bananasCream of the crop at Colesome Farmers’ Market

Modern consumers are a discerning bunch. To make it onto Antigua’s most exclusive dining tables, fruit and veg must be seasonal, freshly-picked, organic and local. Just some of the reasons why Colesome Farmers’ Market has burgeoned into a thriving enterprise in its five-year history, supplying everywhere from major restaurants and superyachts to private villas and prudent passersby.

Here, in the heart of All Saints, nature’s bounty bursts forth in all its fructiferous might from the three-acre site which lights up Jonas Road like a bucolic beacon.

Owner Delrie Cole, born and raised in the area, has been farming for more than 30 years and is a staunch advocate of the ‘buy local’ ethos. “Antigua has one of the best climates for food and our soil is so rich some people have told me they think it’s the best in the world. These days we are seeing a change in eating habits as people become more cautious about where their food comes from – and what happens to it after it’s picked. They want to know that what they eat is healthy. Here we are all about maintaining a local brand. We help backyard gardeners too – if they produce too much we will buy it from them.”

Produce grown directly on site includes everything from juicy tomatoes, romaine lettuce and bell peppers, to aromatic arugula, tarragon and parsley. Papayas as big as newborn babies vie for space among oranges, bananas and watermelon, plus avocadoes, eggplant, yam and squash, and of course, our national fruit – the coveted Antiguan black pineapple.

Delrie’s one-stop nutritional shop also sells all-natural sauces, jams and honey, various ‘superfood’ grains like millet, bulgur wheat and black rice, and an array of homemade healthy snacks such as delicious energy-boosting date sweets. “I love making my customers happy,” Delrie adds. “Seeing how excited they get over my produce is what makes me want to get up in the morning.”

by Gemma Handy

Colesome Farmers’ Market is open Mondays to Saturdays 7am-7pm and Sundays 7am-2pm.