Saturday ARTfarm Produce Pickups 1/9/2021: Art of Zen

A pile of tomatoes ranging from red to orange to purple and green shouldered, at ARTfarm
Heirloom tomatoes are the most delicate and densely flavored of the tomatoes we grow at ARTfarm. They range in color from red to orange to purple and green shouldered. They vary in shape and size – some of the larger varieties can weigh over a pound for each fruit!

Okay, so there have been a few majorly un-zen bumps this week, 2021. A whole lot of nonsensical tomfoolery out there. At least people like us who love food can agree that fresh fruits and veggies, and their mindful preparation, can clear the mind, calm the jangled nerves and maybe feed the brain cells so we can start creating meaningful, peaceful solutions for our challenges!

To meet everyone’s needs, and because lettuce production is taking a little dip, today’s pre-order is low-key again. Just one size farmshare, or a watermelon share (or both). Let’s get grounded!

As it has been for the last 22 years on STX, Farmer Luca’s produce meets or exceeds USDA NOP standards for organic production methods, according to our farm records and practices. We’re not certified, we’re just crazy – about the soil and how it keeps getting better every year when we take care of it. Why on earth you’d farm any other way – we can’t figure it out. 🙂

Still not open for retail. If you haven’t been to see us since before the COVID-19 pandemic began, please read on to familiarize yourself with our new socially distanced pre-order arrangements. We are not holding regular retail farmstands at this time.

Masks are mandatory. If you have symptoms or a positive COVID test result, please stay home. Help us protect our at-risk family members and customers! Read up on common misconceptions about COVID immunity and maintain precautions please!

New to ARTfarm pandemic procedures? Welcome. Here are the details:

It’s not the usual farmstands at ARTfarm during the pandemic. No walk-ins, no farm tours, no crowds, no long conversations. We are only accepting pre-sized pre-orders called ‘farmshares,’ plus add-on items, with prereserved pickup time slots for a minimum of waiting or mingling in this COVID-19 season. (We know you’d prefer to set your own schedule and shop for just one or two items, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience. This system is to prevent our typical long tightly packed customer lines and to protect you and us, the farmers and our family, from exposure, while maximizing distribution of healthy food to the community.)

We were hoping not to, but we have instigated a three strikes rule for customers who are unable to follow our rules, including repeat no-shows. Help us help you. Please respect that we have to be unyielding on our pickup procedures so that we can serve everyone, stay safe during the pandemic personally, sell all reserved produce, and have enough time to prepare all the orders and still run the farm. These are high stress times for all of us, and our new distribution system is very time consuming for us. Please follow our customer rules, and do not ask for a pickup timeslot change unless it is a true emergency. We don’t want drama, we don’t want to ban anyone, but customers who repeatedly require excessive additional communication around their orders, repeatedly fail to pick up, who experience a lot of impatience, or otherwise cannot follow our rules unfortunately will not work with our system. Our time and energy is so limited and shares are in high demand. The majority of you are AMAZING and we appreciate your support so much!!

ARTfarm pandemic RULES FOR CUSTOMERS (updated, click here):

During the COVID pandemic, CUSTOMERS are required to:

  • READ and follow our rules and process. Most all questions about getting farmshare produce are already answered on this website, we are SO busy, please try to find the answer before contacting us!
  • meet an order minimum of one farmshare size
  • commit to a pickup time. If you can’t make it, have a backup plan with a friend or neighbor. We cannot field requests for time adjustments. Three missed pickups and we will ask you not to order again
  • arrive ON TIME for your group, not early, and wait for your name to be called (in order of orders placed)!! Do NOT jump your timeslot or ask to cut the line please. If you’re going to be super late or arrive after the last group starts, please send us a text
  • if you or someone in your contact circle/household are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have recently tested positive, DO NOT attend pickup. Surviving COVID (or getting the vaccine) is not proven to infer permanent immunity, prevent asymptomatic spread or otherwise make you “safe”. We have at-risk family members and customers. Please follow CDC guidelines if you are an ARTfarm customer. We believe in building a healthy immune system, but we don’t have a magic farm immunity bubble.
  • 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

To understand WHY we are doing what we do, click HERE to read about ARTfarm LLC and CDC-recommended COVID-19 precautions we are taking. To learn HOW to place your order, click the link below for a step-by-step guide.

New to ARTfarm preorders? STEP BY STEP PROCESS (click here):

  2. Wait for the new order form to post, around 10am the day before the scheduled pickup – usually posts on Fridays for Saturday mornings, but may shift to Tuesday posts/Wednesday pickups for major holiday weekends
  3. Visit or check your farm email subscription for the fresh-from-the-field weekly signup page (subscribe here). The current signup page will have a pickup date IN THE FUTURE, not already past. Check the date for freshness! If you missed the farmshare distribution posted, see step 2.
  4. Sign up with our current online form (a unique link at the bottom of the weekly signup page like this one)
  5. 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)
  6. Commit to a pick-up time slot. This is a firm commitment!
  7. Choose any add-on items (limited supplies of reservable things). There is also a list of ‘extras’ which are available first-come, first-served on request at pickup.
  8. Add a comment for special requests, extras, preferences, to answer our question-of-the-day, or whatever’s on your mind
  9. 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, and may be in your spam folder)

  10. Arrive promptly but NOT EARLY for your pickup appointment in the ARTfarm parking lot on the specified date in your confirmation email. 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 require you do the same.
  11. Bring exact change or a check to drop in the bucket – we are not handling any money. Bring your own pen for a check.
  12. There may be 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.)
  15. YOU ARE AWESOME for supporting our small family farm and accommodating our needs for COVID safety.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pre-Orders (click here):
Q: Why isn’t the order form up yet/all the time?

A: We are a small seasonal farm growing small amounts of over 45 different crops. Not everything is available every week, or for every distribution. We post the reservation form as soon as we have harvested all the salad greens and know how many families we can possibly serve in that distribution, and can accurately estimate the number and contents of the farmshares, add-on item quantities and extras that will be available. That way you know exactly what you are getting with only slight variations.

Q: What do you have?

A: The most recent signup page will have a complete list of our current offerings. You’ll find it on our homepage at If it’s expired, it will be a close approximation of what will be available next time with seasonal changes.

Q: Can you send me a price list?

A: We do not publish price lists. It would have to change every week. We don’t have time to compile a weekly new list of what’s available and track inventory. Our prices are fairly consistent but certain salad greens and heirloom tomatoes may fluctuate slightly depending on availability and growing conditions. The weekly post lists prices and availability. Food service professionals can ask to speak with us about bulk needs, and we do sell to chefs, farms, restaurants and value added producers, but not everything we grow is available at all times or always in industrial quantities unless planned in advance.

Q: I can’t find the order link.

A: The link to the pre-order form is always large, bold and orange, at the very bottom of the post, AFTER all the stuff you need to read before ordering, like descriptions of what is in the farmshares and information on participating in the farmshare system. “The post” is typically the first article you see on the Farm Blog page of our website, and will have a recent publishing date and will have the pickup date, and “signups” or “pickups” or “farmshares,” in the title. If you’re subscribed to farm emails, the post will arrive in your inbox about three seconds after we send it out.

Q: I didn’t get my confirmation email. Can you check my order for me?

A: Did you check your spam folder? It’s there. You’re welcome. 😉

Q: I can’t get the form to work. Can you take my order over the phone/text/email for me?

A: No. Sorry. We can’t do pre-orders outside of the order form. 45 orders x 10 minutes is 7.5 hours that we couldn’t spend farming or packing orders. Please check the workaround advice listed right above the order link and try the suggestions. Others have done it, you can too!! 😉

Q: I’d like to change my timeslot.

A: Short answer, no. We don’t have a dedicated receptionist, so moving people around on the schedule is time consuming and throws off our workflow. This is a pandemic, and you are one of maybe forty to sixty custom orders per distribution. We refuse to let quality drop, so our workload is greatly increased nowadays with additional tasks. In the wee hours of the morning of a distribution day the customer schedule has already been printed, and we are up before dawn working continuously at an extremely brisk pace to harvest and pack until the time you see us. We aren’t available to check our phones or rearrange the schedule for you. If you can’t make it at all, text us as soon as you know. If you can’t come during your timeslot due to a legitimate emergency, notify us and send a friend to pick up. We are absolutely sometimes running 10 minutes late in the schedule in an effort to offer more items, and most customers are patient as we catch up the groups. * * * Everyone goofs up once in a while, even us, and we accommodate that. But if you repeatedly interrupt our workflow before or during distributions to ask for special accommodations, or you have repeated lapses or emergencies, leaving us with unsold farmshares, please be aware of our three strikes policy. If you have an important engagement before or after your timeslot and cannot be late, please don’t ask us to ‘flex’ you in early when there is a parking lot full of people waiting patiently who also have busy lives. If our system proves not to work for you, we understand. There are other farms operating on St. Croix who have open retail hours available and can offer more flexibility for you. We are balancing our personal safety with providing healthy food to the community. Be kind and be mindful, please. Most of our customers respect our time and appreciate what we do and we are so grateful!

Q: I never get your Facebook posts.

A: Aaaahhh, we have no control over Mark Zuckerberg’s ever changing algorithms. We recommend visiting our website directly for farm news and pre-order posts, or better yet subscribing to farm emails. And then, checking and reading your email. 😉

Q: I went to the signup page but it was over.

A: The current signup page will have a pickup date IN THE FUTURE, not already past. Check the date for freshness! If you missed this farmshare distribution posted, wait for the next one in a few days.

Q: Can you save me some (insert highly popular item here) if I can’t get there on time?

A: Man, we really do our best to accommodate people. We try to make items reservable in these pandemic times. We love our customers and know many of you by name and your favorite items too! But you, special you, are one of many, many customers we are trying to serve in a very limited timeframe, and even if we say we’ll try to save you this or that, we often can’t, and we’re going to feel bad. We encourage you to put your request in the comment box of the order form, and we’ll certainly try…but keep your expectations flexible beyond your actual order. Our policy is historically first come, first served. We do ration popular items to share the love with more of you…but we also need to sell what we have harvested. We must adhere to the small farmer’s initiative to SELL RIPE DELICIOUS ITEMS IMMEDIATELY or they become inedible compost. So, ask and maybe you’ll get lucky. But if you have special produce requirements on non-reservable items, try to get an earlier timeslot (or team up with a friend or neighbor) to get first pick. Alternatively, imagine you’re us, up working since 5 AM, with 45-50 customers waiting, each with a custom order of 2-12 items to fill, and think about whether it’s a realistic request… Would you ask the produce manager at the supermarket to ‘hold you some’ ______?

Q: I forgot my bag, do you have a bag? …or… I have extra shopping bags, can I give you some bags?

A: Bring your own bags, shopping basket or box to put your produce into. We are trying to reduce the number of shopping bags we distribute, so please bring an extra bag, box or basket for yourself to your pickups this season. Before COVID-19 precautions, we always welcomed people bringing us spare clean shopping bags to share with other customers. During these pandemic times, we are only distributing bags that are new out of a package, to be safe. And we are NOT making shopping bags available at the distribution site. So at the moment we cannot give or accept loose pre-used bags to redistribute to other customers.

Farmshare choices for Saturday, January 9th, 2021:

We will have a smaller, simpler distribution again Saturday; 40 one-size-fits-all farmshares, and 12 half/quarter watermelon farmshares available for scheduled pickup Saturday morning, along with lots of add-ons and extras. You can order and specify a neighbor, friend or family member to pick up your order. The minimum order is one farmshare, and 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.

Small farmshare, $20, will include:
  • 1 bag of sweet salad mix
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. slicer and heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 herb bunch (you choose from list below; please consider your choices before you arrive at the table)

You can also add a Watermelon farmshare to this!

Double Small farmshare, $40, 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!

Half/Quarter Watermelon farmshare, $8-12 (as marked), will include:

Just a whole lotta watermelon in this farmshare! Choose your chunk at pickup (out of our pickup!), priced as weighed! Plus any add-ons you would like.

You can also add a Basic farmshare!

Additional Limited Quantity Reservable Add-Ons*

(please add to your total)

1 pint cherry tomatoes: $6
1 lb. heirloom tomatoes: $5
2 lb. slicer tomatoes: $10
2 lbs. zucchini: $6
1 lb. cucumbers: $3
1 bag baby (no peel) ginger: $4
1 bunch extra garlic chives: $2
1 bunch extra Italian basil: $2
1 bag Thai chili peppers: $2
1 bag cayenne peppers: $2
1 bunch of nine bright assorted color zinnia flowers: $5

*(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 (no reservations)

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

  • watermelon chunks: $2/lb. (around $4 – $10, as marked)
  • pumpkin – cut chunks: $3/lb. (around $6, as marked)
  • 1 bunch turnips with edible greens: $4
  • 1 bunch carrots with juiceable tops: $3
  • cooking greens: $3/bunch (kale varieties, dandelion, swiss chard, collards)
    baby bok choi: $2-3/head
  • extra herb bunch: $2
Herb bunch choices for this week

(Small share = 1 herb selection. Choose from what’s available at pickup, or we’ll pick some for you, but these are the basic options we should have at the beginning, you can start mulling it over 🙂

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

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.

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

Please see comments below – there is a known issue with the submission confirmation emails today and we are working on a fix!

Need help with the pre-order signup form? (Click here):
Q: I can’t seem to order more than one item.

A: 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 remind us at your pickup time: if we can supply it to you we’ll do our best. If you are in the food service industry and looking for bulk availability, please contact us; our order form is for individuals and families to place a single order.

Q: My order isn’t going through.
  • if the automated confirmation email is not immediately found, check your spam folder
  • make sure all required fields are filled/selected
  • 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)
Q: I ordered before, but I’m not getting your emails.

Our pre-order form does NOT automatically sign you up for an ARTfarm email subscription. Do that HERE!

One thought on “Saturday ARTfarm Produce Pickups 1/9/2021: Art of Zen

  1. Turnips
    Trim off root and top, cut into wedges, smaller will cook faster.
    Sautée in a little oil with garlic (fresh or powder) to brown both sides then add a bit of liquid (water or broth) cover, put on low heat until almost soft.
    Onion wedges can be added to the sauté halfway.
    Then the greens (cleaned and ripped into smaller pieces) lay on top until wilted.
    The recipe that I was reading online said to use spinach so I guess the turnips that they get don’t have the greens.
    I added Gardien Beefless tips in a quick gravy made with a cornstarch slurry in a vegan cube (very seasoned) broth.
    Super slow to make crust leftover mashed potatoes was the complement but any potatoes would be delicious.
    Next time I’ll try peeling the turnips.

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