Twenty-eight-year-old identical twins Lee and Drew Androw Thomas are following their dreams of becoming financially independent via their involvement in two separate fields—agriculture and joinery respectively.
At the moment, they both work with the Tobago Regional Health Authority as incinerator attendants. They have been employed there for almost six years.
However, they told Tobago Today that they are working on their trades so they can soon become independent businessmen.
The siblings say they are hoping their love and the hard work they put into agriculture and joinery pay off.
It’s for this reason that Lee, the farmer, was happy when he heard Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis was visiting his Signal Hill hydroponics farm recently.
“I produce approximately 500 heads of lettuce weekly. I was proud to show that to the Chief Secretary. He seemed surprised by the space I use and the quantity of production. I do recirculation hydroponics, which allows me to do a nursery as well as fully grown plants at the same time,” Lee said.
Lee Androw Thomas' hydroponics lettuce garden at Signal Hill.
“I sell wholesale and retail to the groceries and in the Scarborough market. There is a demand for my produce.”
He said he learned farming from his father Vickson growing up in Mason Hall and enjoyed it immensely. His love grew to the point where when he became an adult, he continued doing it.
“My father taught me everything. I just decided to stay with it. I once planted sweet peppers, chive and celery but the limited space in my backyard prevented me from continuing those so I stayed with one crop - lettuce,” he told Tobago Today.
He said it did not pay as much as it does now, so he got a steady job.
Like Lee, Drew does his woodwork in his backyard in Mason Hall.
“I too grew up doing agriculture but I wanted to use my hands and do something else, that is how I got involved in doing woodwork,” he told Tobago Today.
“I enjoy doing things from scratch. Seeing the final product gives me plenty of satisfaction. My dad worked at the agriculture farm in Blenheim and mom Michelle Adams-Thomas was a full-time housewife. Both brought us up to follow our dreams,” he added.
A queen-sized bed made by Drew Androw Thomas.
Coming from a family of ten—mom, dad and eight children—helped them to grow in love. He supports his brother Lee fully. He says he helped his brother get on his feet with his agricultural project, then he started his furniture business some years later.
They both have some advice for youths.
“Cherish your family, help them where you can and follow your dreams. Be independent,” Lee said.
“People need to persevere and dream big. Agriculture is the future. Everyone has to eat,” Drew added.
Lee Androw Thomas shows off some of his lettuce crop.