ARTfarm Greens/Pines Pop-Up Wednesday After Work!

ARTfarm’s sweet mix is made from a variety of lettuce varieties. Harvested early morning in the fields of the South Shore, and on your plate weeks before imported lettuce finishes its journey to the island!

We’re popping up again. We received about half an inch of rain this weekend and grateful for it. Come out 5-5:30pm Wednesday 5/26/2021, we’ve got:

  • Sweet salad mix
  • Pineapples, ripe tender & sweet – nearing the end of this brief season!
  • Sweet papayas, all ripeness
  • Onions
  • Fresh picked herbs: Italian, Thai and lemon basils; garlic chives, lemongrass
  • Ginger
  • Red turmeric
  • Mango turmeric
  • Seasoning peppers – mild Trini or mild heat types
  • Zinnia flowers
  • Perhaps other surprises as they present themselves

No item reservations for the pop-up, just First Come First Served! But…(especially if you’re planning to come) please respond to our online poll question below so we have a rough headcount of how many customers to expect.

Please do continue to social distance and wear a mask, bring cash or a check, and Thanks!! We appreciate you so much!! See you Wednesday 5pm!

ARTfarm Pineapple Pop-Up Tuesday After Work!

Farmer Shirley is the longest-running volunteer we’ve had. This is her 13th year!

Did you miss us this weekend? The ARTfarm family got a much-needed rest. But the pineapples just won’t stop! Come out 5-5:30pm Tuesday 5/18/2021, we’ve got:

  • Pineapples, ripe tender & sweet!
  • Sweet papayas, all ripeness
  • Sweet salad mix
  • The very very absolute last of our tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Ginger
  • Red turmeric
  • Mango turmeric
  • Perhaps other surprises as they present themselves

No item reservations for the pop-up, we have substantial amounts so we are just going to see how this goes FCFS!

Please do continue to social distance and wear a mask, bring cash or a check, and (especially if you’re planning to come) please respond to our online poll question below so we have a rough headcount of how many customers to expect. Thanks!! See you Tuesday 5pm!

Staying Healthy in the Virus Times – Ginger and Turmeric

The farm share signup post will be up at 10am! Just wanted to share some extra health inspiration this morning…

The COVID-19 pandemic is a terrible crisis, but the silver lining might be an opportunity to slow down, reprioritize and focus on health. Already the shutdown has slowed pollution in some major cities. We feel lucky that we have so many holistic (big picture) health practitioners on St. Croix to help us be proactive about health. We wanted to share a couple of simple ginger and turmeric drink ideas, and some timely health reminders from one of our longtime customers, Rhonda Pessin, who happens to be a Certified Nutritional Consultant, Board Certified Massage Therapist, yoga instructor, and sprouts farmer at Alive and Well in Five Corners, St. Croix USVI.

Ginger Tea

This is the simplest recipe. Ginger tea is warming and refreshing at the same time. Ginger is being studied for its anti-viral qualities. A ginger tea is great for the beginning of a sore throat, for the start of a cold, and for treating and soothing congestion. Simply boil fresh water and pour over thinly sliced ‘coins’ of ginger root. Add a little local honey for a cough. Breathe in the gingery steam and then enjoy it as hot as you can stand. Crunch up and eat the ginger coins at the bottom of your cup when you’re done. For a bad cold, alternate making this sweet spicy tea with a savory version: add minced onion, rub the inside of your cup with a cut clove of garlic, and add a spoon of miso for a healing, soothing, quick broth.

Turmeric Golden Milk

This is an ancient recipe with many variations. Turmeric, when consumed with black pepper, has anti-inflammatory compounds and may inhibit viruses. It is one of those roots that changes its flavor profile when cooked, so don’t be deterred by its earthy profile when raw. We like to take fresh or frozen turmeric and grate it with a microplane into a small saucepan, about an inch of root per 8 oz. serving or to taste. Add either fresh, canned or powdered coconut milk. Add water (if using powdered milk), a dollop of honey or molasses if desired, a pinch of salt and black pepper, and heat through until just steaming. For an extra anti-inflammatory kick, add a few thin slices of cayenne or chili pepper as a garnish on top.

COVID–19: Rhonda’s Ten Tips for Staying Well

Rhonda Pessin, Certified Nutrition Consultant and ARTfarm customer!

  1. Reduce your stress. Chronic stress weakens your immune system. Take a break from news, phone, internet etc. and unplug for a little while every day.
  2. Exercise. Boosts immune system – 30 minutes a day of walking, swimming, yoga etc., is enough to make a difference.
  3. Sleep. Get 7-9 hours a night.
  4. Eat the rainbow. Colorful fruits and veggies are full of antioxidants. These guard against free radicals that can harm your cells. Try eating a wide range of leafy greens, berries, oranges, carrots, peppers, red grapes, beets etc.
  5. Minimize sugar and junk food, which can greatly lower the function of your immune system.
  6. Laugh. Find ways to laugh and stay positive. Having a positive outlook will do more for your immune system than stress or worry.
  7. Reach out. Stay connected to support. Use care providers, family and friends to get support if you need it. Staying well is a group effort.
  8. Take good quality supplements. (Many of these are out of stock but will be replenished soon hopefully.)
    • Supplements may possibly reduce symptoms of coronavirus.
    • No supplements at this time are known to prevent it.
    • Read all labels and do your research to make sure supplements are compatible with any medications you are taking.
    • Vitamins and minerals can help especially if you are not getting enough. High stress increases requirements for B, C and others.
    • Multi-Vitamin & Mineral- choose good quality. The most absorbable by the human body are whole food organic fermented vitamins (made wholly from food), like Organixx or New Chapter. “Food-based” vitamins may have a “base” of food ingredients, but contain primarily synthetic vitamins.
    • Vitamin C – 500 mg twice a day or more to tolerance – may upset stomach in large doses.
    • Vitamin D – may help respiratory infections – 2000 IU.
    • Zinc – 20 mcg – up to 50mcg if symptomatic.
    • Probiotics – 25 billion. I like Garden of Life. Do not waste $ on cheap options.
    • Reishi or medicinal mushrooms. Follow label instructions.
    • Colloidal silver – follow product label.
    • Quercetin – found to inhibit wide variety of viruses including SARS – there are current clinical trials in China to see if it affects COVID-19 (according to consumerlab.com) – dose 50-1000 mg. Headaches and nausea can occur over 500 mg.
  9. Use healing herbs.
    • Elderberry extract – has been known to shorten the flu. No evidence yet on COVID-19. Follow label.
    • Virgin and extra virgin coconut oil – 3 Tbspn daily. Known to have anti-viral effects, being tested.
    • Curcumin and Turmeric – can inhibit viruses. Protects lung tissue with anti-inflammatory effects. I recommend Root 2 or Garden of life. Follow label for dosage.
    • Echinacea – has been shown to inhibit other viruses but not yet tested.
    • Garlic – has been shown to inhibit other viruses but not yet tested.
    • Astragulus, licorice root, olive leaf, oregano oil, ginger, green tea, ginseng and dandelion- all have anti-viral qualities.
  10. Eat well. Prepare delicious, healthy meals with love and RELAX when eating them. Take a few breaths, take in aromas and say a prayer of gratitude. This will help your nervous system switch from sympathetic (fight or flight, work!!) to parasympathetic (relaxation, digestion).

You can reach Rhonda for additional recommendations. Reach out for an appointment or consultation by phone: (340) 277-4006 or via e-mail.

Sign-up form for farm shares up next!

Wellness Blast Thai-ish Soup Recipe

Being a season of viruses, we’ve definitely been cooking up some antiviral recipes lately that can be prepared with or without meat. Late spring is sort of the beginning of the winding down of our veggie season at ARTfarm, but ingredients can be sourced from other local farms or your own backyard Victory Garden. The recipe ingredients list seems long here, but in these days of social distancing we thought it best to give people lots of options and substitutions. It’s mostly a lot of chopping and preps quickly.

Our ginger and turmeric have such tender skins they don’t need peeling. Just wash, chop and go!

We will be presenting a series of articles on starting a small home garden for those of you who have been asking us what to plant and when. Stay tuned on our website, we’ll be offering some information and also soon put up a signup sheet if you’d like to attend a Zoom videoconference class with local experts from UVI’s Cooperative Extension Service to answer more of your questions on starting a home garden.

Tom Khing Michi-Gai Phak*

(Ginger Not-Chicken Coconut Soup)

Feeds about 3 hungry people who really love soup. We usually double it.
10 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cook/simmer time.

This is a garden veggie heavy/homemade sort of homage to one of ARTfarm family’s all time favorite Asian soups: Galangal Chef Kenneth Biggs’ Tom Kha Gai soup. We are substituting ginger and turmeric for Chef’s galangal root and adding more veggies.

The coconut is nourishing and anti-viral, the turmeric color is cheerful, the gingery warmth of the rich smooth broth and onions and chili peppers (if desired) help open the sinuses without acidity, the customizable, whatever-you’ve-got-available veggies make it hearty; it’s just soothing and lovely. The citrus tang and floating cherry tomatoes added at the end offer little pops of sweet vitamin blasts and the cilantro is cleansing to the body.

This recipe is verrry adjustable. You can make it with some, or all, or substitutions for, the various chopped vegetables and herbs in this recipe. Tiny white Japanese enoki or bonapi mushrooms are a fun texture in this if you can get them, but any (or no) mushrooms will do. (Mushrooms may have anti-viral qualities!) This is traditionally a chicken recipe and we’ve suggested tofu or a light milder fish like mahi or wahoo to substitute, but you can make it without – it still has such a rich broth and holds up well if you add other veg.

Ingredients

2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
1 one inch piece (a man thumb) baby ARTfarm ginger, grated, no peeling necessary
1 one inch piece (a man thumb) baby ARTfarm turmeric, grated, no peeling necessary
3 large kaffir lime leaves
1 – 2 sprigs Thai basil
1 sour orange or other large citrus: all the juice and a tiny bit of the skin oil or zest
6 cups broth – veggie or whatever you’ve got
1 lb. your favorite protein: a pack of firm tofu, cut into 1” or smaller pieces
– or – chicken (boneless breast or thigh), sliced into thin strips
– or – mahi or wahoo, cubed
1 large onion, sliced thin into crescent moons
8 oz. mushrooms (Japanese or whatever you’ve got)
1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk well shaken**
– or – make fresh coconut milk!!! (Crucian Contessa’s recipe)
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
– or – a slurry of 2 Tbspn. miso paste dissolved in some of the broth
– or – 2 Tbsp. Bragg’s Aminos to taste

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1-4 finely chopped Thai chili peppers to taste
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves with tender stems
a few sour orange or lime wedges (for garnish, if you’re feeling fancy)

——–optional add-ins (we do all of them!!)——-
* 1 cup pumpkin, sliced thin then cubed into chunks
* 1/2  bunch cooking greens (radish tops, kale, chicory etc.), remove hard center ribs, cut leaves into 1″ pieces or julienned
* 4-5 seasoning peppers, seeded and sliced
* 1 bunch radishes or turnips, washed, root sliced into coins, use the tops as greens
* 2 medium bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced

How to make it

  1. Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass; fold and bundle it up to about 4-5″ long, to fit in a large sauce pan. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8–10 minutes. Pull out the lemongrass with tongs and discard, and add microplaned/grated ginger and turmeric to the hot broth.
  2. Add tofu and your big pile of chopped onions, pumpkin, greens, (and seasoning pepper if desired), and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add mushrooms and citrus juice, and simmer, skimming occasionally, until cooked through and onions and pumpkin are soft, 20–25 minutes.
  3. For the last five minutes, turn the heat to low and add radish coins, bell peppers, (chicken/fish if applicable). Simmer until the protein is cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Ladle some of the hot broth into a teacup and add your miso, stirring until liquified.
  4. Mix in coconut milk, your brown flavor sauce option (fish sauce/miso slurry/aminos), tiny leaves of Thai basil, and kaffir lime leaves. Heat through.
  5. Divide soup among bowls. Serve with garnishes: cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced pieces of thai chili peppers, cilantro, and citrus wedges. OMG it’s so good. If you have any hint of a cold this nutritious soup will blast it out of you!!

 

*thanks Google Translate. Apologies to Thai people. Hopefully we haven’t said something rude.

** Chef Ken’s coconut tip: if you purchase canned coconut milk, check the fat content (in grams per can, not the percentage). Look for something in the 10+ grams range. Less than that, it can come out too thin – and sometimes canned coconut milk contains emulsifiers that can give it a weird mouth feel.