As You Can See, The Drinks Were Enjoyed
Charlestown, Nevis – July 31, 2007
A mulching machine and soaps, jewellery, food and drinks made from local fruits and vegetables were the highlights at the second annual Fruit Festival at the Villa in Charlestown. The event was hosted by the Department of Agriculture on Nevis on Thursday July 26, 2007.
The mulching machine which was purchased by the Department at a cost of US$49,000 (EC$130,000) will be used to create mulch from hundreds of headless coconut trees which dot the Nevisian landscape that had been affected by Lethal Yellowing. Earlier this year the Department had announced its intension to purchase the machine.
Minister of Agriculture the Hon. Robelto Hector who was on hand for the first public demonstration at the Fruit Fair told the Department of Information, that the machine would provide an opportunity for the Department to offer an alternative to farmers and landscapers an opportunity to purchase mulch locally.
“The shredded is an investment of about EC$130, 000. Here is an opportunity for us to offer an alternative to farmers in terms of mulch. It works well with our programme as we face the challenge of trying to deal with the Lethal Yellowing problem on the island.This in a way is saving us on foreign exchange, in that, farmers and other persons on the island who are into agriculture and landscaping would have an alternative in terms of mulch hereby eliminating that source of importation. So as a new measure of import substitution, we welcome the use of technology here in Nevis as a new thrust,” he said.
He said the Fruit Festival offered an opportunity for the youth of Nevis to appreciate what is done on the island. Today is a great day for agriculture and I would want us to continue in this way,” he said.
Meantime, Marie Mason who showcased soaps made from local fruits and vegetables noted that it was something new to Nevisians but a rewarding exercise for her.
“It is something new that they are not aware that we have all the natural fruits and vegetables that we can make soaps out of them they think we just eat them but at the same time we can take care of our skin. It’s a lot of work but it is exciting and rewarding. I have here soaps made from fruits and vegetables.
“We have Cucumber soap which is great for cleansing, we have Passion fruit soap and passion fruit scrub which is a great exfoliate that gets rid of the dead cells on the skin. We have Mango seeds soap and Genip seed soap that has natural oils that are excellent for the skin. The Carrot soap is also a great skin softener. I recommend that we use our local fruits and vegetable soaps so that we can at least use natural ingredients on our skin instead of using chemicals,” she said.
According to Ms. Mason, a basic soap which takes four to six weeks to cure is made. It is then combined with the fruits and vegetables and other natural essential oils including coconut oil. The soap is cured for another two weeks then it is heated and poured into moulds.
At the food stall there were a number of exotic fruit dishes and drinks including a Manciport Pie and a Star Apple Pie. Cocander Root and Beet wine, Ginger Pineapple wine and Passion fruit and Pineapple Pie.