Saturday Farmstand, Pineapples, Schedule Change, Dance!

More pineapples today! ARTfarm pineapples are ridiculously sweet this year, maybe because of all the dry weather. June seems to be our pineapple month!

More pineapples today! ARTfarm pineapples are ridiculously sweet this year, maybe because of all the dry weather. June seems to be our pineapple month!

Open 10 AM – 12 noon on South Shore Rd. this morning, ARTfarm has, organically grown for you: Salad mix, microgreens, small quantities of pineapples, tomatoes, and cucumbers. We have beets, scallions, mature bunched arugula, Ethiopian kale, Italian basil, mint, zinnia flowers, local honey from Errol Chichester, and admission/raffle tickets for the Caribbean Dance show next weekend! No Wednesday stand this coming week, so come out to the farm today…

Our adopted border collies, Ginger and Spice, vigilantly patrol the pineapple gardens at this time of year to discourage rats. We've seen these athletic dogs leap all the way over the row of spiny plants during the hunt. This is a viable and much more entertaining alternative to poisons for controlling crop pests on an organic farm. During dry times there is increased pressure from all pests on farm crops and resources.

Our adopted border collies, Ginger and Spice, vigilantly patrol the pineapple gardens at this time of year to discourage rats. We’ve seen these athletic dogs leap all the way over the row of spiny plants during the hunt. This is a viable and much more entertaining alternative to poisons for controlling crop pests on an organic farm. During dry times there is increased pressure from all pests on farm crops and resources.

We are changing our schedule to reflect the weather patterns. The drought is really affecting our ability to grow crops at this point. It also seems like a natural pause to tackle some big farm projects we’ve been wanting to get to. So, we have decided to curtail our Wednesday farmstands until we get some rain or production picks up again. We will be open today and next Saturday as well, and we will play it by ear after that. Mango season is coming, but it also may be a bit delayed by the dry spell we are all in.

Young dancers preparing for the annual show in the Caribbean Dance studio in Christiansted. Support the arts on St. Croix!

Young dancers preparing for the annual show in the Caribbean Dance studio in Christiansted. Support the arts on St. Croix!

The Caribbean Dance School‘s 38th annual performance is Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30 at Complex (the high school across from the UVI campus). We have tickets ($15 donation, includes entry into raffle for plane tickets and more) available at the farmstand or you can purchase them at the door! Show time is 7:30 PM. There are adorable tiny ballerinas in the show but also a number of accomplished student and professional dancers — the show is family-friendly and highly entertaining! The closing number in the show features rousing carnival music and traditional calypso dancers, and includes over 30% of the ARTfarm workforce! So come see your farmers in action and support all our local talent in the arts! The Caribbean Dance School and Company is an important cultural institution in the Virgin Islands, founded in 1977 to tour the world and share our island culture, and is still operated by the original artistic directors! It is also an enduring nonprofit organization engaging thousands of students over the years, promoting health, self-esteem, and self discipline. The arts are an important and vibrant part of Virgin Islands culture, help improve our communities in countless ways, and are woefully underfunded. Please come out and show the students you care.

Plus, you’ll get great inspiration for choreographing your own rain dance! ;)

 

SOLD OUT!

Sorry folks, but what little we had today is sold out. We’ll see you Saturday, 10am – 12 noon. Thanks for your support! Pray for rain!

ARTfarm Q&A Wednesday! 3-6pm

Today at ARTfarm down the south shore we’ll offer a fairly small selection of items: Pineapples, a few tomatoes, sweet salad mix, microgreens, basil, chives, and a few cucumbers.

The lignum vitae is an important food source for honey bees in drought times.

The lignum vitae is an important food source for honey bees in drought times.

Q: What do you farmers do when it is so dry? What can grow in this extreme drought condition?

A: Not too much! We do our best to conserve water when conditions are this severe.

One plant that remains green and healthy with no watering in this dry weather is the highly drought tolerant lignum vitae tree. Slow and steady is how lignum vitae grows, rain or no rain. This tree species will probably outlast all the other trees that we have planted over the years. Most of the 30+ lignum vitae trees established at ARTfarm came from Kai and Irene Lawaetz at Little Lagrange. Kai was always a champion of the lignum vitae for its beauty and ability to withstand drought times and there are many prime individuals of the species on the Lawaetz Museum grounds.

Even in drought times when most vegetation is brown, the lignum vitae tree's evergreen leaves remain deep green and provide dense shade.

Even in drought times when most vegetation is brown, the lignum vitae tree’s evergreen leaves remain deep green and provide dense shade.

While it does not produce any edible products, the lignum vitae is a beautiful dense shade and ornamental tree and a food source for honeybees, particularly when nothing else is flowering. The wood of lignum vitae trees is so dense that it has traditionally been used to make ship pulleys.

The light purplish blue blooms and showy red and orange fruit are unique mainly because of their color. There are not too many blue colored flowers in the tropics. The tree sheds very little leaf litter and its leathery paired leaves remain a beautiful deep green year round.

Pineapples! Happy ARTfarm Saturday! 10am – 12 noon

Summer is the season for pineapples at ARTfarm! Sweet sweet sweet!

Summer is the season for pineapples at ARTfarm! Sweet sweet sweet!

Sweet salad mix, microgreens, macrogreens, lots of sweet ARTfarm south shore pineapples, passionfruit, a few cucumbers, a few tomatoes, Italian basil, beets, radishes, scallions, sage, delicious serrano chili peppers, zinnia flowers, and local honey from Errol.

We have a few bunches of Ethiopian kale today. It is a tender cooking or juicing green with a pungent, sweet flavor that resembles a mild mustard green.

Ethiopian kale! This flavorful cooking green is mild enough to eat raw. It has a mustard-like flavor but will not make your eyes water like true mustard greens.

Ethiopian kale! This flavorful cooking green is mild enough to eat raw. It has a mustard-like flavor but will not make your eyes water like true mustard greens.

We have tickets available at the farmstand today for the annual Caribbean Dance performance that is coming up on May 29 and 30th (Friday and Saturday evenings). Each ticket is also a raffle entry to win round trip plane tickets, a Buccaneer vacation and more!

Tickets are $15 each and will also be available at the door on the nights of the performance. The show takes place in the air conditioned theater at the Educational Complex and curtain time is 7:30 PM.

The Caribbean Dance School celebrates their 39th anniversary on the stage this year. Performers range in age from preschooler to adult, and include students and members of the Company. Disciplines range widely from ballet en pointe to contemporary, jazz, hip-hop tap and Afro-Caribbean calypso this year. It is a completely family-friendly show! (Costumes and choreography are all in good taste and G-rated.) Even if you cannot attend, your purchase of a ticket enters you in the raffle and helps to support this great nonprofit cultural institution.

Thanks for supporting the arts on St. Croix!

ARTfarm Wednesday! Pineapple Plethora! Steam the Beets!

Hope all you wonderful moms and nurturers out there had a great Mother’s Day on Sunday. We got over a quarter inch of rain on the farm, the perfect gift!

Thanks to all who came out and supported Luca’s art exhibition this past month.

Farmer Luca especially wants you to know that, when preparing our relatively small late-season beets, you may find it much easier to peel the rough skin off after steaming instead of roasting. Post-steaming, the jackets release with just a pinch of the fingers, while roasting will largely entail the use of a paring knife. So for those of you looking for efficiency in your culinary preparations, consider the steam method. Be sure to save the beautiful pink steam bath water for use in a vegetable broth. You can add a little miso to it and it is ready as a light consommé.

ARTfarm Wednesday, 3–6 p.m.: Calling Faye, come in Faye: loads of pineapples! Also fresh sweet salad mix, “macro” (large micro) greens, bunched arugula, radishes, beets, Italian basil, a few tomatoes, a few cucumbers, and local raw honey from beesteward Errol Chichester.

Continuing the rain dance…

 

Pineapples ripening at ARTfarm, just in time to ease the sorrow of tomato season coming to a close.

Pineapples ripening at ARTfarm, just in time to ease the sorrow of tomato season coming to a close.

ARTfarm Saturday: 10am Treats!

Luca’s and Mike’s art exhibition is closing today (Saturday), with the last viewing from 11 AM – 2 PM. So after you pick up your fresh veggies, head over to Peters Rest if you haven’t had a chance to see this inventive collection of new watercolors and abstract sculptures from these two men of industry. Admission is free.

Organically grown just for you, with stored rainwater that is a mere memory of beautiful darkened skies that passed over us at least three or four months ago: Sweet salad mix, bunched arugula, radishes, beets, a few tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, a few cucumbers, Italian basil, green coriander, fresh onions, scallions, pineapples, and raw honey from Errol.

It will rain.

Rain From The North, watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

Rain From The North, watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

ARTfarm Wednesday 3-6pm Freshness!

When it’s this hot, you’ll want to cool down with a nice green salad for dinner. May be a little fruit salad with some fruity ice cream on the side for dessert. Something light and cool.

Freshly harvested before sunup this morning, and ready for your table: ARTfarm sweet salad mix, microgreens, a few tomatoes, a few cucumbers, beets, radishes, onions, Italian basil, pineapples, serrano peppers, and zinnia flowers. From our partner, I-Sha, local fruity ice cream.

Come out and keep Farmer Luca company!

Don’t forget this Friday: there will be a closing fete at Walsh Metal Works Gallery. If you have not seen “Men Of Industry”, or would like to talk to the artists about their work, now is the time! Friday, May 8, from five till 8 PM. Peters Rest behind the Coca-Cola plant.

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