Last week Rowan’s Royale had a very interesting visitor and Ethno- Botanist visiting from the UK. He is a doctoral student interested in interviewing those who collect wild herbs, leaves roots etc, interested in what it used traditionally, how knowledge is passed on and, interestingly, how local knowledge is lost, how it gets owned and adapted and claimed by others… researchers, colonialists… It should be an interesting thesis.

As we drove up to the farm together I took him to Holywell National Park, part of the Blue and John Crow Mountain Park – a UNESCO Heritage site. There he met the rangers and will probably stay a while for his research. We also visited the Cascade Coffee farmer Group and made contact with people who do wild collection in that area.

At Rowan’s Royale we climbed up the steps under a shower of white orchids and found several little slipper orchids growing on the banks. He appreciated our wide range of biodiversity, helped reap coffee and asked the names of almost everything.

Rowan’s Royale will be one of the visits identified for ethno-botanists and other scientists coming to a major meeting at the University of the West Indies, UWI in June so I was pleased he found the farm so interesting.

Have a look at the orchids. Photos courtesy of Jason Irving