Front Cover
 In memoriam
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 2003 agriculture and food fair...
 Message from Governor
 Message from the Acting Commissioner...
 Message from UVI President
 Safety: It is everyone’s respo...
 Beachcombing in the VI
 Historical perspective on the first...
 Conserving indigenous medicinal...
 The versatile coconut tree
 Milk -- udderly wonderful!
 Mulching your garden landscape
 4-H CYFAR cyber technology...
 What is diabetes?
 Ode to bush
 Kids doing business in the Virgin...
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Group Title: Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair ...
Title: Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair 2003
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00102617/00015
 Material Information
Title: Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair 2003
Series Title: Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair ...
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Virgin Islands of the United States -- Dept. of Agriculture
University of the Virgin Islands
Conference: Agriculture and Food Fair of the Virgin Islands
Publisher: Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair
Place of Publication: St. Thomas, V.I
Publication Date: 2003
Frequency: annual
Subject: Agriculture -- Periodicals -- Virgin Islands of the United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: Periodicals   ( lcsh )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
Dates or Sequential Designation: No. 1 (1986)-
Issuing Body: Sponsored by the V.I. Dept. of Agriculture and the University of the Virgin Islands.
General Note: Vols. for 1986-<1988> are also a publication of the 16th- annual Agriculture and Food Fair.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: No. 2 (1987).
Statement of Responsibility: Virgin Islands, Agriculture and Food Fair.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00102617
Volume ID: VID00015
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 17962776
lccn - sn 88033223
 Related Items
Preceded by: Annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the Virgin Islands


This item has the following downloads:

UF00102617_00015 ( XML )

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    In memoriam
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Front Matter
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    2003 agriculture and food fair board of directors
        Page 9
    Message from Governor
        Page 10
    Message from the Acting Commissioner of Agriculture
        Page 11
    Message from UVI President
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Safety: It is everyone’s responsibility
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Beachcombing in the VI
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Historical perspective on the first plow of soil in agriculture in the U.S. Virgin Islands
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Conserving indigenous medicinal plants in agroforestry systems
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    The versatile coconut tree
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Milk -- udderly wonderful!
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Mulching your garden landscape
        Page 42
        Page 43
    4-H CYFAR cyber technology camp
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    What is diabetes?
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    Ode to bush
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Kids doing business in the Virgin Islands
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Back Matter
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Back Cover
        Page 61
Full Text




E d







February 15-17, 2003

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


rate /

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778-5830 (PH)



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The Board of Directors
of the
32nd Annual Agriculture and Food Fair
of the U.S. Virgin Islands


le/twkld/ l 6 dC""Ci1te
Farmer and Businessman

His devotion to the Virgin Islands' rich
agricultural heritage will be truly missed.

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate


The Board of Directors
of the
32nd Annual Agriculture and Food Fair
of the U.S. Virgin Islands


Livestock Farmer

His devotion to the Virgin Islands' rich and
agricultural heritage will be truly missed.

Agrifest 2003


The Board of Directors
of the
32nd Annual Agriculture and Food Fair
of the U.S. Virgin Islands


Her devotion to the Virgin Islands'
Agriculture And Food Fair will be truly

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate 3


Proudly salutes the 32ndAnnual Agriculture and Food Fair of the
Virgin Islands

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over. We provide
information and resources; advocate on legislative, consumer, and legal issues; assist members to
serve their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services
for our members. These benefits include AARP Webplace at www.aarp.org, the AARP lifestyle
magazines, the monthly AARP Bulletin, and a Spanish-language newspaper, Segunda Juventud.
Active in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP
celebrates the attitude that age is just a number and life is what you make it. You are cordially
invited to visit our new State Office at 93B Estate Diamond in the Sunny Isle Annex for
information and educational materials.

State Director: Denyce E. Singleton

V.. Executive Council
Samuel E. Morch, State President
Lawrence A. Bastian, Executive Volunteer for Community Service
Edward A. Phillips, Executive volunteer for Advocacy
Vera M. Falu, Executive Volunteer for Diverse Partnerships
Eleanor Hirsh, Executive Volunteer for Communications
Priscilla Berry-Quetel, Executive Volunteer for Life Answers

Local Chapter Officers

Steve Abrants President, St. Croix Chapter #3167
Jorge J. Estemac President, St. Thomas Chapter #3138
Sally L. Browne President, St. John Chapter #4777

To volunteer your time and talents, or to obtain information about our AARP Programs
and Services, please call the AARP Virgin Islands State Office at 719-2277 or 692-2504


Agrifest 2003


32N Annual Agriculture
and F~cd Fair
cf the U.S. Virgin Islands

"V.T agriculture:

Collaborate, Cultivale and Celebrate"

Dr. Valerie Combie

Special Assistant
Cynthia G. Battiste

Bronze Level Sponsors
First Bank
Banco Popular

Gold Level Sponsors
The West Indian Company LTD
V.I. Port Authority
V.I. Department of Tourism

Platinum Level Sponsor

Corporate Sponsor


VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate 5

r -

St. Croix's Honda and Acura Center

Proudly Supporting

St. Croix Agriculture

Quality Honda and Acura Automobiles
Servicing all Makes and Models

14A La Grande Princesse
Christiansted, USVI 00820

(340) 773-0161 (340) 773-1351 (340) 773-8370

Agrnfet 2003





2003 Agriculture and Food Fair Board of Directors ............... .................................. 8

M message from the Governor ................... ................... .............. 10
Dr Charles W Turnbull

Message from the Acting Commissioner of Agriculture ............................................ 11
Dr Lawrence Lewis

M message from U V I President .......................................................... ... . 12
Dr LaVerne Ragster

Safety: It is Everyone's Responsibility ........................................................... 14
Stafford Crossman

Beachcombing in the VI ........................ ................................. 18
Marcia Taylor

Historical Perspective on the First Plow of Soil in Agriculture in the U.S.V.I. ............................ 20
Olasee Davis

Conserving Indigenous Medicinal Plants in Agroforestry Systems ....................................... 25
Manual C. Palada, Brian Becker Jeanmarie Mitchell and Daniela 0 'Keefe

The Versatile Coconut Tree . ................ ................. .......... . ..... .. .34
Errol A. Chichester

Milk-Udderly Wonderful! .................... ................... .............. 38
Sue Lakos

Mulching Your Garden Landscape .................... .............................. .42
Carlos Robles

4-H CYFAR Cyber Technology Camp .................... ... ................... ...... ... .44
Lois V Sanders

What is Diabetes? .................... ............................ ...... . . 47
Lois V Sanders

Ode to Bush ............................................... ........................ 50
David Howlett

Kids Doing Business in the Virgin Islands ........................................................ .52
Kofi Boateng and Ellenor C. Paul

Poetry ........................... .......... ................... .. ............. 53

Recipes .................. ....... ......................................... 54

V.I. I .. .'...,. Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate


/ \/\\ *

",c ., ' ^ ,
.. .. r .' "/ ... '-,/a ,

*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.

75 sNooFp 5 ASTn Ts PW- fmf- pI e-
Cruzan is a trademark of Todhunter Imports, Ltd.

Agrifest 2003


~tc ~




Lawrence Lewis, Ph.D.

Norman Edwards, Jr.

Kofi Boateng
Executive Vice President/
Executive Secretary

4. q
Yvonne Webster-Price
Assistant Recording Secretary

Dale A. Mason
Assistant Vice President
of Operations

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

Sue Lakos
Director of Livestock Exhibits/
Judging & Awards

L iM
Dorothy Gibbs
Director of Fair

,w- ~-----; -

Errol Chichester
Director of Crop Exhibits

Clinton George
Director of UVI Exhibits

Janice Tutien
Director of Cultural

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

Charlotte Amalie, V.I. 00802

January 23, 2003


On behalf of the people of the United States Virgin Islands, I extend a
warm welcome to residents and visitors of the 2003 Agriculture and Food
Fair. This auspicious event has grown to tremendous proportions with each
year and continues to provide our people with a keen understanding of the
significance of agriculture in our lives. It also provides a social setting in
which we can socialize and share our talents and creative ideas.

This year's theme V.L Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate, and
Celebrate highlights the importance of working together to help our farmers
and other entrepreneurs establish agricultural businesses. We must work in
harmony to promote all aspects of food development in the Virgin Islands.
To do less is to confine future generations to importing all of their food
supply. This we must successfully counter and address if we are to become
self-sufficient in the near future. I commend those who strive to provide
healthy alternatives for our people.

It is my hope that this year's fair will surpass all of our expectations as
has been done in the past. I wish to thank and commend the organizers and
the participants for their time, discipline and effort. Without their
commitment to this worthwhile endeavor, this activity would not have grown
to such outstanding levels. May God bless this event with peace, productivity
and prosperity.

Charles W. Turnbull, Ph.D.

Agrifest 2003

Message from Dr. Lawrence Lewis
Acting Commissioner, Department of Agriculture L

It is with great pleasure that I welcome one and all to this 32nd Agriculture and Food Fair of the Virgin Islands.
As always, the men and women of the Virgin Islands' Department of Agriculture have redoubled their efforts to
make sure that your appreciation of the theme VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate is
maximized. All we ask is that you be safe and that peace and goodwill abound.

The challenges facing agriculture are still many; however, if we collaborate by pooling resources and discussing
possible solutions, then we can minimize any problem inherently associated with a challenge. Water availability
remains our primary challenge; however, by collaborating with the Virgin Islands' Water and Power Authority,
Department of Planning and Natural Resources, and HOVENSA, the Department has been able to reduce the
problems associated with water availability to our farmers.

During the recent past, many improvements to infrastructure and delivery of services within the V.I. Department
of Agriculture have occurred. I wish to use this opportunity to remind all farmers--crop and livestock-that we
must use these improvements to increase production by maximizing cultivation and husbandry. To our small
farmers, particularly some cattle producers, I must remind you not to overstock the grazing land, for more can
be less, and quality is usually preferred when quantities are adequate.

Agriculture involves the study of both food and fiber. Today's fiber can be natural (cotton) or be a product of
the petrochemical industry (dacron). The Fair is an opportunity to celebrate agriculture-both food and fiber.
As part of this 32nd celebration of the Fair, the Board of Directors' of the Agriculture Department approved a
fashion show that will allow youngsters to display their creative capacity and maximize their appreciation of
fiber. HOVENSA is a proud sponsor of this "Fair Wear" fashion show.

The Board has also approved the establishment of an "Old Fashion Grocery Shop." Within the realm of
nostalgia, the shop will be an opportunity to teach our youngsters to appreciate social advances and to know that
culture is not static. Our youngsters need to appreciate from whence we came as we advance and progress from
village shop to supermarket.

It is my hope that as we celebrate, we continue to support our local agriculture and as consumers, you buy
"Virgin Fresh" agriculture produce not only during the Agfair but throughout the year.

Thanks for your participation in the 2003 Agriculture and Food Fair of the Virgin Islands and do enjoy the Fair.


Lawrence Lewis
Acting Commissioner of Agriculture

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

Message from Dr. Laverne E. Ragster
President, University of the Virgin Islands

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this year's Agriculture and Food Fair-
which has a wonderful theme. This year's theme-Collaborate, Cultivate and
Celebrate-captures the essential focus of our programs at the University, in general, and
of agriculture more specifically. As we collaborate our efforts, we will be more
productive cultivators with the result that we will all celebrate with bountiful harvests. It
is with a spirit of collaboration that the University engages in a partnership with the
Agriculture Department that presents the annual Fair which gives us reason to celebrate
that affiliation.

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 a very important reason why the theme of collaboration is 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-second 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 ambiance, and
experience the activities that have been made possible through the collaborative efforts of
our staffs.

I must express my profound gratitude 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 educational.

LaVerne E. Ragster, Ph.D.

Agnifest 2003





VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate 1

Safety: It is Everyone's Responsibility
by Stafford Crossman, Program Supervisor and Farm Safety Coordinator
UVI Cooperative Extension Service

Farming is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States. Hundreds of people of all ages die each
year in the United States from farm-related injuries, and thousands more suffer from disabling injuries and work-
related illnesses. How do we reduce this significant number of injuries and deaths? The farm family has the
responsibility for educating family members about safety and health issues. Information is also available from
governmental and non-governmental agencies, which are responsible for or interested in making farming a safer
way of life.

More than any other activity, farming involves a broader cross-section of skills because small farm operations
require farmers to fulfill many roles. They often perform tasks normally done by a variety of skilled personnel,
e.g. plumbing, carpentry, mechanical, and electrical work. Many times these trades are self-taught and are not
performed in a safe manner or environment due to a lack of safety training. (In other instances, the safety training
or information may be ignored.) These trades each have their own associated safety issues emphasizing the
multiplicity of concerns a farmer should have as he performs the various jobs.

Farmers also operate a wide range of farm equipment and machinery, e.g. tractors with all of the necessary
implements, chemical application equipment, pick-up trucks, chain saws, weed-eaters, and lawn mowers. While
operating these equipment, farmers are exposed to diverse hazards associated with livestock (kicks, bites, butts,
crush and toss), moving parts on machinery, weather, heat, fuels, dust, exposure to agricultural chemicals and
toxic gases, ultraviolet rays from being in the sun for prolonged periods of time, joint and ligament injury from
performing repetitive tasks, and noise.

Worrying about droughts, floods, pests, long work hours, financial difficulties, and other complications of farm
life causes some farmers to experience stress and feelings of isolation and frustration. These circumstances can
lead to more serious conditions such as alcoholism and depression.

Farmers can avoid injury by always wearing the approved personal protective equipment. This includes
protection for the eyes, ears, head, hands, feet and other body parts as specified based upon the work
environment, tasks performed and the tools being utilized or machinery operated.

Most farm-related accidents are the result of people taking shortcuts, forgetfulness, not paying close attention,
distractions, or ignoring a warning or safety rule. Small farmers are usually so busy they think that there is not
enough time to familiarize themselves with equipment manuals and other safety materials. They also, in a very
unwise effort to save time, tend to take shortcuts, which sometimes result in what we refer to as "accidents."
What is an accident? An accident is generally defined as an unexpected, unintentional, or unavoidable
occurrence. From a safety standpoint, an accident is an unavoidable event. Therefore, if it was possible to do
something to prevent the occurrence of the event, it technically should not be considered an accident.

When a farmer gets injured while ignoring safety precautions, the work remains undone. Additionally, if the
injury results in loss of time from work then there would be many other jobs that now will be left undone and
there might be a need to employ outside labor. In the long run, the farmer ends up being worse off than if, to
begin with, he had followed safety procedures (and the job had taken a little longer to complete). Every time a
shortcut is taken, the risk of injury increases; therefore, when considering taking a short cut we should consider
how much time we are actually trying to save and what injury can possibly result from ignoring safety
precautions. An example of a common shortcut is stepping over the power take off (PTO) shaft to get from one
side of the tractor to another. How much more time does it actually take to walk around the tractor? There have

Agrifest 2003

been some serious injuries caused by encounters between PTO shafts and body parts. There is no substitute for
safety. Accidents and work-related injuries cost time, money and in some instances, even a life.

In addition to the safety situations specifically related to agriculture, farmers also have to cope with the numerous
safety risks and concerns everyone else faces in the community.

While we must do all that we can regarding safety in our community, we have to rely on local governmental
agencies to help keep us safe. In the Virgin Islands, a number of local government departments have the
responsibility of ensuring our safety. These include the Department of Public Safety (which includes Highway
Safety), Department of Health, Department of Labor, Fire Services, Department of Planning and Natural
Resources, V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), and our local hospitals. A number of
these local departments are responsible for performing the functions of some federal agencies. There are also
non-governmental agencies such as the local chapters of the American Red Cross. We must do all that we can to
cooperate with these agencies and comply with their laws and regulations.

Most of the responsibility for our personal safety rests with us as individuals. We show a lot of concern when it
comes to ensuring the safety of our personal possessions. While we incur large expenses on property insurance
and installation of a variety of safety devices to protect our homes (hurricane shutters, burglar bars and alarm
systems) and our vehicles (clubs and alarm systems), we tend to be less vigilant regarding our personal safety.
Does this indicate that we are more concerned about the safety of our personal possessions than we are about our
own personal safety?

Many agencies and organizations are playing their part to keep you safe. Play your part. Make safety your

For more information regarding Farm Safety, contact the UVI Cooperative Extension Service at 692-4080 on St.
Croix or 693-1080 on St. Thomas.

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate



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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
e-mail ftc@viaccess.net

lgrifot 21103

General Trucking Service
P.O. Box 189
Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00821

Fax: 340-778-7700

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate 1

Beachcombing in the VI
by Marcia Taylor, Center for Marine and Environmental Studies, Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service

There is more to beach life than first meets the eye. Even though this salty, shifting environment is impossible
for most species, there are a number of robust plants and animals who like it just fine. Sandy beaches provide
homes and feeding areas for many species and contain remains of many more. Because of this, sandy beaches
are great places to learn about our marine life.

Life on our beaches
Living in sand presents challenges for marine life due to its shifting nature. If you are an animal, finding a home
is a problem. Plants and animals cannot attach easily to shifting sand and even maintaining a burrow is difficult.
However, on many beaches, crab burrows are seen. One of the most common crabs is a pale-colored ghost crab
(Ocypode), which runs quickly about the lower beach
.snatching tidbits that are exposed for only a fraction
of a second, before making a dash for high ground.
Look for tiny balls of sand at the burrow entrance,
signifying an occupied burrow. These crabs are
scavengers and eat any sort of rotting plant or animal
detritus. They are also formidable predators and can
crush a shell and pick out the tissue. Hermit crabs,
which live in discarded shells, can also be found on
our beaches. As they grow they dump their old house
for newer, more specious quarters.

Birds are abundant on our beaches. Many species of
sea and shore birds use beach areas to feed, and a
few, such as the Wilson's Plover and the Least Tern,
use beaches to nest. Blue herons and snowy egrets
are among the most beautiful birds in the world and
they regularly visit our beaches.

SLiving on the beach is also difficult for plants. Salt
spray, relentless winds and shifting, nutrient-poor
sand make survival hard. But those plants that overcome the difficulties are rewarded by plenty of light and little
competition. Plants that grow near the sea must have mechanisms to prevent the salt water from drying out their
cells. They are usually grasses or succulent herbs that can conserve fresh water in thick leaves and stems, or
low-lying vines with shiny, waxy, salt-resistant leaves. Two of the most common plants that live in this area are
the Beach Morning Glory and the Bay Bean, which are important sand stabilizers and help prevent erosion.
Beach Morning Glory's Latin name, pescapre, means "goat's foot" because if you flatten out a leaf (they
normally fold at the midrib during the day to conserve water), it has the shape of a goat's hoof. Bay Bean looks
very similar to Beach Morning Glory both are long vines with pink flowers, but Bay Bean forms large pods
with a beautiful brown marbled bean, often used to make necklaces.

Remains from below
Perhaps even more interesting than the animals living on the beach are the denizens of deeper water that are often
cast ashore by waves. Beachcombing on sandy beaches can be an adventure. Sand itself is composed largely of
small pieces of marine plants and animals such as broken pieces of coral, shells, calcareous algae and spines of
sea urchins. The pick particles in the sand largely come from the tests of a foram (Homotrema rubrum), a
protozoan that grows abundantly on the undersides of hard corals. Coarse sand is associated with exposed

Agrifest 2003

beaches whereas sheltered bays tend to have fine grain sand.

Some of the most beautiful treasures found are shells. Many beautiful shells can be found on our beaches such
as conch shells, star shells, tritons, limpets, helmet shells and top shells. On the upper edge of the beach, where
huge waves push large shells onto the shore, you may find the larger sea shells such as conchs and whelks, along
with pieces of corals. You will find the smaller more delicate shells closest to the water. Limpets are snails with
conical rather than spiral shells. The ones with an opening at the apex of the cone are called keyhole limpets.
They propel a stream of water over their gills and out the top opening.

Several species of sea urchins' tests (shells), bleached white, are commonly found. Sea Urchins can have long
needle-like spines, such as found in the black long-spined urchin (Diadema) or short spines, such as the West
Indian sea egg (Tripneutes), or thick blunt spines, such as the pencil urchin (Eucidaris). All are grazers and eat

On some beaches you will find a distinct dark line of flotsam and jetsam dominated by broken Turtle and
Manatee seagrass blades (Thalassia and Syringodium). In this moist, organic mass, called wrack, can be found
delicate seashells, tests of sea urchins, and other fragile collectibles. As you kick aside the dead brown grass,
hundreds of small "beach fleas" will leap out in all directions. These are not really fleas, which are insects, but
small crustaceans called amphipods.

Other crustaceans can also be found on the beach. Because crabs have an external skeleton, in order to grow
they must molt, or shed their covering and replace it with a new, enlarged version. These discarded shells can
often be found on beaches.

On beaches adjacent to reef areas you may find skeletons of sponges. Sponges are primitive animals that feed
on tiny organisms in the water. Their skeletons have a framework of silica that maintains their shape. A great
variety of hard and soft coral skeletons can be found washed up. The beautiful sea fans are such skeletons.

Many species of seaweed, some ornate and beautiful can be found washed up as well. One the most common is
Halimeda, a segmented, calcareous green algae, is a major component of beach sand. A large leathery brown
alga, Turbinaria, is a very distinctive looking alga with its leaves resembling little pyramids attached in clusters.
The seaweed Sargassum, with its gas-filled floats, commonly washes up. Sargassum is one of the few large
oceanic plants. This seaweed is capable of completing its whole life cycle floating on the ocean's surface far
from land. While floating at sea it has many associated animals that live on or adjacent to it. This includes
juvenile crabs, bryozoans, and fishes.

Plant remains too, can be fascinating. Many seeds and fruits of land plants float in the sea and are washed up.
That's how coconut palms propagate from island to island and give our beach their lovely aspect.

Beachcombing is a wonderfully benign, restful activity. Shells are easily replaced by nature and no animals are
affected except perhaps the tardy hermit crab who will look on further for a perfect fit. There is a wealth of
things to study at our beaches. Get out and explore our beaches!

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

Historical Perspective on the First Plow of Soil
in Agriculture in the U.S. Virgin Islands
by Olasee Davis, Extension Specialist-Natural Resources, UVI Cooperative Extension Service

This year, the Virgin Islands' Agriculture and Food Fair Agrifest 2003's theme is "Virgin Islands Agriculture:
Collaborate, Cultivate, and Celebrate." I must admit we have a lot to celebrate historically pertaining to
agriculture production in the Virgin Islands, particularly on the island of St. Croix. Before clearing the dense
tropical forest for agricultural development in the Virgin Islands, there were groups of people who migrated from
the mainland of South America between the second and third millennium BC into the Caribbean region.

According to historians, these people were known as Archaic. They were non-agriculturalists who based their
existence on gathering, fishing, and hunting for food. Around AD 0, an agricultural people with a well-developed
ceramic tradition entered the Lesser Antilles. These people were known as Saladoid in the Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico. By AD 100, the Saladoid people had arrived on the island of St. Croix. In 1493 when Christopher
Columbus arrived at Salt River Bay, his men encountered the Kingliagos "Carib" Indians who cultivated small
plots of land, gathered fruits, nuts, and herbs, as well as hunt and fish.

We can say that the cultivation of agriculture in the Virgin Islands began with the first people Columbus' men
met on the shore of Salt River Bay. Englishmen from Barbados in 1631 made the first attempt to establish a
European colony on St. Croix; however, a Spanish force from Puerto Rico drove them off St. Croix. In 1640 or
1641, English colonists from St. Kitts established a settlement on St. Croix.

In 1642, a group of Dutchmen conquered the English settlers, but allowed them to remain under the Dutch
sovereignty. The Dutch, who concentrated around Salt River Bay estuary allowed a group of French Huguenots
to take up residence on the island. In 1645, the Dutch rule of the island ended when the English settlers rebelled
and regained control of St. Croix.

The English dominion lasted until 1650, following a contest for power for St. Croix between the Spaniards,
Dutch, English, and the French. The French came out victorious in the contest. Thus, the French dominated St.
Croix until 1696 when they voluntarily abandoned the island. Nonetheless, the French maintained a weak title
to St. Croix from 1669 to 1733, but made no effort to reoccupy the island. During this period, parties of mariners
and woodcutters periodically visited St. Croix.

By the 1720's, impoverished British planters from the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla began settling on St.
Croix. Around 1734, these nations' unauthorized settlement on St. Croix numbered about 150 whites and 450
enslaved Africans. In 1733, France sold St. Croix to Denmark. In 1734, Frederik Moth, our first Danish governor
came from St. Thomas to St. Croix to plan the colonization of that island. He met the island in dense tropical
forest and bush although there were structures left standing after the French abandoned the island.

Between 1734 and 1751, the Danes surveyed the island of St. Croix and divided it into nine quarters namely:
Westend, Northside A, Northside B, Eastend A, Eastend B, Company, Queen, King, and Prince proceeding from
the west to the east end of the island. These quarters were further divided into plantations or estates. The average
estate was 2,000 by 3,000 feet (150 Danish acres). However, the quality of land determined whether cotton or
sugar was to be cultivated. An average estate on St. Croix was sold for 500 Rix Danish Dollars. Since the French
abandoned St. Croix for many years, the land had to be cleared of its forest and bush. Places like St. Eustacia
and other British islands where there was little timber left on those islands came to St. Croix for timber. Thus,
timber on the seashore and mountainous areas of St. Croix was in demand by other colonized islands in the

Therefore, timber was shipped from St. Croix to build many of the houses and plantation structures of other
Caribbean islands and in Europe. Many planters of other islands purchased plantations on St. Croix and sold
timber, thus getting a profit of ten, twenty, and up to thirty times the purchase price. Agriculture became
prosperous on St. Croix around the 1780's. By 1796, some 27, 655 acres were in cane production. That same
year also, the population of St. Croix was 28,803 of which about 22,000 were enslaved Africans.

The 27,655 acres of cane were the maximum acreage ever reached on the island. There were 175 plantations in

A-gijft 2003

operation with 75 percent of the land in cane production. In 1848, just before the emancipation, there were
23,971 acres in cane. Between 1812 and 1814, sugar production on the island reached its peak. In 1851, a few
years after the emancipation, the area in sugar cane had decreased to 19,1736 acres. The decline of sugar
cultivation, severe droughts, emancipation of enslaved Africans, hurricanes, the famous "Fireburn" of October
1878, the Napoleonic War, absentee landlords, and the sugar beet industry in Europe all added to the decline of
sugar production on St. Croix.

Today, there are about 3,000 to 4,000 acres of the land mostly reserved for livestock production in agriculture.
During the early 1920's and 30's, the Agriculture Field Day, today known as Agriculture and Food Fair, was a
major celebration. About 16,000 acres remained either in canes, fruits, vegetables, and livestock production. This
agricultural activity was held in the former Agricultural Experiment Station at Estate Anna's Hope.

The Agriculture Experiment Station was established around 1910 or 1911. The celebration of the Agriculture
Field Day somehow stopped and started again in 1971 with the late Commissioner of Agriculture Rudolph
Shulterbrandt who revived the Agriculture and Food Fair. In the 1960's, the island of St. Croix was still an
agricultural society. It was known historically as the "Bread Basket of the Caribbean," "The Garden Spot of the
Antilles or West Indies," and the "Garden of Eden."

By 1966, the Bethlehem sugar factory phased out sugar production on the island of St. Croix. At that point, St.
Croix had changed from an agricultural society to an industrial one. The closing of the Bethlehem sugar factory
changed the landscape of St. Croix from a predominantly rural, agricultural landscape to an urbanized or
"suburbanized landscape." Large acreages of flat, prime agricultural lands, particularly in the center of the island
were lost forever through urbanization.

Despite the impact of agricultural lands on St. Croix, there is a strong community tied to agriculture in the Virgin
Islands. The annual Agriculture and Food Fair is the second and most popular event in the Virgin Islands.
Collaboration of the Agriculture and Food Fair Agrifest included such companies as Innovative and Hovensa.
The effort to put on the event of the Agriculture and Food Fair is a sign that agriculture is important to the Virgin
Islands' community and economy.

Therefore, all effort needs to be made to protect prime agricultural lands if such an event is to continue in the
future. With the protection of prime agricultural lands in place, then we have the assurance of celebration of the
Agrifest every year.


Blaut, M. James, Mark X. Francis & Dammann E. Arthur. 1965 Report to the Governor of the United States
Virgin Islands on the Reconstruction of the Agricultural Economy of St. Croix, Caribbean Research Institute, St.
Thomas US Virgin Islands.

Davis, Olasee. 2000, Historical Buildings, 29th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St.
Croix US Virgin Islands.

Henderson, R. Morris. no date, Recollection of Past Agricultural Fairs. St. Croix US Virgin Islands.

Lawaetz, Fritz. 1973, A Glimpse From The Past, Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair, St. Croix US Virgin

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

Tyson, F. George. 2002, CZM Environmental Assessment Report, Commerce and Business Park, Estate Betty's
Hope and Coopers Negro Bay, St. Croix, Virgin Islands Cultural Resources Background Study, VI Port Authority
Land South of Route 64, The DeJough Groups PC, 2200 Estate Staabi, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate




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Conserving Indigenous Medicinal Plants in Agroforestry Systems
by Manuel C. Palada, Brian Becker, Jeanmarie Mitchell and Daniela 0 Keefe, Vegetable Crops Program,
Agricultural Experiment Station, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Campus

Medicinal plants have been closely associated with the traditional, social and cultural events of the people in the
Caribbean in general and the Virgin Islands in particular. Medicinal plants are commonly referred to as folk
medicine or bush medicine in the Caribbean. Folk medicine is defined as "the substance of all the traditional
viewpoints on sickness and healing methods applied against disease which exists among the people" (Erich and
Beitl, 1955). Folk medicine in St. Croix developed out of the interactions between European and African healing
systems as they were combined in the New World (Kuby, 1979).

Today, medicinal plants are important horticultural crops in the Virgin Islands. About half of the farmers are
involved in growing and producing herbs and medicinal plants. There are species and varieties which are
indigenous to the Virgin Islands as well as introduced species that have been naturalized in the islands. The
economic importance of these plants indicates that more research and development efforts must be undertaken
to maintain and conserve germplasm materials. Research is also needed to provide herb growers with necessary
technical information to help them improve production, processing, marketing and utilization. Small-scale
growers in the Virgin Islands grow medicinal plants in small garden plots using less efficient planting methods.
There has been no research work addressing improved crop management practices of medicinal plants.
Furthermore, there are few published materials with complete description and culture of common and local
medicinal plants and some have been described as to their growth habit and herbal uses. Some of the indigenous
as well as introduced species of medicinal plants are heavily exploited and threatened to extinction. Collection,
conservation and production of medicinal plants are approaches that will maintain genetic resources and enhance
diversity. Studies on cultural practices from planting to harvesting are also essential for the common and
important species of medicinal plants.

In the Virgin Islands, herbs and medicinal plants are either grown in the wild or cultivated in a variety of
cropping systems and cultural management practices. The plants are grown at elevations ranging from flat lands
to sloping hills and rolling topography. For example, in St. Thomas, medicinal and culinary herbs are cultivated
in small farms located on sloping lands (Fig. 1). Some are grown in terraces as well as in bottom level lands.
Cropping systems with herbs and medicinal plants are normally in mixtures or integrated into fruits and
vegetables on small farms. Wild types and indigenous species are usually seen under a forest canopy.

More than 60 species of traditional medicinal plants have been identified in the Virgin Islands. Some of the
species described are threatened by declining plant population, thus, there is a need for germplasm conservation
to increase population. Species which are disappearing and in danger of extinction include: Bull Tongue Bush
(Elephantopus spicatus), Bloodroot (Chlorophora tinctoria), Maubi bark (Colubrina elliptica), For Your Poor
Man's Strength (Stemodia maritima), Kalakala berry (Solanum polyganmum), Black Calabash ( Enallgma
latifolia) and Wild Grape (Vitis tiliifolia).

Most of the traditional species are becoming scarce. Some of the most common and popular species include:
Inflammation Bush (Verbesina alata), Black Sage (Cordia polycephala), Bay Lavender (Tournefortia
gnaphalodes), Prickly Pear (Opuntia dillenii), Jumbee Heads (Abrus precatorius), Bell Apple Bush (Passiflora
laurifolia), Mother Bush (Piper umbellatum) and Doctor Bush (Plumbago scandens).

Although there is considerable public concern about the growing scarcity of many medicinal plants which used
to be more common, there are no current efforts to conserve the above mentioned plants through cultivation,
protection of natural habitat or tissue culture. The Cooperative Extension Service and Eastern Caribbean Center
of the University of the Virgin Islands have been documenting local medicinal plant usage including the
development of a publication and displays featuring local medicinal plants. A recent publication is that of
Thomas (1997) which illustrates more than 60 species of medicinal plants in St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John.
A major public information campaign has not yet been undertaken.

Research work on culinary and medicinal herbs has been going on since the early 90s at the UVI Agricultural
Experiment Station which is coordinated by the Vegetable Crops Program. Currently, the Vegetable Crops

VI. Agrculture: Collaborate, Cultirate and Celebrate 25

Program is conducting a project under the Center for Subtropical Agroforestry (CSTAF), University of Florida,
focusing on the integration of high value horticultural crops including medicinal plants in agroforestry systems.

Medicinal plants are well adapted in an environment characterized by partial shading, moist soil high in organic
matter, high relative humidity and mild temperature. These conditions are ideal for plant growth and
development and can be found only in forest ecosystem. Thus, most of the wild species of medicinal plants
thrive very well in the rainforest ecosystem of the Virgin Islands.

Small-scale fruit and vegetable farmers in the Virgin Islands are always striving for increased production and
better economic returns for their produce. However, this goal is constrained by several factors including high
production cost, limited land and water resources, lack of credit, market competition and inadequate services and
marketing systems. Recently, there has been increased interest in alternative crops that are unique to the Virgin
Islands. A number of farmers are now growing herbs, spices and medicinal plants where market potential and
competitiveness are better than conventional vegetable crops. Specialty crops such as the West Indian hot
peppers (Capsicum chinense), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), and chives (Allium schoenosprasum) have excellent
market and tremendous export potential for the Virgin Islands (Palada, 1997; Crossman et al., 1999). Interest in
medicinal plants has been growing among local farmers. For example, medicinal trees like neem (Azadirachta
indica), Moringa (Moringa oleifera) and Noni (Morinda citrifolia) are becoming popular in home gardens on St.
Croix and St. Thomas (Palada, 1996; Palada and Williams, 2000; Palada et al., 2002; Palada and Davis, 2000;
Thomas and Palada, 1994; Thomas, 1997). Some of these trees have been grown with vegetable crops in
agroforestry systems (Palada et al.,1994); O'Donnell et al., 1995).

Cultivation of medicinal plants may offer a potential alternative to conventional fruit and vegetable production
in the Virgin Islands. Although it is a viable option for small-scale farmers, not much research information is
available on its merits and benefits. Farmers need information on improved species and cultivars along with
recommended crop management practices for increasing yield and economic returns.

The Agricultural Experiment Station at UVI has recently established a project to evaluate the horticultural and
economic potentials of producing medicinal plants in agroforestry systems. This project involves growing herbs
and medicinal plants in alleys formed by hedgerows of medicinal trees. A limited number of species is being
studied as to their performance and adaptability when grown in association with medicinal trees. Medicinal trees
being studied are Noni and Moringa which are well adapted and popular in St. Croix. Local indigenous species
of medicinal plants include Japana (Eupatorium triplinerve), Worrywine (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis),
Inflammation Bush (Verbersina alata) and Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosos). These local herbs are
commonly used as bush teas and are very popular in St. Thomas where local residents take teas as part of their
diet. This project focuses on selected medicinal plants as well as high value fruits and vegetables.

Initial observations indicate that Moringa is a fast-growing tree which attains a height of 2- 3 m after three
months of growth. Worrywine and Lemongrass are more adapted to intercropping with medicinal trees than
Japana and Inflammation Bush (Fig. 2). After the first harvest, regrowth of Worrywine was faster than other
species. This species is very adapted to the growing conditions and produces large biomass. It is also resistant
to pests and diseases. Japana and Inflammation Bush grow slowly and suffer from diseases. These two species
are well adapted in St. Thomas where they are mostly grown and sold in farmers' market. Some of the culinary
herbs that performed well under agroforestry system are basil, thyme and sage. During the initial establishment
of Moringa tree, there is virtually no competition for light, water and nutrients between the trees and medicinal
plants. As the trees grow taller shading of medicinal plants may or may not affect growth and productivity. This
will depend on the degree of tolerance by medicinal plants. As the project progresses, more traditional medicinal
plants will be evaluated in agroforestry system. Results of this study will generate information useful to local
medicinal herb growers.

The utilization of medicinal plant has been steadily increasing in the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands.
because of the increasing need for alternative medicine. In the Caribbean, a large proportion of the population
has, one time or the other, used "bush medicine." Medicinal plants are important horticultural crops in the Virgin
Islands and the economic importance of these plants indicates that more research and development efforts must

Asgnlol 21003'

be undertaken to maintain, conserve and manage these valuable resources. Conservation of genetic resources
and development of improved crop management practices for growing, processing and utilization of selected
traditional medicinal plants would lead to the preservation of these resources and ensure continuous supply for
future generation.


Crossman, S.M.A., M.C. Palada and A.M. Davis. 1999. Performance of West Indian hot pepper cultivars in the
Virgin Islands. Proc. Caribbean Food Crops Soc. 35:169-176.

Erich, O.A. and R. Beitl. 1955. Folk Medicine. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Kuby, R.L. 1979. Folk Medicine in St. Croix: An Ethnobotanical Study. Doctoral thesis, University of Kansas.
119 p.

O'Donnell, J.J., M.C. Palada, J.A. Kowalski, A. Bulbulla and S.M.A. Crossman. 1995. Evaluation of trees for
use as hedgerows in alley cropping. UVI Food and Agric. Res. 7:16-18.

Palada, M.C., J.J. O'Donnell, S.M.A. Crossman and J.A. Kowalski. 1994. Influence of four hedgerow species
on yield of sweet corn and eggplant in an alley cropping system. Agron. Abstracts 1994:7.

Palada, M.C. 1996. Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.): a versatile tree crop with horticultural potential in the
subtropical United States. HortScience 31:794-797.

Palada, M.C. 1996. Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.): a versatile tree crop with horticultural potential in the
subtropical United States. HortScience 31:794-797.

Palada, M.C. 1997. Improved field production of herbs and spices benefits growers in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture Research Notes, Summer, 1997. p. 2, 10.

Palada, M.C. and M.E. Williams (eds.). 2000. Utilizing Medicinal Plants to Add Value to Caribbean
Agriculture. Proc. 2nd International Workshop on Herbal Medicine in the Caribbean. University of the Virgin
Islands, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. 217 p.

Palada, M.C. and A.M. Davis. 2000. Growth response of Morinda (Morinda citrifolia L.) seedlings to organic
and chemical fertilizers. p. 158-164 In: M.C. Palada and M.E. Williams (eds.). Utilizing Medicinal Plants to
Add Value to Caribbean Agriculture. Proc. 2nd International Workshop of Herbal Medicine in the Caribbean.
University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Palada, M.C., J.M. Mitchell and D.A. O'Keefe. 2002. Establishment, early growth and development of Morinda
(Morinda citrifolia L.) in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Proc. 7th Caribbean Urban Forestry Conference, St.
Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (in press).

Thomas, T. and M.C. Palada. 1994. The marketing of medicinal plants in the Virgin Islands: past, present and
future prospects. HortScience Abst. 29:558.

Thomas, T. 1997. Traditional Medicinal Plants of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John. A Selection of 68 plants.
Cooperative Extension Service, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. 187 p.

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VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate 33

The Versatile Coconut Tree
by Errol A. Chichester, Horticulturist, Virgin Islands' Department of Agriculture

"It (coconut) has the size of a man's head, contains an edible substance that is sweet and pleasant to taste and
white as milk. The cavity of this pulp is filled with liquor clear as water, cool and better flavored and more
delicate than wine. Marco Polo

The coconut (Cocos nucifera) tree (not really a tree but a palm) is called "the tree of heaven" and "the most
versatile tree" because all parts of the tree are of use to
mankind. It is, without doubt, the best palm in the world
based on its products and their uses.

The coconut belongs to the family Palmae (palms) that
constitutes one of the most important families of
monocotyledons (i.e. sugar cane, grass, pineapple, banana,
onion, etc.) with over 2,000 species.

T While coconuts are grown in most parts of the tropics
including the Caribbean, the main coconut producing
countries are the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ceylon,
India and Mexico. The crop is important in the economy of
nearly all countries where it is grown including islands like Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Dominica.

In the Virgin Islands, coconut is grown primarily as "jelly-nuts" for its water and soft jelly (kernel, endosperm,
meat, flesh) and, to a lesser extent, for the mature, dried nut. But throughout countries with large production, all
parts of the tree and fruit are utilized in one way or another.

Though the mature coconut kernel ("meat") is not used in the home as frequently as the "milk," its major use is
in the production of copra, dried coconut kernel, pressed for the extraction of oil which has many uses as food
(cooking oil, condiments, pastries, margarine) as well as personal uses (hair and ointments), and a very wide
variety of industrial uses.

Copra is one of the richest sources of vegetable oil. It has an oil content of about 68 percent. There are two
types of copra milling and edible. Milling copra is used to extract oil while edible copra is consumed as a dry
fruit. Coconut oil is used extensively for cooking purposes in several countries. Its palatability, light color,
pleasing flavor and easy digestibility make it a preferred edible oil. In addition, coconut oil is a skin-friendly
oil. It gives softness and suppleness to skin, provides gloss to hair, and is a superior baby oil and an excellent
source of vitamin E.

Other value-added products include coconut cake, a
fibrous cake residue obtained after the extraction of oil
from copra. It is rich in protein and is used in the
manufacturing of cattle and poultry feed.

The extraction of oil from copra and its consequent use
for food and industrial purposes, for many years, has
been the primary importance of coconut on the
international market. However, at the small farm
level, the uses of coconut trees for non-food purposes
are many, and for the small landowner, these uses may
be as important as the uses for food. This is especially true in the uses of the tree for construction. The trunks
make good, heavy foundation support (pillars, posts) for houses and can also be sawed to make boards for floors.
The petiole and midribs of the leaves are useful in framework for walls and roofs, and the leaves themselves are
used in thatching, while the leaflets may be woven into mats for the floor or as panels for walls.

Grated raw coconut is used in curries, cakes, sweets, and chutneys. The coconut shell is used as fuel and for
manufacturing of activated carbon. This carbon is used to purify water and air. It is also used in gas masks and

Agrifest 2003



VI. Agr iculturle: Collaborate, Crultivote ai nd C(Jelebrol

a wide range of filters for war gases and nuclear fallouts. The shell powder obtained by powdering mature
coconut shell ("flour") is used as filler in the manufacturing of mosquito repellents. It is also used as glue in
plywood, laminated boards, plastic and bakelite (a synthetic resin) industries, etc. Water from tender coconut is
the most refreshing thirst quencher. It is a wholesome nutritious drink, untouched by man, that nature has
provided. It keeps the body cool and when applied prevents prickly heat or summer boils. The water of tender
coconut has great medicinal value. It is an excellent tonic for the sick and a good growth-promoting agent. It
cures malnutrition, kills intestinal worms, controls urinary infections and is good for the kidneys.

Today, water from tender coconut is preserved and packaged in cans as beverages, which serve as a soft drink
and vitalizer. Carbonated coconut water soda is also made from coconut water concentrate. In addition, scientists
in some Caribbean islands are looking at the possibility of utilizing coconut water as a natural sport drink
because of its many beneficial attributes. Another important product manufactured from water of matured
coconut is Coconut Vinegar, which is 100 percent natural vinegar and a healthier alternative to synthetic vinegar.
Coconut vinegar aids in digestion and improves the quality of cooked meat and fish.


FIBER (coir)





Used in plant nurseres as potting mix
As hair oil and body oil, for medicines, creams, and shampoos
Shade (for other crops and humans) and landscaping
Cooked as vegetables
Ropes,mats, brooms, brushes, mattress, and upholstery
Also known as cabbage or heart of palm makes a tasty salad (NOTE: This will result in the death of the tree)
Coir and coir dust, mulch, growing medium for orchids, anthuriums, yarn, fertilizer, ropes, fuel. Gasket,
and paper.
Used as a source of drink and edible "jelly"
Tapped as a source of sap, used for drink, arrack, toddy, arrack, toddy, vinegar, sugar, source of yeast
for bread
Plaited to make hats and baskets, thatch for roofs, mid-rib for brooms, fish traps, in bundles as torch
and fencing
Oil for lamp and edible purposes and for manufacturing of soap; milk for cooking, marjarine, jam, and
cosmetics, ice cream, bakery products, confectionery, animal and poultry feed, copra, flour,condiments
and as fresh food
Sports equipment, (cricket bat) as a timber for construction, As a pole for many applications and as fuel.
Astringents, mouth washes, roasted and grounded as coffee substitute coconut coffee, dye, carved as
tooth picks, and extracted for medicine
Fuel, ornaments, utensils, (spoons, cups, bowls) "flour" and charcoal for industrial uses
Base for plastics, gunpowder, and cleaning jet engines
Bleach, solvent recovery from air or vapor, filtering air and deodorizing rooms, industrial gas masks,
cigarette filters, gas purification and separation, removal of radioactive contaminants from gases and air
in nuclear plants, catalysts and carriers in chemical processing
Fuel, and curios (ornaments, crafts)
Lumber for construction, footbridges, furniture, doors, windows, wall panels, fuel, alcohol, extraction of
starch, hardest wood for veneers and carving
Refreshing drink

The terminal bud or "cabbage" is highly prized as a food, and the trunk can be used for the manufacture of sago
(starch). These uses, however, are destructive and are practiced only in emergency or when old palms are
destroyed by storms or are removed. The sap of the inflorescence is also highly prized for its many uses. The
tapping of the inflorescence for sap includes beating and shaving the live plant daily to keep the sap flowing.
The sap can be used fresh as a beverage, but more often it is permitted to ferment naturally, producing an
alcoholic toddy. Still further fermentation leads to the production of vinegar. Arrack, the distilled spirits of
toddy, is yet another drink that comes from the coconut tree. The brown sugar, "jaggery," obtained by boiling
the sap, is a similar and useful food item in many parts of the world.

Surely the coconut tree is more than a staff of life. In some regions, it is the basis for human survival. Yet, the
coconut tree may also be thought of as a model, illustrating the many uses of palms.

Next time you look at a coconut tree, think of all the beneficial ways that the plant could be utilized. Maybe the
diversity of the coconut will encourage you to plant one in your yard or appreciate and maintain your existing
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VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

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MILK Udderly Wonderful!
by Sue Lakos, Extension Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources Program

Milk. From our first day on this earth, this substance has played a part in our lives, and those of all mankind.
King Solomon decreed "Thou shalt have milk for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the food of
thy maidens," 1 and in the Bible, the promised land was referred to as "a land flowing with milk and honey."
Throughout time, the value of milk has been recognized and science has now revealed exactly what we have
known in our hearts for centuries.

Milk has been touted as the most nearly perfect food. Although liquid in form, it contains an average of 13%
solids, comprised of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and
vitamins. "The protein in 1 quart of milk is approximately equivalent
to that in 5 oz. of meat or fish, 5 large eggs, 4 oz. of American or
Cheddar cheese or 16 slices of bread."2 These milk proteins contain all
of the essential amino acids in appreciable amounts. The fat in milk is
an abundant source of Vitamin A, so important to good eyesight.

a Originally from Europe, the dairy cow has come a long way to the new
world. Columbus, realizing the importance of the cow, brought cattle
with him on his second voyage to the Americas. Since that time,
dairying has grown and become a significant part of economies in both
the United States and the West Indies, especially that of the Virgin
Islands. Currently, dairy farmers in the Virgin Islands are milking an
average of 400 cows twice daily. The milk produced is then
transported to and processed at our local dairy plant. This is St. Croix
Dairy Products, Inc.(commonly known as Island Dairies). The
University of the Virgin Islands' Extension Service works closely with
the dairy farmers through the use of the Dairy Herd Improvement
Program (DHIP). With this program, the University staff monitor the
production of the cows in the herds and assist with herd management
and records. With this service, the St. Croix dairy farmers have been
able to increase their production and, St. Croix Dairy Products, Inc., which processes the milk, packages 45,500
quarts of fresh fluid milk per week, not to mention 7,000 quarts of ice cream.

The dairy farmers in the Virgin Islands, and most of the dairymen in the United States, use the Holstein-Friesian
(or Holstein) breed of cattle. These are the big black and white cows that we see all over our islands. One type
of Holstein even comes in red and white. They originally came from Friesland in the Netherlands and are known
for producing large amounts of milk per cow. Other breeds that are used for dairy are the Jersey, Guernsey,
Ayrshire, and the Brown Swiss. All of these breeds originated in the British Isles except for the Brown Swiss,
which comes from Switzerland. Although all breeds of cattle produce milk, these five breeds have been selected
for years for milk production and, therefore, give more milk daily than the other breeds. This makes them the
logical choice for farmers that depend on large volumes of milk for their income.

Good management is essential in order to assure substantial milk production in a herd. Milk production doesn't
just happen. The first step is to have a healthy animal. Dairy farmers work very hard to maintain their animals
in the peak of good health. Working closely with veterinarians, they strive to prevent health problems before they
occur. This is because sick animals require medication to regain their health and, since these medications can be
passed on into the milk, milk from medicated animals cannot be and is not sold. This affects the farmer's income;
therefore, it is to his benefit to keep the animals healthy so that they don't need medicine. This healthy cow must
then produce a calf in order to give milk.

This step takes nine months. When the cow calves, she produces a first milk called "colostrum." This milk
contains all of the antibodies (disease fighters) that her calf needs to get a good start in life. Dairymen leave the
calf with the cow for up to 1 week to ensure that the calf gets this valuable milk. After that time, the calf is fed
separately with a bottle until it is old enough to eat solid food and doesn't need milk anymore. The reason that
the farmer separates the calf from the cow is so that he can assure that he has milk to sell. The calf is so efficient
at milking out the cow, that there would be no milk left for the farmer. Also, by feeding the calf with a bottle,
the farmer can make sure that the calf is getting the right amount of food. The cow is milked for about 9-10
months, given a 2-month breather where she "dries off" (gives no milk) and should then calve again a year after

Agrifest 2003

the last calving. This will start the milk flow again and the cycle repeats. A cow can produce, on average, 40-60
pounds of milk per day.

All mammals produce milk to provide nourishment for their young. All warm-blooded animals give milk, from
the smallest mouse to the huge whales, including humans. The act of giving milk is called lactation. The
mammary gland manufactures the milk and it is removed from the body through the teat. Animals have from two
to ten mammary glands, each with its own teat, depending on the type of animal. Goats have two teats and cattle
have four. In most animals that are used for milk production, the mammary gland is called an udder.

Milk is such an important part of the world diet that extensive research has gone into its processing and
marketing. Standard procedures have been set up for milk collection and processing to ensure that a wholesome
product reaches your refrigerator. The basic steps are: 1) Removal of the milk from the cow, 2) Handling of the
milk on the farm, 3) Transportation of the milk to the dairy plant, 4) Handling and processing of the milk at the
dairy plant, 5) Packaging the final product, and 6) Transportation to point of sale and Sale.

Milk can be removed from the udder in several ways. The baby animals remove the milk by squeezing the teat
against the roof of their mouths with their tongues while they suck as if on a straw. This simultaneously forces
and pulls the milk out of the udder, into their mouth. Man has used both of the baby's techniques to obtain the
milk. With hand-milking, the teat is held between hand and fingers and squeezed over a bucket or other
receptacle. This works like the baby's tongue and forces the milk out. However, this is a long and tiring process,
so large dairy farms use milking machines. These machines use the other technique and employ a vacuum to
draw the milk out of the udder. A device called a milking claw is attached to the animal's udder with the suction
of the vacuum. The milking claw consists of teat cups (2 for goats, 4 for cattle) and a small reservoir. The teat
cups have rubber liners that fit snugly to the animal's teats. These liners then have the vacuum pressure
alternately applied and released which draws the milk out of the udder and into the small reservoir. The milk then
passes from the milking claw via a tube, pipeline and a filter, to remove any impurities, to the large bulk tank in
the main milk room of the dairy farm. The bulk tank cools the milk quickly and gently stirs it to keep the cream
from separating out. The milk stays in the bulk tank until the truck from the dairy plant arrives to take it to the
processing plant. The truck is refrigerated and strict sanitation is observed so that the milk is not spoiled or
contaminated during its trip to the plant. When the milk arrives at the plant, it is unloaded into another bulk
holding tank until the processing begins.

Once it arrives at the dairy plant, the milk must pass several steps to assure wholesomeness and quality. These
steps are pasteurization, standardization, homogenization, and packaging.

The first step in processing fresh fluid milk is pasteurization. This is the process by which the milk is heated for
a set amount of time and to a certain temperature to kill any bacteria that may be in the milk. This is a very
important step since bacteria in milk can cause illness in people at worst, or spoilage of the milk at the very least.
All milk, in any form, that is sold to the public is required to be pasteurized.

The next step is what is referred to as standardization. Standardization is the process by which the milkfat content
of the milk is tested and then adjusted to a standard level. Whole milk must be no less than 3.25% milkfat. There
are also 2%, 1 1/2%, 1/2%, and skim or nonfat milk which usually contains less than 0.1% milkfat. All of these
products are made through the separation and removal of milkfat from the original milk. The removed milkfat
is then used in the production of creams, half & half, or ice creams, etc. It is never wasted.

The third step is called homogenization. Have you ever wondered why your grandmother shakes up the milk
carton before she pours out some milk? Years ago, milk was not homogenized. Because of this, the cream in the
milk would rise to the top of the milk and separate off. Grandmother would have to shake the milk in order to
mix the cream back in. Today, most commercially marketed milk is homogenized. This process breaks up the fat
droplets, which are relatively large and significantly lighter when compared to the rest of the milk, so that they
don't separate out as easily. This is accomplished by forcing the milk through specially designed valves under
high pressure. This process causes the fat droplets to virtually explode into much tinier pieces. These pieces are
so small that they don't even float anymore and the cream doesn't separate out of the milk. Now, when
Grandmother shakes the milk, it is out of habit, not necessity.

The final step that the milk needs to go through at the plant is the packaging. There are many types of packages
used for fresh fluid milk. They are the paper carton, the plastic jug, the poly pouch, the glass bottle, the "drink
box" and the can. There has been controversy for years over what is the best way to package milk. It has never

V1I. Apicidtuw:tr~r Collaborate( Curltivate anlld Celebmte(ll

been fully resolved. The paper carton's advantages are that it protects milk from the effects of light. Light causes
the proteins in milk to break down causing off-flavors and spoilage to occur. Light also contributes to the
deterioration of the vitamins in milk. Since light can't get through the heavy paper, the milk is protected. Also,
paper is biodegradable and therefore an environmentally sound choice. The disadvantage to the paper carton is
that it is rather flimsy and hard to handle, especially the gallon size. Also, once opened, it cannot be reclosed
tightly so that, if it is dropped, a spill will occur. Where the paper has its problems, the plastic jug can come to
the rescue. Plastic milk cartons are easy to handle, in all sizes, and can be securely reclosed. They do not,
however, protect their contents from the damaging effects of light. Also, the plastic cartons do not easily
decompose and will exist for years in the environment. The third choice for packaging is the poly pouch. School
lunch programs often use these to conserve space both in storage before consumption and trash afterwards. They
are convenient although awkward to use and, once opened, can definitely not be reclosed at all. Some plants even
package quarts and half gallons in the pouches and customers transfer the milk to another container, such as a
pitcher, when they arrive home. The empty pouches do not take much room at all in landfills but, being plastic,
still require long periods of time before they decompose. Glass bottles, again, do not protect the milk from light,
are heavy, and can break. On the other hand, they can be re-used. Drink boxes and cans do not require
refrigeration until they are opened. This is because the milk inside has been sterilized (all bacteria in the milk
have been killed) by extremely high heat. Some people, however, find that the milk from these has a "funny"
cooked taste as a result of the high temperatures required for sterilizing the milk.

No matter what type of package the milk is put into, the goal of the processor is to get the milk to the consumer
"farm fresh" and in the best shape possible. To assure this, the milk must be processed quickly. Local dairy
processors pride themselves in the fact that, from the time that the milk is picked up from the farm, it can be
processed, packaged and on the store shelves, ready for sale in as little as 2 1/2 hours. This concern for quality
requires that very strict sanitation is observed throughout the processing as well as attention to temperature
control. Milk is a very fragile product and significant fluctuations in temperature can cause it to spoil. Fluid milk,
processed under proper conditions and held at the optimum temperature, should last at least 10-14 days from the
date of processing. To ensure that no product is sold beyond this window of peak quality, processors stamp a
"pull date" on the container. This signifies that the product may not be of desirable quality after that date and
should not be sold.

Some consumers in the Virgin Islands have raised the question as to why some milk seems to go bad before the
date stamped on the container. The answer to that question lies in the temperature fluctuations in the product.
Once the milk leaves the strict control of the processing plant, it is often abused. It may be set on a loading dock
outside of a store and the stock person will "get to it in a minute" or set it in the aisle of the store for stocking
the case and the stock person is called to assist somewhere else "for a minute." Not only store personnel are to
be blamed, however. Shoppers often put the milk in their cart first and then finish their shopping elsewhere in
the store or see a friend that they need to visit with. They may have a long drive home in a hot car and maybe
not get all of the groceries put away right away. The worst offender is the refrigerator "browser" that opens the
door of the refrigerator to see what's there and stands there for a while just looking. This raises the temperature
in the refrigerator, especially on a hot summer day, and some time is required before the temperature can be
brought back down to where it should be. All of these factors affect the milk, causing fluctuations in its
temperature. These fluctuations lead to instability in the milk proteins and, eventually, they give out, break down
and the milk spoils. Ideally, milk should be kept refrigerated at all times at 34-400 F to assure that it stays at peak
quality so that it can provide much needed nutrition and refreshment to you and your family.

Milk. La leche. Le lait. Milch. In any language, it means the same-great taste and ideal nutrition all in one
versatile and very tasty package. So, no matter what your tastes, needs, or desires, there is a milk product that
can accommodate you. Whether as an accompanying beverage with a meal, a snack, a vital cooking ingredient
or a rich dessert, milk can fit into any dietary plan. It is truly a phenomenon that can be termed "Udderly

For more information contact UVI Extension Livestock Program at 692-4179.

1 Source: J. R. Campbell and R. T. Marshall, The Science of Providing MILK for MAN, McGraw-Hill,
New York, 1975, pg 4.
2 Ibid.

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1.7. Ai'or ltiltine: Coulltalowmia Cuii//lovat and (iiCei / i'ti



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Open M-P 7"-5 Sat 72-2

Mulching Your Garden Landscape
by Carlos Robles, Extension Specialist III, UVI Cooperative Extension Service

Mulch can be described as a protective covering that is spread over the soil or left on the top of the soil surface.
It occurs naturally in the forest as leaves, twigs, branches, and other plant parts fall to the forest floor and cover
the soil. This occurs over a long period of time.

Gardeners and landscapers manipulate this natural occurrence in home landscaping by utilizing organic and/or
synthetic (man-made) materials.

Many different mulch types are available today, but all perform at least three basic functions:
1) Reduce soil and water losses
2) Suppress weeds
3) Protect against temperature extremes

The use of mulches in landscape planting provides other benefits as well. When water droplets land on bare
soil, the impact causes soil particles to fly in all directions, resulting in soil crusting and slow water infiltration.
Most mulches break the impact of the droplets, reducing soil erosion and crusting and increasing the penetration
of water into the soil.

In addition, mulches improve soil structure in several ways. They provide organic matter that prompts soil to
aggregate. Large aggregates and improved moisture conditions, in turn, encourage root development and
biological activity enhancing soil structure. Mulched soils are cultivated less frequently than bare soils.

Types of Mulches:

1. Organic:
hay, straw, pine park, cedar chips, shredded dried leaves and twigs, grass clippings, sawdust,
coffee grounds and manure

2. Synthetic (Man-made):
a. Black Plastic The best features of black plastic, and the reasons for its continued popularity,
are its abilities to suppress weed growth and retain soil moisture. It is commonly used in
vegetable and small fruit gardens and is often applied as a layer under wood, bark, or mineral
chips. Unfortunately, although black plastic prevents water from exiting the soil, it also prevents
water from entering the soil.

b. Geotextiles or Landscape Fabrics These woven and nonwoven fabrics of polypropylene or
polyester are an improvement over traditional black plastic. They not only block weed growth
and reduce surface evaporation, but also allow water, fertilizer, and oxygen to penetrate easily
through to the soil. Used alone as mulches, geotextiles can be degraded by the ultraviolet rays of
the sun. They are used more frequently as mulch underliners with wood chips, pine bark, or
gravel placed on top of the liner. Polyester mulches, however, are usually more expensive.

3. Mineral:
crushed stones, gravel, ornamental rocks, and volcanic rocks
Mineral mulches offer some advantages over the organic materials described thus far. They are
not blown about by wind; they do not harbor weed seeds of diseases, and they do not rob the soil
of nitrogen. Mineral mulches are used in shrub beds, driveways, walkways, and in steps. Mineral
mulch particles can work free of beds and be thrown by rotary lawn mowers, potentially causing
injury. Unless underlaid with a synthetic fabric or plastic mulch, they migrate down in soils over

Erosion is a big problem in the territory and we need to do all that we can to control soil erosion and prevent the
loss of valuable top soil into the sea. Adding the appropriate mulch will increase productivity, reduce labor and
irrigation cost and time, and increase the overall efficiency of the farming and gardening experience.

If you have any questions about mulch or any other gardening or farming questions please contact your local
Extension Service office at 692-4080 (St. Croix) or 693-1080 (St. Thomas/St. John/ Water Island).

Agrifjest 2003


Men and Ladies Tailor Suits made in 3 days


42 AB Company Street
Christiansted, St. Croix
P.O. Box 2935
Christiansted, St. Croix 00822


(The Meat Market)

"Get your beeffrom 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

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

r 'II

"something different"
Offering fine handmade Pottery, Ceramic Arts & Crafts,
Jewelry, Colorful indoor/outdoor home decorations,
bathroom accessories, one-of-a-kind hand painted glass
bottles, mahogany rocking chairs and many more fine gift
Gift Certificates Available

Located at
Princesse Plaza, Bay 1
9A La Grande Princesse

Open Tuesday Saturday
1 Oam 6pm

Come visit us and enjoy the new and unique island
shopping experience on St. Croix

A Touch of the Spanish Caribbean!!

4-H/CYFAR Cyber Technology Camp
by Lois V. Sanders, Assistant Director, 4-H/Family & Consumer Sciences Program
UVI Cooperative Extension Service

During the month of November, 2002 fourteen (14) youth between the ages of 10-12 spent their Thanksgiving
weekend getting exposed to the ins and outs of the world of computers. These boys and girls, from St. Thomas
and St. Croix, discovered the myriad possibilities inherent in learning about computers and their application, and
their necessity in the modem world. From establishing e-mail accounts to connecting with family and friends
to developing PowerPoint presentations, the excitement
: was contagious. Utilizing Print Shop, the youth made T-
shirt transfers, binder covers and commemorative CD
labels. Their computer imported graphics and animation
added spark to their closing ceremony presentations, and
their web page designs were quite informative and
creative, as well. An opportunity to stay overnight at a
college campus was also a first and a treat for most of
these young people. Chaperones and parents enjoyed the
opportunity to "learn" right along with the youth.

Under the auspices of the University of the Virgin
Islands' Cooperative Extension Service (CES), the
Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Program,
and the 4-H Youth Development Program/CYFAR Technology Team, this technology camp was made possible.
The team attended a National Technology Conference in 2002, and were committed to bringing the information
back to the territory. The 4-H/CYFAR technology team consists of Patricia Browne, Ennis James, Carolyn
Murchison, Kendall Richmond, Karimah Setorie and Arianna Smith, under the guidance of 4-H Agent, Sarah
Smith and Bill Murchison, 4-H volunteer. For the technology camp, Marthious Clavier and Sommer Sibilly of
the CYFAR Program assisted. The teenagers returned from the conference with a single-focused exuberance and
excitement about the potential for sharing such an experience with young people in this community. These youth
recognized the significance and power of knowledge and new skills in the 21st century.

The youth participating in this first technology camp were: Haley Allick, Raquan Bennett, Victor Browne, Jr.,
Edmundo Coto, Reekah Georges, Raquia Green, Danella Kirby, Lauren Lewis, Lashanda Michael, Malcolm
Murchison, Kadeem Nelson, Estella Obando, Kenrick Richmond and Ephraim Rodriquez, Jr.

The National 4-H Strategic Plan states, "countries, regions and people all over the world are coming together
through integrated economies, advances in technology, and global communications....For people and
communities to thrive, the next generation must be prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to build
strong economies and with the values and principles necessary to nurture successful societies, communities and
families." Executive Summary, 2002

UVI-CES is determined to make an impact in closing the digital divide in the territory.

For more information about this effort and other 4-H/CYFAR Programs in youth development, contact the office
at 692-4087 or 692-4092.

Agrifest 2003

Dan Holm CPF


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

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: signal @viaccess.net
109-118 Castle Coakley, St. Croix

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

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

S(340) 772-903:




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

Rne Quality Cabinetry for Kitchen, Bathroom, Home or Office



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

Professional Dance and Gumnastics training
for Boys and Girls ages 3-19.
Serving the St. Croix Community for 21 years

Carlita Schuster, Artistic Director
#7a Whim, Frederiksted

A taste of old St. (roix
Savor the history!

1 $4) R Q f.Joumn "
Ths to & d m-"e .... 10 0toe wo m n
n1ora Books by ng
Un* De Ilon, ee iewrd A. ,h3durl, 5,.
RO. Box 39 Kingshll. St. Croix U.S.V.I., 00851 (340) 778-0477
m- 1 &iiaL' outZ and dZJ tLz tozziei

/''. e Princesse Hardware, Inc.
'- ?' -17 La Grande Princesse

For all your electrical, plumbing, hardware needs,
Wooden doors, metal doors, closet doors
and much more

Tele: (340) 713-0377
Fax: (340) 713-1377

P.O. Box 7215
Sunny Isle, St. Croix
U.S.V.I. 00823

(340) 773-3905


44 King Street
Christiansted, St. Croix
USVI 00820

Hilary Robinson

Tel (340) 778-7073 Fax (340) 773-0991


Ask for Cooper!

*Tires Batteries Shocks
Brake Repairs Oil & Lube
Wheel Alignment CV Joints

Rt.70 in Sion Farm


Agriiesl 21013


What is Diabetes?
by Lois V. Sanders, Assistant Director-4-H/Family & Consumer Sciences Program
UVI Cooperative Extension Service- Food and Nutrition Component

UVI-CES Health Watch is a focus of the Family & Consumer Sciences Program under the Food and Nutrition
area. Diabetes is one of the diseases associated with the need to eat properly and to watch your diet to stay
healthy; therefore educating the local community is very important.

This is a question people might ask when they hear the word "diabetes." It is a disease in which the body is not
able to use the food you eat for fuel. The millions of cells in the body need energy to carry out daily activities.
When you eat or drink, much of your food is broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose (sugar)
provides the energy the body needs. Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps the body use glucose for
energy. When you have diabetes, you are not able to produce enough insulin or the insulin that is produced is not
working properly. Without insulin, glucose cannot get into the body's cells for use as energy. This increases the
levels of glucose in your blood. Too much glucose in the blood is called "high blood sugar" or diabetes. A high
level of glucose in the blood can lead to a number of very serious health problems, such as blindness and kidney

Another way to look at what is happening is to compare the human body to a car To start a car, you must turn
the key to move the gas to the engine. Similarly, the glucose in your bloodstream cannot go into the cells by itself
The pancreas releases a substance called insulin into the blood which serves as the helper, or the "key" that lets
glucose into the cells for use as energy.

Diet What you eat is vitally important!

To prevent or control a disease which affects how your body uses food, it is important to be careful regarding
what you eat.

Dietary Guidelines
- Consume enough calories to allow you to reach and stay at a desirable body weight.

- Eat a diet high in carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates. Emphasize
vegetables, fruits, lowfat dairy products, beans and other starchy foods, such as bread,
cereal, rice and pasta.

- Eat a diet providing a maximum of 30% of calories from fat, 8 10 % of these calories
from saturated fat, and less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol.

- Eat a diet containing about 10 to 15 % of calories from protein.

- Eat smaller meals several times a day instead of eating one or two large meals.

Nationally, there is an increase in types 1 and 2 diabetes. The increase is at the rate of about 6% per year, which
means the number of people with diabetes will double every 15 years. In the U.S. it is occurring predominantly
in the non-white ethnic populations. The prevalence of diabetes in the Caucasian community is approximately
5-6%; in the black population, it is somewhere between 12-15%; in the Hispanic population it is around 20%;
and in the Native American community it frequently exceeds 30%. The disease is very rare in undeveloped
countries; however, as they develop and achieve industrial prominence and economic stability, there is a marked
increase in diabetes in these cultures.

Diabetes is a serious problem in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Based on the Health Department's Diabetes Strategic
Plan (2002-2012), during 1990-1998, the prevalence of diabetes in the USVI increased 100%. The prevalence of
diabetes appears to be highest on St. Croix with 11% of adults reporting that they had diabetes, compared to 9%
on St. Thomas and 7% on St. John.

Thirty-eight (38%) percent of persons reporting that they had diabetes were 55+. The 45-54 year old rate was
11%; and the 25-44 rate 4%. Those over 65 had a rate of 23%. One percent (1%) of persons with diabetes in the

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

VI reported that they were diagnosed at age 18 or less; 39% between age 18-44; 24% between age 45-54; 11%
between the age of 55-64; and 6.9% age 65 and above.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs because the insulin producing cells are damaged. Most
people with Type 1 diabetes must use insulin injections to control their blood glucose. This is the most common
form in people less than 20 years of age, but can occur at any age. People with Type II diabetes produce insulin
but it is not enough or does not work properly in the body. This type is most common in individuals over age 40
who are overweight. Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage it by controlling their weight, watching their
diet and exercising regularly.

Symptoms Type 1 Diabetes (often sudden and severe)

* Increased thirst Unexplained weight loss
* Increased hunger (especially after eating) Fatigued (weak, tired feeling)
* Dry mouth Blurred vision
* Frequent urination Numbness or tingling of hands or feet
*Loss of consciousness (rare)

Symptoms Type II Diabetes (in addition to same as above for Type 1- usually develop gradually)

* Slow-healing sores or cuts
* Itching of the skin (usually in the vaginal or groin area)
* Yeast infections
* Recent weight gain

Risk Factors

* Family history Parent or sibling with disease increases risk.
* Race or ethnic background Increased risk in Hispanics, African-Americans,
Native-Americans and Asians.
* Being overweight Persons 20 % over their optimal body weight are at
increased risk.
* Hypertension (high blood pressure)
* Abnormal blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels. HDL or "good" cholesterol level
under 35mg/dl and/or a triglyceride level over 250 mg/dl.
* Age Risk increases progressively as you get older.
* Use of certain drugs/medications.
* Alcohol Risk may increase with years of heavy alcohol use.
* Smoking
* History of gestational diabetes (developing during pregnancy) or delivery of babies
over nine pounds.
* Autoimmune disease body's immune system attacks certain healthy cells in the
pancreas that produce insulin.
* Some viruses are thought to play a part in diabetes development.

How is Diabetes Diagnosed?

When symptoms appear, usually a fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) is administered after you have not eaten
anything for 10 to 12 hours. According to the American Diabetes Association, normal fasting blood glucose is
between 70 and 115 mg/dl for people who do not have diabetes. The standard diagnosis of diabetes is made when
two blood tests show that your fasting blood glucose level is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl.

The casual plasma glucose test is another method of diagnosing diabetes in which good glucose is tested without
regard to the time since the person's last meal. A glucose level greater than 200 mg/dl may indicate diabetes,
especially if the test is repeated at a later time and indicates similar results.

Agriftst 2003

Keys to Managing Your Diabetes

1. Planning what you eat and following a balanced meal plan
2. Exercising regularly
3. Taking medication, if prescribed, and closely following the guidelines on how and
when to take it
4. Monitoring your blood glucose and blood pressure levels at home
5. Keeping your appointments with your healthcare providers and having laboratory tests
completed as ordered by your doctor

What you do at home every day affects your blood glucose more than what your doctor can do every few months
during your checkups.

The following is a recipe that is low in calories and high in nutritional value.


8 cups shredded cabbage, about 1 pound
V cup shredded carrot
2 green onions, sliced
1 can (8oz) juice-packed pineapple chunks, drained
/ cup nonfat sour cream
/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons nonfat mayonnaise
2 teaspoon sugar substitute
V teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, onion and pineapple. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining
ingredients. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Makes 8 servings.

Per serving (3/4 cup): 76 calories, 3 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 61 mg sodium

Diabetic exchanges: fruit exchange, 1-1/2 vegetable exchanges


Diabetes Life Lines, University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service, College of Agricultural and
Environmental Sciences, Athens, Georgia. Spring 2002.

Guthrie, Diana W. and Richard A. Guthrie, From the Diabetes Sourcebook: Today's Methods and Ways to
Give Yourself the Best Care, by arrangement with Lowell House, 1999.

Taking Charge Diabetes and the African American Woman, 1996. Cumberland Packing Corporation, 2
Cumberland Street, Brooklyn, NY 11205.

The Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 or (800) 223-2273, ext. 43771.

For more information at UVI, contact Miriam Greene at 692-4083 or 692-4096.

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

Ode to Bush
by David Howlett, Forester, Virgin Islands Department ofAgriculture

It is time to celebrate agriculture in the Virgin Islands. To that end, we must take time to consider the vital
production that occurs on our forested lands. Each day, environmental services and goods are produced by
thousands of tress on private and public lands that benefit us all. Mango and genip trees, among others, bare us
delicious fruit every year. Forests provide beautiful landscapes for Virgin Islanders and tourists to enjoy. Trees
provide gathering places to play dominoes and talk with friends, shaded from the hot afternoon sun. Rain that
falls on forested lands penetrates deeply into the earth, giving us clean, naturally purified drinking water. Forests
keep fertile topsoil from eroding into the sea, protecting the coral reefs and fish stocks we depend on. Forests
naturally restore soil fertility to barren lands that we may cultivate again. Forests and trees help to supply clean
air by filtering pollutants from cars and factories. Finally, forested land supports the plants and wildlife that also
make the Virgin Islands their home.

I hope to clear up several misconceptions about what is commonly referred to as "bush." Bush exists in many
states, from grasslands and shrubs to successively larger trees. To some, bush land is a wild, messy, and useless
state of being; wasteland, some may call it.
Shrubs, thorny acacias, and of course tan-tan (or
f s d, an wild tamarind) all make up the plants we find in
the bush. Bush is hard to walk through; it gets in
-h d. s our way (some like it that way for security). It just
keeps growing, especially in the rainy season, and
causes headaches for those who have to clear it.
The Department of Agriculture spends countless
hours turning bush into productive farmland on
derelict parcels. Some think bush is bad, but not
all of us.

As a forester who is interested in the production of
trees and providing the natural environment for the
development of native forests, I see bush much
like marine biologists see coral reefs. Coral reefs
are the nurseries that help small fish become large
fish. In reality, bush is simply the early stage of
forest development. Trees do not become large overnight, and trees here in the islands take 10-15 years to
achieve moderate size, creating a tall overhead canopy we think of in typical forests. This time can be longer
with dry or less than optimal sites. When we continuously cut down bush for pastures, crops, or a neat-looking
landscape, we reset the clock on forest development. If we leave bush alone for long enough, a typical forest
should develop in time. Bushfires also keep forests from developing, leaving grasses and fast-growing shrubs
to take over. As we continually reset the clock on forest development, we deny ourselves the services forests

Bush comes in many types of varieties, depending on the land's history, species present, and environmental
factors. On newly burnt or cleared land, grasses quickly invade with windborne seeds. Newly invading trees
increase the complexity of physical and species structure as they grow and fill in the grassy space. Shrubs and
other small trees add to the mix, making an uneven looking bush with a mix of tall and short vegetation. Birds
and wild life like this structure for perches, cover, and food. As the bush grows, trees later become more
dominant because they grow taller and shade out the sun dependent grasses, shrubs, and small trees. At the same
time, many changes are taking place on the ground that help to provide the environment for a new set of species
that live under the shade of the growing forest canopy. Some plants, like the guavaberry tree, thrive under the
canopy of a forest, and in fact, may grow poorly (or die) if left exposed to the full sun. Many plants need the
shade, increased moisture, and wind protection that the forest provides. As the plant diversity rises, more insects
come to feed on the variety of plants. Birds then come to feed on the insects and fruits. Birds also carry seeds
from other trees and plants, sometimes from hundreds of miles away. This exiting process eventually results in
a taller forest, with two to three sub-layers of trees, shrubs, and herbs beneath the canopy. The diversity of plants
and animals is much higher than the grassland we started with. This process is called ecological succession,
whereby one group of species replaces another until a climax state is reached. Due to the historic and current

Agifest 2003

state of land use in the Virgin Islands, there is very little climax forest left. The forest needs time to recover to
this state.

So what should you do about your bush? Working here in the Virgin Islands, I've had the chance to help
landowners deal with bush on their properties. Some think it is best to clear it all and then plant new trees to
replace them. This may be the best thing to do with small areas of bush near the home or in some other highly
visible area. If the bush is not well developed, as in grasslands, it is best to plant trees where they do not already
exist. By augmenting the species composition, especially with bird attracting trees, you help to bring seeds from
other areas, giving you more diversity than before. If your bush is real thick, like tall, pole-sized tan-tan, so close
together you can't walk through it, it may be best to select some individuals and cut the rest. Sometimes you
find interesting species of trees growing in the thicket of tan-tan or casha (acacia). If possible, select these trees
to keep, and remove the surrounding competitors. This allows the selected trees to grow quickly with less
competition for light and water. Even if your bush has only tan-tan, select individual plants that are growing
well with a tall, straight trunk and healthy branches. If you remove some of the competitors, your selected
individual will grow into a tall tree much faster, providing more of the environmental services forests provide.
Contact the Forestry Division at the Virgin Islands' Department of Agriculture if you have any questions about
this method.

We escape to the bush when we need to recharge our mental faculties in the presence of natural beauty. "Gone
Bush" is the motto of the St. Croix Hiking Association. Although it may not look like it, bush is a natural state
of land use. Again, it is simply one of the first stages of forest development. Bush provides the necessary
environment for the maintenance of biodiversity in the islands-also providing us with fruits, recreational
opportunities, and natural vistas. If we leave the bush alone in other areas (or help the succession process along),
you may be surprised at what you will find some day. Singing birds, wild tropical fruits, fertile soils and clean
water, along with a cornucopia of other goods will be supplied by the forest that was once bush.

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

Kids Doing Business in the Virgin Islands
By: Kofi Boateng, Associate Director CES, & Ellenor C. Paul, Student Assistant CES

Exciting, interactive, and cultivating are just a few words to describe the Mini-Society Program. Children
throughout the territory have had the privilege to participate in this stimulating program. "Mini-Society is an
experienced-based instructional system targeted primarily at
teaching entrepreneurship, economics, and citizenship concepts to
students ages 8-12." Dr. Marilyn Kourilsky envisioned the
program in the early 1970s and over the years it has been refined,
extended, and tested for content and quality. The program has
been implemented throughout the continental United States and
was transported to the Virgin Islands in 2000. "Mini-Society has
shown to be effective across socioeconomic boundaries and
adaptable to a variety of student learning styles." In addition, the
program has established its effectiveness outside the traditional
classroom settings and greatly promotes cooperative learning.

on all levels of Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy-knowledge,
comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
__ _l_ ciuIn addition, their cognitive, psychomotor, and affective needs are

The Mini-Society Program was introduced to the Virgin Islands and the Cooperative Extension Service seized
the opportunity to discover what it was all about. The University of
the Virgin Islands' Cooperative Extension Service secured a grant
from the Kauffman Foundation in 2001. Since then, CES has
renewed the grant to continue this experience-based program for the
youth in the territory. Mini-Society has been implemented
frequently at CES summer camps and after- school 4-H programs.
In March of 2002 sixty individuals in the territory were trained by
Neldra Flint, a representative of the Kauffman Foundation to
implement Mini-Society in their respective communities.
Counselors, teachers, community service leaders, church group
leaders, and volunteers were invited to participate. Individuals on
all three islands were enthused and grabbed the opportunity to
become certified Mini-
Society Instructors.

The Mini-Society Program fosters in children concepts of starting up
their own business, how a country is developed, and how money is
circulated in a society. Mini-Society puts children in control. The
children are given the opportunity to run their country the way they want
to. Teachers and other leaders only serve as facilitators. When the
children are in the process of taking control, no teacher or any other adult
r is allowed to have a say. The children are given the authority to make
their own laws and are required to abide by them. If laws are broken, the
citizens of the country, who are the children have a town meeting and
solve the problem. After town meetings, children gather around with
their teacher and have a debriefing moment. During that time, the teacher
uses any incidents seen throughout the time Mini-Society was in effect to teach a new concept.

The Cooperative Extension Service persists in its endeavors to make the Mini-Society Program a success, by
continuing to promote the program, train more instructors, and empower children to "take over." If you are
interested in finding out more about the program or being trained to implement Mini-Society in your classroom
you can contact Kofi Boateng at 692-4066.

Agnfest 2003

La Grange's Smorgasbord

Early dawn or late dusk are ideal
hours to smell, see, hear the real

La Grange, when car fumes do not choke
off the nostrils, their horns provoke

district dogs to bark, mongooses to race
into undergrowth; the face

of this village finds definition in verdant
fields, in licorice, mahogany, flamboyant;

in plum, mango, avocado-their aromas
perfume to the soul. You can grasp

its sound in blue pigeon's bass, dove's alto,
trush's tenor, chinchiri's soprano.

To gauge the estate's pulse, truly know
its heartbeat, witness the grazing of the cow.

-Marvin E. Williams

Custard Apple

I miss your skin, taut and tough
like the culture that nutured
and orphaned you, sending you away

to a lover's memory where every
season is your season, where you
are forever ripe, succulent. I miss

your sweet grainy flesh, vibrant vanilla
blackening your seeds which offer
up themselves to build an orchard

where you flower beyond the limits
of desire and forgetting, where
memory is a perennial begetting.

-Marvin E. Williams

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

Stuffed Breadfruit

1 full breadfruit (not too soft)
1 small onion, minced
1 large very ripe tomato, minced
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
2 cups ground beef
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon margarine
salt and pepper to taste

Gently brown beef in 1 tablespoon cooking oil and 1 tablespoon margarine. Add prepared
vegetables, stir and cook for 3 minutes longer. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat.

To Prepare Breadfruit

Peel and parboil breadfruit whole in salt water. From the stem end of the fruit, cut out the core
and remove some pulp to form a cup to hold prepared beef. Fill cavity with cooked meat
mixture. Set in greased baking dish and bake at 4000 F. for 30 to 45 minutes or until fruit is
delicately brown. Serve hot.

Makes 4 breadfruit quarters.

Each quarter provides:

Calories Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
352 21 23 18 559 71

Browning meat with a non-stick vegetable spray or a non-fat margarine will save 4 grams offat
and 36 calories per serving. Choose lean ground beef and save an extra 6 grams offat and 54
calories per serving.


Agrifest 2003

Guava Cheese

Wash, peel, and rub ripe guavas through sieve. Add 1 cup sugar to each cup of pulp.

Boil constantly until mixture leaves side of pan. Test. When mixture forms a firm ball in water,
remove from heat.

Pour in shallow greased pan or dish. When firm, cut in squares; roll in granulated sugar.

Serves 6 (using 3 guavas and 1 cup sugar).

Calories Fat Protein Carboydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(g) (g) (g) (mg) (g)
135 0 0 35 1 0

(per serving)

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

Soursop Tizan

1 1/4

large soursop (ripe)
cups water (hot)
cups evaporated milk
cups sugar
teaspoon vanilla

Peel soursop and place in large bowl. Crush with potato masher. Pour hot water over pulp. Cover
and let stand for about /2 hour.

In a colander, strain off juice, agitating the pulp with a spoon. To soursop juice, add milk, sugar,
and vanilla, stir until sugar is dissolved.

Chill and serve over cracked ice. If you wish, a little bit of rum can be added.

Serves 8.

Protein Carbohydrates



(g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
257 6 6 47 91 23

Calories Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
289 6 6 47 91 23

(with 1/2-cup light rum per recipe)

Agrifest 2003



Native Seasoning
(for fish, meat and poultry)

3-6 Puerto Rican sweet peppers
1 small piece hot pepper
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig celery (native)
5 small pieces chibble (chives)
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
6 cloves garlic, crushed OR
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon mace
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup fine salt

Grind, chop or pound sweet peppers, hot peppers, parsley, celery, chibble, thyme and garlic in
motar until very fine. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Store in covered jar. Makes V2
cup seasoning.

Calories Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
3 0 0 1 534 0

(per 1 teaspoon serving)

VI. Agriculture: Collaborate, Cultivate and Celebrate

Our cars will last...

until these guys
conie hoie!

Agrifest 2003

; ~ir L~


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