Home Grown - A delightful family affair
Claudia Gardner, Gleaner Writer
For those who did not get the opportunity to attend the Home Grown Plant Sale and Garden Expo, they missed an opportunity to enjoy a delightful family affair and an event which showcased some of Jamaica's finest works of art, cuisine, and flora, in a picturesque natural setting.
The event was held at the Water Cress property, a beautifully landscaped expanse of land spanning several acres, located in the Cave community in Cave, Westmoreland, just a mile east of the Ferris Cross. With a beautiful crystal-clear brook meandering in its midst, emerging from an underground spring located there; warm, gentle breezes and a generally peaceful atmosphere, the setting was a nature lover's dream.
As the name suggests, the event saw several booths dedicated to pottery and a plethora of Jamaican flowering and ornamental plants. But the cuisine offered was also a key element. The food at the event was prepared by the Morales family of the neighbouring village dubbed 'Indian Town' because of the high concentration of persons of Indian descent who live in that area. Among the exotic treats prepared by them were fried lobster, curried conch, and roti.
The Negril-based Greeny and Steel Band also provided the entertainment for the day. Local manufacturers of handcraft items Really Roots, which is also based in Cave, showcased their authentic Jamaican handbags and other accessories, while the Westmoreland Organic Farmers displayed their natural edible products made from local herbs.
The Manchester-based Country House Products also showcased their lemon grass skincare products, candles and other products. But it was the children who seemed to have had the time of their lives running over the expansive grounds of the property, down to the river and back.
Wildlife officer of the National Environment and Planning Agency, Dwayne Smith, who had his snake, a Jamaican Boa, in tow, was also a hit among adults and children alike, many of whom surrounded him as soon as they spotted him, in a bid to pose for photos with the laid-back reptile. The youngsters from Kingston-based Next Generation Art brought their artistic masterpieces to the event and even conducted still-life drawings of some patrons.
"We have been doing this for four years now. We rebranded it and called it Home Grown. It just was a plant sale and garden expo initially, but because I love art, we fused art with plants," event planner and CEO of Hope Events Planning, Dawn Mullings, told The Gleaner.
"So we are encouraging producers of high-quality Jamaican products to come and showcase what they have, hence, the name Home Grown," she said, adding that she was looking forward to a better turnout next year.