ARTfarm Happy Monday – Ice Cream is Back!

Tiny green orbs pop out of pink spires of mango tree blooms. Soon they will become large, heavy mango fruits.
Tiny green orbs pop out of pink spires of mango tree blooms, at ARTfarm on St. Croix's South Shore. In a few months they will grow to become large, sweet, heavy mango fruits.

Have you noticed it getting drier, windier and hotter this month? Normally things would dry up in January or earlier, but we’ve been blessed with an extended rainy season this year. On the south shore of St. Croix, the air smells different. Pastures are starting to dry up quickly and the hills are changing from a vibrant green to some more muted shades that are shifting into gold and brown. We are watering our crops more often. As the tomatoes get more flavorful on the vine, the mango flowers are starting to set fruit for June.

All this dry heat means that it is time to treat ourselves to a delicious cold frosty Feel I ice cream!! YES! It’s back!! Today we have Feel I’s mango, guava, passionfruit, and banana flavors, all made from local fruit and local coconut cream – no dairy. Get one of each!

We’ve got Sweetface chocolates, too, if you need darker decadance.

If you’re feeling more savory, we’ve got baby spicy salad mix, sweet mix, cherry and big tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin, scallions, garlic chives, sage, green coriander, Italian basil, sweet and hot peppers.

For a pop of color, go for a bunch of fresh cut zinnias, a sunflower or two, and a papaya!

See you this afternoon, 3-5:30pm.

Tomatoes…and introducing our new pasture management team.

Five hair sheep in a paddock at ARTfarm
ARTfarm welcomes the newest members of our Pasture Management Team: Sleepy, Coco, Yooyoo, Nobby, and Whoopsie. These local hair sheep are Dorper, St. Croix White and Brazilian Nova mixes.

We are now at the point in the season where we put up the giant “TOMATOES” sign, and you’ll start to see our cherry tomatoes in local fine dining establishments!

Saturday morning’s stand will also include fresh microgreens, sweet mix, spicy mix, teen spicy, a plethora of varied cooking greens, herbs including some new ones for this season (sage! holy basil!) and your old favorites (delfino cilantro, italian, lemon and thai basils, thyme, caribbean oregano, lemongrass, garlic chives, and giant scallions!)…cucumbers, lettuce heads, and of course giant zinnia flowers, chocolates and a few baked treats!

Please call or let us know at the stand,  if you’d like to special order fresh local meats: chicken (half or whole), lamb or goat (leg, roast, cut for stew).

ARTfarm gift certificates are beautiful and make a thoughtful gift.

And in other exciting farm news, our Livestock Manager has acquired five experienced new employees (pictured above) who are charged with improving our pastures and keeping things nicely trimmed around the farm. Please join us in welcoming Coco, Sleepy, Yooyoo, Whoopsie and Nobby. They’re all expecting! Christina plans to bring them out to visit at the farmstand after they’ve had a chance to get accustomed to their new home and the staff.

Come visit the ARTfarm!

Laying Pipe

In the off season, when the tomatoes are NOT bursting off the vines, you’d think we would take it easy, go to the beach, or do some cool new paintings.

Not so, friends.

Luca operating a trencher on a skid steer in the pastures at ARTfarm
Luca operating a trencher on a skid steer in the pastures at ARTfarm. We're laying poly pipe for livestock irrigation! Photo by Mitch Amarando.

The off season is when we catch up on infrastructure projects. Luca has been cutting trenches with a skid steer using a hydraulic trenching attachment in our pastures, to bury water lines for our upcoming livestock project. We’ll be experimenting with multi-species grazing and micropasturing. We’re burying the polyethelene pipe so that it will be protected from UV damage, heavy equipment, fire, and chewing animals. It should last just about forever.

South Shore Art Produce at Machete Machete

Last night we attended the opening of Nadine Donath‘s exhibition of cyanotype prints, “Not Here Either”, at Machete Machete Gallery, during the last Art Thursday event of the 2010-2011 season.

Donath’s dozens of mysterious, watery ‘photograms’ in hundreds of shades of cobalt blue, were created with tiny snippets of plants and trees from around the ARTfarm and nearby pastures. Viewing the work was oddly personal, it seemed like a family photo album to us.

Donath, a native of Berlin and resident of New York City, has been here on St. Croix for a month. As an artist in residence at Thomas Shelley’s Machete Machete Gallery, she has been producing her own work, giving a workshop on cyanotype printing, and just learning about and enjoying the microcosm of St. Croix.

We purchased two prints. At $100 each, you’d do well to purchase four or six of these beautiful little images and frame them together as a little visual poem of the wilds of St. Croix. Donath heads off the rock this Saturday, but the show hangs through July. Get yourself over to Machete Machete on Company Street on your lunch hour or for one of their hipster movie nights and enjoy this cool blue show.

– Christina