St Mary farm delights with grape tomatoes
A greenhouse farm which offers employment to four people living in the community of Little Bay in St Mary is regarded as a life-saving business for many.
The daily operations at the facility are manned by Kirk Higgins, who is the maintenance manager for the facility in which grape tomatoes are grown.
"The greenhouse protects the plant from insects and the open elements," said Higgins. "The reaping process can be extended up to five months. However, during that period, the yield will get smaller. We have two greenhouses and, whenever the reaping period is approaching, the replanting or continuing of the grape tomatoes crops takes place in the other house, so as to ensure that it (tomatoes) is always available."
"Four of us are working here and we ensure that the plants receive adequate water, fertiliser, the required sunlight, and air. The plants are grown in a safe and protected environment."
Grape tomatoes are about half the size of cherry tomatoes. They are red in colour and resemble grapes.
"We are committed to the job and we have an excellent relationship with di boss (Ryan Chung), who tek good care a wi. Mi a work yah so from di business just start and only people from dis community get work here. Plumber, carpenter, mason, electrician, gardener, painter, and those working on the farm, are employed here. Every Monday, inna di first month a reaping, wi can pick 900 to 1,000 lbs of grape tomato," Higgins concluded.
The greenhouse has been in operation since 2010. It's owner, Ryan Chung, says that grape tomatoes attract a niche market.