Farmers’ Day Out on Friday 15th Dec. 1967
The Farmers’ Day out was organised by Mr Barratt and the Agricultural Dept. As well as being a great day out it gave a good insight into some of the different features of agricultural life around the island. George and I joined the bus and we ended up having a really interesting day. My diary reads:
’10.00a.m. and I looked outside to see a bus full of enthusiastic people and realised this was the bus for ‘The Farmers’ Day Out’. We dropped everything, jumped on the bus and went hurtling off on the tour.
First stop was the Craigston estate. Craigston is the largest estate on the island and is managed by a Grenadian called Mr Kent. The estate is owned by his brother. He took us around to show all his good work clearing cacti from the land. We had to wade through dense weeds and high thicket before we reached the spot. I don’t think the men were too impressed and we left soon afterwards. Mr Kent seemed quite put out that no-one wanted to visit his sheep pens.
Next stop was the Lime Crushing Plant. Inside there was one large machine into which the limes were dropped and crushed. Some of the men were covered in bleached areas of skin: the result of acid from the limes.
We were then taken to visit areas of soil erosion in Belmont. Top soil had been washed away and deep gullies had formed. Concrete barriers have been built across the gullies to try and hold back the remaining soil. They seem to have some effect but we were told that because land was so scarce people were continuing to plant right up to the edge of the gullies and, in those circumstances the erosion spreads beyond the ends of the barriers.
It struck George that there was a lot of work here which could be undertaken as a school project and a ‘conservation group’ might prove to be a worthwhile venture.
For our penultimate destination Mr Barratt took us around the Botanical Gardens where he gave a most interesting talk on the work that was being done here.
Finally, we stopped off at Mr Barratt’s house and we were fed platefuls of chicken pillau washed down by a couple of ‘jacks’.
N.B. For a thoroughly interesting account of the history of Craigston could I recommend a PDF file titled, ‘Craigston and Meldrum Estates, Carriacou, 1769 – 1841 by H. Gordon Slade’.
Also: a detailed book, ‘Up Before Dawn’ by Edward Kent.