We plant our own food, says St Ann farmer

April 03, 2018
Carrot farmer Okeli Gray pulls his donkey up a hill in Liberty Hall, St Ann, recently.

While some youngsters are shunning farming, a 32-year-old farmer from St Ann has been making a living from it.

"Sometimes you wah food and no money nuh deh to buy it, so me plant my own food and still have enough left back fi sell," said Okeli Gray.

The 32-year-old said that he has been making the trek up the steep hills of Liberty district for the past 26 years to tend to his farm.

"A from me a pickney me a do this, and now, it pay the bills. A lot a people nah do dem sitten ya, but me nuh have no problem to get up every day and do it because is a honest bread," he said while unloading bags of carrots from his donkey's hamper.

In addition to carrots, he also cultivates pepper, yam, turnip and tomato, which he sells to market vendors and wholesalers.

He explained that his crops are not necessarily affected by droughts, but things get difficult during the cold season.

"When me plant the sitten dem, it would already be bearing by time the drought come round. But the frost will burn up di carrot and Irish potato dem more time. Yeah man, di same sitten weh yuh see when di place get foggy, it mash we up sometime man," he said.

Things might be going well now, but Gray said that when the demand for his produce is low, he and his family divert their attention to their animal farm.

"We grow a lot of goats and pigs, so when the grung food dem nah too sell, we focus pon the animal them," he said.

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