Big Story: Heirloom Melons

Hunting melons by flashlight. A late harvest of young ginger and pungent Punjabi mini honeydew melons.

Farmer Luca’s latest obsession and favorite treat after a hot day in the fields is watermelon. He has been on a quest to find new or rare heirloom  varieties of melon that are drought tolerant. He has planted a lot of interesting stuff and is learning a lot about cultivating the vines. It’s a challenging crop to grow but he is highly motivated. We truly hope there will be some left for our customers. 😉

Lots of fresh greens from all the rain. Come out for 10 AM tomorrow morning and you’ll find: Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, teen arugula, baby spicy salad mix, teen spicy salad mix, escarole, several kale varieties including tender Ethiopian kale, dandelion greens, onions, scallions, baby carrots, radishes, sweet potatoes, new baby ginger so tender you don’t have to peel it. Loads of watermelons (multiple red and yellow fleshed varieties to choose from), Japanese sweet crunchy green mini melons, beautiful Indian honeydew melons, papayas, passionfruit, and loads of Mediterranean figs, beautiful cut flowers, lemongrass, garlic chives, recao, dill, cilantro, rosemary, the basils. Local honey from Errol. Early birds will find a few cucumbers and the first of our cherry tomatoes (just a few pints).

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Opening Saturday Nov. 19th, 10am–12noon

An animation shows a tiny farmer repeatedly bouncing high into the air from a wheelbarrow.

Get ready for yummy salad! Farmer Luca bounces in his giant wheelbarrow to express his gratitude for the recent rains and for the end of the endless US presidential election.

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Our passionfruit vines are loaded with flowers at the moment!

Thanks to all of you for your patience as we closed for our summer/fall break and began gearing up for this 2016-2017 season! We’ll be open and ready for you this Saturday with quite a few treats to reward you with:

Dragonfruit (pitahaya) ripening on the vine.

Dragonfruit (pitahaya) ripening on the vine in November! Extended season for this summer crop!

Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, baby spicy salad mix, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, Ethiopian kale, a few bunches of Italian dandelion greens, kangkong (Asian water spinach), fresh herbs (including Italian basil, lemon basil, holy basil, Thai basil, rosemary, recao, garlic chives,) a few papayas, the LAST (really!) dragonfruit and passionfruit.

We’re happy to welcome back our good friend and farmer James Love to ARTfarm this season. He’s already fixed a lot of stuff we broke since the last time he was here! Farmer Katie has reupped with team ARTfarm to work the gardens and pastures for the fall season, and you’ll see Heather back again, helping out at most farmstands and bringing her fresh eggs from ecstatic chickens and selected organically produced produce from her family homestead, Yellow Door Farm. We’ll have other special guests, including fishermen stopping by when fresh fish is available. And our farm kid is carefully tending lots of native tree varieties to plant and to sell this season! The ARTbarn gallery/studio (the old tool shed you walk through to get to the farmstand) has been repainted and patched up, and there will be some fresh new paintings to ponder.

Last year (2015-2016) we began a slow recovery from the drought and damage from South Shore brushfires with a lot of experimental permaculture techniques (we opened in mid-December last year!). This season, thanks in part to a general return to more favorable conditions and a six-day rain bonanza in the last few weeks, our rain catchment ponds have been mostly replenished. We are grateful to make it to your holiday table this year in time for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Fall Harvest Celebration, or however we choose to celebrate coming together in these socially progressive days! We hope you’ll enjoy time with family and friends, and count and share your many blessings.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Can’t wait to see you all – we’ve missed familiar faces, we welcome new customers, and we’re looking forward to sharing and enjoying the fruits of the season! Lots more treats to add to the produce list in the coming weeks. Thank you for your support.

Love, ARTfarm

 

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...the original photo...

…the original photo…

Wednesday ARTfarm 3-6pm

We love it when groups of students come out to tour the farm! They ask the best questions and bring us youthful energy. We had a nice visit from St. Croix Montessori’s upper and lower elementary kids last week. The big discoveries? “Worm poop is soil.” “Bells help keep dogs away from sheep.” “There are different kinds of hoes.” “Neem trees grow fast.”

Wednesday’s haul: Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, baby spicy salad mix;

Cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, the last harvest of sweet corn for the season, onions, yellow summer squash, kale, bell peppers, yellow seasoning peppers, radishes, a few cucumbers, squash blossoms;

These dramatically large squash blossoms can be stuffed, fried, or used as a garnish!

 

Italian basil, lemon basil, holy basil, Thai basil, red serrano peppers and red Indian chilies, garlic chives, cilantro, dill, parsley, assorted pumpkins, and cut flowers including loads of zinnias, cosmos and China asters!

From our partners we plan to offer fresh local goat cheese, vegan local fruit ice cream, raw local honey, farm fresh local eggs, and a few other treats!

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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Pining For Fresh Food? Saturday Farmstand 10 AM – 12 noon

Sweet salad mix, bunched arugula, a few cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, carrots, radishes, scallions, a few onions, Italian basil, mint, sage, rosemary, serrano peppers, pineapples, zinnia flowers, eggs from Marti Gotts’ hens, and ice cream from I-Sha.

Group photo!! Late spring/early summer at ARTfarm. Not pictured: plenty of sweet salad greens, peppers, and a few late season tomatoes and cukes!

Group photo!! Late spring/early summer at ARTfarm. Not pictured: plenty of sweet salad greens, arugula, peppers, and a few late season tomatoes and cukes!

Coming up next weekend, May 8th, from 5pm-8pm – the closing of the Men Of Industry show at Walsh Metal Works Gallery featuring Mike Walsh and Farmer Luca’s work. There’ll be a little Q&A session with the artists. Come enjoy a glass of wine and a last look at these works in the gallery!!

 

Chicco Picking The Beans, watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

Chicco Picking The Beans, watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

 

Wednesday Open 3–6 p.m., Get Your Greens!

If you haven’t seen your farmer’s latest watercolors and mixed media paintings at the Men Of Industry exhibition at Walsh Metal Works, it’s open for a few more weeks so be sure to check it out! (340) 332-2504

"Dolphin", 7.9" x 7.9" watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

“Dolphin”, 7.9″ x 7.9″ watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

Today’s harvest: Sweet salad mix, arugula, lots of microgreens, a few cucumbers and tomatoes, radishes and beets with leafy green tops, a few Serrano peppers, bananas, sweet potatoes, basil, carrots, onions, and zinnia flowers.

From our partner I-Sha we have vegan dairy-free ice cream – bahn’ya – made from local coconuts in completely local fruit flavors.

"Rain from the North", 12 x 16" watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

“Rain from the North”, 12 x 16″ watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

Saturday ARTfarm Stand 10 AM – 12 noon!

Happy Saturday everyone! We are open regular hours today, 10 AM – 12 noon. Today’s harvest: Lots of salad greens! Sweet salad mix, lots of microgreens, arugula, teen arugula, spicy salad mix, cucumbers, onions, beets, carrots, watermelon radishes, the beginning of the end of the cherry tomatoes, medium sized tomatoes, a few pounds of baby sweet potatoes, radicchio, escarole, dandelion greens, sweet potato greens, ginger, Serrano chili peppers, Italian basil, Thai basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme,  zinnia flowers, and from our partners:  limes and sour oranges from Spring Gut Gardens, and I-Sha’s vegan fruit ice creams to cool you down during these hot, dry days before the rainy season.

"South Shore Dragon", 9 x 12" watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

“South Shore Dragon”, 9 x 12″ watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi

Last night was the opening reception for “Men Of Industry”, a new art collection from Mike Walsh and Luca Gasperi at Walsh Metal Works Gallery here in St. Croix. So many of our wonderful farmstand customers and fellow artists came out to support Luca and Mike’s creative efforts, and we appreciate all of you who were able to make it last night! It was really packed!

If you missed it, or you’d like to go back and enjoy it without quite so many people there, the exhibition will run through May 9, 2015. Call the numbers listed below for exhibition open hours, or to make an appointment. For those of you off island who cannot attend in person you may view each piece through the link below! And if so inspired, purchase artwork by phone. The link is through the WalshMetalWorksVI.com website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the information about the art exhibition and pieces for sale.

http://www.walshmetalworksvi.com/#!art

The phone numbers to call are:
Office: 340-773-8169
Barbara: 340-332-2504
Mike: 340-332-2682

Please note, all credit card purchases will have a 4% service fee added to the price listed with the work. Shipping arrangements can also be made with The Walsh Metal Works Gallery.

The muse for the painting. An outlier early-season dragonfruit ripens on the vine at ARTfarm.

The muse for the painting. An outlier early-season dragonfruit ripens on the vine at ARTfarm.

 

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