Pop In for Pineapples 10am – 11am

ARTfarm Saturday farmstand: Plenty sweet salad mix, more pineapples this week, arugula salad mix, winter squash chunks, beautiful Italian basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, garlic chives, fresh harvested bagged ginger and turmeric, dandelion greens, Thai chili peppers, bunched arugula, baby bok choy, Portuguese kale, and Fiddlewood Farm’s fresh goat cheese!!

Another Hugel bed under construction last weekend thanks to a great crew of volunteers! Combines huge water savings with intense organic material incorporating into the garden bed.

Also various plants for sale like pineapple slips, mint plant starts, surinam cherry seedlings, and sage plants.

Close up of Thai chili, pineapple, winter squash, onions, all from our farm all cooked into a beautiful hot sauce.

This might be the last salad mix for a while, things are getting hot! Probably won’t open next Saturday, so come and get it while you can!

Super Salad Saturday again! Pop over to see us at ARTfarm 10-11 AM

ARTfarm Saturday, 10-11am: Lots and lots of sweet salad mix thanks to the huge rain, plus arugula, baby bok choi, Portuguese kale, sweet potato greens, Italian basil, garlic chives, lemon basil, holy basil, ginger, turmeric, mango flavored turmeric, Thai chili peppers, pineapples, chunks of winter squash, fresh eggs, loads of tamarind pods, pineapple slips, mint plant starts, Surinam cherry plants, pineapple slips, and fresh goat cheese from Fiddlewood Farm!!!

The lettuce was perking up already from higher amounts of compost and more focused watering. But the seven or eight inches of rain + thunderstorms really helped the lettuce to grow a lot more. We will be open probably one more Saturday with lots of salad mix and more pineapples, then we will probably stop.

Dragonfruit are budding and the first fruit should be ready in three weeks, and the pineapples are growing decently. Will have about half a dozen available this Saturday. Next Saturday will be about 16…

…but the salad mix is waning.

Tamarind makes a wonderful juice and recipes are easy to find via Google!

See you in the morning!

IT RAINED!!! OPEN 10am – 12 noon Saturday

We went from extreme drought to about 8 inches of rain overnight on Wednesday — a pretty exciting night that was, with all the lightning and thunder.

This large pond was bone dry before the rain storm Wednesday night.

This bucket was empty before the storm as well.

So Saturday farmstand!! With lots and lots of sweet salad mix and ginger

Good amounts of Italian basil, time basil, lemon basil, garlic chives, Portuguese kale, and Thai chilis

Smaller amounts of cherry tomatoes, small slicing tomatoes, and baby bok choy.

Small herb seedlings for sale and native palms.

ARTfarm Saturday Popup 10am! Salad mix, WOOOOOO!!!

The small unburned section of the farm still has a few heads of lettuce growing! So there is a little bit of salad mix for the early birds Saturday morning!

This is a pop-up pop farmstand and Luca will probably only be open from 10 until 11 o’clock.

Come early for 20 bags of salad mix sweet, 5 dozen eggs, tons of ginger and tons of turmeric, Italian basil, lemon basil, baby carrots, garlic chives, ten bunches of baby bok choy, chunks of winter squash, maybe 10 to 15 pints of cherry tomatoes, and Thai hot chili peppers!

There are also Surinam cherry trees for sale and silver palms which are native and beautiful!

The brush fires caused many of our fence posts to completely incinerate. There were hot smoking coals in the post holes for over a week after the fire was out.

Temporarily Closed Due To Dry Weather, Fires; Luca Art Show TONIGHT

In case you missed this news buried in our previous post, we just wanted to let our customers know that ARTfarm has been pushed by the dry conditions to start our ‘summer’ break exceptionally (three months) early for this season. Regular farmstand hours will resume in the fall.

In stark contrast to the usual photos we post of the farm, here is the current reality. In the background, the ARTfarm greenhouse still needs repair from damages incurred in Hurricane Maria.

Despite recent flooding events in Peters Rest and Gallows Bay, we are frustratingly dry at the farm. We have gotten an unusually low amount of rain so far this year.

On Saturday, April 6th 2019 three brushfires started simultaneously within a quarter-mile patch of S. Shore Rd., including directly on ARTfarm pastureland. More than half of our farm acreage burned, destroying a large number of utility pole fence posts and fence mesh and wire that will need to be replaced (much of it was newly built in the last year). It also destroyed the majority of the pasture forage that we needed to feed our sheep and poultry.

There have been a number of brush fires on the eastern end and north shore of St. Croix already this year. Things are incredibly dry. And there are some consistent hot dry winds exacerbating the lack of rain and scooping away moisture from the area.

Honeybees and other pollinators, as well as mongooses, dear and other wildlife, are under extreme pressure in drought conditions to find food and water sources. Farmer Luca has resorted to putting out dog dishes full of water for the mongoose population to keep them from chewing open his irrigation lines.

These extreme dry conditions mean that the same head of lettuce will grow much more slowly, only get half as large, and require much more water. If we are in for another drought like we had in 2015, we have to conserve some water for firefighting and to keep our fruit trees and animals alive.

These fields were producing hundreds of pounds of tomatoes just a month ago… with dry conditions, the plants have been pulled out to conserve water.

A quick flip through the archives of our website for the months of March and April in past years show that we are typically deluged with several inches of rain at this time of year.

The little patch of green in all this brown is a partially buried Hugel bed. We built this one in 2015. We hope to build more of these in-ground Hugel beds throughout the farm. They require less watering and retain moisture.

Given that we haven’t had time off since Hurricane Maria and we have a lot of infrastructure and rebuilding projects, and now the brush fire damage to recover from, we have decided to end our season early and turn our energies to these other pressing needs of the farm. We may host a volunteer party and have friends of the farm come out and help us with some of the rebuilding effort.

We are continuing to research, develop and build new permaculture practices for the farm that are climate change resilient, water-saving and soil-saving.

If we happen to have a flush of pineapples or dragonfruit to share, we will post that online and to our email list and host a pop-up farmstand over the summer. We plan to reopen in the fall as usual.

Tonight at Walsh Metal Works (now called ‘Studio Walsh’) in Peters Rest, Luca along with Mike Walsh and Clay Jones will be displaying artworks previously shown in St. Thomas at the Seven Minus Seven gallery. This is all new work from Luca, please come out and support his artistic efforts! 5pm till 8pm this evening (Friday, April 19th, 2019).

Be sure to press your government representatives on climate change. And consider the UN FAO findings from 2014 that conclude that small farms are the best path to food security globally.

Thank you for your support.


Saturday Farmstand and Tree Sale!

After months of inquiries, Luca is finally liquidating some of his potted fig tree collection. Four remaining young fig trees, as well as surinam cherry seedlings, native palms, and more will be available for sale.

This will be our final farmstand for the season. We will continue to supply restaurants with a few bulk items for a little while longer but conditions are unusually dry, reducing harvests, and we still have to begin the bulk of our hurricane recovery reconstruction, so we are going to shift gears a bit earlier than usual. If weather conditions change or we have a flush of fruit we may re-open for some pop-ups during the summer. Stay on our mailing list and you’ll know if those conditions occur! Thank you for your understanding and for your support this season, we greatly appreciate it.

Saturday farmstand (hot dry weather is giving us dwindling harvests of): sweet salad mix, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, some slicer tomatoes, garlic chives, Italian basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, baby ginger, turmeric, seasoning peppers, spicy peppers, pumpkin chunks, escarole, onions, French breakfast radishes, I-Sha’s vegan ice cream and Fiddlewood farms goat cheese. From our nursery, fig trees, sage plants, asparagus plants, Surinam cherry seedlings, native thatch palms, coconut palms, pineapple slips and other plants.

Slowing-Down Saturday 10am – 12 noon

ARTfarm Saturday farmstand: sweet salad mix, lots of baby arugula and baby spicy salad mix, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, chunks of winter squash, young French breakfast radishes, onions, carrots, baby ginger, baby turmeric, cooking greens, escarole, chili peppers, seasoning peppers, Italian basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, garlic chives, papaya, fresh goat cheese, and I-Sha’s vegan ice cream.

Things are extremely dry on the South Shore as everywhere else on the island right now, it seems. So please give respect to the men and women of the VI Fire Service and be extra careful with any burning or flaming objects. We have preemptorally closed down all farm areas to firedancing until it starts raining on the regular. Sorry Kiki! 😉

We look forward to seeing everyone!

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