Big Story: Heirloom Melons

Hunting melons by flashlight. A late harvest of young ginger and pungent Punjabi mini honeydew melons.

Farmer Luca’s latest obsession and favorite treat after a hot day in the fields is watermelon. He has been on a quest to find new or rare heirloom  varieties of melon that are drought tolerant. He has planted a lot of interesting stuff and is learning a lot about cultivating the vines. It’s a challenging crop to grow but he is highly motivated. We truly hope there will be some left for our customers. 😉

Lots of fresh greens from all the rain. Come out for 10 AM tomorrow morning and you’ll find: Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, teen arugula, baby spicy salad mix, teen spicy salad mix, escarole, several kale varieties including tender Ethiopian kale, dandelion greens, onions, scallions, baby carrots, radishes, sweet potatoes, new baby ginger so tender you don’t have to peel it. Loads of watermelons (multiple red and yellow fleshed varieties to choose from), Japanese sweet crunchy green mini melons, beautiful Indian honeydew melons, papayas, passionfruit, and loads of Mediterranean figs, beautiful cut flowers, lemongrass, garlic chives, recao, dill, cilantro, rosemary, the basils. Local honey from Errol. Early birds will find a few cucumbers and the first of our cherry tomatoes (just a few pints).

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!!

ARTfarm Abundance 10am – 12noon Saturday 

The drought conditions drastically reduced our beneficial insect population; we planted wildflower mixes in the gardens to try and boost their numbers. A side effect of this farming technique is the beautiful flowers.
The drought conditions drastically reduced our beneficial insect population; we planted wildflower mixes in the gardens to try and boost their numbers. A side effect of this farming technique is the beautiful flowers.

We are a small, highly diversified family farm. We grow smallish amounts of many things, of the highest possible quality. This is an intensive and time consuming way to farm but it is also highly biodiverse and, we feel, sustainable.

Because we often have limited quantities of certain items, we encourage customers looking for specific items to try and come near the beginning of our farmstand hours. Additionally, due to reduced rainfall over the last year and reduced growing capacity, we are only open two instead of three days a week this year. This often results in a line of customers at the entrance prior to opening. We appreciate your dedication to good food.

Let’s all try to maintain a sense of abundance as we go through our day. There is enough good food for everyone. We are all more fulfilled when we can share what we have with our neighbors around us. Let’s all take a breath and appreciate all the blessings we can be grateful for.

Today’s abundance: Sweet salad mix, arugula, spicy salad mix, and lettuce heads;

Cherry tomatoes, sturdy slicing and delicate please-handle-gently heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, pumpkins in all different shapes and types, green bell peppers, kale, scallions, onions, carrots, radishes, a handful of wild cucumbers;

The Seminole and other small pumpkins are finally ready! The plump seeds are delicious roasted with olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt, don't forget them!
The Seminole and other small pumpkins are finally ready! The plump seeds are delicious roasted with olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt, don’t forget them!

Red and green serrano peppers, red and green Indian chilies, cilantro, dill, garlic chives, parsley, Italian basil, lemon basil, holy basil, rosemary, ginger root, a few passionfruit, loads of zinnia flowers, loads of edible marigold flowers, wildflowers, and a few bags of figs​.

The drought has pushed us to do a lot of experimentation on the farm this year. Our rain catchment ponds are suffering from algae overgrowth and increased evaporation. We are trialing different floating aquatic plants to serve as an eco-friendly and economic pond cover. This fuzzy friend is called Salvinia.
The drought has pushed us to do a lot of experimentation on the farm this year. Our rain catchment ponds are suffering from algae overgrowth and increased evaporation. We are trialing different floating aquatic plants to serve as an eco-friendly and economic pond cover. This fuzzy friend is called Salvinia.

Happy Holidays! ARTfarm OPEN 3-6pm Today!

 

Baby! Baby arugula, Baby!

Lots of beautiful things for your holiday table at ARTfarm this afternoon! Come down the South Shore and enjoy this beautiful day.

We have plenty of beautiful fresh sweet salad mix, baby and teen arugula and spicy salad greens, and oak leaf lettuce heads;

Freshly harvested garlic chives, lemongrass, rosemary, recao, and lemon, Italian, Thai and holy basils;

Ethiopian, dinosaur and purple kale; wild pickling gherkins (click for recipe, halfway down the page) and beautifully domesticated slicing cucumbers, zucchinis and squashes (click for recipes and suggestions), and fresh eggs from Yellow Door Farm.

Early birds may experience: fresh Mediterranean figs, zinnia flowers and a few cherry and slicer tomatoes.

Special guest Ms. Wanda will have beautiful gift boxes of Crucian Mead samplers!

We will be open again on Saturday, December 26. We should have sweet corn, more tomatoes, and a few other additions to the lineup for Saturday.

Wishing a merry and peaceful holiday season for all. We are blessed to have such enthusiastic customers and the privilege to work with our family and friends on beautiful land. Thanks for your support!