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My search for self propagating seeds at Denbigh 2015

My quest for self propagating seeds for my little little farm garden led me to go to Denbigh on Saturday, 2015 August 1st, Emancipation Day.

Here are images of our tickets for Day 2 at the Denbigh Agricultural Show year 63 in May Pen, parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, West Indies.

I remember my parents taking me to Denbigh during my adolescent years.  I remember animals and rain; it always seemed to rain when I went to Denbigh, and of course, true to my experience, it rained on Saturday.  This time I was prepared, dressed in hat, sneakers and walking with my umbrella.

Returning to Denbigh in my adult years, I was proud of the growth that has taken place over the years, however, saw where there could be lots and lots of improvements.

The first thing that struck me was the number of non agricultural, industrial and food stalls that were there.  I noticed this as I was driving to enter the grounds.  Of course, patrons who live nearby offer up their yard space for parking.  We know how to make the best of a situation.

It is also good thing that we are an oral culture, because signage was quite sparse to say the least.  We arrived at Gate 2 and asked where to get our tickets.  We were informed to go to the busses to purchase tickets.  We walked a few yards, saw around 3 buses parked that were selling tickets.  We walked back to Gate 2 and entered the grounds: toys, sponsors, music, hit me first.

As we walked in, I noticed the parish pavilions to my left and was interested in viewingDenbigh 2015 08 01 - 06 them all.  We went to eat at the 4H Club food stall.  We ate jerk pork and drank coconut water.  Afterwards, we continued walking in search of the livestock, we wanted to see the animals.  I remember seeing pigs when I was a child and in some ways wanted to see the pigs again.  So, again we asked our fellow patrons where do we go to see the livestock and were given directions, to continue walking along and we would see the animals to our right, and so we did.  When we arrived, saw a map, a sign that showed us that “Your are Here” four places on the map simultaneously.  I laughed to myself, but at least I got a layout of the grounds and where to go back to see the parish pavilions.

For someone who did my formative years of education outside of Jamaica, it was quite educational for me.  I saw and learned about the breeds of our Jamaican cattle, The Jamaica Hope, Jamaica Red Poll, Jamaica Brahman and Jamaica Black.  Also learned about and saw our Boer goats.  Noticed that there was a competition going on and it would have been nice to have a schedule of the competitions, to learn what categories there were and the criteria for judging.  Of course we saw the animals that received prizes, either their owners or the animals themselves had their prizes pinned to them.  The competitors were obviously informed and I would have been interested in being a spectator, but again, should have asked.  Continued walking along and saw sheep, and wondered where were their wool, also saw horses and rabbits.  Pigs were definitely missing from the livestock area.  People were taking plenty and plenty of pictures.  Upon reflection, I should have walked with my camera.

Denbigh 2015 08 01 - 07We continued walking back, I wanted to visit the parish pavilions.  We stopped by AgroGrace pavilion on our way and my cousin won a prize.  We are now at the parish pavilions and I am seeking self propagating seeds and/or someone who would know and also coconut oil.  Our first stop was Manchester Pavilion.  It was crammed and the rain came just at this time and so more and more persons pilled in to keep dry from the rain.  It was a small space, a bit dark too.  We then went to St. Elizabeth Pavilion, then onto Clarendon Pavilion.  Walked across and visited Trelawny, Westmoreland.  St. James, Kingston and St. Andrew Pavilions.  Only managed to visit 8 of the parishes Pavilions.  I was feeling tired by the time we were at St. Thomas’ Pavilion and decided to call it the day and headed back home.  From the little bit that I saw, bees were in ever pavilion.  So, I learned that we are strong in bee farming and producing honey and its various by-products.  Also saw some interesting displays of irrigation methods used on our farms and in each parish also too water conservation methods as well.  The sad news was that most of the produce items on display were not available for purchase until Sunday, however, I did manage to get some of the sweet peppers from the Westmoreland Pavilion.  I did manage to also purchase two bottles of coconut oil, one from St. Elizabeth Pavilion and one (cold pressed) from Kingston and St. Andrew Pavilion.

Denbigh 2015 08 01 - 08All in all, it was a good day out, lots of fun and excitement for the family.  Next year, will be better prepared, to go early and to spend some quality time in each pavilion and learn what each parish has to offer and where to get what.

I went predominately to look for self propagating seeds.  My quest for these seeds was unsuccessful, however, there is a wealth of information at Denbigh, and looking forward to seeing it organised in a way where there is an announcer for each pavilion introducing every booth holder, a little mini tour guide going on for each of the areas.  We did not get a chance to visit the horticulture area, but did notice persons leaving the grounds with potted plants in their hands.  So until next year, Happy Emancipation Day!


1 Comment

  1. Sauna

    It seems as if overall you learned a lot at Denbigh this year. I can only imagine the contrast between your earlier childhood visits and what you saw at the last staging. For me, I did not get the chance to be at Denbigh until adulthood so, I can’t relate to that stark comparison.
    In total agreement with you though re: signage and tour guides. There’s no doubt that such inclusions would enhance the experience.

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