Wednesday 3-5:30pm

One of the most flashy of the different dragonfruit flowers: the Zamorano is extremely colorful!

The nighttime dragonfruit hand pollination routine is part luck and part intricate cheoreography, to collect and use the pollen in the right sequence. A metaphor for many things!

Grown here at ARTfarm in the old cattle pastures, now gardens: Haitian kidney and Julie mangoes, dragonfruit, a few pineapples, loads of beautiful papaya, passionfruit, lots of sweet potato, Italian basil, garlic chives, recao, rosemary, lemongrass, sweet potato greens, and seasoning peppers!

And from our local St. Croix partners we have Nam Doc Mai and Mallika mangoes from Tropical Exotics, honey from Errol and goat cheese from Fiddlewood Farm. 
Come out and see us!

Saturday morning, 10am – 12 noon

ARTfarm is cultivating your taste buds this summer! Come down to the South Shore and get an assortment of flavors: Julie mangoes and Haitian kidney mangoes, loads of papaya, loads of sweet potato, passionfruit, pineapple, Italian basil, lemongrass, mint, rosemary, recao, garlic chives, arugula in bunches, sweet potato greens, seasoning peppers and a few slices of assorted pumpkin! Plus jumbo pastured turkey eggs! We also have native trees available and pineapple slips for those hankering for a little patch of things growing in the yard. 

From our partners: we have honey from Errol, goat cheese from Fiddlewood Farm, and Malika and Nam Doc Mai mangoes from Tropical Exotics. 

Splitting Mango Hairs, Wed 3-5:30

Not everyone is a fan of mangoes! Ha!

VI Daily News photo

This season, everyone on St. Croix has been blessed with an abundance of mangoes — if they want them. The trees produced with a vengeance after last season’s odd timing, and Mango Melee was flush with all kinds of mangoes and other fruit on Sunday. 

When I (Farmer Christina) first visited St. Croix 25 years ago, I did not realize how inadequate the term “mango” really was when describing the ovoid fruit. At the time, I believed that a mango was a specific kind of sweet fruit among the many, many types of exotic tropical fruits on the island to be sampled. I did not differentiate one mango from other mangoes. I did not realize, on my first brief visit, that they all had proper names and unique flavor profiles. 

If you begin to experience and appreciate and love mangoes, you may develop your own particular mango taste preferences. There are certain varietal flavors you look forward to every season, and to have a plate of contrasting mango flavors and switch between them from mouthful to mouthful is one of the most decadent cheap thrills that St. Croix can offer in the hot summer months.

With decadent cheap thrills in mind (as always), the ARTfarm brings you four distinct mango experiences this week:

Nam Doc Mai mango.

Nam Doc Mai: this Thai mango seems to be a nirvana for many of our customers, who ask for it and look forward to its return every season. This smooth skinned, medium sized mango has a light yellow-green skin when ripe. It has a distinctive long flat shape with a hook on the tip. The pit is extremely flat. Inside, the flesh is decidedly yellow and completely fiberless. It is sweet, smooth beyond smooth, and buttery tasting, without the sharp citrus notes or extreme sugary sweetness of other mangoes. This is an easy-listening, ‘Sunny-after-Sunset’ mango. 

Mallika mango.

Mallika: this medium to large mango has a smooth deep green skin with a delicate sprinkling of light spots. It has a very narrow pit inside, so it is a very generous mango. Its flavor is brash. If you are a child of the 1970s or earlier, you are probably familiar with the powdered orange drink that astronauts took with them to the moon, called “Tang”. The flavor of Mallika is the flavor of Tang. Sweet-sweet-sweet, warm, a bit sharp, citrus-y, and bright orange. The taste equivalent of a tap and slap P Funk baseline, mission control to the Mothership Konnection!

Haitian Kidney mango.

Haitian Kidney: medium sized mango. The skin is yellow-green when ripe. One of the “newer” favorites with light bright yellow flesh, with some ‘string’ or fibers that are reminiscent of the texture of a spaghetti squash; not hairy, but lend lightness and juiciness to this mango. The Haitian variety is a bit larger than a regular kidney mango. Mild warm mango with a cool twist of lemon is the primary flavor here. I can hear steel pan when I eat this one.

Julie mango.

Julie: The warm, sweet flavor of a Julie mango is the touchstone summer-childhood-beach-memory flavor for many Crucians. Over and over on Sunday at Mango Melee we heard cries of delight when they saw our stash of Julies, as the harvest for this variety this year was a bit early and sparse. The Julie is often eaten at the beach in the water. With this technique, one rips a hole in the skin with the teeth (Farmer Luca says the skin is actually mild and edible), and sucks out the creamy flash of the mango, leaving the stringiness and pit inside the skin. Despite its insanely voluptuous levels of sweetness, and hairy stringiness, or perhaps because of it, the small, leathery Julie mango is the only mango for some folks, so it’s certainly worth a taste. The Julie tends to be a smaller mango, with a more textured skin that is green with a blush of pink when ready. Each bite goes from sweet-tart to warm and rich on the tongue and soothes the soul. The beach flavor echoes across the water like delicious wafting Sunday Reggaeton music from one beach over.

This post is but the start of a complete St. Croix Mango Identification Guide to assist you in navigating the complex world of mango tasting. Soon come.

For Wednesday 3-5:30pm at ARTfarm we have Haitian kidney and Julie mangoes, (and fiberless Nam Doc Mai and Malika mangoes from Tropical Exotics), pineapple, passionfruit, dragonfruit, loads of papaya, loads of sweet potatoes, Italian basil, recao, garlic chives, seasoning peppers, lemongrass, rosemary, and sweet potato greens. We also have lignum vitae, calabash trees, and pineapple slips for sale.

From our local farming friends we have fresh mild goat cheese from Bethany at Fiddlewood Farm and honey from Errol Chichester’s industrious and cheerful bees. 

Come on by and visit us on the South Shore, between Ha’Penny beach and the Boy Scout Camp.

Love, ARTfarm

ARTfarm Saturday Slaw-Breakers

Summertime is time to make slaw. Here is our list for Saturday’s stand, recipe follows! 

10 AM to 12 noon: Bunched sweet potato greens, red and yellow seasoning peppers, garlic chives, recao, basil, rosemary, loads of sweet potatoes in all sizes, sweet red pumpkin. Julie mangoes, Haitian Kidney mangoes, Viequen Butterball mangoes, plus lots of dragonfruit and sweet papaya, a few pineapples and passionfruit. Bethany’s amazing goat cheese, super fresh!

A sweet and sour raw Asian slaw salad of refreshing green fruits cools and delights the palate and is a great complementary foil for barbecued or grilled meats or other salty foods. 

Here’s Christina’s all-ARTfarm recipe:

Law-Breakin’ Slaw

2 green mangoes, peeled

3-4 large green papayas, peeled and seeds removed

1 lb. raw sweet pumpkin (yes, Yvette Browne!)

2–3 small red onions

Quarter cup or so of fresh raw peanuts, chopped and dry roasted with salt (yes, we have been experimenting with peanuts!)

Dressing:

Three small limes, juiced into a bowl

2 Tablespoons honey. Dissolve in lime juice

Few drops of potent pepper sauce or half a fresh chili pepper, diced

DIRECTIONS:

Grate the mango, papaya and pumpkin on a box grater (great upper arm workout) or using a food processor. Slice the red onions thin. Toss all together in a large bowl.

Mix together the dressing. Pour over and toss. Refrigerate. 

Roast the peanuts and sprinkle over top or reserve on side for garnish. 

Can also add blanched green beans, cucumber slices, a few cherry tomatoes. Or, in season right now, a bit of cubed mango or other sweet ripe fruits. 

Look for Luca at Mango Melee on Sunday! In the new farmer section!

ARTfarm Wednesday Gifts from the Earth 3-5:30pm

Chilled fruit soup! Mango, papaya, and dragonfruit.

For Wednesday, 3-5:30pm, we will have a few red and yellow seasoning peppers, garlic chives, recao, basil, rosemary, loads of sweet potatoes in all sizes, sweet red pumpkin. On the mango menu will be Julies, Haitian Kidneys, plus lots of dragonfruit and papaya, Mediterranean figs, and a few pineapples and passionfruit. Hopefully a few bunches of sweet potato greens! 

From our partners: Fiddlewood Farm’s sweet, mild fresh goat cheese. And Tita’s Viequen Butterball mangoes! 

Enjoy summer!

Fruity Fruity Mango Saturday 10am – 12 noon

This morning 10am – 12 noon at the ARTfarm we have fruits galore. Pineapples, tubs upon tubs of papaya, tons of dragonfruit of many varieties (light pink, pink, dark red, and purple fleshed), and mangoes in assorted varieties: 

  • Haitian Kidney – one of the “newer” favorites with light yellow flesh, exceptional sweetness and some fibers
  • Carrie – a rare variety so delicate that it’s never in stores but is outrageous in flavor and lack of fiber
  • Julie – one of the old time varieties that is still a favorite for many, has a creamy texture and dangerous levels of sweetness, best eaten before fully ripe (a small size and some fibers are its weaker traits)
  • Viequen Butterball mangoes from Tita – these are large, perfectly fiberless, with a ridiculously sweet but buttery rich flavor. May be genetically related to Errol Chichester’s favorite Clinty Lang mango, but only DNA testing can tell us for sure.
  • If you’ve never tried the sweet creaminess of Bethany’s fresh local goat cheese paired with local mango, you have not truly lived. Fresh goat cheese medallions available today!

We’ve also got passionfruit, Mediterranean figs, loads of sweet potatoes in all sizes, garlic chives, lemongrass, recao, mint, Italian basil, a few bunches of arugula, very few seasoning peppers. 

For the gardener in you, we’ve got all sorts of native trees available and lots of pineapple slips (our slips from the bottom of the plant will generally fruit six months to a year or more faster than planting the tops). 
We’ll see you later this morning!

ARTfarm in Drag: Wednesday 3–6 pm

Dragonfruit: eat cactus fruit and be beautiful.

South Shore Rd. tomorrow, 3–6 p.m.: Sweet potatoes, sweet summer papaya, ARTfarm mangoes, refreshing and healing draaaaaagonfruit, onions, chives, recao, pumpkin, basil. Keeping it simple folks! July is right around the corner!

Viequen Butterball mangoes from Tita for Saturday!! If you haven’t had those before, they are incredibly rich and buttery and delicious, and they are so tender and fiberless you can eat them with a spoon like a papaya. Unbelievable! and with Bethany’s goat cheese, you will just freak out and your mouth will do cartwheels.

Love, ARTfarm

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