The slogan, ‘Eat what you grow’, rolls smoothly off the tongue of most Jamaicans. The truth, however, is that we say by our actions, ‘Eat what you import’. Many older Jamaicans will tell of the days when the shelves were filled with Jamaican fruits and vegetables. In the ‘new’ Jamaica, the market, although still the centre of fresh produce competes with the shelves laden with strawberries, peaches, American apples and other imported delicacies.
How many Jamaicans, especially those in built-up areas, have access to enough green space to plant a garden? Do they have the time or expertise to maintain the garden?
Well not me. Yes, shamefully I admit that despite my intense displeasure of ‘paying through my teeth’ for vegetables and fruits, I do not have a home garden.
Where do I begin? I think a lot of Jamaicans might be just like me. Despite being willing to start a garden, they lack the necessary skills. Perhaps a trip to a plant nursery might be a good start to get some well needed advice. Do you have a vegetable garden?
Teri Ann Renee Paisley (gleaner on-line writer)