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.
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.
There was a substantial brushfire at Castle Nugent just east of us last night, and though we went to help our neighbors, we did not experience any active fire on our farm last night. Thanks to everyone who expressed concern, offered help or simply checked in with us yesterday and today!
We’ve got lots of beautiful lettuce and quite a few bunches of gorgeous beets with delicious leafy tops today! Come down the South Shore 3-6 pm today and enjoy this flavorful early summer produce! Sit in our breezy shaded farmstand and enjoy a little cup of ice cream!
Freshly harvested early this morning for you: Sweet salad mix, teen arugula, microgreens, macrogreens, a few cucumbers, beets, carrots, onions, Italian basil, tons of beautiful scallions, a few tomatoes, a few passionfruits, a few pineapples, a handful of brave and resilient zinnia flowers, and from our partner I-Sha, locally handmade vegan fruit flavored coconut-based ice cream. Enjoy!
We’re open today, 10am – 12 noon with salad and lots of tomatoes! Here’s this morning’s list of fresh: Sweet salad mix, teen spicy salad mix, teen arugula, heirloom/slicer/cherry tomatoes, beets, red and white bulb onions with green tops, purple Bodhi beans, a few cucumbers, radishes with delicious green tops, dandelion greens for cooking or juicing, fresh ginger root, scallions, Italian basil, Thai basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, and zinnia flowers. We also have a fresh batch of vegan ice cream from I-Sha in a rainbow of flavors including jojo, mango, papaya/ginger, passionfruit, beet ginger, banana…
Our thanks go out again to the VI Fire Service shifts C and D out of Richmond/Christiansted, with trucks from Grove and East End, and VIPD for coming back to Longford a third time this week. Tuesday evening’s fire flared up again on Wednesday afternoon, sending out a new fire crew headed by Captain Henry Joseph; it continued on its previous trajectory toward the beach and burned over a hundred acres of pasture and fencing belonging to our neighbors and killed another cow on Wednesday. A second blaze was set in ARTfarm pastures about 3/4 of a mile away from the initial fires just before 8pm Wednesday night at a curve in the road where the streetlight is out. We had a number of people offer help again and had a crew of employees, customers and fellow farmers on hand to move sheep, manage gates and direct the fire trucks. It was dark and smoky, and we were too busy to take pictures, but it was an incredible scene. After the Captain Joseph and his VIFS team departed for a second time with the trucks, Luca and a neighbor we’ll call “Water Mike” were out containing and extinguishing smaller fires until 2am Thursday morning.
We’d appreciate brushfire awareness from all of our customers. Please never throw cigarettes or other burning material from a vehicle; do not allow chains on trailers to drag on the ground; and keep a neighborhood watch. If you see someone stopped on the side of the road, slow down and offer assistance; if suspicious, snap a picture of the vehicle and license plate. And share this information with others in the dry season. We thank you!
We are open 3–6 p.m.! Today we have sweet salad mix, spicy salad mix, a few cucumbers, Bodhi beans, onions, beets, Italian basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and a few more fresh figs.
Farming is certainly a round-the-clock exercise. Last night around 9 PM we smelled smoke and saw flames shooting up into the sky on the east end of the farm. Luckily we had fair warning as Luca was out watering late and noticed it quickly, shortly after hearing the sound of voices along the east roadside. Neighbors in the area also alerted us to the brushfire and offered help via text, calls and Facebook. We quickly moved our child to grandma’s, suited up in protective clothing, grabbed our fire flappers and other firefighting equipment and went to move sheep and equipment out of harm’s way and help the neighbors wherever possible.
Luckily there was not a strong wind last night, and conditions coupled with a rigorous effort by the VI Fire Service on all sides contained the fire and prevented it from destroying hundreds of acres of pasture in use, as well as cattle and sheep, wildlife, farm infrastructure and the homes of farmers including us!
As I stated to a friend, “this is what amounts to a ‘romantic date night’ for a farmer and his wife. A fireside chat and home by midnight.”
We spoke with Captain Charles Gilbert, Fire Service officer out of Richmond/Christiansted’s C shift, who was in charge of the operation last night. They had a total of six VIFS trucks on the scene, but it felt like a lot more to us, as they continued to contain the fire from 9pm to 1am. These included trucks from the East End, Richmond, and Grove stations. The only casualty of the evening was a young calf that got onto the road (due to gates left open to allow emergency access) and was struck by a passing vehicle. Some fencing was damaged and will need to be replaced.
VI Fire Service Chief Larry Johnson noted that the burning of trash, the use of campfires and the disposal of lit cigarettes out of car windows should be curtailed during these dry conditions. “Most brush fires that start after dark are lit deliberately,” he said during our conversation. “It is a felony.”
We are extremely grateful for the prompt and thorough response from the VI Fire Service last night. We plan to drop off some tomatoes to Captain Gilbert and his C company team, and we’d love it if you’d thank them on our behalf, too!