Things are looking up. Easing restrictions across the nation has already impacted lifestyles in communities in a positive way. It is as if everyone and everything were given a get-up-and-go injection, a new lease on life. In retrospect, the past couple months of inactivity and curfews has taken a toll on people’s energy levels, both mentally and physically. It was palpable, even to me, the perennial optimist. Unable to engage in activities like going to the beach, to work, to church, to family gatherings or to host a social get-together was difficult for all and sundry. However, I think I can speak for every household across Barbados when I say, “when we are handed lemons, we know how to make lemonade.”
As our country continues to navigate uncharted waters, proceeding cautiously but perseveringly forging ahead with a new plan of action towards life post-pandemic. What a welcomed relief it is to breathe again, even if, regrettably there is a resurgence of the virus. We are well aware other countries around the world are doing the same. At some point we all have to, figuratively speaking, grab the bull by the horns, and return to business as usual.
So, what are some of the outcomes from the period in lockdown? Among the many observations, here are a few that I want to mention:
We are stronger when we work together. Many people showed they were their brother’s keeper by lending a hand and donating foods and funds to fill a variety of needs. Community groups and individuals responded to the cries for help and jumped into action to provide and fill the gaps where the less fortunate struggled to make ends meet. Government leaders and strategists are acting as watchdogs surrounding the safety and health of every Barbadian. The leadership seeks to ensure a smooth transition back into mainstream life. All the while, implementing steps that will keep every Bajan safe and well.
In every parish, new entrepreneurs are springing up overnight selling mainly fruits and vegetables along the roadsides. Beside the vendors, many households have used the ‘stan home’ opportunity to cultivate the land. Backyard kitchen gardens is the new craze. Obviously, this is a direct result of shortages on imported perishables due to closed borders. The possibility of not securing fresh fruits and vegetables as accustomed became apparent to everyone. Whatever the reason, I like that my fellow comrades have returned to the soil to grow their own food. Plantations and privately owned arable lands are lying dormant, while we are gobbling up imported foods that we can take the time to grow ourselves. I know there is more to the mortar than the pestle when looking at this issue, but suffice it to say, I’m happy to see all the backyard kitchen gardens, and renewed interest in farming that is going on around me.
My family in lockdown have followed suit too. We have prepared beds for planting. A few seedlings of tomatoes, okra, eggplant and corn have been sowed. We have a new tree to add to the orchard – Pomerac.
Other crops still to be planted and which will take a few months before yielding are sweet potato, yam and yuca. Currently, we are blessed to enjoy the fresh fruits in our orchard – Bananas, mangoes, soursop, grapefruit, pomegranate, and fig. A few more months down the road the golden apple and avocadoes will be ripe enough to eat too.
Besides the fruits and vegetables, I have taken to making and baking sweet treats such as sweetbread made with dried coconut, and fishcakes made with dried salted codfish.
Community Peeps, what good thing has developed from your period in lockdown? Have limiting measures eased a bit for you too? Please share your experience with me in the box below.
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