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!

Rain! ARTfarm Saturday, 10 AM – 12 noon

If you want to make a farmer happy, send a beautiful inch of rain! IMG_8949.JPG
Sweet salad mix, spicy salad mix, arugula, beets, radishes, onions, beautiful carrots, Italian basil, Thai basil, cilantro, parsley, sage, freshly dug ginger root, a handful of beans, a few tomatoes, a few chili peppers, and zinnia flowers.

Top O’ The Morning To Ya! ARTfarm 10 AM – 12 noon

Despite the temptations of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Christiansted today, the little leprechauns of ARTfarm are hard at work this morning on the south side of the island, harvesting greens to decorate your table. Please come as early as possible for this morning’s stand (10am-12 noon) and buy all your greens, tomatoes, fresh herbs and other treats, so that we can release the cute little fellows to run over the hills and join in the festivities in town.

A heart-shaped green heirloom tomato for St. Patty's Day! Enjoy the parade!

A heart-shaped green heirloom tomato for St. Patty’s Day! Enjoy the parade!

If you’re too busy staking out your parade spot or painting yourself and the kids green to make it this morning, we’ll be open Monday 3-6pm! Today’s haul: sweet salad mix, teen arugula, spicy salad mix, a few cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, heirlooms, loads of beets, escarole, collard greens, sweet potato greens, carrots, Italian basil, lemon basil, mint, Thai basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, garlic chives, onions, scallions, French breakfast radishes, lots of Mediterranean figs, and passionfruit. From our co-agrarians, we’ve got beautiful raw local honey from Errol Chichester.

Farmer Matthew this morning reminded us that today is a perfect day to bake a pie: today’s date, for those of you who didn’t get the joke (like yours truly) is 3.14… pi (the symbol used by mathematicians to represent the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, the lowercase Greek letter π).

Enjoy!

ARTfarm Season Finale! Last Saturday

ARTfarm sweet cornAll good things must come to an end; summer, a great meal, a super dance club extended remix, and the season at ARTfarm. There will be a few weeks’ pause before the next season begins.

Today, 10am – 12 noon: Sweet salad mix, arugula, beets, sweet corn, onions, sweet potato greens, bunched arugula, Kang Kong Asian water spinach, Italian basil, holy basil, garlic chives, recao, mint, tarragon, bananas, papayas, and soursop! From our partners, we have dragonfruit from Solitude Farms, raw local dark honey from Errol, bread from Tess, and our famous “Shades of Joy” magic color indicator avocados from Tita & Diego.

Q&A: Someone stopped us in a parking lot the other day and asked us if our arugula was organic. For anyone who might be wondering, all ARTfarm produce is grown using organic methods, to the standards of USDA Certified Organic produce. In some cases, our sustainable practices exceed what is required by the USDA NOP (National Organic Program), and our farming philosophy and practices have continuously met our strict standards since 1999 on St. Croix.

BUT… it is against US law to claim that your produce is “organic” unless you have spent the time and money to achieve organic certification through a USDA approved agency. This involves lots of paperwork, expensive fees, a percentage of the farm’s profit going to a certifying agency on an annual basis, and flying an inspector to the island at the farm’s expense at regular intervals to examine our records and practices.

There are pros and cons to having the USDA organic stamp of approval. We respect those farms who have gone through the arduous process of becoming organic certified. We are considering the process, but are not interested in raising our prices to cover the cost. The official stamp from the USDA doesn’t seem to be important to most of our customers.

But is our arugula organic? If you really want to know, get to know your farmer. Ask about our farming practices. Ask how we raise food sustainably using organic methods. Ask us if we are involved in the community. Learn more about the debate and what growing organically really means, so you know the right questions to ask! You might just find the long answer as assuring and satisfying as the shortcut of a sticker stuck to your food. 😉

Love, ARTfarm

Know Your Farmer Monday @ ARTfarm. Open 3-6!

Q: Are centipedes good or bad?

A: Of all the creepy crawlies that quickly scurry under the bed at night, Virgin Islanders love to hate centipedes. But centipedes are top predators in the insect world. This makes them extremely beneficial for an organic vegetable farm. Centipedes take the night shift from wasps and birds, hunting and devouring slugs, caterpillars, cockroaches and countless other garden vegetable pests from dusk till dawn. In turn, centipedes themselves become a rich protein feast for birds and other omnivores further up the food chain.20140331-143745.jpg
It takes a year for the average centipede to reach sexual maturity. The mother will lay a small number of eggs and then protect them devotedly with her body until they hatch. If you pick up an object in the garden and find a centipede curled up in the soil underneath who doesn't immediately scurry away, it's probably a mother protecting her brood. Take the opportunity to look closely at her. Centipedes can have incredible rainbows of color from red to yellow to bright blue and purple in their exoskeletons, with delicate little legs perfectly aligned in a celebration of fractal beauty.

A centipede delivers a venomous bite through specially modified front legs near their head. A centipede bite is not typically deadly for humans or pets, but can give a strong reaction like a bee or wasp sting and should be treated as such.

Centipedes have terrible vision and can only see light and shadow. This is why, when you switch on the light in a dark room, a centipede may scurry toward you. They are not attacking you, but are simply trying to get out of the light, and your shadow is appealing to them.

If you have a lot of centipedes in and around your home, one of the most effective ways to get rid of them is to keep a chicken loose around in your yard. Laugh if you will, but integrated pest management is an important part of managing pest loads on an organic farm, and the delicious eggs are a big plus.

Monday's stand, open 3–6 p.m., Transfer Day 2014: Freshly made sweet salad mix, spicy salad mix, arugula, beautiful carrots, Bodhi beans, chili peppers, cherry, plum, heirloom and slicer tomatoes, and passionfruit. Raw local honey from Errol, and Wanda's fantastic honey mustard dressing and honey mead sampler gift boxes, as well.

A lovable animated centipede stars in this family movie from the Roald Dahl book, James and the Giant Peach!

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