Saturday, June 5, 2010

Palletteers Paint at Creque Dam Farm (VISFI)

As I drove along Creque Dam Road with directions to the farm on the seat next to me, I wondered more than once if I'd missed a turn or gone the wrong way. Just about the time when I thought seriously about turning around and going back, the sign for Creque Dam Farm appeared to my left! We were greeted by Shelly, who took us on a short walking tour around the nearby parts of the property. Bananas, loofah and passionfruit vines, pineapple plants, medicinal and gorgeous flowering bushes...Wow! It was impressive and beautiful!

We were captivated by chief rooster Pablo, who proudly strutted his stuff while we snapped his picture!He even managed to get himself into one of the paintings! What a ham!

While some picked subjects around the community center to paint, a few of us took the self-tour maps and drove out to the tree house which was the original community center for the farm. Of course, the treehouse brought out the "child" in a few of us! Those who stayed to paint did so amidst the trailing vines from the overhanging treeline.

We loved Shelly's palm frond hat and Nate told us that he'd had the hatmaker, Tony, at the farm to give lessons in his weaving technique. We asked him to try to have Tony back again so that we could learn how to make them too! Nate also told us a little about the camp where he'd been working for the past 8 years. The mission of the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute is "to provide a working educational farm enterprise that integrates sustainability in education, environment, and community through quality instruction in Agroecology and related fields." It encompasses about 200 acres of lush land near Frederiksted off Creque Dam road and is getting much publicity as a premier Virgin Islands eco-tourism site. It was recenlty rated “Top 25 New Favorites in the Caribbean” by ISLANDS Magazine! Their plans for the immediate future involve having summer camp (ages 12-16; June 28th-July 30) and a Permaculture Design Course (August 8-22) soon! You can find out more about them from their website We had a unique experience there and will definitely be returning!

1 comment:

WW said...

What a really cool place that looks like. The tree house is great....and I LOVE that hat!!!