GO LOCAL in Eleuthera, Bahamas. I always make it a point to stop in at Island Farm at least twice during my stay in Eleuthera. Once, in order to stock up on fresh locally grown produce and sauces, and then again, to pick up more of their tasty all-natural sauces to pack in my suitcase to bring home. This place is a huge treat for me. At home, during the summer months in Canada, I wait patiently for the once-a-week Farmers Market so that I can buy local produce like this. In Eleuthera, it’s available to me 6 days a week.
Owned by Clyde Bethel, Island Farm is located on the Queens Highway, a mile south of Church Street in Palmetto Point. Clyde is a gracious and friendly man, married to a wonderful woman named Anne, who manages several properties around Eleuthera. When you first enter through the white wooden gates of Island Farm, it may appear like it’s simply an open-aired stall selling a few local items. But this place is so much more. Visit early in the day and you’ll find fresh baked breads, cinnamon buns, jams, sauces, fruits and vegetables (grown just a few feet away). Baked items are offered Tuesdays and Fridays and are often gone within 15 minutes of opening. The sauces, dressings and other locally produced condiments are more than just delicious - they are gourmet. Items like fire-roasted salsa, garlic jelly, spicy pickled okra, fresh herb dipping oil, banana nut jam, papaya pepper hot sauce, peas & rice mix, jerk sauce, stir fry sauce, pestos and salad dressings are only a small example of the wonderful goodies offered here.
The soul of Island Farm exists in the farm itself. During my last visit to Eleuthera, I had the good fortune of bumping into Clyde, who gave me a tour of his farm. Impressive is an understatement. I had no idea of the farm’s extent before. Clyde started the farm a few years ago with a half acre, which has since grown to 10 acres, and plans for expanding another 2 acres very soon. Now the farm supplies a wide range of vegetables to most of the restaurants in Eleuthera. Clyde attributes much of the farm’s success to the excellent people that he has working for him.
Island Farm is open 9-4 daily (closed on Sundays). They also offer free WiFi.
Oh - and I feel that I must mention some trivia about Clyde. He is the son of Mate (of Mate and Jenny’s pizza place in South Palmetto), the cousin of Dr. Seabreeze (Cebric Bethel), and he has Canadian ties too - he went to school in Winnipeg for a few years ;).
My best wishes to Clyde, Anne and the rest of the Bethel family for continued success.