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UVI CELEBRATES WORLD FOOD DAY

Oct. 20, 2002 – With pictures of world hunger flashing across our television screens almost daily and a recent report on the rise of poverty in the territory, World Food Day is the University of the Virgin Islands' annual reminder of the importance of food production in the territory.
The event started 19 years ago on the St. Croix campus of UVI, and Kofi Boateng said the event "is a celebration of the birthday of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, which was established Oct. 16, 1945.
Boateng said the main purpose of the celebration is to make residents aware of world food problems, to show them about the plight of malnutrition and to discuss ways to solve world hunger. A smorgasbord of foods were available from different cultures which included St. Kitts, Antigua, Nevis, Trinidad, Puerto Rico and several African countries.
Resident Alfredo Williams said she grows everything in her quarter-acre backyard garden. Williams grows peanuts, grapefruits, cantaloupes, eggplants, bananas and more. "I hope to teach the public that there are a lot of resources to use. We throw away most of the things we have when we can put them to good use," she said.
Williams' display included stewed gooseberry, tamarind and jojo plum, and a collection of medicinal herbs in plastic bags. Williams dries the herbs in a makeshift humidifier. "I got a room hotter than a laundry dryer," she said. "The economy pushes you out here. It's rough! We need a market for our products. People in the states will enjoy our products."
A Ghanaian menu offered samplings of cornmeal and okra stew, peanut soup with rice balls, and kingfish in peanut butter sauce.
About 20 tents dotted the lawn at UVI. Curious participants strolled around greeting friends, sampling various cuisines and picking through seedlings to add to their backyard gardens.
Alexandrea Phillip for her car with both arms filled. She said she attends the event every year and tries her hand at nurturing the seedlings. "Today I got some good lessons on how to water and care for them," she said of the six-inch stalks which included cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers. "I hope I have better luck this year," she said.
Henry Carter, 75, who grew up in Lebanon Hills, selected avocados for a customer interested in preparing guacamole. "From the time I was 2 years old I've been harvesting and selling food," he said. "We didn't have day care centers in those days. My mother used to work me hard."
Kendall Peterson of Farmers in Action said, "This is for the preservation of our farmlands." Peterson circulated a petition in support of an initiative to preserve farmland and establish a sustainable agricultural industry. He had gotten over 150 signatures in support.
Whitney Smith, 13, of the 4-H Rabbit Club, said she sold about five of the 25 rabbits they brought along.
The day's events included DJ Glamorous Sounds, a Caribbean Cook Off contest, a tour of the experiment station, and workshops on aquaculture options for the territory, citrus production, and safe and healthy drinking water.
The World Food Day "Urban Gardening" display seemed to be an ongoing attraction for novice and experienced gardeners. Charles Smith, extension assistant with the Agricultural and Natural Resources Program, said he was sharing different practices of drip irrigation, container gardening and the use of organic mulch.
"We had a full crowd all day. Everybody is interested in the container gardening technique," Smith said.
The container garden displayed beets, chives and celery. Tomatoes and sorrel drank from drip irrigation, while cinnamon basil enjoyed the cool and moistening mulch method. The organic mulch process used dried grass cuttings to loosen the soil and maintain the moisture.
"I came out to do community service, but I learned so much more," Shane Richards, a senior at St. Croix Educational Complex, said. He said his group of volunteers helped set up and breakdown the event, and chaperoned and supervised children's activities like face painting and the train ride around the campus grounds.
"Through community service I see parts of the island I've never seen," Richards said. "It lets me know how the community is."

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Oct. 20, 2002 – With pictures of world hunger flashing across our television screens almost daily and a recent report on the rise of poverty in the territory, World Food Day is the University of the Virgin Islands' annual reminder of the importance of food production in the territory.
The event started 19 years ago on the St. Croix campus of UVI, and Kofi Boateng said the event "is a celebration of the birthday of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, which was established Oct. 16, 1945.
Boateng said the main purpose of the celebration is to make residents aware of world food problems, to show them about the plight of malnutrition and to discuss ways to solve world hunger. A smorgasbord of foods were available from different cultures which included St. Kitts, Antigua, Nevis, Trinidad, Puerto Rico and several African countries.
Resident Alfredo Williams said she grows everything in her quarter-acre backyard garden. Williams grows peanuts, grapefruits, cantaloupes, eggplants, bananas and more. "I hope to teach the public that there are a lot of resources to use. We throw away most of the things we have when we can put them to good use," she said.
Williams' display included stewed gooseberry, tamarind and jojo plum, and a collection of medicinal herbs in plastic bags. Williams dries the herbs in a makeshift humidifier. "I got a room hotter than a laundry dryer," she said. "The economy pushes you out here. It's rough! We need a market for our products. People in the states will enjoy our products."
A Ghanaian menu offered samplings of cornmeal and okra stew, peanut soup with rice balls, and kingfish in peanut butter sauce.
About 20 tents dotted the lawn at UVI. Curious participants strolled around greeting friends, sampling various cuisines and picking through seedlings to add to their backyard gardens.
Alexandrea Phillip for her car with both arms filled. She said she attends the event every year and tries her hand at nurturing the seedlings. "Today I got some good lessons on how to water and care for them," she said of the six-inch stalks which included cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers. "I hope I have better luck this year," she said.
Henry Carter, 75, who grew up in Lebanon Hills, selected avocados for a customer interested in preparing guacamole. "From the time I was 2 years old I've been harvesting and selling food," he said. "We didn't have day care centers in those days. My mother used to work me hard."
Kendall Peterson of Farmers in Action said, "This is for the preservation of our farmlands." Peterson circulated a petition in support of an initiative to preserve farmland and establish a sustainable agricultural industry. He had gotten over 150 signatures in support.
Whitney Smith, 13, of the 4-H Rabbit Club, said she sold about five of the 25 rabbits they brought along.
The day's events included DJ Glamorous Sounds, a Caribbean Cook Off contest, a tour of the experiment station, and workshops on aquaculture options for the territory, citrus production, and safe and healthy drinking water.
The World Food Day "Urban Gardening" display seemed to be an ongoing attraction for novice and experienced gardeners. Charles Smith, extension assistant with the Agricultural and Natural Resources Program, said he was sharing different practices of drip irrigation, container gardening and the use of organic mulch.
"We had a full crowd all day. Everybody is interested in the container gardening technique," Smith said.
The container garden displayed beets, chives and celery. Tomatoes and sorrel drank from drip irrigation, while cinnamon basil enjoyed the cool and moistening mulch method. The organic mulch process used dried grass cuttings to loosen the soil and maintain the moisture.
"I came out to do community service, but I learned so much more," Shane Richards, a senior at St. Croix Educational Complex, said. He said his group of volunteers helped set up and breakdown the event, and chaperoned and supervised children's activities like face painting and the train ride around the campus grounds.
"Through community service I see parts of the island I've never seen," Richards said. "It lets me know how the community is."

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.