The St, Croix Agrifest from Michelle Miller

I arrived early on Sunday morning to beat the crowds, and with Agrifest’s exact change express lane, I didn’t even have to wait in line! Getting there early was a good idea; it was much easier to check out all of the delicious goodies on display in the Food and Ice Cream Pavilion. Ribbon winners were showcased in this area. The abundance of mouthwatering candies, cakes, chutneys, preserves, hot sauces, & honeys was almost overwhelming. Also offered were native dishes such as kallaloo, Johnny cake & pate. When I went back to this pavilion later in the afternoon, it was so crowded it was difficult to approach the booths, so I was glad I had toured this section early!

After browsing the pavilion, it was time to head down to the vendor section. Stalls on either side offered an array of wares. Handmade clocks, leather footwear, local art and jewelry- you name it, and it was for sale. I bought some locally made organic goat’s milk and oatmeal soaps for only $6! Got to love a bargain! I also picked up some harder-to-find spices like massala, and tamarind candies.

From the vendor area, it was time to check out the livestock. There were countless varieties of poultry on display, as well as exotic birds such as an emu, peacocks, love birds, macaws, and parrots. Cattle, goats, rabbits and other farm animals were also showcased, and the petting zoo was filled with children. In this area, I met a young boy leading a goat named Izzy, and I had the opportunity to pet the goat! That pretty much made my day. It was a tossup between Izzy and the absolutely adorable puppies that were offered for adoption by the St. Croix Animal Welfare center.

After a quick trip past one of the hand sanitizing stations, I was ready for lunch! I tried brick oven roasted pork with a Johnny cake & honey, and homemade lemonade to drink. Talk about tasty! If I wasn’t stuffed I would have liked to try some of the desserts, like St. Croix’s famous Vienna cake- next year for sure.

Last stop of the day was the pavilion with plants and produce for sale. I’m a bit of a gardening and cooking hobbyist, so this part of the fair was really wonderful for me. There was a vast array of fresh produce for sale: tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, long beans, sugar cane, squash, greens…. Some of the produce I bought was featured that same night on a veggie pizza pie. I also took home two potted herbs- rosemary and purple basil. The gardener selling the rosemary was very helpful, and gave me growing tips when I mentioned that I’ve had trouble growing the plant in the past. There were so many other herbs for sale as well- thyme, mint, sage and tarragon to name a few. Also for sale were stunning orchids and hibiscus varietals, fruit trees, palms, bromeliads, succulents…. Talk about a gardener’s paradise!

Truly, there is something for everyone at the Agrifest. There is so much to do- it’s impossible to see it all in one day.  There was music at almost all of the locations- I heard some great Calypso while I was there, but even more performances were scheduled.  I also passed on the golf clinic and the water slide. There were so many informational booths that I couldn’t possibly check them all out. Luckily the Agrifest runs for three days, so dedicated fairgoers don’t have to try to fit it all in at once. I would recommend the Ag Fair to residents and visitors alike. It was a great experience, and I’ll be back again next year!