Meet the Farmers Making Local Food a Thing in The Bahamas
As the island nation recovers from Hurricane Dorian, a sustainably-minded push for locally-grown produce has gained traction.
Four weeks after Hurricane Dorian brought devastation to Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands, the Bahamas remains united in its relief efforts, even as life has returned to normal throughout the undamaged areas of the country. Locals are encouraging visitors to return, hoping they continue to see the many sides of this beautiful nation. Here, we highlight one of the Bahamas’ multifaceted charms: a growing demand for local produce.
It’s 8:30am on a Saturday, and locals and visitors are already gathered at Nassau’s New Providence Community Center for its weekly farmer’s market, where stands are overflowing with just-picked peppers, tomatoes, kale, and other vegetables from Field to Fork Community Farm, as well as made-from-scratch goodies like jam, bread, and pastries. It’s a scene that didn’t exist a decade ago—and one that represents large strides for this island destination that currently imports about 90% of its food.
At the forefront of this locavore movement are Tim Hauber and Selima Campbell Hauber, the husband-and-wife team behind Field to Fork. The farm began as a small plot at Tim’s church, which he used to incorporate gardening into the Sunday school program. In 2005, he met Selima—who’d just received a PhD in horticulture—while giving her a tour of his workplace in a hydroponic greenhouse at Lucayan Tropical Produce, a major agricultural producer. Their connection was instant, and before she knew it, Tim asked her to take over the church garden. “We produced quite a bit, and began inviting people on Saturdays to come,” says Selima. “Eventually other vendors got interested in selling eggs, bread, cookies, and other things. It wasn’t massive, but it became a weekly event.”