Double amputee pineapple farmer is Clarendon's inspiration
A cheerful Andrew Nelson cracks a smile as he heads to his pineapple farm in his backyard in Simon, Clarendon. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

"If me na no foot and na give up, put your shoulders to the wheel and things will be better," are the encouraging words of 44-year-old double amputee Andrew Nelson, who attends to his pineapple farm daily to earn a living.

From as early as 7:00 am, Nelson can be seen planting pineapple suckers, or reaping the fruit in his backyard located in Simon, Clarendon. This daily routine, he said, would last until about 11:30 am.

Even though the heat from the sun can be daunting, Nelson said he feels motivated to look after pineapples each day.

"Is pine mi a focus pon now. The market is very fast. Hotels, vendors who sell them on the streetside demand them a lot, so is pine mi put all my energy in. I just like to see the pine grow," he told the Jamaica Observer during a visit to his farm on Thursday.

Andrew Nelson attempts to go on his quad bike, which he uses for daily transport in Simon, Clarendon. Garfield Robinson

"I have been doing this for a good while and mi just love it. Mi feel good when mi wake in the mornings and see the pine a bear and sell it. I have people from the community who will support me too and when I am not on my farm, I like to do landscaping," Nelson added.

The only problem that bothers Nelson is the intrusion of goats on his farm. He stressed that having the area fenced would make him feel at ease.

"When mi get up, mi just go through it but I have a problem with goats. You know say you going have problem with animal in it. Mi would love to get some help fi get a fence. Mi really love farming but it is a struggle with the animals," he shared.

Growing up was rough for Nelson who was the youngest of 11 siblings, two of whom have died. But, he thanked his mother for trying to make ends meet.

Andrew Nelson removes weeds from his pineapple plant in his backyard. Garfield Robinson

"I grew up in this community. Back then, when you were born, and you stay certain way, you were looked at as the outcast in your family, but my mother was the backbone for me and to see a lady like that go Coronation Market — anybody who have them mother go Coronation Market, take your hats off to them because it is a rough situation," said Nelson.

"On Thursdays, she would be would be in Rock River picking oranges to go to market on Friday to send us all to school and get food for us," he added.

As he has his eyes set on gaining 1,000 pine suckers to expand his farm, Nelson shares a positive message with youngsters:

"Education is the key to take you out of poverty, and farming is part of education but the book education is very important."

See related story:

Clarendon double amputee gets prosthetic legs after Observer story


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