Homegrown fruits and vegetables make a rich display at the Bordeaux Farmers Rastafari Agricultural & Cultural Vegan Food Fair in January.

If we are honest with ourselves, as much as we may think about where to get food, we don’t always give the same amount of thought to where our food comes from. We mainly think of food in a transactional sense. To know our history is to understand the role that agriculture has played, and continues to play, in our culture.

What better time to explore the topic of agriculture than during Black History Month? Who better to crack open the subject of exploring the “culture” in agriculture than a man who has been on the front lines of the fight for food independence? No one other than Eldridge “Sparks” Thomas, president and founding member of We Grow Food, Inc., the Virgin Islands’ preeminent agricultural organization. To help me understand why we are where we are today, Sparks gave me an enlightening history lesson.