ARTfarm Saturday Stand 10am

A similar lineup to last week, with a slight mango alteration: Sweet salad mix, garlic chives, mint. From our partners: Haitian Kidney mangoes (and a few Nam Doc Mai mangoes) from Alex at Tropical Exotics, and vegan ice cream from I-Sha in summer flavors: passionfruit, breadfruit, jojo and banana. Open on the South Shore Road, 10am – 12 noon. We literally have less than a dozen bags of sweet mix to sell tomorrow morning, so if you arrive later you may only be able to pick up some mangoes, herbs and ice cream.

Farmer Luca has not quite made a final decision, but we may close down early for our summer/fall break.

We did get around half an inch of rain over this past week. Consistent winds have caused most of the moisture to evaporate quickly from the soil and plants, unfortunately. Much more will be needed to affect any kind of drought recovery, but we are grateful for and celebrating every drop that falls!

A photo taken in bright sunlight shows a barren landscape of dry soil and dead trees at the edge of a gully. The scattered skeleton of a deer rests in the foreground.
Pastures at ARTfarm, Summer 2015. Extreme drought conditions, including brushfires, have caused a shortage of pasture forage that has negatively affected both domestic and wild creatures. Normally this riparian area of gut bank would be lush with guinea grass, various types of palatable broadleaf weeds, flowering shrubs and trees, and leguminous vines to provide an extensive and diverse diet plus shade and cover for birds, reptiles and wild mammals. Here you see barren soil and the bleached bones of a deer in their stead. While this is generally a dry period of the year, this amount of bare soil and the die-off of so many trees is highly unusual.

Many farmers in the Virgin Islands, particular those who are primarily livestock producers, are really suffering right now. The local and federal government agricultural agencies are working hard to find some drought relief sources for all of us but it may take some time (one timetable we heard about said not until December 2015). Some ideas for helping are in the works, and we will let you know if we hear of a secure and reliable way for the public to donate or otherwise contribute to help bring in emergency grain and hay to keep our island flocks and herds alive. If you have a contact working in the shipping/cargo business, or know of any stateside hay producers willing to donate or discount their hay, please pass their contact information on to us or to Dr. Bradford, Director of Veterinary Services at the VI Department of Agriculture. Also helpful in receiving help would be a fiduciary to collect and hold donated funds and a secure central distribution point for trailers of hay and feed.

ARTfarm Saturday 10am – 12 noon…Fish!

Wishing our friends of the Jewish faith a very happy Chanukah. And a happy and restful winter solstice to everyone on Sunday!

This morning we have harvested off the ARTfarm fields: sweet salad mix, arugula, spicy mix, microgreens, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, two types of radishes, Italian basil, holy basil, cilantro, dill, recao, rosemary, garlic chives, lemongrass, escarole, romaine and other lettuce heads, kale, beets, zinnia flowers, fresh ginger root, baby bok choy, sweet bell peppers and serrano peppers.

From our partners: Avocados and bananas from a friend, raw local honey from Errol and… Kim will be here with fresh caught wahoo and BLACK FIN TUNA!!

Looking forward to seeing everyone! For those of you new to the email list: ARTfarm is located on the south side of the South Shore Rd. You’ll find us at the end of the very long straightaway near the stone cattle pens, between Ha’penny Beach and the Boy Scout Camp (due south of the Canegata Ballpark in Christiansted as the crow flies). We open promptly at 10am on Saturdays, so if you want to have any time to speak with your neighbors and grab any earlybird items you’ll want to get to the farm at 9:45. We grow all of our produce in the soil, and in complete compliance with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) standards, but we are not officially certified organic. Any other questions? The best time to chat with the farmers is during the lulls at the farmstand.

In farm news, the deer are back. They have been eating the young moringa trees we have been trying to establish in the pastures. Luckily, they have a gig at the north pole on Wednesday night so we’re planning to replant on Wednesday afternoon. Ha ha.

We will be open on Monday and Wednesday for the coming holiday week. Merry Merry!