“We need to grow more seller than buyer… cost of living get higher,” Selah Ranking singing on stage at the #VIBordeauxFair2015 #SUPPORTviFARMERS
Heads bopping, feet shuffling all around the fair pavilion and the dance floor flooded with happy feet, young to old, as the Lion SoulJahs band soothed souls starting the live reggae concert during the second and last day of the 18th annual Bordeaux Farmers Rastafari Agriculture and Cultural Vegan Food Fair on Sunday, January 18, 2015. The second day of a two-day celebration, the Virgin Islands community was blessed for another year by the Bordeaux farmers in celebration of agriculture with the theme, “Know your farmer, Know your food.”
The fair ran from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. all weekend with ongoing fresh produce, cultural craft and vegan food, farmers market, educational presentations, demonstrations, DJ music, poetry and various other forms of entertainment.
We Grow Food, Inc. and the Bordeaux farmers work tirelessly all year long, with regular markets on the second and last last Sundays, but the annual fair is the time to really celebrate the beauty in their natural Rastafari and farming community. This is when they’re busiest, doing more than just feeding our stomachs, but truly feeding our souls holistically showing the community what their community does on an everyday basis.
Farmer of the Year, Derick “Alpha” Hodge was awarded for his work over the past year as a Bordeaux farmer as well as at the Department of Agriculture where he is a heavy equipment operator. The V.I. Department of Tourism also received a special recognition award for their repeated support of the annual fair.
Some of the educational presentations throughout the day were shared by: Small Business Development Center, University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service (Tropical Fruits of the VI Book), Heru Ofori Atta (Hemp), Herbalist Ras Bobby Olivaccee (Health, Wellness and Rastafarianism), VI Energy Office, Camp Umoja Sister Djabana (Anna Wallace-Francis) and Sister Benita (We Grow Food, Inc.) and more.
Farm tours ran throughout the day exposing the community to drip irrigation, terrace making and bee keeping. Some of the farms included tours with Eldridge “Sparks” Thomas, We Grow Food, Inc. President as well as the Greed Ridge Guavaberry family farm.
Artistic performances included a spiritual dance by Princess Selam, steelpan music by the Rising Stars Pan-Round-de-Neck group, the Bertha C. Bochulte Flambo Combo band and more. During ‘Koniyah’s Poetry Corner’ poets from The Rock Collective and others throughout the community performed a number of pieces on a range of topics including culture, history, politics, community, thankfulness and more.
The family activity center there were ongoing craft stations featuring clay, planting, face painting, coloring, unity art projects and much more organized by Empress Iria who travels to St. Thomas from St. Croix to manage the youth with the assistance of community volunteers. Some of the activities included pictograph painting, “turn your trash into treasures” picture frames and jewelry making as well as fabric painting with plant based materials and basket weaving.
On Sunday, the activities continued with recycling natural and man-made materials to create art, jewelry making with our local seeds and coco palm painting with Sista Djabana of Camp Umoja and the Environmental Rangers.
Performers during the live reggae concerts included: Lion SoulJahs Band, Selah Ranking, Ras Martin & Itege, Jah Sekemnah, Kaida, Inner Vision, Dj Dilli Fingas, Unity Band, Empress, Nuby Dan…