About a week ago I had my first locally grown strawberry. I was put in contact with the farmer through RADA, which has been a reliable source for finding suppliers for some heavily sought after produce, especially the exotic ones. I imagine I was probably as excited as all the customers who bought out the strawberries within less than a couple hours of them being launched on the website.
We made arrangements to meet up with the supplier in Papine, as he lived all the way in Content, way beyond the St. Andrew Hills. I was pleasantly surprise to meet the farmer I had had several phone conversations with. He was younger that I expected, about early to mid-twenties and just as excited about his strawberries as I was about tasting them.
First thing I noticed was that they were not as big as the ones I’m used to in North America, but boy were they sweet! After eating a couple and allowing my all-too-eager children to likewise indulge their taste buds, I had to ask myself, why is it that we’ve only just started to really grow strawberries, especially in the mountains? Why do we continue to import food in such high quantities that we can grow right here on home soil? This is just another of the many perplexing things about Jamaica. According to the farmer, the demand is so high that he is currently unable to keep up. He assured me that within a couple weeks the supply will be more reliable and he and his colleagues expect that their farms will be churning out a more consistent supply. I will be on the lookout for that.
I mentioned last week that we are and should be thankful for RADA for their efforts in helping our farmers take on new produce and helping them to get on the market. Sure RADA has its shortcomings, but I will continue to cheer them on while I patiently wait for them to follow suit with some black and blueberries, grapes and raspberries, just a few of my faves. Click here to place your orders for strawberries while supplies last.