Sun | Sep 15, 2019

A learning experience at Little Orchard farm

Published:Friday | June 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie/Gleaner Writer
Jade Lee, owner of The Farm at Little Orchard, and her daughter inspect a bunch of bananas.
Touring the farm.
National Farm Queen 2017, Truddian Ashmead checks the texture of a star fruit at The Farm at Little Orchard.
Little turtles broke out of these shells that were found by the river.
The calendar girls.
Tina Hamilton of Nutramix takes a pic of some Orchard apples.

Nothing feels better than escaping the city life to indulge in the smell of the sweet country air, a breathtaking vista, and real, organic Jamaican food straight out of the coal pot. Recently, The Gleaner's Lifestyle team ventured into Linstead, St Catherine, to embark on a day of entertainment and relaxation, hosted by team Nutramix at The Farm at Little Orchard.

What started off as a simple drive from Kingston became a game of 'spot the sign' in search of finding The Farm at Little Orchard. The team approached a dead end which opened on to a vast land space with absolutely nothing on it. This was the beginning of our off-road experience which consisted of a 2WD minibus painstakingly making its way across a dirt road and river fording, which no one was prepared to experience. However, the adventure had only just begun.

As we approached the entrance of the farm, the smell alone was enticingly delicious, and wholly inviting. On our way to the house, we tried to identify the different fruit trees and ground produce bashfully peeking from mounds of dirt.




At the end of the road, we spotted Team Nutramix - they had a tent lined with jerk pans that wafted the scent of succulent jerked chicken and pork, with a hint of pineapple. It was a time to celebrate a friendship and worthwhile partnership between the Lifestyle and Nutramix teams. The loody boards came out, along with tables for persons to enjoy a hearty round of domino.

Brand manager for Nutramix, Tina Hamilton, was pleased with the turnout and the mission behind the collaboration - 'Empowered Women, Empower Women'.

Jade Lee, owner of The Farm at Little Orchard, also shared her journey from being in entertainment to diving head first into agriculture four years ago.

While the breadfruits roasted on the pit fire, the team was led on a tour of the farm, which featured multiple crops, separated by rows of moringa trees. While on the tour, Lee spoke about the different diseases affecting some crop on a global scale and the history of each fruit tree.

"Otaheite apple is not native to Jamaica and was brought to the island from Tahiti. It is the broken English of the slaves who turned the name of the apple to Otaheite," she said. She went on to explain the benefits of bamboo and how it could be incorporated into our architecture to create more affordable yet stable infrastructure.

On the farm is an unbothered ecosystem known as Sherwood Forest. The cool, moist air and astounding serenity are enough to calm the soul and allow any individual to become one with nature. On its unkept track was a pond which hosted the nesting site for baby turtles that unseeingly waded within its depths.

After the tour, with a few orchard apples and bountiful plates of delicious food, the teams ate to their heart's content and proceeded to enjoy jovial conversations with each other.

The Farm at Little Orchard is an educational experience which excites the senses and encourages persons to see the importance of farming. It was, indeed a memorable experience.