A farmer cuts a melon at Bordeaux farmers market — Photo courtesy of Karen ElowittThe west end of St. Thomas is home to a rather large Rastafarian community, many of whom are excellent organic farmers. Their yields are not large since the soil is not optimal and they don't use pesticides on their terraced hillside fields, but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality.
The last Sunday of every month is market day, when farmers display and sell all manner of agricultural products, including fruit and vegetables, eggs, honey, plants and trees. On any given day you'll find juicy tomatoes, sturdy breadfruit, aromatic basil, plump eggplant, vibrant pomegranates, pumpkins and coconuts.
Shoppers pick out potted plants at Bordeaux farmers market — Photo courtesy of Karen ElowittAround the edges of the market vendors set up food stalls selling homemade breads, cakes, soups, stews and local juices like sorrel. Other stalls have locally made jewelry, clothing, health and beauty products, and arts and crafts.
Though the Bordeaux farmer's market has been around for years, it is worth noting because few visitors know about it, and even fewer make the trek out to this remote part of the island. However it is worth a look, because it is a fun "authentic" cultural experience for those seeking an alternative to bars and beaches.
To get there, take route 30 (Brewers Bay Road, which becomes Fortuna Road) past UVI, past the Reichhold Center, then continue a couple more miles all the way up the hill to Bordeaux. It's about a half-mile past the fire/rescue station on the right.
If you do venture to the market, bear in mind that most Rastas do not generally like tourists sticking cameras in their faces, so if you must snap a photo, be discreet.