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June 11, 2014
Star Entertainment



 

Celebs show farm skills

Ron Young of Rootz Underground plants a cassava stick at the Little Orchard Farm in Linstead as part of the Artistes for Agriculture effort. - Contributed

Artistes for Agriculture had its inaugural staging recently with organiser Jade Lee's objective being to promote agriculture through popular culture.

The Little Orchard Farm in Linstead was buzzing with activities as artistes gathered 'to replenish Mother Earth', and give their support to a cause they all believe in.

Musicians participating included Roots Underground, Nomadz, Lee Tafari, Brian Gold, Dre Island, The Uprising Roots, Runkus, Maka Ruffin, Ce'Cile and Denyque.

Led by crop-manager Linton Neil, he educated the artistes on proper cultivating techniques for produce such as pumpkin, lychee and avocado. The artistes went into the field, planting suckers and seeds and also personally labelling each of them.

The highlight of the day was the planting of cassava sticks where all the musicians went on all fours, burying the sticks deep into the ground under the guidance of Neil and Damo Graham, Red Stripe's Project Lead for its cassava programme.

"It was very exciting to be a part of this inaugural Artistes for Agriculture, especially with Red Stripe's new focus on using locally grown cassava to produce our world famous Red Stripe beer," said LeVaughn Flynn, senior communications manager, Red Stripe.

"I can't wait for the reaping in the next nine months."

The day was not just about planting produce, as the artistes gathered in a communal setting, playing dominoes, football and holding reasoning sessions on the importance of agriculture to Jamaica's economy and the national health index. Naturally, food was aplenty with ital chefs making good use of the produce available.

After sunset and the artistes had toiled, their music took centre stage.

Lee, who owns and operates Little Orchard Farm, said this was the start of something great, where she wants to use popular culture to promote farming.

"This is just the start of a very exciting journey and, coming out of this event, we will be producing a documentary that demystifies farming, said Lee.

"I want to show how fun and rewarding farming is and this documentary will be that conduit for people to look and see that this thing is actually doable."

Other sponsors of Artistes for Agriculture include Hi-Pro, Grace, Caribbean Broilers, Island 62, Phils Hardware, Phase Three Productions, Rainforest and Spectrum Insurance Brokers.


Denyque collects a wheelbarrow of cassava sticks for planting. - Contributed

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