ARTfarm Monday: Q & A with Farmer Luca

Q&A Monday with Farmer Luca

Q: What is your favorite fruit?
A: As of this very moment right now, FIGS. 20140224-111435.jpg

Live in the now! Today, from 3–6 p.m. on South Shore Rd.: Microgreens, sweet salad mix, teen spicy salad mix, teen arugula; TOMATO MADNESS with cherry tomatoes, big tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes in GREAT ABUNDANCE; radishes, onions, carrots, cooking greens, garlic chives, cilantro, parsley, hot chili peppers various types, farm fresh eggs from the ARTfarm chickens, and cute, cuddly, irresistible Mediterranean figs! And a new batch of I-sha vegan coconut milk ice cream in sweet, delicious St. Croix fruit and veggie flavors!!

ARTfarm Q & A Monday with Farmer Luca

Q: Why have you planted so many trees around your farm?

A: To attract bird watchers.

More on that in a moment: today’s Monday 3-6pm farmstand includes: sweet salad mix, teen spicy mix, teen arugula, baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, slicer tomatoes, recao, garlic chives, lemongrass, onions and carrots.

On January 27, we heard a strange noise in a densely shaded area of the farm. It sounded like this: We also heard tell-tale hammering on a tree trunk.

Christina called local birdwatcher Carol Burke of SEA, and biologist Claudia Lombard of US Fish and Wildlife, to try to identify the bird, who clearly was indicating to us that he or she was some kind of woodpecker — not something you typically encounter in the Virgin Islands. Soon, the farm started looking like this: treeholes
And then this: birdwatchers

The bird was indeed a woodpecker! It has been identified as a young female yellow bellied sap sucker. Female yellow bellied sap suckers spend summers in the northern regions of North America, and do venture south to Central America and parts of the Caribbean for the winter, but not often in the USVI. According to, this is the first recorded sighting of one in the territory since 1999. Here’s a couple of Lisa Yntema’s shots! YBSapsucker_5Feb2014_Longford_LDY-7sm

Our little red headed lady has peppered the neem tree with tiny holes, which drip sap that she likes to drink. The sweet, sticky sap also attracts bugs, which attract lizards. It’s pretty interesting how one little bird can shift an entire ecosystem around herself. She’s so industrious, we might have to call her “Martha”.

ARTfarm Monday stand, 3–6 p.m.!

Q and A Monday with Farmer Luca

Q: What is your favorite vegetable?

A: Onions. 20140203-105102.jpg
Today’s farmstand: spicy salad mix, sweet salad mix, microgreens, arugula, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, slicer tomatoes, carrots, onions, yes onions, chinese cabbage, mustard greens, trace amounts of broccoli and corn for the early birds, garlic chives, cilantro, recao, lemon basil, holy basil, Broccoli greens, chili peppers, radishes, and ice cream.