West Bayers divvy up, give away enormous cassava

Cindy Ebanks and her family could have had extra money to cover bills in Grand Cayman. 

But instead of selling the massive 83-pound cassava grown on her West Bay property, she decided to give the root away. 

“We’re going to give it away to family and friends,” Mrs. Ebanks said. “We’re going to share it up and give it away. We have no interest in selling. We asked God to bless the ground when we first moved in. We’ve been there three years now and we want to honour that (blessing) and not sell anything.” 

Mrs. Ebanks lives in Birch Tree Hill with her husband, Jerry Ebanks. Her first cousin, Martin Ebanks, was the one who planted the cassava and decided to harvest it last week. Interestingly, cassava retails for about $1.24 per pound at Cayman’s three main supermarkets in Foster’s Food Fair, Hurley’s and Kirk Supermarket. The Ebanks family had about $103 worth of product. 

Mrs. Ebanks, who had the root weighed on bathroom scales, said the cassava was grown in fertile soil. 

“Martin grew the cassava and went into the ground on Wednesday afternoon and started pulling. It came out one time but because it was intertwined in the rocks, it got broken up. We had pawpaws too and pumpkin roots in the ground around the property already, along with callaloo, peppers and breadfruit. 

“We stored it in the garage as too many people were looking at it.” 

For the record, cassava is a woody shrub and a year-round crop in tropical locales such as the Cayman Islands. Sometimes called yuca, it is known for its edible starchy, tuberous root that is a major source of carbohydrates. It is often used to make cassava cake, a staple of Caymanian cuisine and can be dried into a powdery extract called tapioca. 

Martine cassava

Martin Ebanks with 83 pounds of cassava. – PHOTO: SUBMITTED

cindye head

Cindy Ebanks is from West Bay.

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