September 20, 2016
Contributed Delroy Knowles shows off some of produce.
Contributed Despite his disability, Delroy Knowles is still very active on his farm.

After losing legs...

Seven weeks after Delroy Knowles lost his second leg, he climbed down the steps at his back door with a machete in his hand, wobbled his way to his backyard and began preparing the land for planting.

Knowles, a resident of Belle Castle in Portland, told THE STAR that he hates sitting around unoccupied, but when he began experiencing circulation problems in his remaining leg, he unequivocally instructed the doctors at the Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas to remove it.

"I can't work wid di one foot. When di other foot did start swell. It was circulating problems. Mi jus go dung a di hospital and tell dem fi cut off the leg and mek it even," said the former bus driver.

Having had diabetes for years, Knowles developed complications in 2003 when a piece of metal pierced the bottom of his foot one weekend as he was about to pull out of a garage in Port Antonio, Portland.

"Mi have the sugar enuh, and something stick mi, and a so mi lose the first leg," Knowles said as he sat in the peaceful Portland dusk.

"I never like di one leg cause mi couldn't move freely. So now that things even, mi can go weh mi waan go and do the things mi like doing like farming."

On the farm, Gros Michel bananas sprout along the borders of the land, and potatoes are strewn wildly on the ground.

"Mi jus love farming, and when mi produce anything, mi give to the whole community. Di other day mi get one pumpkin weh weigh nearly 18 pounds and mi slice it up and give it to mi neighbours, and it mek mi feel good," Knowles said, noting that he often makes breakfast using the things he produces.

Targeted by thieves

But as generous as Knowles is, it doesn't stop thieves from going into his farm whenever he visits his wife and daughters in the neighbouring community of Manchioneal.

"Mi nuh like when dem just pick mi tings dem without mi permission. I have three big pines and mi nuh get one," Knowles said. "I don't have any problem with people picking things, but jus ask mi first."

One of his daughters, Raquel Knowles, told THE STAR, that it saddens her whenever she hears that they steal from her father's farm. "I hate to hear that they steal from the farm because he works hard," she said.

She also mentioned that she worries about him sometimes, but gets happy whenever he visits with bananas, pears, and other produce.

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