“At this stage in our history, we don’t grow as much as we used to,” said University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service specialist Carlos Robles, speaking to dozens of students from several St. Thomas and St. John schools as well as numerous visitors who gathered at Annaberg Plantation for the festival. The V.I. National Park’s 21st annual Folklife Festival kicked off Thursday with an emphasis on the event’s theme, "Wake Up and Plant a Seed."
According to Robles, about 99 percent of the territory’s food is imported. However, he said that doesn’t have to be the case because vegetables like peppers, sweet potatoes and cucumber grow well in the territory.
“This cucumber was grown in St. Croix,” Robles said, holding it aloft.
The herb basil also grows well in the Virgin Islands, he said, pointing out its use in making bush tea.
Park ranger Denise Georges, who organized the event, said that there is more to planting seeds than gardening. To demonstrate, Ingrid Bough, who heads up the territory’s libraries for the Planning and Natural Resources Department, was on hand to read “It’s Library Day.”
“Books are our friends,” Bough said.
The students from St. Thomas’ Bowsky School as well as St. John’s Guy Benjamin, Julius E. Sprauve and Gifft Hill schools had myriad expectations about what they’d learn on their field trip.
“I want to learn new things about St. John, see different people and learn about history,” said 9-year-old Daija Williams, a Bowsky School student. read entire story