Here on St. Croix, we’re blessed to have Ridge to Reef Farm, a local, sustainable organic farm located in the West end rainforest. A few weeks ago, I visited for a Sunset Farm tour, as well as stayed to dine in one of their remarkable “Slow Down” dinners.
Ridge to Reef is more than just a farm. It’s a movement, in its own way. It represents the growing body of people who seek to not only eat in a “Farm to Table” manner that is healthier and closer to nature, but who also seek to leave the world a better place than how they found it.
Nate Olive is the Director at the farm, and wears a lot of hats, from Event Coordinator to Marketing to simply being host and tour guide. Here he is getting ready to blow the conch shell to round-up the group for our evening’s tour.
Walking around the farm gives an inside look into the entire food production process. From the seeds started in trays under shadecloth…
To the rows of produce in various states of production…
To the extent of just how much acreage they currently have under sustainable growth. In this photo Nate discusses the moringa trees that are growing behind him in a terraced arrangement with tomato plants and banana trees, which provides shade and moisture for the tomatoes while preserving soil from erosion. And this year, Ridge to Reef has produced some beautiful tomatoes!
But the biggest treat of the evening is returning to the Main House and sitting down for the Slow Down Dinner cooked by the evening’s guest chef. These dinners are usually 5 – 6 course affairs, with each course featuring a different seasonal produce item, as well as meats raised on the farm. Slow Down dinners typically happen every 4 – 6 weeks, and the next one is actually tomorrow night, April 15! You can always find information about these special events on the Ridge to Reef Farm Facebook page.
And there’s much more going available to those who are interested in experiencing the oasis in the rainforest that is Ridge to Reef Farm. If you’d like more information about Farm Tours, the Market, or Accommodations, check out the Ridge to Reef Farm Website. And then visit. Sit. Talk. Laugh. And eat. And become part of a movement that is celebrating the history and vibrancy of agriculture on St. Croix. Thanks Nate, and everyone at Ridge to Reef, for all you do!