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The St Kitts and Nevis Beach Buzz, Issue #6 - Strictly Local: A Look at Agriculture
May 16, 2013

The St. Kitts Nevis Beach Buzz, Issue #6 - Strictly Local: A Look at Agriculture

Photo of Amicia Mussenden, founder of the Discover St Kitts Nevis Beaches websiteThe St. Kitts and Nevis Beach Buzz is lovingly delivered to you by Amicia Mussenden, Founder/Publisher of

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Table of Contents

Editor's Notes:

April 2013. What a month! Well April started out quite well with the publishing of the post-Easter issue of the SKN Beach Buzz. I was looking forward to a productive month of rolling out new content for my website, but my laptop had other plans. On two occasions I had to take it to the repair shop, and even now as I type, I'm waiting for a new battery that was ordered to arrive. As I work on my site, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the electricity will not go off, since the current battery refuses to hold the charge. Definitely sounds like it's time to go laptop shopping! Although I did not get to produce as much content as I would have liked, I did manage to upload two new pages to the site. You will read more about those later in the newsletter.

Thank you for your continued support of the St Kitts and Nevis Beach Buzz and the Discover St Kitts Nevis Beaches website. Do remember to shoot me an e-mail to share your thoughts about the Buzz. I look forward to interacting with you on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.

Amicia Mussenden
Editor, The SKN Beach Buzz

New at Mobile Site is Now Live

You will recall that in my last communication to you, I announced that was going mobile and I provided a link to my mobile sandbox for you to test the mobile site before it was officially unveiled. Following extensive testing and tweaking, I am pleased to announce that the mobile site is now live. Now every visitor who visits using a supported mobile phone will have the best experience possible.

DSKNB website on Galaxy Nexus mobile phone DSKNB website on Apple iPhone

For Blackberry Z10 users, I was made aware of some issues with viewing the mobile site with Blackberry Z10 devices. Since I do not own this device I have not had an opportunity to test the mobile site using this specific device. The device has now been launched in St. Kitts and Nevis so I will try to make some time to go to the LIME flagship store to see if they have any Z10 devices for the public to try out. If they do I will definitely take the opportunity to test out the mobile site and see how best I can address any issues encountered. So to all my Blackerry Z10 subscribers, I apologize for any inconvenience caused, and I will keep you updated on this matter in future issues of the Buzz.

Enhancements to

In the last issue I promised to bring you up to speed with some of the enhancements on the redesigned Discover St Kitts Nevis Beaches website. One of these improvements is an upgrade to the way in which we allow you to share your views and opinions with us. While previously you could share your travel reviews and stories with us by completing forms on some of our pages, the process of having those reviews appear on my website was a munual one. I would have to copy the content (text and photos) from the e-mails generated by the forms, paste them into a webpage, then upload that webpage to my website. While this was ok during slow times, when times got busy, there would be some delays in me getting around to performing the manual work. Now thanks to some software upgrades by my web hosting company, much of this work is automated.

Now when you complete a form to send your hotel, restaurant, tour or other review or you share a travel story with us, all that I will need to do is approve your submission before the content you shared appears live on its own webpage on my site. A link to your review or travel story will also appear on the review or story submission page. During the process of submitting your review or travel story, you will also have the opportunity to attach up to 4 photos that can add visual appeal to your submission. You will also have the option of choosing to be notified when your submission is approved and live on the website. You will then be able to share this link with your friends and family so they can add their comments and rate your review or travel story. Yes, that's right, once your submission is live, visitors to the site will be able to add their comments and rate your submission using a star rating system.

Anxious to try this out? Visit the following pages to send me your review or travel story today.

Your Travel Stories

Hotel / Resort Reviews

Villa / Condominium Reviews

Apartment, Guest House or Bed and Breakfast Reviews

Restaurant and Dining Reviews

Attraction Reviews

Guided Tour Reviews

General Trip Reviews

I am also trying out the feature noted above on my guestbook page, since I had to remove the previous guestbook after it was flooded with spam. Other enhancements to the websites include the inclusion of larger and in some instances updated photos on the pages and the addition of photo slideshows on pages with multiple smaller sized photos. A horizontal menu has also been added to the top right hand corner of the website header image to provide you with quick and easy access to some key pages. Another enhancement is the Google custom search box that has been added to the website pages. This custom search engine allows you to search through the pages on the website by entering your search term in the search box. Now that I have updated you on the enhancements that were implemented during the site redesign, I will keep you updated via this medium as other improvements are implemented.

New Pages

The following pages are the most recent additions to the web site:

St Kitts and Nevis Real Estate Guide - An informative and no nonsense guide to St Kitts and Nevis real estate. Complete with info about the St Kitts real estate market, who can buy St Kitts and Nevis property, the buying process and real estate closing costs plus much more. Check it out today!

How Green are Cruises to the Caribbean? - An article about green cruises by freelance writer Laura McCann. In the article Laura looks at cruises to the Caribbean and highlights the green initiatives taken by major cruise lines that offer cruises to the islands.

In Tune with St. Kitts and Nevis

End of Tourism High Season

The 2012 - 2013 tourism high season has ended and businesses operating in the tourism sector are now getting ready to implement their plans for the upcoming season. During this slow season, many hotels and restaurants take the opportunity to undertake upgrades in preparation for when business picks up again later in the year. Some restaurants will close for part of the slow season, so if you plan on eating out, you may wish to call ahead to find out if they are open.

On the cruise side of things, April 26 marked the end of the cruise ship high season. Three ships namely Carnival Valor, Grandeur of the Seas and Maasdam docked on that day, a fitting end to the season some may say. From May through the end of September the only cruise ships that will be making port calls are Carnival Valor and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Jewel of The Seas. Carnival Valor will make weekly cruise calls on Fridays, docking from 8am until 6pm. Jewel of the Seas will make one call during the last week of May and 3 calls a month from June through September, docking on Tuesdays from 8am - 5pm.

20th Anniversary of Agriculture Department Open Day

Farmer's stall at the 2013 Agriculture Department Open Day

The Department of Agriculture in St. Kitts recently celebrated the 20th Anniversary of hosting their Open Day. The event was held on April 25th and 26th at the Department's facilities at La Guerite under the theme "Embrace the Change, Face the Challenge, Maximize the Opportunities". The two day agriclutural exhibition drew large crowds of adults and children who visited to view the vegetable and fruit crops, livestock and fishery produce, aquaculture pond, small and large ruminants, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, guinea hens, peacocks and peahens, ornamental plant and floral displays, green house farming demonstration, local agro-processed goods and information booths for the agricultural support institutions. Photos taken at the 20th Agriculture Open Day are highlighted in the Featured Photos section of this issue.

Locally grown vegetables on display at the 2013 Agriculture Department Open Day Locally grown fruits grown by the Tawainese Agricultural Mission on display at the 2013 Agriculture Department Open Day

Upcoming Events

Free Concert at Independence Square

The Okolo Tegremantine Arts Theatre celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year. As part of the activities organized to celebrate this milestone, the group will be hosting a Free Concert at 4 p.m. on Friday May 24, 2013 at Independence Square. The event which will feature drums and horns with poetry, dance, chants, reggae and calypso is being organised in collaboration with the Legends Band. The Okolo Tegremantine Arts Theatre is the result of the merger of the Okolo Drummers and Tegremantine Dancers.

ICCS Grand Dinner and Auction

June 8, 2013 is the date set for the second ICCS Grand Dinner and Auction. This fundraiser which will benefit the students of the Immaculate Conception Catholic School will be held at the St. Kitts Marriott Ballroom from 6:30pm - 10:30pm. The cost of the tickets is EC$150.00 (US$1 = EC$2.70). Tickets for the event are available at Harper's Office Depot Tel: (869)465-6500 and ICCS Office Tel: (869)465-3219. The Immaculate Conception Catholic School (ICCS) is the resulting institution of the merger of the St. Theresa's Convent School (my alma mater) and the St. Joseph's School.

2013 St. Kitts Music Festival

Guitarist playing at the St Kitts Music Festival

The 17th edition of the St. Kitts Music Festival will be held from Thursday June 27th to Saturday June 29th, 2013 at Warner Park. Started in 1996, this annual summer festival showcases different genres of music and is consided by many to be the most diverse and popular musical event of its kind in the Caribbean. Past performers have included such celebrity artists as Kenny Rogers, Michael Bolton, Brian Mc Knight, Peobo Bryson, John Legend, Shaggy, Wyclef Jean, Yolanda Adams, KC & Jo Jo, Kool and the Gang, Dionne Warwick, Boys ll Men, Atlantic Starr, James Ingram, Percy Sledge, The Manhattans, Morgan Herritage, Arrow, Sparrow and many others. Local acts have included Masud Sadiki, The Grand Masters Band, NuVybes Band, Small Axe Band among others.

Headlining this year's event will be legendary singer and songwriter Lionel Richie. The line up for the 2013 St. Kitts Music Festival is as follows:

Thursday June 27, 2013
The Small Axe Band, The Kore Band, Nu Vybes Band International, Bunji Garlin, Faye- Ann Lyons, Super Blue and Grand Masters

Friday June 28, 2013
Dagah, Dejour, Charles Emanuel, Tesanne Chin, Konshens, Shaggy and Beres Hammond

Shaggy performing at the 2006 St Kitts Music Festival

Saturday June 29, 2013
Cayon Pantastics, Andy Narell featuring Relator with special guest Etienne Charles and Lionel Richie

Nevis Culturama Festival 2013

Save the date! This year's Nevis Culturama Festival will take place from July 25 to August 6, 2013. More infomation will be forthcoming in a future issue of the St Kitts and Nevis Beach Buzz.

Featured Photos

2013 St Kitts Agriculture Open Day:
Some Photo Highlights

In this month's featured photos, we highlight the 2013 St Kitts Agriculture Open Day. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the hosting of this event. The complete album can be viewed here.

Click to view a gallery with larger versions of the photos

2013 St Kitts Agriculture Open Day
Farmer's stall at 2013 St Kitts Agriculture Open Day St Kitts Farmer's Cooperative Society stall at 2013 Agriculture Open Day
Patrons viewing and buying produce from a farmer's vegetable and fruit stall. St Kitts Farmer's Cooperative Society stall at the 2013 Agriculture Open Day
Sandy Point Farmer's Cooperative Stall Crop produce
Sandy Point Farmer's Cooperative stall at the 2013 Agriculture Open Day. Anyone for some vegetable soup? Pumpkin, eggplants, tomatoes and coconuts on display at the Sandy Point Farmer's Cooperative stall
Vegetables produced by members of the St Kitts Farmer's Cooperative Society Vegetables produced by members of the St Kitts Farmer's Cooperative Society
Cassava, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, huge lettuce and okras (bagged). Produced by members of the St Kitts Farmer's Cooperative Society Onions, cabbages, green bananas, pumpkin and green pawpaw (papaya). Care to share your favourite recipes using these?
Season Peppers Guavas
Season peppers. These peppers can add flavour to any poulty, fish, meat, pasta, rice, bean or vegetable recipe. I use them to supercharge sandwich spreads and dips. I grew up calling these spice guavas. Back then they were extremely rare, but they are more readily available now thanks to the Taiwanese Agricultural Mission and some local farmers like Keithley Armstrong.
Pineapples and Basil Fruits grown by the Taiwanese Agricultural Mission
Locally grown pineapples surrounded by sweet basil plants. Local produce grown by the Taiwanese Agricultural Mission. Local fruits grown by the Taiwanese Agricultural Mission. Clockwise from left - watermelons, cantaloupes, sun melons, pawpaw (papaya), wax apples, plum tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes.
Cassava Meal and Flour Coconut-filled Cassava Bread
Cassava Meal and Cassava Flour produced by members of the St Kitts Agro-Processors Cooperative Society Coconut-filled Cassava Bread. The label says Cassava Biscuit, but growing up we called them Cassava bread with coconut. The plain cassava bread was also a popular staple back then.
Locally made wines Butterfly Orchids
Locally made wines produced by the Fahies Agricultural Women's Cooperative Society. From left to right - Carambola (star fruit) wine, Blackberry wine, Aloe wine and Gooseberry wine. I sampled the gooseberry and aloe wines and they were both very smooth. A friend even bought me a bottle of the Gooseberry wine for my birthday (April 30). Butterfly orchids grown by the Taiwanese Agricultural Mission at the Agro-Tourism Demonstration Farm at Sir Gillies.
Yellow Butterfly Orchids Flower arrangement display
Yellow butterfly orchids grown by the Taiwanese Agricultural Mission at the Agro-Tourism Demonstration Farm at Sir Gillies. Section of a display using ornamental plants, fruits and vegetables, arranged by the St. Kitts Flower Arrangers Association.
Goats Pigs
Goats in a demo slatted floor raised pen. The slatted floor raised pen allows for easy cleanup of the goat droppings. Pigs in a demo concrete pigsty with recessed drains along the inside base of the walls. The concrete floor and drains allow for easy cleanup of the pen using a garden hose.
Aquarium Cabbages growing in flower pots
Aquarium showing some of the fishery species and other sea life that exist in the coastal waters around St. Kitts and Nevis. See that striped spiny fish at the back of the tank? It's a lionfish, one of the latest species to invade our waters. Backyard gardening demo to show how cabbages can be grown in flower pots if space is limited.
Backyard gardening demo using used car tyres Potted seedlings
Backyard gardening demo showing herbs and thyme being grown in used car tyres filled with soil. Another backyard gardeing demo showing different vegetable seedlings being grown in flower pots.

Click to view a gallery with larger versions of the photos

View the entire Agriculture Open Day album here


All Photos Copyright © Amicia Mussenden
All rights reserved.

Inside the Mailbag

"Amicia, I always look forward to your email updates. My family and I love St. Kitts and Nevis. The beauty of the Islands, the smiles of the people, and the pristine beaches and ocean.

Your news keeps us all constantly talking about our previous visits to others and talking about a return trip.

The value of your news is priceless to our family. I always forward your emails to family and friends.

Thanks so much."
Bob D, United States

"Amicia, keep it up I will be your fan! My wife and I spend a couple weeks a year in St Kitts at Timothy Beach Resort. We hike the mountains and find some hidden beaches and even do some skinny dipping from time to time!"
David A

"Hi Amicia: Great to have you back!"
Michael H

"So nice to hear back from you, Amicia!

We have fond memories of the time we spent with you in St. Kitts.

We hope to have an occasion to see you again soon!

Keep well and good luck with the Buzz!

Pat & Latha P, United States

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