Saturday State of the Onion: 10am – 12 noon

ARTfarm vegetable production is in full swing in mid-January. It’s the sweet spot in the season when we have a big selection. We have two different sets of tomatoes ripening at the same time right now, so if you were going to pick up some extra tomatoes for canning or sauce, this is the best time of year! And we have a nice patch of young cucumbers we’ve harvested for you.

This Saturday we will have lots of sweet salad mix, arugula, spicy salad mix, lots of cucumbers, lots of cherry tomatoes, lots of slicers and heirloom tomatoes, lots of onions, carrots, radishes, sweet green bell peppers, spicy~mild poblano peppers and yellow seasoning peppers, large butternut winter squash by the slice, Thai pumpkin, loads of cooking greens, lettuce heads, bunched dandelion greens, Italian basil, dill, a little parsley, some recao, garlic chives, sage, lemongrass, lots of baby ginger and turmeric, a few figs, some watermelon, and lots of zinnia flowers!!

We will have a lot of salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and zinnias for latecomers until 12!

State Of The Farm post-hurricane updates:

We and most of our South Shore neighbors were restored to the WAPA grid on Wednesday afternoon last week after 111 days without power. We waited three more days, until after last week’s farmstand, to turn it on here at the farm, however. We wanted to keep our fridges running with the generators in status-quo condition until after the farmstand to make sure the product would stay cold. Luckily, after switching to WAPA last Saturday we have not had any of our main farm refrigerators retire (even though some of them, at 25 years old, probably are eligible for Refrigerator Social Security!)

Our GoFundMe campaign problems were finally resolved at the corporate level and they even refunded some of our transaction fees to apologize, by making a donation to our campaign from their customer service team. The funds did finally arrive in our account. We were able to raise almost $6,000 after fees through the online campaign, and a private anonymous donor contributed $14,000 offline. It is an amazing start and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who donated a large or small amount to help us rebuild.

Unfortunately, this won’t be enough to restore the damage to buildings – and unfortunately, we have also discovered that there is currently no available federal disaster assistance to help our farm with this damage.

We are not alone in our disappointment with the SBA loan application process. After we were encouraged to jump through all the bureaucratic FEMA and SBA hoops to put in our application and even had an inspector come out and measure our buildings, we were informed a few weeks later at the decision making stage that “agricultural businesses are ineligible for any SBA loans”. So that was an incredible waste of time. As you can imagine, we and many other farmers in the territory are quite frustrated about this.

The final word from the USDA is that they do not have any disaster recovery program to help us rebuild our seedling house. They have programs intended to help with other losses such as to crops and fencing or dead livestock, but no disaster recovery low-cost loans or grants to assist with reconstruction of any buildings such as farmstands, greenhouses, barns, storage or tractor sheds. Even our local USDA staff have expressed surprise that there can be such a big omission in disaster recovery relief coverage for farmers. So we are looking for opportunities along with other farmers to seek redress for this discriminatory practice. Anyone interested in volunteering to advocate for farmers in the territory, please get in touch.

We love you and we love growing stuff for you. Thank you for your support!

Love, ARTfarm

ARTfarm Winter Roots Saturday! 10am – 12noon

This Saturday we’re open 10am – 12 noon. We have lots of beautiful root vegetables, herbs, cooking greens and pumpkins for your winter menu; with refreshing, juicy summery watermelon, ripe tomatoes and baby salad greens just to remind you you’re in the tropics! Here’s the full list (and a yummy drink idea from a friend at the end):

Starting at 10am down the South Shore we’ll have lots of tomatoes, lots and lots of cherry tomatoes, teen spicy salad mix, teen arugula, sweet salad mix, lots of various lettuce heads including large romaine type, just a few cucumbers, seasoning peppers, green bell peppers, a few Serano peppers, red and yellow-fleshed watermelons, lots of winter squash, various varieties. Farmer Luca’s favorite Tahitian pumpkin is now ready, also lots of large butternut winter squash sliced in smaller portions.

Baby carrots, onions, radishes, beets, lots of various cooking greens including three kinds of kales, dandelion greens, cilantro, dill, parsley, Italian basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, garlic chives, holy basil, sage, thyme, lemongrass, lots of baby ginger, lots of baby turmeric (which freezes beautifully and then is handy and easy to microplane into whatever dish you’re cooking), lots of colorful zinnia flowers, and fresh figs. We will have two cash registers set up for speedier service!

Amaranta’s Winter Anti-Ick Herbal Tea

Are you feeling icky and jacked? This rooty brew will soothe the savage icky beast within. (Probably can’t say the same for the ones without.)

A thumb or more fresh grated turmeric

A thumb or more fresh grated ginger

Couple pinches black pepper (activates beneficial things in turmeric)

Three quarts water

A splash of 1/2 & 1/2 (or non-dairy substitute)

2 tsp honey

Bring water to a boil. Add ginger and turmeric. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour into cup(s), add 1/2 & 1/2 or whatever non-dairy thing you want, and honey. Stir. Sip. Be happier than you were 20 minutes prior.

ARTfarmers make this adding a bunch of fresh lemongrass in the water. Heavenly warm or cold. And makes your house smell amazing, this.

Farmer Resolutions for 2018! Saturday 10am – 12 noon!

We resolve to get off the streets in 2018!! We will be hosting everyone back in our farmstand building on Saturday! We resolve to rebuild and make things better, including TWO CHECKOUT LINES tomorrow to get the line speeding quickly through! (But in the meantime, please watch your step as you walk through our construction zone!) Luca wants you to know that he resolves to grow more watermelon! That is a win-win as long as all of you resolve to eat more of it!

For Saturday: did we say BABY SPICY SALAD MIX? ARUGULA?!! Yes, yes we did say that. We will have lots of tomatoes, some heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet salad mix, baby arugula, baby spicy salad mix, lots of lettuce heads, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, a few seasoning peppers, lots of assorted cooking greens including the kale trio of Ethiopian, dinosaur and purple, broccoli leaves, collard greens, dandelion greens; onions, baby carrots, pink radishes, a few beets, lots of baby ginger and baby turmeric, Italian basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, holy basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, lemongrass, garlic chives, sage, lots of assorted butternut squash, a few watermelons, a few Sakata melons, lots of figs, and lots of vibrant zinnia flowers! We’ve got beautiful raw local honey from Errol’s bees, too!

Just a reminder, our farmstand policy (like most retail stores) is first come first serve. We have been receiving a flurry of requests from different customers recently to hold pre-orders from the farmstand (a service even Plaza Extra does not provide). We wish we could be so accommodating but we simply cannot. We do not do this.

The natural farmstand etiquette that has developed over the years is basically a buffet line. Customers progress in a line (which often forms up to half an hour before our opening time) which winds past all the tables of produce, and choose from what is available. It is permissible for a customer to shop for themselves and also for a friend or neighbor. (This is highly recommended for customers who cannot make it to the farmstand on time.) We do not police the line, it is a self-enforcing honor system.

We love our farming life and we love our customers. We do our best to accommodate everyone. But please remember, despite the diversity and beauty of our sustainably grown mountains of produce you see on Saturday mornings at 10 AM, we are not Whole Foods! 😉 We are a tiny family operation with very long hours, always busy, working, and understaffed so please consider your request — and see if you can work with a friend, colleague or neighbor to come up with a strategy to get the items you need without adding to our long long list of things we need to do. Thank you for your compassion. And thank you for loving our produce.

More updates to come soon on our Hurricane Maria recovery efforts, the deal with GoFundMe, our status with SBA and other fun stuff. No electrical current yet at the farm but we hear Broadband VI is starting work on restoring our tower! Stay tuned!

Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s make this year count!

Pole-R Vortex at ARTfarm!

The South Shore is lined with new telephone poles! Amazingly tall! Soon to be festooned with wires, we hear. Transformers…next year!

Saturday December 30th we will have sweet salad mix, lots of cherry tomatoes, lots of slicing tomatoes, a few heirlooms, green bell peppers, a few seasoning and serrano peppers, dandelion greens, lots of cooking greens including kale, lettuce heads, a few fewer watermelons, Sakata melons, lots of sweet Mediterranean figs, tons of cucumbers, butternut squash, baby carrots, radishes, a few beets, onions, garlic chives, Italian basil, dill, parsley, holy basil, a few bunches of cilantro, a few bunches of mint, recao (culantro), lemongrass, baby ginger, baby turmeric, and native trees available for sale! See you next year, we wish a prosperous and peaceful 2018 to all!

Farmer Roi harvests sunflower seeds to feed our heritage poultry. We intended to harvest birds this Thanksgiving but with the hurricanes causing lack of refrigeration and poultry feed in short supply, unfortunately it did not happen for the holidays this year. We will do pre-orders and harvest when we have enough folks interested so please let us know if you would like us to put you on the list!

EMF-Free ARTfarm Open Saturday 10am-12noon!

These heirloom yellow fleshed watermelons are outrageous! We are also having a bumper crop of figs after a couple years of not so great production. We think the figs like the full water tables we are experiencing after the flooding Hurricane Maria rains!

We may not have current, but we are far from ‘powerless’! Bounty begins for the season! Sweet salad mix, red and green leaf lettuce heads, lots of slicing tomatoes, a few heirloom tomatoes, lots of cherry tomatoes, lots of fresh crunchy sweet just-picked cucumbers, lots of green bell peppers, baby ginger, baby turmeric, baby carrots, onions, various plethora of cooking greens, two kinds of butternut squash, radishes, Italian basil, garlic chives, cilantro, dill, parsley, holy basil, lemongrass, red fleshed watermelon, Sakata sweet melons, and lots of figs!

We had a fantastic farmstand last Saturday. With the customer entrance area under repair, we are still setting up tables in the parking lot. We started with a full pickup bed of produce, and everything was gone except for a few cucumbers by the end. It seems like just about every one of our familiar customers stopped by (including several chefs!), thank you so much everyone! It gives us such a lift to see that people appreciate our efforts. We have suddenly raised over $20,000 (thanks to one large anonymous donor!!!) on our GoFundMe campaign (total goal of $23,000) and are moving ahead with rebuilding our seedling house, and seeking help designing an off grid power system for the farm refrigeration units.

We still have not gotten electricity back on the South Shore. We are guessing it might be spring before we get our grid power restored here at the far end of feeder 3A. We have frankly been enjoying the starry skies at night without the sodium-vapor glare of the streetlights. If anyone with their current restored has extra solar lights they are willing to pass on, our farm workers could use them so they can stop stubbing their toes on the furniture at night.

Speaking of farmworkers, Roi is back! We were so happy to have our familiar friend return. He will be here for a month or two working on restoring gates and fences that were damaged in the hurricane.

We have also welcomed newcomer Todd to the farm this winter. He is a vegan farmer with a big heart from Boulder Colorado who wanted to come down and offer some hurricane relief volunteer work. He loves St. Croix’s reggae music and is excited to learn about subtropical farming techniques!

Saturday Sunny Sweetness! Figs & Cherries! Salad Mix & Cukes!

First big harvest of cherry tomatoes for the season along with a nice harvest of figs. Figs are amazing on pizza, by the way.

Our various heirloom watermelon vines are very productive right now!

The fig trees are suddenly pushing out a whole bunch of fruit! If you have never tried a fresh Mediterranean fig, you are in for some serious hurricane relief!

Sunny days means we have backup power to run the refrigerators, so there will be sweet mix tomorrow (on Saturday)!!

Starting at 10am we’ll have: sweet salad mix, tons of cucumbers, loads of lettuce heads, lots of bunched cooking greens, two kinds of butternut squash, more and more cherry tomatoes, the first few slicing tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, baby carrots, lots of radishes, fresh herbs including Italian basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, cilantro, Italian parsley and garlic chives, baby ginger, baby turmeric, lots of heirloom red and yellow fleshed sweet watermelon, lots of Sakata sweet crunchy mini-honeydew melons, and the first bumper crop of two varieties of figs!

Crazy cool! Like these lovely December mornings! Looking forward to seeing you all in the morning: S. Shore Rd. at the stone cattle pens, 10 AM-12 noon! Growing good food organically since 1999!

ARTfarm is OPEN Saturday 10am-12 noon…Meloncholy

Things have been quiet! Come out and keep Farmer Luca company!

We’ve got luscious melons! Yellow flashed watermelons and sweet green mini honeydews

Saturday, December 9: For the early birds: the first of our cherry tomatoes, the first few bunches of cooking greens, yellow fleshed watermelons, a few Sakata sweet Japanese melons. AND for late birds we will have lots of crisp lettuce heads, cucumbers, radishes, baby carrots, onions, green sweet bell peppers, Italian basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, garlic chives, cilantro, dill, parsley, lemongrass, baby ginger, baby turmeric, two different types of butternut squash.

For your restoration efforts, we have pineapple slips for planting, and of course plenty of native trees to re-plant our island!

For all birds: We still have some free Caribbean birdseed left! 

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