Farm Queen contestants get 'STUSH in the 'BUSH' - Nutramix shows young women the other face of farming
The 2016 National Farm Queen contestants were last week treated by title-sponsor Nutramix to a uniquely delicious experience, when they visited the cool hills of Free Hill in Bamboo, St Ann.
There, they met with Lisa and Christopher Binns, who, apart from being the proud owners of the Zionites Farm,
boast a spectacular farm-to-table experience called 'STUSH in the BUSH'. Here, guests are treated to not just a tour of the farm, but also a fresh, organic dining experience.
The Binnses, who describe their minimalist style of living as off-the-grid, taught the contestants how living organically is not as gruelling as it once was.
Additionally, they explained that the face of farming has for too long had negative connotations.
"People should look at farming as something that is exciting - that is lucrative," Christopher said.
He added that it's about rethinking the way food is prepared - "reimaging food", as he puts it.
This, the Binnses say, is also what sets their food apart, as they rely on what is grown in the ground to make their dishes not just delicious, but wholesome, too, so that when guests leave, they will remember it.
The contestants were taken on a tour of the farm, and treated to both an appetiser and lunch, in an effort to show them that farming is comprised of many different facets, and there are many ways to turn a profit from it. It was this that Nutramix wanted to communicate to the contestants.
"Farming isn't seen as fun, sexy or, sometimes, even profitable, but this is changing. More and more youth see it as a serious business path to pursue - not something to fall back on for those in rural areas," said Tina Hamilton, Nutramix's brand manager.
It was for this reason that the brand decided to give the contestants the opportunity to see how dynamic the farming industry is by showing them how the Binnses, through adding contemporary elements to a profession that has existed since the beginning of time, can now boast success.
With a menu that is dependent on the seasonality of the crops, STUSH in the BUSH caters to both strict vegans and vegetarians, persons with allergies, or just experience-seekers who want something different.
The Binnses said their whole purpose is about introducing people to new things, and new experiences.
"We cater to people who try to eat healthy and who want to think of food in a different way," explained Lisa.
She added that their business isn't just about the farm, but they also produce healthy, fresh, home-made products, which are sold in stores, so that persons can purchase a piece of the farm-to-table experience.
The Binnses describe themselves as 'locavores', which means they prepare and eat food that is grown locally, and if they are unable to do that, they resort to sourcing from other farms which have practices that mirror theirs.
"We try to keep it within a 50-mile radius if we can ... . We are organic, so our first line is to source from other organic farms," Lisa explained.
What makes STUSH in the BUSH unique and keep visitors returning is the unique experience.
Christopher said that STUSH in the BUSH's tag line is 'Fall in love with your food'. He explained that food should not only be about eating, but having an experience - something to be remembered.
It was this, as well, that the Nutramix brand wanted the contestants to bear in mind. They are in the perfect position as youth and women to change the commonly held view of farming and invest in new and innovative ways to be profitable in the field of agriculture.