Farmers, Farming and the VI's Agricultural Heritage
By Claudia Colli
Apricot-hued papayas, green mangos speckled with russet red, tawny pineapples, and spinach, a deep forest green. These are the colors of the BVI’s agricultural heritage, one still carried on by a small but dedicated group of Virgin Islands farmers.
“I love farming as a way of life; it makes you independent and the local economy strong,” says Benjamin Peters who has lived in the BVI for 44 years and made farming a lifelong career. “I learned quality farming in St. Vincent from my father, who was a great farmer,” he adds proudly. Benjamin grows tropical fruits, eggplant, squash, pumpkin, and other produce at a plot at Paraquita Bay near the Agricultural Station, and is among a number of local farmers committed to raising and selling fresh organic produce.