Sweet Cayman

IMG_4829“If you can farm in the Cayman Islands, you can farm anywhere.” At least, that’s how one prominent local farmer sees it. Kent Rankin is a cattle, pig, goat and chicken farmer.

Three days ago we set foot on Grand Cayman, one of the three islands that make up the Cayman Islands, a British Territory bordered by Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico.

The 33-degree hot and humid days are a stark contrast to the wet, cold and wintry Melbourne that we left behind.

Grand Cayman is just 197 km2 and with a population of over 50,000 you can see why the country needs to import nearly 90 per cent of its food. Residential houses can only be built on 25 per cent of the land according to the planning laws in Cayman; that leaves 75 per cent space for growing plants.

To meet more of the local producers I popped into the ‘from paddock to plate’ farmers’ market set up in a field, a stone’s throw from the George Town airport.

Craving watermelon and a palm tree to sit under, I suddenly realised that the Caribbean summer season was going to offer me much more than just melon.

Immediately Martin, a farmer from Bodden Town in the south of the island, handed me a sweetsop, also known as a sugar apple, that looks like a pine cone and tastes like custard. It’s now a firm favourite at the top of my grocery list.

Martin, along with other local farmers such as Bella Rose, sells his produce at the farmers’ market up to five times a week.

A food market reliant on extreme seasons bearing rain and heat with minimal land is proving valiant in this country’s quest to become more sustainable in food production. That’s my first impression anyway.

CLICK HERE for my mouthwatering sweetsop salad recipe. It’s packed with sweetsop, bell peppers, spinach, long (and I mean 30-centimetres long) green beans, mini sweet peppers and endive.

Louise FitzRoy | Founder & Director
From Paddock to Plate

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