All posts by Dk

Hairouna / St. Vincent 2015-2016

Fun Fact: Before 1498, it had been called Hairouna by the Caribs. The meaning of it was “Home of the Blessed” and their national beer Hairoun is also named off the original name before it was colonized. 

I’ve been going to our island neighbour St. Vincent from about 6 years old due to the fact that I have deep roots in that island I.E my mom being born there. Over the years they have been many transitions in relation to my outlook of a country I felt more in touch with than the one I was born in; Barbados.
This time, my intentions were not to witness and capture Vincy Mass (their yearly carnival) like the previous 2 years I had went; which had also been the first time I went since early teens.
A lot had changed, and a lot I was still new to experiencing.
Being a bit more curious of the everyday culture of the locals, I delved into the town area called Kingstown a little.
In all honesty, I am disappointed by the culture in the sense that locals FAIL to utilise a big proportion of their natural/raw resources. It seems that the locals either don’t understand the value of what they have before them or they have been westernised similarly to my own people.
Regardless of that observation, the locals still heavily push all the seasonal fruit, vegetables and some locals even have become proficient in producing more artisan products with resources that are so readily available and in way bigger proportions than we find here in Barbados.

There was one that stood out to me and I URGE anyone visiting the island of St. Vincent to get central in Kingstown and ask for Tonic.

Meeting this guy was like meeting a mirror of myself 14 years in the future in quite a few aspects. Humble, honest, vibrant energy. He crafts his own natural wines from local produce such as Ginger & Plum Rose and uses pure mineral water for his brews. He also offers herbal tinctures/infusions for a range of ailments/uses like diabetes, immune boosters, libido boosters, body cleansers and much more. If you seek an herbal remedy and are in the island or the Grenadines, he may very well be the guy to seek. Having reasonably priced products, a lot of knowledge behind his products and raw materials used, it’s good to see that there can be someone like him to cater for those who seek more natural remedies.

Upon circling around the city, there were local vendors selling many various things locally made: cast iron pots, coconut oil ( this is a deal btw!) and I’m confused as to why more coconut oil isn’t used locally for cooking. Consider this: they sell a 750ml bottle (equivalent to 4 cups) for 15/20 EC dollars. The conversion rate is 1.34x BBD. You calculate and see how fricking cheap that is for some of the best vegetable oil on the planet.

Bottle of coconut oil in the background and some herbally infused in the front bottle pictured below:

_MG_3812
Coconut oil Popcorn

I guarantee, with coconut oil, a cast iron or non-stick pot and some good Ol’ fashioned popcorn, some freshly ground sea salt and cracked black pepper; there isn’t a much better natural snack to enjoy than this.

Let’s not get carried away here now, before I go into food which I have another page for 🙂

I guess it being December/January doesn’t make for the usual animals that I see coming out of their homes due to the cold air/weather I was experiencing in the hills.

But I did get some good shots of the few that I saw:

 

If you took the time to go through the above shots, you’d notice the ladybug.

After realizing it landed on me for a few minutes, I tried to get it onto something else near to get a close up shot…and immediately it flew away again. Minutes later it landed on my camera bag which was still on my back. Took that off and took FOREVER just to get it in acceptable range of focus for that shot. I hope it gives you the viewer another perspective at life and how existent it is at all sizes and forms.

Life is (understatement) amazing when you can observe all sizes and detail of fauna especially not particular to your place of birth.

On another note, I must say that the Government and all involved parties did a seemingly good job on the soon to be open Argyle International Airport from what I can see externally. How it actually functions, I hope is with similar efficiency as the Arnos Vale Airport. I may just be one of those people who never had problems at that airport, though…
I’m NOT into politics so that is all I have to say on the Vincentian Government, considering that I took my trip shortly after Ralph Gonsalves retained his influence over the country.

And to be honest, these photos may give you an idea of the landscape but experiencing it for your own, is something I will encourage anyone who loves nature to plan a trip for later when the airport opens. The surrounding area is gorgeous and the air on the hill overlooking is strong enough to move you standing (or once again that may just be me).

I’m sure if you were to go and you saw this guy, he’d tell you how relaxing it is to take in this landscape. _MG_3355-Edit

Ooo. You’ve ever seen the fruit that we use the shells for as bowls? These things can get rather large from what I saw on the tree. If someone knows the official name of these, leave a comment on the photo or in the comments below? Thanks!

 

I’m sorry (not sorry), but I may be one of the few Barbadian citizens that doesn’t think their home country is the most beautiful. It may get a high rating on the list of most beautiful islands or something but after I took my first drive up to Georgetown and Chateaubelair or Chateau as the vincy people call it, St Vincent easily tops my own country for breathtaking scenery. Mind you, I’m barely now delving into the country. The more I get to know my 2nd home, the more I’ll bring to you. For now, check out these coastal and countryside locations in St. Vincent:

And finally to bring my post to an end. Many of you may not know, but due to lifestyle changes to bring about holistic health in all aspects of human health, I make vegan bakeries under the name Irie Edibles. So I had to try one of the local variation of one of my favourite fruits, the banana.

Interestingly enough in St. Vincent, they are small growers who plant a hybrid variety of banana called the Goldfinger, and I linked to that page for two reasons: I didn’t get a proper photo at the time I saw the trees and to any small grower interested in this sweet lemony custardy texture of banana, all the info I could find on it is there.

Bananas, Multigrain and Rye flour, chia seeds (which are even cheaper by the packet in St. Vincent apparently than Massy stores in Barbados. Shame!), flaxseed, Dorset muesli for added organic goodness, coconut oil, a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg, freshly ground seasalt, baking soda and apple cider vinegar all come together for a fluffy, moist & most importantly, delicious and free of artificial ingredients or preservatives! Topped with cinnamon (on the 2nd row bread).

_MG_3894

If, you’re wondering what the $%^&* ?

Sorry but my love for mixing foods led me to goat cheese on one slice and mango chutney on the other! Talk about a delicious combo. Don’t doubt for a second that as weird as it sounds that it doesn’t taste good ( it’d only not appeal to your taste buds if you have a very bland palette IMO). And that gut instinct that makes me blend weird sounding things together is what lead me in the first place to vegan baking.

Contact the baker and more HERE.

Subtle Surprises

Sometimes the greatest opportunities are right outside of your door. Literally.
Between my nearby surroundings and my own backyard, I’ve recognised the subtle opportunities that give you so little time to work with that you cherish these opportunities though they are right under your nose.
Almost every morning these wild parrots fly over the area, beautiful and majestic (and also very loud)._MG_2866-Edit These birds do not fly low to land and the opportunity to even get a good shot of them is so limited sometimes, but one morning I believe they waited on me to take as many shots as I wanted, and then immediately flew away when I thought to myself “I have the shot”. 

_MG_2858-Edit

Watching nature like this just makes you want to forget the world sometimes…

Then yesterday, about to shower outside (yes I have an outside shower) and observing the abundance of life that lives in the sugar apple tree in the corner of the yard, I saw a ripening sugar apple that looked ready for the picking.
I ran inside to get my camera quick as I recognised that there’s another nest high in the tree; also near to the apple.
But why not leave it to ripen a bit more since it’s my tree?

_MG_2924-Edit

Him.
These guys LOVE the sugar apples. He came back as soon as I got back outside with my camera, just seeming to bait the same sugar apple I had my eye on. Seems nature around me is picking up on my vibrations.
This guy looked down at me from the branch and well…

_MG_2929-Edit

The rest is history.
He dug right in.
I hope he enjoyed it more than I would’ve!

Sunset Soccer Silhouette (October 2015)

When your instincts/spirit speaks to you, trust and follow.
I was on my way down to Browne’s Beach that evening just for some of that fresh sea air and upon reaching the bottom of Beckles Road lo and behold the sun was huge and about to sit on the horizon. Obviously, as I left home unequipped, this was the shot I missed. Upon receiving that word of advice from my spirit, I took a U-turn on the main road and bolted back home for my camera.
By the time came when I returned the sun was already sitting on the horizon and it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would’ve been on its own.
Luckily for me that day was a Sunday and the guys on the beach had their usual game of “keep ups” (If you don’t know this is just one or a group of individuals juggling the ball w/ the notion of keeping it off the ground and at the same time it displays the ball handling (control) skill of the players).
It was almost as though the sun aligned itself with these guys for me…



Social Butterflies

It’s always fascinating when I see nature and it’s creatures interacting in harmony with one another. Sometimes it’s something so small that most don’t even notice it.

Upon leaving a friends home an early morning, as soon as I hopped into her car and as we were about to drive off my peripheral vision picked up these ever so social butterflies on the lawn, engaging as though they were in a conversation and having a gathering. The innate instinct made me jump back out of the car and run inside for my camera  to capture what some may seem as trivial but this interaction is one that I’ve never seen up close.

Social Butterflies
Social Butterflies
Group Gathering of Socialites
Group Gathering of Socialites

Holder’s Hill Farmer’s Market Highlight (August 2015)

To be honest, this was supposed to be a post about Holder’s Hill Farmer’s Market but I honestly had to change the topic and shortly highlight one guy who stood out to me quite fast upon arriving at the farmer’s market located at Holder’s Hill, St. James.
This is not to say that I completely ignored any other person at the market that day, but this is merely a post highlighting something that everyone should know about.

_MG_2660
Chef Derek Went

Here, Mr. Went sells a variety of products; all fresh and organic w/o preservatives as well. And if you look he also has his very own line of seasonings that he sells here (also found in stores like Massy, but obviously not priced at the same markup to sell to you).

_MG_2659 _MG_2657

Also offering herbal teas and blends, you could find a mix for a variety of ailments and conditions. He stocks at his stall goodies such as seasoned coconut slices, breadfruit jerky, coconut flour and other flours that could be used to make dumplings or bread fish or meats if you so desire.

_MG_2656 _MG_2655

Anytime you’re in the area or frequent a farmer’s market, go check him out and I’m 110% convinced regardless of diet preference you’ll find a product that you’d enjoy and love.