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|Eleuthera's Goodfellow Farms Expands Into Nassau|
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|Posted by:||Feb 20th 2004, 12:23:29 pm|
Eleuthera agriculturist Ian Goodfellow and the New Providence Development Company (NPDCO) have partnered to create a 60-acre farm on farmland once owned by E.P.Taylor, the early New Providence developer and founder of Lyford Cay.
Under the experienced management of Ian Goodfellow, five acres of a planned 60-acre agricultural centre at Mount Pleasant are now producing a wide variety of pesticide-free salad greens, lettuces, swiss chards, spinach, arugula, herbs and vegetables such as eggplants, cucumbers, snow peas and sugar snaps. The relatively small but efficient operation is the only one of its kind in the country. It specializes in growing high-end greens and uses hydroponics and soil-based farming methods together with natural fertilizers and bug repellents to grow the crops. A variety of innovative seedling pairings at planting result in crops of ready-mixed salad. One 11-seed mix has been named the 'millionaire's m-ix,' due to the demand from the higher-end restaurant market.
The farm opened for business in September 2003 after 8 months of ground and crop preparation. Today, it services 17 restaurants in and around Nassau and the customer base is growing. By concentrating their efforts on producing fragile salad greens that do not travel well for import purposes, Goodfellow Farms has captured within a short space of time a lucrative market, hungry for fresh salad greens reliably delivered daily.
The salad greens which consist of four different varieties of lettuce, plus arugula and spinach also include a juicy, soft-seed cucumber. Crops are cut to order from the fields each morning before 10:00 a.m. for same day delivery. They are washed and spun on site, kept chilled in cold rooms and packed into translucent cases for delivery to such customers as The Old Fort Bay Club, Lyford Cay, The Ocean Club, Atlantis, the Gourmet Market, Villaggio and Graycliff. Deliveries are made twice a week to Harbour Island to The Landing, Rock House, Sip Sip, Ocean View, Romora Bay Club and Dunmore Deli.
Micro-greens especially are in great demand. These mini shoots of succulent high vitamin goodness take particular and experienced handling and Goodfellow is the only place you can get them fresh off the farm.
Chefs from the Ocean Club Dune Restaurant and Atlantis Five Twins have a standing order for all they can get. Tomato production too continues to increase to meet a demand fed by a realization that these are the best-tasting, best-looking tomatoes grown in The Bahamas. Ian Goodfellow predicts a crop size of 50,000 pounds this year which will barely meet demand.
The quick and successful start gives credence to the expansion plans already underway through further ground preparation and additional man-power. The plans call for food production on 60 acres over an 8-year period. The talk is of tomatoes, strawberries, bananas, papaya, vegetables and expanded greens acreage. But first on the agenda is the transformation of the pristine but utilitarian looking farm into a country garden with the addition of flowers and trees. Goodfellow Farms will be a place for families to visit and enjoy and to shop for farm fresh produce.
The shop at the Farms sells home-made jellies, jams, syrups, marmalades, conserves, relishes and herb-infused vinaigrettes and dressings. About a thousand gallons a year are made by Ian's wife, Karin, and her culinary assistants on Eleuthera. The most popular jam is Guava and the most favoured marmalade is from Eleuthera pineapple and large grapefruits called Pommelo. Other top sellers include hot pepper jellies and an English-recipe Mango Chutney infused with Ginger.
Ian Goodfellow is quick to point out that the Goodfellow System of farming is simple and easily implemented by those with an interest in agriculture as a living. He is actively seeking youngsters to train through an agricultural apprenticeship scheme that he helped implement at the College of The Bahamas as a part of their existing agricultural programme headed by Dr Linda Davis. Other farms have also been invited to join the programme so that trainees can work in different growing environments.
Ian and Karin Goodfellow previously farmed successfully on Eleuthera on a farm inherited from Ian's father. They moved to Nassau when an offer from community developer Orjan Lindroth piqued Ian's interest and a tour of the land whetted his appetite.
His introductory tour of inspection revealed an Aladdin's cave of farmland goodies - a tract of previously cultivated land albeit hidden by undergrowth, a good water table and an abundance of rich soil compliments of the NPD soil production plant. It was a seductive combination and less than a year later, Orjan Lindroth, NPDCO and Ian and Karin Goodfellow had joined forces and Goodfellow Farms was open for business. The tried and tested, well engineered Goodfellow System of growing produce and delivering high-end, fresh products and a reliable service, had taken root in New Providence.
Goodfellow Farms is situated at Mount Pleasant in South West New Providence, approximately thirty minutes from the town centre of Nassau and ten minutes from National International Airport.
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