Agriculture has long been viewed as the key to unlock St. Croix’s prosperity. Dale & Yvette Browne of Sejah Farm have shared this theory time and time again for the past twenty-four years. Since 1998, The Brownes have been tilling the land of their 15-acre farm in Estate Castle Burke providing local produce, eggs and meat to the St. Croix community. Much of their land is used for sheep and goat grazing where they raise Boer Goats; three quarter acres are used for poultry production. “It is our mission to produce the finest quality raise meats – lamb, goat, and chicken – and organic vegetables in the U.S. Virgin Islands to meet the local market demand,” said The Brownes.
Sejah Farm has been at the forefront of developing agriculture in the territory. Advocates for the development of the territory’s agriculture resurgence, they are passionate about educating the community on the need to buy locally and eat fresh foods. “A local island food system is needed to ensure territory food sovereignty and security,” said Dale. “We will continue to advocate and educate farmers and our community to grow, buy and eat local meat and produce.” Additionally, they are ardent supporters of educational programs for young farmers. They recently received a World Central Kitchen grant to create a learning center where local producers can gain the knowledge and skills to grow their business and advance food and nutrition security across the Virgin Islands.
Their annual Bush Cook Chef Cook event is where the island’s best and brightest chefs use their ingenuity to prepare unique dishes using the crops and produce available to them. Armed with cooking tools and personal condiments, everything else is provided to them including the coal to build their outdoor fires. The three-day event features a full day of food demonstrations and ends with a farm-totable dinner at Sejah Farm.
With events and initiatives like these, it’s no wonder The Brownes believe that agritourism is the future. “We want to continue in this field of agritourism development, where visitors or locals on-island can come for a few hours and learn,” said Dale. “We see the need for it, so we would like to see tours coming here. They get to experience eating everything that’s local, take the tour, have lunch if they want or stop in to enjoy a farm-to-table dinner.” Sejah Farm is located at #9B Castle Burke and open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturday from 7am to 5pm. For more information, visit their website at www.sejahfarm.com or call 340-277- 6046/9392.
Written by Anquanette Gaspard (firstname.lastname@example.org)