ARTfarm Open Saturday 10am – 12 noon

Saturday farmstand: come out for tons of cucumbers, lettuce heads, a little bit of sweet salad mix, Italian basil, lemon basil, dill, garlic chives, cilantro, parsley, the first of our onions, radishes, a few Sakata melons, baby turmeric, baby ginger, and lemongrass! 10am – 12 noon down the South Shore!

Early Bird Watermelon!

Psssst… We’ve got one tray of petite but sweet yellow fleshed watermelons. Unbelievably tasty. First come first served! Open 10 AM — 12 noon today (Saturday)! South Shore Rd. between Ha’Penny and the Boy Scout Camp. 

ARTfarm Saturday! Get in the Healthy Habit!

img_9827We are back to our usual routine of Saturday morning market from 10 AM to 12 noon. Business has been pretty slow, we are hoping that folks will get back in the habit of swinging by for fresh ARTfarm produce! Tell a friend to support local small farms and bring them with you!!

For Saturday morning we will have lots of cucumbers, lettuce heads, baby ginger, baby turmeric, cilantro, dill, garlic chives, Italian basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, Sakata sweet mini honeydew melons, lemongrass, recao and radishes. We are still working on clearing up space and securing structures to allow people into the farmstand area, so we may still set up on tables in the parking lot tomorrow.

Give wildlife a leg up! We have lots of native trees for sale, and FREE Caribbean birdseed from the St. Croix Environmental Association. Please bring a bag or container for birdseed!

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Visit our GoFundMe page and help us rebuild!

We are still fundraising to rebuild Luca’s seedling house, and our art studio/gallery, both of which were smashed by Hurricane Maria. You can help us with our goals at gofundme.com/artfarmllc ! Thank you!

Giving Thanks Day

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Happy turkey day from ARTfarm.

We want to give a great big thank you to all of the people who have made our lives possible and made them better. We are grateful that we have a place to farm, and the tools and supporters to make that happen.

If you are doing some holiday shopping this weekend, consider an ARTfarm gift certificate for your loved ones. We also have beautiful one-of-a-kind monoprints and original artwork available through our gofundme fundraising efforts to rebuild our seedling house and art gallery that were destroyed by Hurricane Maria. We’ve raised nearly $4,000 of the $23,000 needed, GIVE THANKS!!  Visit http://gofundme.com/artfarmllc to donate and get an original piece of ARTfarm art! 

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The farmers have been hard at work on some beautiful art. We are making some botanical and farm scene monoprints and paintings to help us raise funds for our hurricane recovery efforts on the farm.

A special thank you Bob Boyan and our other super farmer volunteers.We’re grateful that there are amazing customers and chefs who appreciate the stuff we grow and the work that goes into it, and regularly buy our produce. We are thankful for the family members and volunteers that have been helping us with removing debris, weeding gardens, rebuilding fences and demo-ing our destroyed buildings.

The farmstands have been very slow, we know that many of our loyal regular customers are off island right now. We are dividing our time between fundraising, rebuilding, and producing food and art, with the hopes that people will come back in a month or so to be here for the holidays and eat our food!

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Our pastured birds eat bugs, weeds and fresh sunflower seeds in addition to vegetarian poultry feed. We hope someday to feed them exclusively from what we can grow on the farm.

Enjoy the holiday season! We will see you soon! Love, ARTfarm

Giving Thanks and Mini ARTfarmstand TODAY 3-4pm

Baby ginger and turmeric make a great holiday spice or tea. Add a little cinnamon for a wonderful chai or throw a bit in your blender with a smoothie and give your immune system an anti-inflammatory boost! Also makes a great holidaywarming gift for a health-conscious friend!

A brief 3-4pm window today (Wednesday) to pick up produce! Limited selection until we catch up with the storm damage and have more time for harvesting. Cucumber salad with some apple cider vinegar makes a great refreshing side with all of the heavy holiday treats!

We are still so busy with storm recovery projects! Sales were pretty slow on Saturday, so we are just running a mini-farmstand today from 3-4 for the few customers who are interested in produce before Saturday. Drop us a line on Facebook or here on our website to let us know if you’re coming!

Available today: Cucumbers, sweet potatoes, tender no-peel baby turmeric and ginger.

We also have free Caribbean birdseed available to help you feed your doves and pigeons and other wild birds still making a comeback from hurricane Maria. Thanks to the St. Croix Environmental Association! Bring your own bag if possible for seed.

Unfortunately we won’t have time to harvest other things for today. But, add to that list for Saturday: Beautiful lettuce heads, radishes, sweet crunchy sakata melons (mini honeydew) and a wide assortment of fresh herbs.

Tomatoes are setting fruit and ready in about 3 weeks. Butternut squash coming soon, maybe Saturday. Baby carrots soon!

ARTfarm OPEN Saturday! 10 AM – 12 Noon – FREE Hummingbird Feeders

A hummingbird rests on aloe flowers. Post hurricane Maria.

Tiny hummingbirds are important pollinators and you can help them recover from the storm!

Hey folks, we are back! We will be open Saturday morning November 18th 2017 at 10 AM! Lots of fresh crispy goodies for our customers today, plus free hummingbird feeders and bird seed courtesy of St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA) and Birds Caribbean!

Farmer Luca is so excited to see our customers!

Saturday farmstand: lots of cucumbers, lettuce heads, sweet potatoes, loads of thin skinned baby ginger and baby turmeric varieties from Hawaii. Garlic chives, cilantro, dill, parsley, recao, lemongrass, Italian basil, lemon basil and native trees for sale!

Help our island wildlife recover! The free hummingbird feeders from SEA are absolutely beautiful and professional grade. They were donated by Birds Caribbean, a nonprofit wildlife organization, to help maintain our bird populations. (After Hugo, many of these hummingbird and bananaquit populations were precipitously reduced.) The feeders are super sized, with glass reservoirs and a water tray built in on top to prevent ants from invading! They can service many birds at one time. They will come with instructions, a hanging hook and a little bit of wildlife information plus a recipe for making the nectar safely and properly for our wonderful avian pollinators! One feeder per family, please. We also have a specially formulated Caribbean bird seed mix. Bring your own container or bag for bird seed.

You can also sign up to be on SEA’s website email list, and even update your membership with SEA at the farmstand!

We are also updating ARTfarm’s website this evening with our Hurricane Maria story and photos, and a link to our crowdfunding page where you can learn more about helping ARTfarm recover from the CAT5 storm of September 19th. Thanks to all who insisted we fundraise. ❤

Post-storm Growth at ARTfarm – We’re OPEN – Our Maria Story

Nature is not waiting for recovery assistance! Ladybugs abound on the watermelon vines.

Hurricane recovery is a long game. It still requires a special trip to town to post to our website, so we apologize for the dearth of news from the ARTfarm.

We have fresh food!! And as of November 18th, 2017 we are now open, a little ahead of schedule, on Saturdays from 10am to 12 noon. Can’t wait to see you!

Many of our awesome customers, neighbors, stateside family and fellow farmers have asked how they can help us with hurricane recovery. Knowing that people support us and want to see us succeed is worth an awful lot to us. Thank you.

We’ve put up a GoFundMe crowdfunding page for anyone who wishes to assist in accelerating ARTfarm’s Hurricane Maria recovery. gofundme.com/artfarmllc  There’s a video on YouTube with the story and more photos of the damage and recovery efforts.

Luca’s beloved seedling house was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Here we are on day one after the cat five storm, putting on our “hurricane smiles.”

Much of our initial recovery effort after securing the livestock was focused on tree and brush removal around our houses and on repairing or demolishing the farm buildings that were damaged or destroyed.

Luca’s dad, Kiko, who turned 80 this year, spent long days cutting up downed limbs and probably ran at least 8-10 loads of brush per day in his pickup truck for weeks and weeks after the hurricane, so that we could easily get around and between the farm and home. Luca’s mom, Valeria, has been our chief cheerleader with her fierce positivity and has been helping with cooking delicious meals as well as providing the long-term perspective on hurricane recovery, having rebuilt the family home after Hugo in 1989.

Many of our mature trees lost major limbs. We lost roughly half of our producing fruit trees.

We are in the somewhat Byzantine process of going through the FEMA and SBA applications and we attended a long-awaited USDA disaster assistance meeting for St. Croix farmers on October 31st. We also applied for a small grant for farmers through FarmAid and received it.

We have some ambivalence about asking for donations. But our friends have urged us to let them help us out. So, we are posting an online crowdfunding campaign to help us spread our losses. We’ll need to purchase goods and services in our community to replace damaged and destroyed assets. We’ll also use funds to convert some of our volunteers to employees or contractors to complete the disaster recovery work. Any donations left over we will use to help other farmers in the Caribbean disaster zones or local non-profits in the USVI. You can follow this link to help us meet our hurricane recovery goals: gofundme.com/artfarmllc

Our ARTbarn, which serves as a studio and gallery, exploded up and out, losing the south roof as well as the north and west walls.

One of the main challenges for all hurricane-affected folks in the Caribbean (including us) right now is dividing our time between re-organizing and repairing things at home, reorganizing and repairing things in the workplace, helping others where we can, and getting down to the normal tasks of the season. For us, these fall months of planning, preparation and planting are crucial to the success of the season ahead. It is certainly feeling overwhelming!

We have a few thousand feet of fences that were blown askew or crushed by utility poles, breaking gates and hardware. There is much repair work to do in the pastures before our livestock will be safe and secure.

We have had fantastic volunteer help from a few friends who have started the process of righting downed fences and clearing the broken up lumber from our seedling house and ARTbarn. Other friends are helping us catch up with gardening chores. We have a pair of awesome artist friends in the states who continue to take generous amounts of time to help us to negotiate various disaster recovery application processes, to find out what programs are available and otherwise to help us seek out information online. (It is still impossible to get online without leaving the farm.) There is still a lot more to do. We may host another massive volunteer party this season to accomplish more of that restoration work. ❤️❤️❤️

We have blessedly received most of our regular seed orders through the US Mail (currently one of the fastest methods for sending mailable things to the Virgin Islands) and we are actively planting food, hoping that the demand will be enough for what we will be supplying. Our young tomato plants are starting to flower, our cucumber and zucchini vines are starting to produce young fruits, and the pumpkins and melons are flowering and starting to set fruit. With all the rain, we are actually a week or two ahead of schedule this season. Lettuce and herbs, beets and carrots are all growing nicely.

‘Holey’ basil…the caterpillars are having a field day!

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ger and turmeric plants have recovered following the storm and most of our fig trees that survived are starting to fruit. We are seeing a lot of caterpillars, ladybugs, aphids and other indications that a healthy insect population is rebounding on the farm. We have lost a lot of Jack Spaniard (paper) wasps, which are a big part of our integrated pest management (‘good’ bug vs. ‘bad’ bug) practices. The wasps helpfully eat lots of caterpillars, and their numbers were decimated by Hurricane Maria. But migrating swallows, ani (black witch) birds, kildeers and kingbirds have been active hunters in the gardens since the storm to help us protect our young crop plants from little munching mouths. Pearly eyed thrashers, normally the bane of tropical farmers because they attack crops directly, are switching to a caterpillar diet due to the lack of available foods for them. Thrashers are also eating gungalos – this is unfortunate, as they are a beneficial soil-building insect, but noteworthy as it is not a typical part of the bird’s diet.

Luca wanted you to know that we have some native and local young trees in pots for sale, to help us offset our storm expenses and to help you replant your landscape. We’ve got lignum vitae, calabash, mahogany and a few others. You can just give us a call or send a text message if you’re interested in buying some trees or pineapple slips, and we will set up an appointment.

Our most urgent need now is for power to run our refrigerators, freezers, pump and water filtration system so that we can make and safely store salad mix. We are also raising money to restore damaged buildings and fences.

Thank you to those amazing people who have already donated to help us, thank you for your continued support, and best wishes to all of us in recovery mode.

Love, ARTfarm

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