it."
Agriculture should be
full-time not part-time.


Suite No. 17 LaGrande Princess
St. Croix, Virgin Islands
Phone: (340) 773-4114

We're Your
* Brake Repairs CV Joints
Shocks Oil & Lube
Batteries Tires

Fast & Friendly,
Local Folks You Know

1 Block from Sunny Isle
Queen Mary Highway,
Castle Coakley



VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

Island Images, Inc.
Lower prices on small quantities than traditional printing
100 cards, disk ready to specs OR add $20 for type/art
100 cards, disk ready to specs OR add $20 type/art--$30/picture
100 11x171 sdidpoats dskreadyb4o ecs OR add $40 type/art-$60 for 8.5x11 picture
see our website
call for a quick quote
121 Little Princesse, St. Croix
behind gas station at Five Comers




Cakes and desserts for all occasions,
large or small:

Weddings Birthdays
Parties Just Because

Voted as best Carrot ake 2000 Agrifest

To order, call Sweet Sue at

i I I D

Dan Holm CPF

For those who want to go There
come Here. Defining style

Billing & Shipping Address
#6 Chandlers Wharf, Gallows Bay
Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S.V.1. 00821 E-l

Althea Richards

Tel: (340) 773-2755
Fax: (340) 719-0055
Mail Address: femme@v.i.access.net

Douglas Sign Company, Inc.
Complete Sign Shop
Wood, Metal, Plastic
Artwork & Logo Design
Featuring Gerber Edge
35' Bucket Truck
Gerber 404 Router

778-0078 Fax 778-4462 e-mail: signl@viaccess.net
109-118 Castle Coakley, St. Croix

Agrifest 2002

St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands


(340) 778-3995 Phone & Fax
U.S. Mail: R2 Village Mall 7, Kingshill, VI 00850

Villa Morales

"The best in local cuisine"

82C Estate Whim
F'sted, St. Croix VI
Tele: 772-0556

126 Gallows Bay
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
(340) 778-6560 Fax (340) 772-5205
e-mail: patalidis@viaccess.net

Cine Curniture and Fabrics since 1969



Tiffany's Shoes
A step above the rest
SVillage Mall 113 Barren Spot
P.O. Box 6227
Sunny Isle, St. Croix Telephone:
U.S. Virgin Islands, 00823 (809) 778-2002

A taste of old 5t. Croix
Savor the history!

00 Books by e
nderDeraanee 1 eba d 3PnMbr, .
RO. Box 39 &ngshl, St. Croi U.S.V.I., 00851 (340] 778-0477

Men and Ladies Tailor- Suits made in 3 days


P.O. BOX 2935

sh ud adding

3 pounds fish (blue fish preferred)
1 medium onion
1 sweet pepper
1 stalk celery
1/4 pound butter or margarine
1 small can tomato sauce
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
12 saltines or salted crackers
seasonings: crushed garlic, ground mace, ground clove, dash salt and pepper to taste

Bone and grind or chop the fish. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, mace, and clove. Chop onion, sweet
pepper and celery. Saut6 in a pan with butter until tender but not brown.

Add tomato sauce. Remove from stove and add fish, crushed saltines or crackers, milk and beaten eggs.
(The beauty of the pudding is in the stirring; it should be as light as possible). The pudding can be either baked
or boiled.

To boil: Pour pudding into a greased casserole dish, pudding or cake pan. Sprinkle the top with cracker
crumbs. Cover securely. Set in a pan half full of water and cook over a low flame for about 1 hour or until

Makes 10 servings, 6 ounces each.

Each serving provides:

Calories Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
360 20 40 5 509 109

This analysis assumes that a vegetable margarine is used instead of butter. Butter will increase the cholesterol
content. Although the final product will not be as creamy, by substituting a reduced-fat free margarine, skim
milk, and an egg substitute (or 8 egg whites), the recipe can be reduced to approximately 9 grams offat or 280
calories per serving.

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

CPlantin CPie

3 plantains (hard-ripe)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup margarine
1/4 cup green pepper minced
2 eggs hard-boiled (chopped)
pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons raisins
12 olives

Boil and mash plantains. Fry ground beef lightly in margarine. Add salt, onions, green pepper, hard
boiled eggs, olives, raisins and tomato sauce. Cook for five minutes. Grease a glass baking dish, put in half
the mashed plantains; then put in the meat mixture and cover with remaining half of plantain.

Place baking dish in a pan of water 1 inch deep. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 400 F. A good luncheon

Makes 8 servings.

Each serving provides:

Calories Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
314 15 86 40 723 92.2

To decrease the amount of fat, fry lean ground beef using a light coating of nonstick vegetable spray.
Decreasing the amount of olives and salt will lower the sodium content.

Agrifest 2002

Pumpkin read

3 cups brown sugar
1 cup salad oil
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups pumpkin, grated
2/3 cup water
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Cream sugar and oil together. Add eggs and pumpkin; mix well. Sift together dry ingredients. Add dry
ingredients alternately with water.

Pour into two well-greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pans. Bake at 3500 F. for 1 1/2 hours or until done. Let
stand 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cool. Makes 2 loaves.

For a sweet potato bread, substitute grated sweet potato for pumpkin.

Serves 18.

Calories Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
316 13 4 45 142 47

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

Papaya 9Yog

1 cup of papaya (ripe)
1 quart milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
sugar to taste

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Chill and serve. Variations: Add 3/4 cup pineapple juice or
3/4 cup coconut milk.

Serves 4.

Calorie Fat

Protein Carbohydrates
(eg (2)

231 9 10 27
(With whole milk and


t c\




1/4 cup sugar)


13 143
(With non-fat milk and no sugar)

Agrfest 2002




Poetry about Food Reprinted from




Please note that all work listed below are copyrighted and
should in no way be used without the written permission
from the respective authors. All permission to reprint
requests should be forwarded to The Caribbean Writer,
University of the Virgin Islands, RR 02 Box 10,000,
Kingshill, St. Croix, USVI 00850; Phone: (340) 692-4152;
Email: qmars@uvi.edu.

For My Uncle Who Wept Every

Time He Sliced a Papaya in

Virgil Suarez

Was it the idea of separation,
the way the onyx seeds hung
on like a useless chandelier's
teardrop, glass reflections
of your exiled life in Miami?

Was it how dull the knives
had become, or the soft
music from a neighbor's yard,
a year in which the downpours
drowned your tomato crops

Was it the pale yellow of flesh
that reminded you of a woman's
breasts you had once touched,
cupped in your hand like a glass

Was it the hard rind that prevents
so much damage over the years,
like these scars from falling off
rooftops where you worked
tarring and tiling?

Was it the reminder of uselessness,
how once you cut something in half,
you can't put it back together again,
how once you remove a boy from home,
no other island will do? What was it?

Volume 15

pitcher, warm to the touch, supple?

VI. Agriculture: Facing Challenges Finding Solutions

Fresh Fish
Thomas Reiter

The seine's bellyful of shadows
hauled at first light onto the beach
becomes reef dwellers pouring their facets
over one another. Soon the gossamer net,
hung to dry between a coconut palm
and the furled mast of a catboat
run up on the sand, the Lady Bountiful,
St. Kitts & Nevis, flutters like
a kitchen curtain in the trade wind-
a sign saying open for business.
Women who come to this fisherman know
what he gives for good measure.
Reaching back over the gunnel, he picks
one of each kind he's caught, runs
a stick like a teacher's pointer
through their gills, and resting one end
on his shoulder while holding the other
at arm's length, displays his fresh
array. He tells of linen-skinned mullets
to be curried; moonbass for grilling
with plantains or deepening the stock pot;
and sunset groupers, an orange path
head to tail on carbon-dark scales:
poach them in water brought to trembling.
Moving now in a depth of his own
making, he tells of the barrier reef
that calms the waters these live in.
Ordinary coral antlers and pillows,
yes, but today while spreading his net
he saw candelabras with polyp mouths
in place of flames. .colonies
of deadmen's fingers clutching at treasure. .
vermilion sponges shaped into bowls
and vases. .tall chimneys where
the stars abide. .The story ends
and women step from the sea to supper.

Volume 15

Thomas Reiter's most recent collection of poems Pearly
Everlasting, was published in 2000 by Louisiana State
University Press. He is the Wayne D. McMurray Professor of
Humanities at Monmouth University in New Jersey and has
traveled widely in the Caribbean.

Agrfest 2002



V 4



Virgin Islands

72*v~ly SvuiBil l~ik /1 4'7zIi 41*i.

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