HAVE A FIELD DAY
A Farmstay in St. Croix
Across the world, farmstays—with their clean country air and down-to-earth activities—are cultivating a serious following. We try the simple life on for size in St. Croix.
I choose rum. On my last evening at the farm, Creque Dam is holding one of its monthly Community Dinners, meals that are open to anyone who shows up, dish in hand. About 40 people trickle in—an all-ages mix of Cruzan natives, American expats, tourists, and volunteers—and lay down their contributions: curried chickpeas, pickled okra, homemade bread, beans with smoked Alaska king salmon, tostones, wheat-free coconut cookies, and "bush wine," a fermented drink made from apples, berries, and some root vegetables. My nearest tablemates—an art teacher at an island elementary school and a fund-raiser for a local nonprofit organization—share tips for what to do with my free time the next day (hit wide, white-sand Dorsch Beach, on the island's southwest edge, or Cane Bay Beach, on the north shore). The teacher even gives me her phone number, suggesting that the best way to see the island is with a guide who drives you around while you stare out the window (also useful if you aren't used to driving on the left).
After dinner, I take on my final farm challenge: finding my way back to the cabana in complete darkness. I'm unused to relying on stars instead of streetlights, but my eyes ultimately adjust, and I locate the trail. Once inside, I tuck my work-weary bones under the bed's thin blanket and wind down to the xylophone-like sounds of tree frogs. I drift off with a smile—especially because I know that the next morning, I'll be sleeping through those conch blasts entirely guilt-free.
visfi.org, double-occupancy cabana farmstay $85, single bunk in a shared cabana $35, breakfast $10, weekend workshops from $45.