Wednesday ARTfarm Produce Pickups 12/23/20: Winta WhattaMELON!

ETA: We found a few typos on the previous version of this post, corrections include clarifying the share sizes, also please note small shares do not come with herbs this week, but you can purchase some as extras at pickup.

Farmer Luca’s been Walkin’ In the Winta Whattamelon and harvested almost 360 lbs. of watermelons last night. Sign up now for a pre-Christmas pickup slot on WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON and swing by tomorrow to put some red and green on your holiday table! We have increased the share options to include just a whole watermelon, small and large shares – and you can combine up to three different farmshares.

We’ll be closed for the Christmas/Boxing Day weekend, and we’ll send out the email/signup link for available farmshares on Tuesday, December 29th, and distribute reserved farmshares on Wednesday, December 30th.

As promised, our holiday gift to you from the ARTfarm elves, recipes and garden fun:

Once again, we are only accepting pre-sized pre-orders of farmshares, plus extras, for our customers with preselected pickup time slots for a minimum of waiting or mingling in this pandemic season. (We know you’d like to shop for just one or two items, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience. This system is to prevent pile-ups of customers and to protect us, the farmers and our family, from long long customer lines where we’d be more exposed.)

Who is that masked farmer? Farmer Luca at our socially distanced pre-reserved farmshare distribution during COVID times in spring 2020.

New here?

Please read our safety guidelines below on how to reserve your produce and pickup time. To understand WHY we are doing what we do, click HERE to read about ARTfarm LLC and COVID-19 precautions we are taking.

CUSTOMERS are required to:

  • meet an order minimum of one farmshare size
  • arrive ON TIME, not early!! Do NOT jump your timeslot please
  • consistently maintain 10-15 feet of distance between all individuals
  • wear masks to keep each other safe
  • sanitize hands before you exit your vehicle
  • bring exact change or a check and pen
  • be patient with us and each other during pickups
  • bring your own boxes, bags, baskets to pack up your order
  • wait to bag produce until we have completely assembled and totaled your order on the table

We require everyone picking up a box to wear a mask and please sanitize your hands before exiting your vehicle/arriving at the distribution table, and we will do the same.

We will have 20 large, 15 small and 10 whole watermelon ‘farmshares’ of produce available for Wednesday (a few of those available as “double small” orders). You can also order and specify a neighbor, friend or family member to pick up your order. The minimum order is one farmshare, but for today you can order more than one size. Add-ons and extras are not currently available independently of a farmshare purchase; to minimize community contact during the pandemic.

Please contact us immediately by text and phone at (340)514-4873 if you have reserved a farmshare and cannot pick it up. Supply is limited, demand is extremely high and someone else will gladly purchase your share, if given enough time to respond. We have limited time for distributions and they are scheduled. Our produce is harvested fresh and needs to go home with you same day. This is an honor system since we are not collecting payment until pickup. We do not have cold storage for uncollected shares.

Here’s how to get ARTfarm produce during the pandemic:

  1. Wait ’til Friday morning around 10am *schedule may shift to Tuesdays/Wednesdays for major holiday weekends*
  2. Visit artfarmllc.com or check your farm email for the fresh-from-the-field weekly signup page
  3. Sign up with our online form (a link at the bottom of the weekly signup page like this one)
  4. Using the current online order form, choose a minimum of one farmshare size of pre-selected, pre-priced ARTfarm produce (contents listed below, either small or large – in high demand times 1 share may be set as the maximum)
  5. Commit to a pick-up time slot
  6. Choose any add-on items (limited supplies)
  7. Add a comment for special requests, extras, preferences, or whatever’s on your mind
  8. Check your email for a confirmation! (the email you used on the order form is the one you should check – it is an automated response and is sent out immediately)
  9. Arrive promptly but NOT EARLY for your pickup appointment on Saturday in the ARTfarm parking lot on Saturday. If early, wait inside your vehicle and decide what herbs you want! Sanitize your hands when getting out of your vehicle. Please maintain plenty of space between customers, and between us and you when you approach the pickup table for your appointed pickup time. We’ll be wearing masks and ask that you do the same.
  10. Bring exact change or a check to drop in the bucket – we are not handling any money.
  11. There may be unadvertised extra items available to add to your box at pickup time, so you may wish to bring some extra small bills or wait to fill in your check amount. Please bring your own pen.
  12. Bring your own bags or box to put your produce into. We’ll place your items on the sanitized table, some things will be pre-bagged, you’ll pack your own bags or box for the rest. Wait to bag until we do a final count of your items to make sure we don’t forget anything. We are trying to reduce the number of shopping bags we distribute, so please bring an extra bag, box or basket to your pickups this season.
  13. No substitutions or price adjustments. To maintain sanitation and keep things moving, we are not swapping items, handling payments or making change. (As always we’ll be flexible where we can within reason.)
  14. YOU ARE AWESOME for supporting our small family farm and accommodating our needs for COVID safety.

Farmshare choices for Wednesday, December 23rd 2020:

Whole Watermelon farmshare, $16-25 (as marked), will include:

Just a whole watermelon in this farmshare! Plus any add-ons you would like. You can also add another size farmshare!!

Small farmshare, $10, will include:
  • 1 bag of sweet salad mix
  • 1 lb. cucumbers
Double Small farmshare, $20, will include:

As listed above, but double: one for you and one for a friend. Take distribution into your own (recently washed) hands, deliver to a neighbor or loved one!

Large farmshare, $37, will include:
  • 1 bag of sweet salad mix
  • 1 bag of baby spicy OR baby arugula salad mix (your choice as available)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 lb. watermelon quarter
  • 1 bunch of baby carrots OR scarlet turnips (your choice as available)
  • 2 herb bunches (you choose; please consider your choices before you arrive at the table)
Additional Limited Quantity Reservable Add-Ons*

(please add to your total)

2 lbs. sliced pumpkin: $6
2 lbs. zucchini: $6
1 bunch extra garlic chives: $2
1 bunch extra Italian basil: $2
1 bunch of nine bright assorted color zinnia flowers: $5

Heirloom tomato plants (potted up): $5 each:

  • Black Plum tomato
  • Mystery (random variety) slicing tomato

Dragonfruit cuttings: $15 each:

  • Natural Mystic (red inside)
  • Physical Graffiti (pink inside)

Saman (rain) tree: $20
Sandbox (monkey-no-climb) tree: $10

*(if these are sold out – there are often additional extras available at the time of pick-up, so if you can’t reserve, leave a note in the comments, bring some extra cash or wait to write your check total. Bring a pen.)

Extra Add-Ons

(Must accompany farmshare purchase, these items cannot be purchased individually. No reservations on these items, first come first served during your pickup slot):

  • WATERMELON!! – approx 2 lb. watermelon quarter: $2/lb. (around $4, as marked)
  • sweet salad mix – $7
  • cherry tomatoes, pint: $6
  • pumpkin, cut quarters: $3/lb. (around $6, as marked)
  • cooking greens – $3/bunch (kale varieties, dandelion, swiss chard, collards)
  • 2 lbs. zucchini – $6
  • 2 lbs. cucumber – $6
  • loose zinnias – $0.50/ea
  • extra herb bunch – $2
  • bag Thai chiles – $2
  • bag green cayenne peppers – $2
Herb bunch choices for this week

(Large share = 2 herb selections. Choose from what’s available at pickup, or we’ll pick some for you, but these are the basic options we should have, you can start mulling it over 🙂

  • Garlic chives
  • Italian basil
  • Lemon basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass
  • Kaffir lime leaves

We have designed our order form not to allow any one customer to purchase all of one extra. Sharing is caring. If you’d like extra of something (beyond what you could reserve through our order system), put it in the comments with your order, and ask at your pickup time: if we can supply it to you we’ll do our best.


The signup form will show you a “Thank You” page and send you a confirmation email if submitted successfully. One order per customer, please.

Problems with the online signup form? Workarounds our customers figured out (thank you!!) were to:

  • just try again
  • use a cellular device (smartphone or tablet) that isn’t using WiFi internet
  • clear your cache and cookies in your browser/device
  • reboot your router (unplug it for a minute and plug in again)

This pre-order signup form does NOT sign you up for an ARTfarm email subscription.

Here’s the link to Wednesday December 23rd’s SIGNUP FORM
(opens a new window).

8 thoughts on “Wednesday ARTfarm Produce Pickups 12/23/20: Winta WhattaMELON!

  1. Wha Luca,

    You selling Monkey No Climb Tree, OMG.

    Dem tings is dangerous meh sunh!!

    Auguro a tutti Voi un Natale Sereno!!

    Pedro

    Peter R. Ross

    Atlantic Caribbean Consulting

    atlanticcaribbeanconsulting.com

    340-513-2666

    ________________________________

  2. Good evening ArtFarm
    I would like to participate in enjoying your homegrown products. But I live in St. Thomas. Is there anyway I can get things shipped to me? Do you sell your pineapple slips? Would like to have some.
    Please let me know if it’s possible to get produce. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. Seasons greetings!

      I so appreciate your interest and wish I had a better logistical system for getting produce safely and cheaply to St. Thomas. Island living can be so difficult to get the things that you need.

      On occasion in the past we shipped bulk amounts of produce to St. Thomas via the Norma H II or the seaplane. We had a trusted contact there before Hurricane IrMaria, a produce dealer and chef who had been on St. Croix for several years.

      Shipping our produce off island is logistically challenging and expensive. For us we have to interrupt work and carefully pack a box of fragile heirloom tomatoes so they won’t get broken which is sort of like wrapping a bunch of full tea cups. Refrigerated items on the other hand need a different type of packaging and herbs can’t be crushed. The packing itself is a total artform and then the box needs to be heavily labeled that the contents are perishable and that the box cannot be dropped or flipped. The packing has to be done in the middle of our busiest time of day after harvesting.

      We have to leave work in a rural location during prime work hours and it will usually take a minimum of one hour out of our workday to get the package to the shipper and negotiate its transit (sometimes you arrive with your carefully packed boxes and they say there is no space for your cargo and so you have to take the boxes home and unpack it all again to store everything properly).

      On the receiving end there is no refrigeration on the docks and the traffic is crazy so it’s not easy for the people receiving the goods. We end up feeling kind of worried about it the whole time.

      So for that amount of stress and hassle we usually charge full retail price, an extra dollar a pound on the ripe tomatoes, plus handling fees of at least $20 per carton, plus the cargo fees themselves. It gets astronomical but chefs selling $49 entrées or working a private luxury yacht can justify the cost. So that is who our old contact was selling to.

      We also don’t take any kind of credit cards or digital payments so if we don’t know you already and have a business relationship you’d have to pre-pay via check. We have had at least two well-known restaurants on St. Thomas who failed to pay us for produce worth hundreds of dollars that we sent in good faith.

      So you can see we are just not set up to do this, and it’s really not cost effective in terms of our time to leave the farm and drive produce around unless it’s hundreds of dollars per order and we are absolutely assured we will be paid. Exporting doesn’t really fit in with our business model and the size farm that we are. When we do it it’s a really big favor for an old trusted wholesale customer kind of thing.

      I would suggest that you check with the Bordeaux farmers on St. Thomas. They have regular farmers markets, I believe, and they are growing lots of nice stuff close at hand. You can also call your local Department of Agriculture and ask them for a list of farmers in your area. You can also call the high-end restaurants and hotels in STT and ask them where they are getting their local produce from. We are friends with the people who have the Bajo El Sol Gallery and the Art Bar in St. John and I know they are getting some nice local produce. Ring them up and ask them where they are shopping.

      The other place you could try is Ridge To Reef Farm. They operate a box share subscription program and they used to ship some of their CSA boxes weekly in bulk to STT. I don’t know if they have been doing that since IrMaria. But they have vans and employees and way more people moving their produce all around the island so it kind of works for them. (We are just a couple with a child and a couple of part-time helpers and we homeschool.)

      We do sell pineapple slips but at the moment they are out of season. I had one person inquire about them recently from STT and we were going to sell her the rest of what we had just for the costs of the boxing handling and shipping because they are not of high-quality at this point, they are somewhat old. We will have better quality slips for sale after the next harvest of pineapple comes in which should be several months from now. They are easier to ship because they are a tough dry desert plant, but again the cost of shipping and handling makes it very expensive unless you want a bulk amount. We typically charge two or three dollars per pineapple slip depending on the size.

      There is an agricultural lab called Agri-Starts in central Florida who make pathogen free tissue culture pineapple slips for planting. We got some of our original stock that way. It was many years ago and I don’t remember the cost per plant at this point but you could follow up with them.

      I hope some of this is helpful. Please let me know how you make out with some of these other sources. People do ask me pretty often so we are always rethinking if there is a way to do it affordably. It seems ridiculous when our sister islands are so relatively close, that this isn’t easier. I do like to try and help people out connecting with locally grown produce. Our health has to come first and the health of our planet. We all need good food to eat.

      Christina

  3. I’m not clear what the watermelon share means. I’d like to order a sm farmshare & watermelon, plus add one’s. Thanks so much!

    On Mon, Dec 21, 2020, 6:58 PM ARTfarm on St. Croix, USVI wrote:

    > artfarmllc posted: ” Farmer Luca’s been Walkin’ In the Winta Whattamelon > and harvested almost 360 lbs. of watermelons last night. Sign up now for a > pre-Christmas pickup slot on WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON and swing by day after > tomorrow to put some red and green on your holiday tabl” >

    1. Hi Suzanne. Sorry it wasn’t clear for you. This pre-order/scheduled pickups thing is a whole new COVID-era business model for us and we’re not necessarily great at it!

      Because the form itself has limited space for descriptions, we put a full description of what is in each share in the post, near the end after all the instructions but before the orderform link. We did make a change this week that’s a little confusing: we adjusted the form so you could order BOTH a regular farmshare (large or small) AND a whole watermelon with any add-ons, OR just order a whole watermelon as your minimum purchase and then add things on to that.

      Here’s the part of the post you might have missed:


      Farmshare choices for Wednesday, December 23rd 2020:

      Whole Watermelon farmshare, $16-25 (as marked), will include:

      Just a whole watermelon in this farmshare! Plus any add-ons you would like. You can also add another size farmshare!!

      Small farmshare, $10, will include:

      1 bag of sweet salad mix
      1 lb. cucumbers

      Double Small farmshare, $20, will include:

      As listed above, but double: one for you and one for a friend. Take distribution into your own (recently washed) hands, deliver to a neighbor or loved one!

      Large farmshare, $37, will include:

      1 bag of sweet salad mix
      1 bag of baby spicy OR baby arugula salad mix (your choice as available)
      1 pint cherry tomatoes
      2 1/2 lb. watermelon quarter
      1 bunch of baby carrots OR scarlet turnips (your choice as available)
      2 herb bunches (you choose; please consider your choices before you arrive at the table)

      I hope that clarifies! We welcome feedback on how to make the ordering process easier and more clear. It is so much more complicated to run and to communicate than regular farmstands.

      Christina

  4. Are you doing this Saturday pick up or next Saturday. If I want this Wednesday what time is pick up. ________________________________

    1. Hey there, we had to move the schedule for this week and next to avoid the holidays where everyone will be with family. If you put in an order today on the website the pick up is tomorrow. Next week we will put out our list on Monday or Tuesday and pick up will be Wednesday as well. The pick up times start around three and go until 430 although I’m not sure what time slots are still available at this point for tomorrow.

      Sorry for the little hiccup, the regular schedule just wouldn’t work with the holidays being on the weekend for this week and next.

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