CHARLES KONG SOO
The Green Market’s Natural Living festival at Saddle Road, Santa Cruz, last weekend was the place to be for people interested in learning about alternative medicine, nutrition, mental health, herbal remedies, art, yoga, reflexology, marma points, organic gardening, natural beauty products, and locally made craft.
With more than 70 vendors, artisans and providers of health services on hand, patrons could nurture their body, mind, and spirit starting from the soothing new-age music, wholesome delicious food such as the two chicken and beef arepas from Venezuelan Mari Aman of Antojos I had for breakfast, that paired well with Afena Glen's ginger tea from Aroma Harvest in the chilly morning air. First-time participants Avalon St Louis-Clasp and her husband, Elisha, of Grain-ola sold their multi-grain bread and moringa-lemon-butter cream cinnamon rolls.
Microgreens, Kombucha probiotic tea, and moringa were the "new" discoveries, Jezue Correia of CCL Natural was selling kombucha shots, Brian Shears of Mr Mappy Bakery was selling moringa hops, various breads such as his "superloaf" with sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot, goji berry and multi-grain. Chiaro Local Vino made wines out of cane, jamun, sorrel, moringa, aloes, saffron five fingers, dates, guava, and rice. Azard Ali was selling authentic Amerindian pepperpot and boucaneer meat, while Neela Ramesar of Krafters Korner and Shannon Patraj of Sukha Handmade Jewellery were some of the craftspeople on hand.
Artist Arvind Ganesh partnered with Mihir Redoy for MokshaArt, an aromatherapy provider selling lip balm and scented candles with the artist's work on the products, while Karissa Bleasdelle offered her V Steam Solutions—a herbal blend for women with vaginal problems.
According to marketing manager Jhunean Giraud, "We wanted to present a holistic approach to the nation that there is a green alternative to living. There is a way that we can live symbiotically with our environment and still have fun, we can teach each other and improve the quality of our lives.
"This allows us the opportunity not only to display how we can live plastic-free and reduce our waste but also allows the community to see how we could also come together without competition and with only pure love for the greater good of the community."
Health and Wellness coordinator Shenellee Bryce said the festival showed and reconnected people to the ways that they can use products they never knew before. She said generations before had used herbal remedies and many people had forgotten about them. Speakers such as Prof Yuri Clement, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, shared his knowledge in the field of herbal remedies and preserving the traditional herbal practices of T&T with attendees at the festival.