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!