A taste of Caribbean in Phenix

Published 7:29 pm Wednesday, August 18, 2021

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If you want to experience a taste of the Caribbean, a short drive to Phenix is where one can find a unique hot sauce blend made from turmeric.

Ann Codrington is the owner of Nisani Farm in Phenix, where she grows and harvests Certified Naturally Grown specialty ginger, turmeric, flowers, vegetables and value-added products like hot sauce as well as bath products.

“Our turmeric and ginger are a step above imports,” Codrington said. “We harvest our ginger and turmeric when they are still young, and strive for the highest quality, cleanliness and freshness possible.”

According to Codrington, Nisani Farm celebrates the generations of Belizean women farmers before her. 

“Nisani” is from the Garifuna language of Belize and means “my daughter.”

Though Codrington grew up in Los Angeles, both her mother and father were born and raised in Belize.

Codrington’s mother still makes trips back to her homeland, living a portion of her time in the U.S and in Belize.

In 2008, Ann and her husband Bruce purchased land in Phenix and worked many weekends, traveling back and forth from Maryland to build what is now Nisani Farm while still working full-time jobs.

She served as director for the Drinking Water Protection Division, at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. where she directed the activities of three branches responsible for the development and implementation of drinking water standards.

Codrington is also a former Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, where she taught science, math and agriculture.

Last year, Codrington decided to retire and move to Charlotte County full-time.

“I am finally doing what I was meant to do,” Codrington said.

In 2012, Codrington was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer.

“When I was sick, I heard that turmeric was good for treating cancer, and I also used ginger a lot for nausea,” Codrington said.

After moving to a meat-free lifestyle and growing her own crops, refusing to use chemical sprays or fertilizers, lots of prayer and finding a doctor that she says saved her life, Codrington is now living her healthiest life.

“Farming is my job now,” Codrington said. “I’m happy I am here.”

Nisani farms fresh vegetables year-round and takes pride in its ability to grow foods using unheated high tunnels that enable the farm to grow plants that are usually only found in far-away places. 

“We grow lemon and papayas here to name a few,” Codrington said. “I believe our choices make a difference in the quality, flavor, diversity and richness of the food we grow.”

Codrington’s products can be found at https://www.nisanifarm.com/