Friday Special Holiday Farmstand (closed Saturday) 3-5:30pm

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Santa’s little helpers gave Farmer Luca a hand bringing in the giant watermelons last night! Come and get ’em!

Whatever December holidays you may be celebrating, we wish you ALL the building of wonderful, fond memories and stronger bonds with your families and community; and peace, health, creativity and prosperity in the new year to come.

Early birds today will be treated to the first of our sweet corn harvest and a limited supply of slicing and cherry tomatoes.

Here’s the list: Sweet salad mix, teen arugula, teen spicy salad mix, crispy cucumbers, loads of watermelons, a few pints of cherry tomatoes, a couple of slicing tomatoes, cooking greens, escarole, dandelion greens, radishes, carrots, onions, scallions, sweet potatoes, a few ears of sweet corn, Italian basil, holy basil, lemon basil, cilantro, dill, recao, beautiful spicy baby ginger, papaya, passionfruit, sweet Japanese mini melons, and cut flowers.

Best wishes from our family to yours! We appreciate all you wonderful, loyal supporters!

Love, Luca, Christina, Marina, Katie, Jen, Kiko, Valeria, Heather, Augustus, Matthew, James, Daryl, Ginger, Spicy, Moonlight, Mrs. Grove, Little Spotty, Whoopsie Pie, Polly, Mr. Nibbles and all the many, many other creatures great and small…

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).

Wednesday Watermelon Wonderment 3-6pm 

Water for watermelons! One of our ponds. This one replenishes the water table.

Water for watermelons! One of our ponds. This one replenishes the water table.

Compared to this time last year, things are blessedly moist right now. The 6+ inches of rain we got at the beginning of the month of May <insert happy dance> has continued to promote explosive growth all over the farm.

So here’s what it brought you for today at ARTfarm, 3–6 p.m.: Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, bunched arugula, a few pints of cherry tomatoes, a few slicer tomatoes, dandelion greens, Italian basil, garlic chives, parsley, freshly dug ginger root, French breakfast radishes, sweet bell peppers, serrano peppers, Indian chili peppers, yellow seasoning peppers, fresh cut zinnia flowers, good quantities of yellow and red fleshed WATERMELONS, loads of sweet and yummy papaya, passionfruit, a few dragonfruit, a few pineapples, and very fresh, delicate and very mild local goat cheese from Dr. Bethany’s Fiddlewood Farm alpine goats!

Cray-cray...this watermelon is sweeeeeet! You can save the seeds for roasting like pumpkin seeds.

Cray-cray…this watermelon is sweeeeeet! You can save the seeds for roasting like pumpkin seeds.

Monday Brushfire, Saturday Sweet Mix

The color contrast of a Valencia Pride mango, with a gradation of hot pink to a warm yellow, stands out atop a pile of green and orange mangoes.

Valencia Pride mangoes are a “Technicolor sunset” hue.

Saturday, 10am – 12 noon: Sweet salad mix, limited amounts of microgreens, dragonfruit, passionfruit, papaya, mint and lemongrass. From our partners we have a varied selection of top mangoes including Nam Doc Mai, Madame Francis, Valencia Pride and Haitian Kidney from Dennis Nash, Viequen Butterball mangoes from Tita, and vegan coconut ice cream from I-Sha.

 

We heard you could smell it in Frederiksted. Dozens of acres of bull pasture that are part of UVI’s Senepol cattle operation burned early Monday morning, right across the road from ARTfarm. The fire was started by vandals who stripped a stolen pickup truck and then set it on fire halfway up Spring Gut Road’s south side at 3 AM.

Looking north from the road near the ARTfarm entrance, Monday's reignited brushfire is seen here progressing west. Note the blackened hillside east of the smoke.

Looking north from the road near the ARTfarm entrance, Monday’s reignited brushfire is seen here progressing west. Note the blackened hillside east of the smoke.

The blaze quickly spread west across the arid pasture. The VI Fire Service was on the scene by 3:10 AM and managed to extinguish most of the blaze by around 7:30 AM. It reignited soon after and burned all the way to Many Paws Road with flames up to 20′ visible from the South Shore Road, destroying more pasture forage, threatening nearby homes and our neighbor’s sheep pastures. VIFS returned and battled the brushfire again, putting it out again with the assistance of a sudden and very welcomed rain shower that arrived about an hour later.

Can you spot? A fire truck surrounded north and south by blazing pastures? Fire crawling up the hill toward houses? Two Senepol bulls being pushed into the next pasture by UVI cattlemen? A patch of flames much closer to the bulls? At times the grey and yellow smoke was so thick you could not see to move a vehicle.

Can you spot? A fire truck surrounded north and south by blazing pastures? Fire crawling up the hill toward houses? Two Senepol bulls being pushed into the next pasture by UVI cattlemen? A patch of flames much closer to the bulls? At times the grey and yellow smoke was so thick you could not see to move a vehicle.

A clearer image of the firetruck up in the bush. A team of firefighters were working to extinguish the north head of the fire that was moving toward homes up the hill.

A clearer image of the firetruck up in the bush. A team of firefighters were working to extinguish the north head of the fire that was moving toward homes up the hill.

Arriving just behind this 3,000 gallon pumper truck: well-timed backup from Mother Nature. The dark clouds approaching from the east brought a brief but heavy rainshower that helped to extinguish the blazing pastures.

Arriving just behind this 3,000 gallon pumper truck: well-timed backup from Mother Nature. The dark clouds approaching from the east brought a brief but heavy rainshower that helped to extinguish the blazing pastures.

Saturday ARTfarm : Plenty of TS Bertha Salad Greens, Sweet Corn & More!

Our farm is open 10am – 12 noon Saturday morning: Sweet salad mix, microgreens, baby spicy salad mix, baby arugula, onions, sweet corn, cucumbers, radishes, beets, holy basil, Italian basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, thyme, recao, mint, lemongrass, passionfruit, and papaya. From our partners we have honey from Errol, bread from Tess, and coconut-based vegan ice cream from I-Sha! This morning we are waiting on deliveries of mamey sapote and avocadoes, too.

Please forgive Farmer Luca if he’s terribly sleepy at the farmstand. He’s been up at night pollinating the dragonfruit blooms!

How many of you are old enough to remember the R.E.M. song "Gardening At Night"? Dragonfruit blooms only open after 8pm, and often need to be hand pollinated in order to bear fruit. So forgive us if we're a little sleepy!

How many of you are old enough to remember the R.E.M. song “Gardening At Night”? Dragonfruit blooms only open after 8pm, and often need to be hand pollinated in order to bear fruit. So forgive us if we’re a little sleepy!

ARTfarm Wednesday: Lots of Fruit! 3-6pm

Luca enjoyed being out in the rain showers this morning to harvest for you: Salad mix, microgreens, baby spicy salad mix, baby arugula, lots of cucumbers, onions, radishes, Italian basil, recao (a crunchy type of cilantro; Martha Stewart’s personal favorite), Cuban oregano, rosemary, super sweet papaya, passionfruit, Mediterranean figs, and kidney and Julie mangoes. From our partners: Nam Doc Mai mangoes from Tropical Exotics, dragonfruit from Solitude Farm, and honey from Errol Chichester!

It’s a perfectly beautiful day with a gorgeous post-shower blue sky. Take a break and come down the South Shore to get some fresh goodies for your table.

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Cuke-ey Wednesdays at ARTfarm, 3–6 p.m. today!

We harvest early in the morning on farmstand days because it’s the coolest time to work, and captures the crisp and cool evening moisture before it travels back down into the roots. Sometimes, Farmer Luca does a little dawn meditation in the cucumber patch. Wouldn’t you? 20140625-132117-48077793.jpg
Sweet salad mix, baby spicy salad mix, microgreens, baby arugula, onions, sweet corn, cucumbers, Italian basil, beets, radishes, papaya, pineapple, passionfruit, and treats from our partner farms: honey from Errol, ice cream from Feel I, and mangoes from Tropical Exotics. Come out and enjoy the breeze on the farm!

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