North Caicos has three main settlements, Bottle Creek, Whitby and Kew. Kew is the old Capital of the Caicos islands and still has an, albeit slightly rundown, colonial type feel to it. There were two reasons for us to be there, to visit the National Trust Office and visit the farm.
The Trust office is a small single room where tickets are sold to Wade’s Green Plantation (see earlier post). It’s main problem is that it is not actually at Wade’s Green and visitors struggle to find the office so end up not paying. We had a long discussion over these difficulties with the only employee on North Caicos and came up with some ideas for improvement. As it is a gift shop too we added a few nails in the door so that items, particularly local craft items, could be displayed. More signs are needed but these are probably beyond our sign writing skills!
The Farm at Kew is a government research farm growing a wide range of produce in relatively small quantities. The farm area covers about 100 acres but only 10 acres is currently in use. We were shown round by Michael who comes from Jamaica. There are a few Jamaicans working there, earning US dollars to send home. They seem very puzzled by the lack of farming in the Turks and Caicos but reasonably happy that the farm is now being run better than has been the case. The mechanism for buying food needs simplifying though as the farm office is back in Kew itself, next door to the Trust office where orders and payment have to be made while collection is from the farm itself.
Current crops include okra, pac choi, squashes, peppers, egg-plant and papaya. However, most of the crops had been harvested for some of the larger clients and there was little left for sale. Tomatoes should be ready soon along with melons and cucumbers.