Bountiful Market Day Draws Crowd

Karen Samuel, center, sells VINP Superintendent Mark Hardgrove, at left in uniform, some local tarts.

Residents snatched up crunchy cucumbers, sweet cantaloupe, leafy collard greens and spicy arugula last week.

From school children to V.I. National Park Superintendent Mark Hardgrove, residents packed the VINP ball field to take advantage of a Market Day hosted by the V.I. Department of Agriculture.

As part of the celebration of National Agriculture Week, VIDA officials hosted Market Days across the territory, bringing farmers and their wares to St. John on Wednesday, March 16.

“The week’s activities are going very, very well,” said VIDA Commissioner Dr. Louis Petersen last week. “We had a lot of support on St. Thomas yesterday and today on St. John. We’re heading to St. Croix tomorrow and expect a lot of people to come to our Market Day there as well.”

Farmers from St. Croix, St. Thomas and vendors from St. John set up tables to sell everything from local honey to walnut rum cake.

“It’s a true Virgin Islands fair,” said Petersen.


With a $100 donation from a CBCC member, Sharon Coldren, above with VIDA Commissioner Louis Petersen, shopped for Guy Benjamin School.


The week of island Market Days presented VIDA logistical challenges, which were met with the help of several transportation partners, Petersen explained.

“It was difficult getting everyone and everything to each location,” he said. “We have to thank my great staff on each island, the Office of the Governor, Cooperative Extension Services, Senator Shawn Michael Malone, Department of Transportation and Seaborne Airlines. Also a big thank you to my farmers.”

VIDA’s planned Coral Bay organic farm has been delayed as the department’s expected funding to cover fencing and silt work fell through, Petersen explained.

“We’re really looking for a public and private partnership to cover our fencing and infrastructure needs in Coral Bay,” said the VIDA commissioner. “We need fencing, piping, pumps and a water storage unit.”

For more information about the Coral Bay organic farm or to make a donation to the project call Raymond Thomas at 340-776-6274.



Residents of all ages packed the V.I. National Park ball field to grab fresh produce from local farmers on Wednesday, March 16. Sunburst squash, zucchini, arugula, bok choy, wild honey and more were available during the National Agriculture Week festivities.