The 19th annual Bordeaux Farmer’s Rastafari Agricultural & Cultural Vegan Food Fair this weekend will feature local produce, prepared foods, music, workshops and activities for children.
Running from 10 a.m. till late in the evening on Saturday and Sunday, the fair will be held at the Bordeaux Farmer’s Market on the West End of St. Thomas with music and workshops all day until the concluding band performance on Sunday evening.
Visitors can expect to see live reggae and drumming with the full schedule of events listed below.
Benita Martin, event organizer and We Grow Food Inc. member, said she expects around 15 farmers to have booths at the event this year and about 200-300 people will be in attendance at any given time.
“Everything about the fair will have a Rastafarian or Caribbean flavor,” Martin said.
Vegan food like tofu, beans, nuts, burgers, raw dishes and desserts will be available, and Martin said local farmers will also be selling all kinds of produce, including carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, soursop, passion fruit, mangos, bananas and pumpkin, as well as local-made seasonings.
“We aim to make sure everything is as local as possible, so we only allow crops to be sold that come from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico,” Martin said. Martin added that the fair enforces this rule by having inspectors verify that everything is sourced from within that geographic area.
The fair’s arts and crafts are held to the same standards, so they must be made locally by hand. There will also be a number of value-added products on sale like drinks, soaps and cosmetics.
“We’re trying to keep the integrity of locally grown and handcrafted food and goods. We want to expose the public to the agriculture of the Virgin Islands and show that we can produce what we eat here,” Martin said.
Workshops will focus on a number of topics, including composting, tofu making, plant grafting, beekeeping and hydroponics, a class that is a first for the fair. Farmers will also have the opportunity to participate in a computer class in order to learn how to better market their produce online.
“For the second year in a row, we’ll have a petting zoo for kids and for the first time we’ll be offering pony and horseback rides just west of the fairgrounds,” Martin said. An aquarium will also be on site.
Children can also visit the youth activity center, which will have many “make-and-take” activities like jewelry and T-shirt making.
“Overall, we’re hoping to showcase the farmers, inform the public and have a good time,” Martin said.
Public transportation will be available. VITRAN buses will run on their normal Saturday schedule that leaves the hospital at 7:05 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. on the regular route to Bordeaux.
The V.I. Department of Agriculture is providing free safari taxi rides from the front of Niksy Center to the fair as well. There will be four departure times each day at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. with return trips from Bordeaux at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. The safaris will be parked by the Scotia Bank.
Saturday Program Line Up
– 10 a.m.-11, Dilli Fingas.
– 11:33 -noon, All Stars.
– Opening Prayer, Ras Amaha.
– 12:03 – 12:08, Official Welcome: President of WGFI.
– 12:10 -12:15, Farmer of the Year (Ras Imani).
– 12:15 -12:35, Mighty Groover.
– 12:35 -12:50, SBDA.
– 12:50 -1:05, Akil Petersen.
– 1:05 -1:20, Stephanie (Hemp Presentation).
– 1:20 -1:30, Dilli Fingas.
– 1:30 – 2, Wachana Drummers.
– 2:15 – 2:45, Heru Ofori-Atta (benefits of Olive Extract).
– 2:45 – 3:15, Konya’s Poetry Korner.
– 3:15-3:30, AfriCultural Fashion Show (Crochet Style).
– 3:30-4:15, Echo People.
– 4:15 p.m.-4:30, Bambula Dancing.
– 4:30 p.m.-5, Dilli Fingas.
Saturday Artist Line Up
– Lion SoulJahs Band, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30.
– Tanama, 6:35-6:50.
– Haile Israel/Light of Dawn, 6:55-7:40.
– DJ Dilli Fingas, 7:40-7:50.
– VI Musical Warriors, 7:50-8:30.
– Empress Ruth, 8:35-9.
– Lion SoulJahs Band, 9.
Sunday Program Line Up
– 10 a.m.-11, DJ Dilli Fingas.
– 11-noon, Pan Roun de Neck.
– noon-12:05, WGFI Vice President Ras Imani.
– 12:08 p.m.-12:23, SBDA.
– 12:26-12:41, Energy.
– 12:43-1:13, Hydroponics 101.
– 1:16-1:46, Dept. of Agriculture Carlos Robles.
– 1:46-1:56, DJ Dilli Fingas.
– 1:56-2:16, VI Norml Barbara.
– 2:16-2:46, Ras Bobby (Herbalist).
– 2:47-3:07, Konyah’s Poetry Korner.
– 3:10-4:10, AfriCultural Fashion Show.
– 4:15-5, Echo People.
– 5-6, DJ Dilli Fingas.
Sunday Artist Line Up
– Ras Miko, 5:30 -5:50.
– Exodus, 5:50-6:25.
– Jah Sekemnah, 6:25-7.
– Unity Band, 7-8.
– DJ Dilli Fingas, 8-8:15,
– Pablo P, 8:15-8:45.
– Icarus/Unity Band, 8:45.