Melonious Saturday! 10AM – 12 noon

The season is shifting from mid-spring into early summer! Pineapples in mere weeks! Dragonfruit blooms busting out! Here comes the fruit!

We now have some beautiful papayas that many of you have been enjoying. They are sweet, with thick flesh and very few seeds, creamy and delicious with a squeeze of lime -or- for a simpler recipe, just add a spoon and your face! The skin of the papaya fruit has traditionally been used as a healing poultice for cuts, abrasions and bruises. Papaya contains digestive enzymes and is often also used for stomach ailments and even as a meat tenderizer. It is a healing, comforting food.

And now, the headliner, MELONS! Luca is a serious watermelon monster. He has grown some beautiful little watermelons with a sweet, almost butterscotch-like flavor. We failed on several occasions to get a picture of its unusual orangey-yellow flesh before it was eaten…finally captured one yesterday.

img_2168In other farm news, Farmers Christina and Luca celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary this week. We got married right here on the farm after a multi-continent-spanning 10 year courtship. (Luca’s parents, who also live here on the farm, will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this summer!) Still growing, still trying new things!

The full list for Saturday: Loads of sweet salad mix, baby arugula, spicy greens, bunched arugula, a few bunches of kale, radishes, onions, cherry tomatoes, slicing and heirlooms, a few cucumbers, loads of green orange yellow and red bell peppers, loads of seasoning peppers, loads of Serrano and Indian chili peppers, garlic chives, parsley, recao, lemongrass, Italian basil, ginger root, pumpkin, loads of passionfruit, loads of really good papaya, ten petite yellow fleshed watermelons, a few super pretty and tasty honeydew-like melons from Punjab India that will blow your mind, cheerful sunflowers and zinnias, and from our partner Fiddlewood Farm we have fresh locally produced goat cheese!

Art, Earth Day, and The Return of the Goat Cheese 10am – 12 noon

Overall, the tomato plants are slowing down as the weather gets slightly hotter, but we still have tons to pick and for you to enjoy!

Overall, the tomato plants are slowing down as the weather gets slightly hotter, but we still have tons to pick and for you to enjoy!

Our sunflowers are getting ridiculously tall! They seem to love our soil. We field tested some cut sunflowers this week in a jar of water and they lasted at least six days with no added care. If you change the water more regularly and add a couple of tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar, sugar, and baking soda to the water, they should go even longer!

Our sunflowers are getting ridiculously tall! They seem to love our soil. We field tested some cut sunflowers this week in a jar of water and they lasted at least six days with no added care. If you change the water more regularly and add a couple of tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar, sugar, and baking soda to the water, they should go even longer!

Can you find the melons in the melon patch? Lots of exciting varieties, soon come!

Can you find the melons in the melon patch? Lots of exciting varieties, soon come!

The arts are very busy this weekend with the VI Lit Fest partying hard at UVI and CMCArts, and various art exhibitions including a mix of student and professional work at the Good Hope Country Day School. Get out and enjoy some culture, or stay in and practice your own creativity!

Yesterday’s full moon coincided with Earth Day. We hope that more and more people will join communities like ours of small farmers and their dedicated customers, to practice Earth Day consciousness and conservation around the calendar all year long.

Fiddlewood Farms goat cheese is back today! Pairs perfectly with any and all of the following items: Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, baby spicy salad mix, lettuce heads; onions, radishes, pumpkin, sweet potato, green, red, and orange bell peppers; seasoning peppers, both types of hot peppers, a few cucumbers, a few bunches of kale, bunched arugula, parsley, Italian basil, chives, rosemary, lemongrass, ginger root, papaya, passionfruit, cherry tomatoes, medium heirloom and red tomatoes, recao, farm fresh eggs from ARTfarm and from Heather’s hens; and more of Dr. Bradford’s unbelievably fresh, delicate goat cheese.

Aaaand…Decorate your table or make a lovely gift of fresh cut zinnias and sunflowers.

Wednesday ARTfarm 3-6pm

We love it when groups of students come out to tour the farm! They ask the best questions and bring us youthful energy. We had a nice visit from St. Croix Montessori’s upper and lower elementary kids last week. The big discoveries? “Worm poop is soil.” “Bells help keep dogs away from sheep.” “There are different kinds of hoes.” “Neem trees grow fast.”

Wednesday’s haul: Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, baby spicy salad mix;

Cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, the last harvest of sweet corn for the season, onions, yellow summer squash, kale, bell peppers, yellow seasoning peppers, radishes, a few cucumbers, squash blossoms;

These dramatically large squash blossoms can be stuffed, fried, or used as a garnish!

 

Italian basil, lemon basil, holy basil, Thai basil, red serrano peppers and red Indian chilies, garlic chives, cilantro, dill, parsley, assorted pumpkins, and cut flowers including loads of zinnias, cosmos and China asters!

From our partners we plan to offer fresh local goat cheese, vegan local fruit ice cream, raw local honey, farm fresh local eggs, and a few other treats!

Salad, Tomatoes, Fish and Wanda! 10 AM – 12 noon

A peaceful sunrise floods the pastures at Longford.

Life is good, people! Wanda the Bee Lady’s back! Oh gosh and Ryan and Kim will be on hand at 10am with fresh caught mahi! And we have tomatoes and sweet corn again, and arugula, and Bethany’s fresh goat cheese and Feel-I and Shalima’s ice cream! WOooooooOOOOOOOO!! Join us, 10am – 12 noon on the South Shore!

Lots of ARTfarm goodies at this bustling time of year…

 

The bell peppers have been plentiful this season!

Here is the full list for today: Sweet salad mix, baby spicy salad mix, baby arugula, teen arugula, sweet corn!, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, wild cucumbers, summer squash, loads of pumpkin, green and red bell peppers, yellow seasoning peppers, red serrano peppers, red Indian chilies, Italian basil, holy basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, garlic chives, cilantro, dill, parsley, rosemary, loads of onions with green edible tops, ginger root, lettuce heads, kale, carrots, multiple types of radish, a few figs, and loads of zinnia flowers, cosmos and marigolds!

From our partners we have Wanda’s local honey meads (smile and song included), fresh mahi from Ryan and Kim, local goat cheese from Fiddlewood Farms, and I-Sha’s locally made vegan ice cream!

Enjoy!

Life Is Good! Fishmonger Wednesday 3-6pm

Farmer Luca is staying optimistic! This week he planted watermelons, pumpkins, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, more salad greens and a mango tree. Fisherman Ryan is back on island and has some beautiful mahi today at 3pm!

Our good friend, fellow foodie and fabulous photographer Marjo Aho created some delicious goat cheese combinations and shared them with us on Facebook. Here are some great ideas to try with Fiddlewood Farm’s local fresh goat cheese:

Fresh Fiddlewood Farms goat cheese with ARTfarm heirloom tomato and basil! Is that Nidulari sourdough bread? Photo (c)2016 Marjo Aho

Fiddlewood Farms goat cheese with Errol’s Virgin Fresh raw local honey and cinnamon! Photo (c)2016 Marjo Aho

Fiddlewood Farms fresh local goat cheese with fresh passionfruit! A sweet and tart experience! Photo (c)2016 Marjo Aho

Wednesday’s selection: Sweet salad mix, spicy salad mix, arugula, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, kale, yellow summer squash, assorted pumpkins, red, yellow and white onions, red serrano peppers, red Indian chilies, yellow seasoning peppers, Italian basil, lemon basil, holy basil, Thai basil, garlic chives, dill, cilantro, radishes, zinnia flowers…

From our partners: Fresh goat cheese by Fiddlewood Farm, vegan local fruit ice cream from I-Sha, raw local honey from Errol, and fresh caught local mahi from Ryan & Kim!

See you on this beautiful sunny afternoon! We’re located on South Shore Road, east of Ha’Penny Beach and west of the Boy Scout Camp.

Rainy Day Splits, 10 AM – 12 noon!

Don’t shy from vine-ripened goodness! A healed split tomato that is not leaking juices is safe to eat.

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The split on a vine-ripened tomato is simply a record of weather and a mark of authenticity – you won’t find these in the supermarket!

 

 

 

We have been blessed with a few substantial rain showers over the last week. While this has been wonderful for replenishing our groundwater supply, soaking parched, sunbaked soils, and greening up the pastures and gardens, it also causes some fruits to grow faster than their skin can hold them.

Behold, the split tomato! You will never see these in a supermarket, because they require more delicate handling. When an unusual amount of rain strikes ripening tomatoes on the vine, the combination of percussive hammering from the rain itself and the rapid uptake of rainwater into the plant can cause the fruits to grow rapidly and the outer skin of the tomato to split. As long as the inner skin remains intact and the tomato is not leaking any of its juices, these are perfectly safe to purchase and to eat, and the cracks confirm that the tomato is a truly local and extremely fresh vine ripened treat. Some nutritionists would probably agree that split tomatoes are better for you because you are more prone to eating more of them immediately, replacing any junk food in your diet. 😉

What to go with your delicious heirloom, cherry, and slicer tomatoes this morning? Loads of sweet salad mix, teen arugula, teen spicy salad mix, kale, lettuce heads, red and green bell peppers, yellow squash, amazing pumpkins, loads of cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, loads of onions, scallions, radishes (three types), Italian basil, lemon basil, holy basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, lemongrass, rosemary, baby ginger root, wild cucumbers, zinnia flowers, marigolds, a few cosmos, loads of hot peppers, Indian chilies and serrano peppers, loads of Luca’s favorite not-hot seasoning pepper. And a few passionfruit.

From our partners we have I-Sha’s vegan ice cream and local fresh goat cheese from Fiddlewood Farm! Wanda the Honey Lady will be back next week, her eyesight has been successfully restored, friends, and she can see you quite clearly now! So bring your best smiles for her next week!!

ARTfarm Open, Ag Fair Weekend: Sat. 10 AM to 12 noon

We will be open at our usual location on the farm this morning. But, we strongly urge you to also visit the Ag Fair this weekend! Happy President’s Day, and Happy Valentine’s Day, folks!

These flowers are YUGE. Some orange like The Donald! Wage a campaign of love this weekend!

We grew it for you, stop by and pick up: Sweet salad mix, loads of cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, lettuce heads, a few yellow and green squash, carrots, radishes, a few bunches of kale, loads of pumpkin, beautiful onions, scallions, a few leeks, a few cucumbers, beautiful green and red bell peppers;

ARTfarm pumpkin…at the peak of flavor right now, these are crazy sweet steamed or roasted, or even sliced thin raw!


Trinidad seasoning peppers are incredibly pungent and smoky like a hot pepper, but with none of the heat. We like to chop them coarsely into all kinds of dishes to give them a specific ‘Caribbean’ aromatic profile. They must be tasted to be believed, and once you’re hooked you’ll always look for these little gems! If you’re not a big fan of spicy food, these are a great way to get a pungent peppery flavor without the pain!

Red serranos and Indian chilies, Trinidad Perfume seasoning peppers, baby ginger root, cilantro, dill, Italian basil, lemon basil, holy basil, loads of fresh cut zinnia flowers, yellow marigolds, and a few bags of figs.

From our partners we have locally made treats: vegan ice cream, raw honey, and goat cheese!

11:09AM update: Still have loads of stuff left! Lots of tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, cooking greens, herbs, peppers, honey, ice creams, pumpkin… Come on by!

Don’t miss the 45th annual St. Croix AgriFest this weekend, on the grounds of the Department of Agriculture on Queen Mary Highway just west of UVI’s campus. Open 9-6 Saturday, Sunday and Monday. $6 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children. A good portion of the island shuts down for several weeks to prepare for this major public event: Tons of exhibitors, from farmers competing for best display with great piles of fruits and vegetables, value-added goods and fruit trees; to great local cooks selling plates of food, hot sauces, drinks and spices from this and other islands; Armstrong’s ice cream truck with special local flavors made just for the fair; to vendors of art, jewelry, clothing and local crafts with great bargains; to elementary student science projects, alternative energy providers and University scientists showing a glimpse of the future; to animal judging exhibits and petting zoos with chicks and puppies and baby animals for sale; to carnival and pony rides for the kids and live music and dance performances! The old time history house is a wonderful favorite. People watching as you ride the tractor-pulled trolley tour, stroll through the throngs or sit at a picnic table with your plate of local food, quelbe music wafting through the air, is a must! This is a local annual event that uniquely expresses our island culture that is not to be missed!

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Happy President’s Day Weekend!

Although ARTfarm will not have a booth this year, we will have lettuce heads, onions and serrano peppers on display at Sejah Farm’s booth inside the large tractor barn on the west end of the fairgrounds.

We’ll see you there!!

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