From Bush Doctor to Bush Broth

Small Axe Organic Farm

Last week I was Miss Organic. Firstly, at Ross Medical University, I gave a talk with Donna Klarin of DOAM (Dominica Organic Agricultural Movement) about organic farming, and food to eat on the nature isle. It is clear that the patient loses out when doctors receive so little training in nutrition even though some of those in attendance were eager to learn. We shared out cake made from bananas and babardine which was wolfed down – it was lunch time after all!

The following day I found myself hunting down a dried coconut, having failed on my first attempt, under the patient  instructions of Nico, who cunningly manages to dish out loads of orders and sits on his Gallic xxxx smiling away. I managed to cut away most of the coconut shell and husk whilst retaining all my digits with a cutlass, with some help from Nico, much to the delight of Celia who was not looking forward to a potential dash to the La Plaine health clinic.

I then had to squat and grate most of it so I could make coconut milk which we added as the main sauce for the fish broth. I must say I regretted the purchase of marlin from the supermarket, having seen some fresh stuff on the way home the night before, ah well.

Now Nico is no ordinary farmer. he has the most evolved palate I know on the island, having been in the big wine business for Baroness de Rothschild, yes she does exist! When I asked him whether there were any gastronomical rules to adhere to during our slow broth he said no. He lied. It soon became apparent that he is an exacting cook. To be fair, I knew this before as I used to go out with him but I was just checking…. Poor Celia, having to cut up the wonderful aromatic organic herbs he grows on his farm into tiny portions – dill, parsley, wild garlic (none of that sterilised garlic from China in our pot!), chives and oregano. All served in calabash, with roasted breadfruit, and cristofin.

The smell was truly intoxicating and is one I only associate with his herbs, as I have never had such a strong aromatic experience.

When you are in contact with such fresh herbs, you understand why they heal. Ladies – stop having the op and take your herbs to shrink the fibroids. Call Spacks 440  6969 as herb healer Ras Bobby Olivacce will be back soon. Ok, rant over.

We then, whilst the pot cooked, sang. Daniel, a US yogi volunteering on the farm and building a bamboo kitchen, started strumming a blues tune on Nico’s guitar and I just couldn’t help myself. I sang for a while, making up stuff. Fellow neighbour with his Australian guest drove by, clearly jealous at the obvious camaderie and love surrounding our bubbling fish broth. Mark, a fellow musician, masquerading as an IT man from the UK with a mission, also added some soulful strings to the melee.

The view from his farm is majestic, the green ridges on both sides, the descent of the view down to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Canal river, cool and refreshing after a day’s sweat.

Nico welcomes volunteers who love dogs, his sense of humour, can get their hands dirty, and wish to experience the tranquility and dynamic community which spontaneously arises when the zion vibes are alive and kicking on Small Axe Farm. Ah, the Bob Marley song is what inspired the name of the farm:  a small contribution can make a difference!

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~ by gyandhara on April 3, 2010.

4 Responses to “From Bush Doctor to Bush Broth”

  1. Ok I want to go to the farm after hearing you talk about it so much- count us in on your next trip please!

  2. Was a nice day indeed Marf. Thanks for expressing your feelings about it. You have a real talent to reveal the magics of these little moments.
    Daniel (US) left. Mark (UK) is still there. Giovanna (Italy), Valerie and Charles (France) passed and went last week. Sonia (Morroco) and Frederic (St Marteen) are coming next week… This place has become a meeting point for so many people now. I think I will start a “visitor’s book” for all these wonderful guys to leave a few words about their stays.
    Peace and love my lovely Zion Witch.

    • When something touches my heart, the words flow.

      You need a blog mate, “Chez Nico @Small Axe” where your international farm crew can log into a virtual guest book.

      You can also let people know about your
      – “Full Moon Soirees”,
      – “Charocoal Pit Building Course”,
      – “Learn your Guitar Reggae Tunes Under The Stars” once they go public.

      Peace and Love Back

  3. It would be great to hear more about Nico!

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