Bathlodge farmer blames the destruction of his produce and larceny of equipment on the perpetrators’ evil-mindedness
Jamal Ralph, of Ralph’s Evergreen Farm, is calling the larceny of a quantity of pots and the removal of a number of fruit trees pure destruction and evil-mindedness.
The enterprise, located in the Bathlodge area, is classified as a poultry farm; but Ralph says it produces a lot of vegetables, as well, and there is also a plant nursery.
The fruits he grows – dragon fruit, sapodillas, marmy sapote and jack fruit – are considered exotic; therefore, they are not common on the island. The business also had a large number of coconut trees, which were destroyed by the thieves.
Ralph says he worked on the farm until after 8 p.m. last Friday, July 15. At about 8:30 a.m. the next day, Saturday, he says he received a call from his father, who instructed him to call the Police and then report to the farm – where he met the destruction.
During the process of assessing the damage, Ralph says, they discovered that more and more produce had been taken.
He is speculating that the perpetrators must have made multiple trips – and in a big truck – to steal the volume of equipment and the tools that are missing: These include two wheelbarrows, a folding ladder, and a roll of fencing wire.
The net was removed from the greenhouse and the shade house, and the thieves also took the greenhouse’s plastic covering. More than 200 feet of a heavy-duty black mesh; solar batteries; a heavy-duty 75-foot expandable hose; and watering cans were stolen, as well.
This is not the first time in its 30-year existence that the farm has been robbed, Ralph says. In fact, this was the fifth or sixth time this year that thieves have raided the business, but not on such a large scale.
The farmer notes that, only days before, on July 13, someone was caught stealing mangoes from the farm – as had happened a month earlier.
He says that getting assistance from the Police to curb such incidents has proven futile in the past; so, at times, they do not bother to report minor thefts.
Nothing on the farm is insured and his losses run to more than $15,000, Ralph says. However, those plants that were pulled from pots and left on the ground have been replanted, and the farmer says he has received some donations to help get things back on track.
The farm belongs to his parents, he adds, but he helps to run the daily affairs.
Another farmer in that area, Alvin Christian, suffered a similar loss of a quantity of his fruit trees some months ago.