Cayman’s Spring Harvest
Some people may believe that we don’t have distinctive seasons, but as we enter spring in Cayman the farmers will tell you that it’s one of the best times for locally grown produce. As farmer Joel Walton of Plantation Organics tells me the spring harvest between March and June is when we get to experience more of Cayman’s fruit season.
Even though local farmer’s crops were damaged in September 2021 from Tropical Storm Grace, they have been working hard to get back on track. After weathering the storm and seeing them come out on the other side, we can all do our part simply by buying local at the Hamlin Stephenson Farmer’s Market Monday-Saturday (with most vendors present on Saturdays), Camana Bay every Wednesday, all major supermarkets and even directly from the farmers.
Some of my favourite locally grown produce that you should be buying from now include tomatoes, papayas, watermelons, and the early showings of mangos, and in the coming weeks you’ll start to see the custard-like fruits of naseberry, sweetsop and soursop show up.
Some farmers that you may want to check out for certain springtime items include:
- Cayman Farm & Garden by Patrick Panton who is known for having a wide selection of tomatoes. You can find regular, heirloom, plum and cherry varieties all the way until June.
- Willie’s Fruits and Juices by Willie and Zelma-Lee Ebanks who are regarded as the masters of mango. They grow over two dozen varieties and sell them ripe, “green with sauce” or as juices, jams, and pastries. Their Red Bay stall is also my go-to place for fresh fruit smoothies with my favourite being a blend of local mango & papaya.
- Plantation Organics by Joel Walton grows hundreds of items including fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs. He’s one of the farmers that regularly sell to restaurants like The Brasserie and that means you can easily elevate your homecooked meals too.
- Sunsweet Farm who focus on ground provisions mostly, but they currently have tomatoes and watermelons available. They are physically present at the Farmer’s Market, but they also do a weekly farmer’s box delivery for those of us too busy to stop by. Simply email them at email@example.com.
There are so many ways to support local farmers, but if you plan on visiting the Hamlin Stephenson Farmer’s Market and want to learn more about all the vendors simply visit their website.