Sun | Sep 24, 2017

St James senior citizens showcase diversity with fruit products

Published:Tuesday | August 9, 2016 | 8:00 AM

Residents of St James received an opportunity to learn about the versatility of some of Jamaica's local fruits, during the inaugural hosting of the National Council for Senior Citizens' St James Parish Committee's Fruit Expo in Montego Bay recently.

Members of the committee's 50 clubs, spread across four zones in St. James, gathered at the St John's Methodist Action Centre in Montego Bay, where each zone displayed products made from breadfruit, banana, Otaheite apple and mango.

President of the St. James Parish Committee, Enis Stewart said the expo was intended to educate people on how many different products could be produced from any of the four fruits on display at each of the four zones' booths.

"We are here today to really open the eyes of the people to what we can do from the fruits we grow and produce here in Jamaica. We are hoping to have a successful day, and in the end the seniors will be happy for the time they have spent in producing these things," said Stewart.

"We are depicting the banana and what its by-products are, as well as the breadfruit, the Otaheite apple, and the mango...the senior citizens have wines, puddings, chips, and all other different by-products," Stewart added.

Vice-president of the St James Parish Committee, Merah Salmon said that while the expo was the first of its kind, it also served as an extension of the organisation's yearly art and craft presentations put on by the members.

ANNUAL ASSESSMENT

"It is the first time we are having this expo, but annually, we have an assessment of arts and crafts, because we have aprons looking like breadfruits, appliance covers with breadfruit on it, and we also have the plants showing today. So this is an extension from the annual assessment," said Salmon.

"We have workshops with them where RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Agency) comes in and teaches the members the different culinary skills, and we have arts and crafts instructors that teach also. We also have resource persons, who have been trained from HEART, so we have a lot of stuff here," Salmon continued. "We have wines, jams, jellies, cakes, and breads, made from these things, on display. It is a form of educating the public how we can utilise the things in Jamaica that we have, so that we will be more self-sufficient, because most people do not know the use of the different fruits."

- C. T.