Written by Missy Johnston
Sunrise in Grenada
Sail to Grenada on the Spice Island breezes, as it is claimed, that on a cruising approach to Grenada, the Spice Island of the Caribbean, one can smell the scents of the various spices grown on the island wafting on the balmy breezes. Grenada is home to spice plantations where nutmeg, mace, allspice, cinnamon, cloves. turmeric, ginger, bay leaves, cocoa beans, and coffee beans are grown, harvested and processed for export around the world. In fact, Grenada grows one third of the world’s production of nutmeg, a nut that is surrounded by a red hued casing that when ground is known as mace. Grenada also figures as a large world producer of cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, and ginger. And all is grown on an island in the southern reaches of the Caribbean Sea that is all of 11 miles long. With an international airport, Grenada is great island from which to begin or end a luxury yacht charter of the southern islands in the Caribbean.
Tropical Gazebo in Grenada
The sovereign nation called the State of Grenada is comprised of Carriacou, Petite Martinique and Grenada, was established in recent history in 1967, and now forms the southern end of the Windward Islands. The capital city of this nation is St. Georges, located in a lovely bay on the island of Grenada. Featuring a lively market every morning, with even more hubbub on Saturdays, St. Georges, is the place to buy everything that Grenada produces and more. As the spices and other cocoa and coffee beans are part of everyday life in Grenada, a variety of lovely herbal teas, jams, syrups, juices, and even essential oils can be found in the market. Chocolate products and coffee beans are also for sale, and for those looking for a little snack, a variety of local foods are available, flavored with those spices for which the island is famous.
Cocoa Fruit growing on the tree, Grenada
For anyone wanting to know more about what is grown on Grenada, harvested and produced, head inland and visit a working spice plantation. Certain plantation owners in Grenada very cleverly imported the nutmeg tree from the Banda Islands in Indonesia in the 1800’s where disease was decimating the crop; knowing that nutmeg was an excellent and much prized cash crop worldwide. Soon nutmeg trees flourished on the island, becoming a big cash crop. Head to Belmont Estate, an authentic 18th century plantation, where visitors can see a fully functional historic plantation growing nutmeg and mace, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, bay leaves, turmeric, ginger, with their number one product on the Estate being cocoa beans. The full processing of the cocoa bean as picked from the tree to the state from which chocolate is possible to be made (at which time, the beans are delivered to the Grenada Chocolate Factory) can be seen at Belmont Estate. Located on the Estate is a lovely restaurant, serving foods grown in the Estate gardens and seasoned with their herbs and spices. Be sure to also visit the Estate Museum, Craft Co-operative where local artists sell their wares, and the gift shop.
Caribbean Spices, Grenada
Head next to the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Plant to see how the processed nutmegs, also known as “Black Gold” are graded and packaged to be shipped worldwide. Visit the Grenada Chocolate Company where cocoa beans are transformed from prepped bean to fine chocolate and cocoa powder. And if your tongue is tingling for a libation, head to River Antoine Rum Distillery, where rum is still made the old-fashioned way, just as rum was first made in 1785. For here there is an original sugar cane crushing wheel still water powered from the River Antione; with the raw mash heated in distilleries over wood fires, ultimately producing rum.
Fishing Boats, Sauteurs Bay, Grenada
Grenada does have beautiful beaches, however a venture inland reveals tropical rain forests, beautiful waterfalls, and extinct volcanic crater lakes; all of which provide hiking, swimming, bird watching and enjoying the various flora and fauna that grow naturally on Grenada. And even perhaps, a glimpse of a Mona Monkey, first brought to the island in the 1800’s from Ghana. Grenada is a multi-faceted island, with rain forests, beaches and mountains, where an industrious people are growing world-famous spices, brewing rum and creating a lovely chocolate, all from that grown right on the island and should be a starting or ending port on a private yacht charter. Sail to Grenada on the spice island breezes.
Exotic Caribbean Beach, Grenada